Retired professionals wishing to see a little more of the world at home and abroad
  • Day1125


    2 hours ago in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    The following day we cycled to Oswestry - we rejoined the canal tow path and walked through the Chirk Tunnel which is the longer of the the two tunnels at 460 ft. It was very dark within the tunnel, illumination from passing narrowboats assisted our view of the very narrow path. Upon reaching daylight we were confronted with the Chirk aquaduct which crosses the river below at a height of 65 ft. This was a really interesting part of the canal network, clearly being enjoyed by a number of narrowboats which passed us by.
    We had a little wander around Oswestry, taking in the site of the old Castle - dismantled by the victorious Parliamentarians and there is very little of it left. The garden next to the Wilfred Owen memorial was very colourful.
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  • Day1123


    June 20 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    The road to Chirk was a fast one, primarily on motorway and dual carriage ways.
    We had promised ourselves on our previous trip up to to Manchester two years ago that we would return here to cycle along the Llangollen Canal.
    We cycled into Llangollen along the canal passing over the famous Pontcysylite aquaduct which was busy with sightseers on foot and on canal trips. The canal follows a contour line and the aquaduct passes across the River Dee at an elevation of 130 feet. The pathway beside the canal on the aquaduct is very narrow which Karen found quite intimidating.
    The canal passes Llangollen at high level so we locked up the bikes and descended into the town for a look around. Llangollen was quite busy and hosted a number of individual retail shops and crafty shops.
    We returned to Chirk following the canal tow path a little further beyond where we joined it in the morning. Karen was a lot more comfortable across the aquaduct on the return journey and then we encountered the first of the famous Telford canal tunnels. We needed to walk our bikes through the tunnel due to reduced headroom, then followed the tow path up to the entrance of the longer Chirk tunnel where we left the path.
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  • Day1121


    June 18 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    A short trip across The Pennines to meet up with some old friends from Redcar.
    Leaving Muker we crossed the Buttertubs Pass, passing only one cyclist near the top, then dropped down into Hawes. We then followed a route via Horton in Ribblesdale to view the famous viaduct, turning off to pass through Settle before pitching south towards Bury where we found a supermarket to top up with some fizz.
    We arrived at Gill and Richard's in early afternoon and enjoyed a wonderful weekend of idle chat and laughter in the evening sunshine.
    On Friday evening we had a bbq in the garden and a few beers/wine stretching into the early hours.
    Saturday was another sunny day so we walked out to blow some cobwebs away and refreshed at The Thieves Neck. This was followed by a delightful meal at "Bombay2Mumbai" in Bramhall to celebrate Richard's birthday.
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  • Day1120


    June 17 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    We had read about a short walk along the valley which took us up to the East Stonesdale waterfall returning via an old derelict house which used to serve the tin mines in the area.
    The path took us right up onto the high ground above Muker where we joined the Pennine Way, we had great views along and across the valley.
    The walking at the top was difficult for about a mile or two as we passed over very rocky ground, it was slow going but well worth it. We enjoyed our picnic on a grassy bank before dropping into the valley only to face climbing again to reach the old house "Crackpot Hall"which was on a site on high ground with a magnificent view of the valley. The Hall has fallen into disrepair after it was abandoned in the 1950s due to subsidence caused by the lead mines.
    It was another hot and sunny day, so we fell into the Farmers Arms in the village for a couple of refreshers.
    We were welcomed in to the pub by a lady who advised that she was a neighbour of the Owen family in Ravenseat - she had to shoot off to meet her chidren off the school bus that would also be delivering the larger part of the Owen family. It turns out that she is the game keepers wife and they live in the cottage next to the Owen family.
    I had a pint of Farmers Ewe pronounced Yow in these parts which was very refreshing.
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    david forrest

    what a good way to spend a day, all the best

  • Day1119


    June 16 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We planned a big walk today, so ate a hearty breakfast.
    Ravenseat and "Our Yorkshire Farm" was a six mile walk away, so we made a plan to visit. Returning to Muker we passed through the Meadow fields, which were very colourful with buttercups, cow parsley, clover full bloom. We then took the lower path up the Swaledale valley on a lovely sunny, dry day. All we could hear above the sounds of the river was the call of birds (cuckoo in particular) the bleating of sheep and the mooing of cows as we passed from field to field. The waterfalls under East Stonesdale were very pretty.
    We carried along the way where we had lunch on some high ground near to Smithy Holme which is otherwise known as Anty Johns (the house that the Owen family from Ravenseat have purchased) and from there we walked over the moors to Ravenseat along a section of the coast to coast walk.
    We were surprised to see a number of cars passing up the valley to the farm as we thought the cream teas were suspended, however, we were equally delighted to see that this was not the case. We enjoyed a tea and coffee with a fruit scone served by Raven - and little Nancy was "helping" with the clearing up. Clive was having a chat with a mate sitting on a wall outside the farm and gracefully posed for Karen to take his picture..
    There was a steady stream of people coming up the valley in cars, on foot and on motorbikes to the coffee stop. The farm and its surroundings were every bit as stunning as they appear on TV.
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  • Day1118


    June 15 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    We left Guisborough in the morning and travelled westward into the Yorkshire Dales, where we had a planned four night stay at the Usha Gap camp site in Swaledale.
    The run over was a good one - we passed through Middlesbrough and by passed Darlington and were soon on the country roads to Richmond from where we aimed to take the main the road up the Swaledale Valley. Roadworks on the road, however, meant a diversion via Leyburn and Wensleydale where we climbed a pass to drop into Swaledale at Grinton.
    We were soon on our site and settled on a section next to the river.
    In the afternoon we walked into the meadows and along a footpath to have a quick look at the village of Muker, then followed a trail over the high ground to the south of the village before dropping into Thwaite.
    This is a particularly picturesque part of the country and quite remote - we had no phone, wifi or TV signals - which was quite nice.
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  • Day1114


    June 11 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    On Friday we took the van into Redcar, where we made use of washing machines at Margaret and Nicola's. Big thanks to them. Alan helped Don in the garden by cutting back some of the hedges. Karen had a hair appointment in the afternoon so we both walked into town. While K was in the chair I walked along the sea front, stopping at Pacittos for an ice cream - just as good as ever.
    On saturday we hosted Jill and Mick and the Robinsons at the site in early afternoon before setting off to Brockley Hall in Saltburn where Don had booked us all in for the night and had arranged his 90 birthday celebratory meal. Sadly due to the covid situation all the grandchildren and great grand children could not attend due to restrictions on numbers.
    The weekend was brilliantly sunny and we enjoyed drinks in the garden in the afternoon with all the family followed by a great meal in a private room in the hotel. The chef even put on a chicken parmo for Matthew which is probably not on the usual menu. Once again we were the last out of the dining rooms after a lovely evening.
    On Sunday we enjoyed a massive breakfast at the hotel after which Karen and I walked back to Redcar along the beach. The tide was well out, the sun shining and the beach was busy with people enjoying the moment. After yet more food in Redcar we returned to the van in the evening absolutely stuffed.
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  • Day1113


    June 10 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We spent the day having a mini tour of the area on our feet and on our bikes.
    We cycled to Guisborough for a quick breeze around the street market followed by a look around the Gisborough Priory. I had been around the site in my youth but had never really registered just how big an establishment it must have been in its heyday. The abbey was founded by a "De Brus" one of the English relatives of Robert De Brus, King of Scotland. There is very little left standing but the grounds are maintained by English Heritage and an army of volunteers who were busy in the gardens.
    We then cycled through to Great Ayton a lovely village which is famous for being the childhood home village of Captain James Cook. The house that he grew up in does still exist, however it was dismantled piece by piece and transported to Melbourne, Australia where it was reassembled within Fitzroy Park.
    Resisting the temptation of a Suggits Ice cream we left our bikes in the village and hiked up to the Captain Cook Monument which sits on top of a hill outside the village. We took the shortest way up which led us up a very very steep path to the high ground and eventually the monument. There was a strong wind at the top so we didn't linger, and the plaque on the monument was unreadable. We decided that to return by the same route would be foolish so returned to the village via a route which took us along the Cleveland Way in part.
    On our walk we found elderberry flowers in full bloom for the first time this season which we picked to make cordial in time for Kirsty's wedding weekend.
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