Joined August 2018
  • Day5

    Day 5 - Llangollen and Home time !

    Yesterday in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Homeward bound ! Some thunder overnight but another sunny day !
    Back south through the hills and valleys and forests to the motorway today !
    Llangollen is on the way so ....

    Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen in north east Wales. The 18-arched stone and cast iron structure is for use by narrowboats and was completed in 1805 having taken ten years to design and build. It is the longest aqueduct in Great Britain and the highest canal aqueduct in the world! (World beating Boris!) It’s strangely quiet today and it’s free ! So a walk across the viaduct is on ! Luna leans into the canal side oddly away from the railing side and drop to the river valley below ! It’s a great view !
    And now home ....
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  • Day4

    Day 4 - Anglesey

    August 12 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    It’s a lovely and warm sunny day ! Lanfair PG station and a socially distanced reconnection after six months with my brother and his wife !

    Originally called Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, which means 'The Mary Church by the pool near the White Hazels' the village was renamed in the 19th century. ... It is believed that the name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch was invented by a cobbler from Menai Bridge. Or.... Literally translated, the name means: [The] church of [St.] Mary (Llanfair) [of the] pool (pwll)[15] of the white hazels (gwyn gyll) near [lit. "over against"] (go ger) the rapid whirlpool (y chwyrn drobwll) [and] the church of [St.] Tysilio (Llantysilio) of the red cave (-ogo[f] goch). Anyway it’s a long name invented to humour / amuse us tourists !

    In the distance follies : Anglesey column - Wellingtons second in command lost a leg and became first person to have artificial leg !115 steps good view and Nelsons monument !

    Bryn Celli Ddu chambered cairn is a good visit - it’s 200BC and it’s a green mound over a burial chamber including a replica inscribed totem!

    We head to the north past
    Benllech and Moelfre in the direction of Amlwch but detour up to visit the old windmill atop Mynydd Parys , the copper mountain ! Time for a walk amongst the ruins and to fly the kite ! It really catches the air until it falls it passed over the empty deep crater centre and there is no air ! It’s crashes and it’s lost !

    After a quick trip a quiet beach we work back to Beaumaris castle , the last fortification of Edward I to subdue the Welsh . It’s quiet , time for a Bara-brith ice cream and walk while the sun is still out !

    Before heading home , a view of Telford’s Menai suspension bridge 1826 - designed to rake fully rigged sailing ship underneath ! To the south Stephenson’s railway Britannia bridge 1850 - rebuilt in 1970 and a lot of concrete !

    A good day and time for home !
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  • Day3

    Day 3 - Barmouth and Harlech

    August 11 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The Rain has gone ! Last night we had a Biblical thunder and lightning storm extravaganza and it has worked ! Sunny day here . South again today past Caernarfon and onward to Harlech

    Harlech has it’s 13thC castle high on a rock above the town which today is hidden almost by the fog ! Built by Edward I as part of his plan to subdue the Welsh ! 600 years ago the sea came right up to the base of castle - which explains the water- gate and most .... but today there is a very steep drive up the hill and the sea is half a mile away ! The castle has seen a lot of action and was held by royalists in 1642 civil war.

    Morfa Mawddach station is on the south side of the great expanse of the Mawddach estuary . The estuary is spanned by the famous 1867 Barmouth wooden train viaduct. At the north end at Barmouth are two steel arches , one of which used to open for ships! Barmouth is an old seaside town but very commercial today with all its fun fair events and sandy beaches ! Today it’s very warm but the fog is still in ! Driving through Barmouth , our plans change as we witness the “living dead“ of hundreds of not socially distanced tourists and a couple are actually wearing masks ! The train ride across the viaduct , a 4 minute journey or so to Morfa Mawddach with a two hour stop-over for lunch is less appealing with the fog ! We decide to walk over the viaduct footpath there and back - Luna is happy ! It’s a good walk of around 2 miles ! The fog begins to clear and the sun will eventually appear ! The modern train trundles over the rusty rails.

    After a leisurely drive through the mountains we try the pebble beach at Conway with Luna - that’s a no from here to waves crashing !
    Conway castle still looks impressive .
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  • Day2

    Day 2 - The Lleyn penisula !

    August 10 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    Bore Da ! ....S’mae?

    It’s grey but still warm with some possible thunder and rain later ! .
    We skirt the mountains , pass Conway and Caernarfon Castles and track down the north coast .
    Today Luna gets to discover the beach and the sea and squeaking sand !The National Trust beach of Whistling Sands at Porthor was once an important port. Lying at the north-western tip of the Lleyn Peninsula. The sandy beach is backed by banks of sand and boulder clay, becoming rocky towards the northern end. But the sand on this beach consists of rounded grains of quartz which under dry conditions make a squeaky sound when you walk on it- hence the name Whistling Sands. ( Today not as impressive as National Seashore in USA - Seaside and home of Truman Show). Well today ... no dogs are allowed on beach , there is little wind so no whistling , it drizzled so it’s not dry ! Bah! However it’s empty apart from a few diehards in wetsuits! A socially distanced beach !

    We make for Abersoch harbour , originally a fishing port now sadly more sailing craft along with some expensive colourful beach huts but it’s busy and it’s now raining so we pass through!

    We pass by David Lloyd-George ‘s village of Llanystumdwy...,and his resting place and take a brief walk by the river !

    Criccieth and it’s castle from 13th C - built by Welsh prince Llewelyn the Great - commands Tremadog Bay. The Cambrian coast railway helped Victorian tourism boom here . The Castle ( covid closed ) is impressive on the hill ! We walk and sample the famous Cadwaladers ice cream !

    It’s home for beer and just we do it’s thunder and lightning!
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  • Day1

    Day 1 - Colwyn Bay !

    August 9 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    It’s a first road trip and away from home for Luna .
    We hit the road north , M6 and dogleg M54 /A5 to North Wales and emerge in the bustling commercialism of Llandudno and it’s Pier, built in’s very long ! It’s traditional British seaside culture with its amusement
    stalls, fairground rides and kiss-me-quick hats.....and lots of not so socially distanced holiday makers !
    So for our sake and Luna’s .... we skip the famous Tram Way and its crowds and drive the coastal route up the Great Ormes Head , the large rocky headland above town , for a wander and the views
    ! The sun is out and there’s a nice breeze ! Big gulls ! A great view over to Anglesey! A quirky lighthouse ! A great view of the Conway estuary and the castle on the distance ! Also the end of the tramway .... a white palace in the distance ! Its the Welsh heritage coast so what should we do ....keep it tidy ! Or is that bang tidy ?
    What is an Orme ? ( post note Great and Little Ormes Heads comes from Old Norse words urm or orm that mean sea serpent . One explanation is that the Great Orme is the head, with its body being the land between the Great and Little Ormes, whilst another, possibly more likely, is that the shape of the Great Orme viewed as one enters the isthmus of Llandudno from the SE landward end resembles a giant sleeping creature).

    We back track to Colwyn Bay and its Victoria Pier - derelict since 2008, but a Grade II listed structure built in 1900.

    Then we head for the cottage which is 2 miles inland ...all signal goes ...we are lost ! We’re next to the Cathedral of the Hill ! It’s actually just an odd Church ! We call for directions ! We Arrive! The dog is happy , the cottage is spacious and quiet ! Time for a beer and a wine ! Wait a minute ....that’s a table football table !!!! Where’s my daughter ?
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  • Day1

    Day 1 Maidenhead to Marlow

    July 17 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    It’s a very attractive stretch after the Maidenhead bridge ( dating from 13th C but current bridge is c 1777 and was a toll bridge until 1903) .
    I head north through Chandlers Quay and Boulters Lock - a very busy place here in 17th C - and Inn ( an old flour mill). Today it’s a frenzy of pleasure boats setting off up and down the river . There’s a lot expensive houses appearing! Over to east on the other bank is the Cliveden estate and House on the bluff and out of sight . It was built for Duke of Buckingham around 1666 , but current house is designed by Charles Barry of H of P ....and famous for Astor and infamous for Profumo affair and Spring cottage - still there today by the riverside !
    Heading west, I enter Cookham , with impressive church and the famous Stephen Spencer gallery and Lullebrook Manor (inspiration for Toad Hall).
    Back heading north , Cock Marsh is a rare lowland marsh and haven for birds , and onto Bourne End - the east side is covered with many expensive houses .
    Up and over Thames at the Bourne End railway bridge - the Spade Oak ferry finished in 1962 - past two islands and then under the Marlow bypass and onto Marlow Mill and lock.
    Finally a view of the Marlow suspension bridge but first down Seven Corner Alley and St. Peter street and into the Two Brewers pub ( famous from Three men in a Boat ) and the Wethered Marlow Brewer - I’m early for pick up so time for a beer . Onto Marlow churchyard and the Causeway , the opposite bank has the Complete Angler ( Walton’s inspiration point) , the 1832 bridge and the 1835 All Saints church’s home and time for another Marlow Rebellion brewery beer....let’s see how the pandemic goes from here and when I can finish the walk !
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  • Day1

    Day 1 Eton/ Windsor to Maidenhead

    July 17 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Well I strangely didn’t get invited to the knighthood or the wedding at the Castle by the Queen but I was bright and early to start my walk at Eton . Windsor or “wyndesore” meaning winding shore is where the path crosses the bridge to Eton and near those famous/ infamous playing fields ! A fine view back of the Castle and walking west I pass under the great Windsor Great Western Bridge. Strolling by Eton Wick , the horse race track , Boveney weir and Lock and church -with excellent Norman window . Moving on , I pass the Oakley Court hotel - a frequent work meeting venue ....and I actually swam across the river here one night a long time ago - sponsored by tequila ! (Bad boy) . The hotel was used for many Hammer horror and St. Trinians films ! Dorney Court , a very good Tudor mansion but being repaired !
    Onto and under Summerleaze bridge onto Monkey island or Monks island , where in 1738 the Duke of Marlborough decorated the fishing lodge roof with ...monkeys! Why ?
    Another old and popular business haunt is Bray which is home to some fine restaurants , the Fat Goose and Waterside Inn.
    The river path leads onto the Maidenhead railway bridge of 1839, and the line to Bristol . The bridge famous in Turner’s “Rain , steam and speed “ painting with the largest and flattest arches ever built ! It’s a beautiful sunny day as I reach Maidenhead and cross the bridge to the other western bank!
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  • Day1

    Around the GX common

    July 15 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Some historical views and views today ! The Neolithic / Roman Bulstrode camp from the ground and air today . The Common from the 1900s , the old coaching inn on the road to Bath , The French Horn , a view west of the flat grazed common and the woodland common today ....then a hike to Bulstrode Manor and park ( here since Middle Ages and home of Hanging Judge Jeffreys ) ... and a folly in the garden !Read more

  • Day1

    Local history on the walk !

    July 4 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    St Hubert’s house c 1860 with impressive gates - private but film set for Professionals and Morse; the white fronted Fulmer Hall and Fulmer Place c 1750 - private and film sets from the Avengers and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying machines ; the Domesday mentioned church ; a surviving boundary stone marker c1880s ; an odd coal hole ? delivery point in the wall of Fulmer Place ; and the map from 1900 that shows very little else! All woods !Read more

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