Well here I am up to date with my blog. More to do with the fact that injury has curtailed my activities but finally no blog-log, blog-age, blog-jam or any other made up words I find childishly amusing. A weekend in Nottinghamshire to help TBF’s mum celebrate her 80th birthday. I’m hoping that I still look as young, fit and sprightly at 80 as she does. The main event was a very nice Sunday lunch in the local pub but the previous day gave us a chance to visit Bradgate Park near Leicester
An urban park may conjure up images of muddy duck-ponds, battered play areas, graffiti and litter. Bradgate Park was a bit of a revelation.
I’d visited before on a very cold and bleak October day a few years back and hadn’t retained much of a memory. Its a huge sprawling spread of heathland, forest and lakes that incorporates a deer park. As you’d expect the deer are habituated to humans and are easy to get close to and photograph
The park is also home to the ruined mansion of Lady Jane Grey, the one who was queen for 9 days until someone got bored and relieved her of her head
Its a wonderfully open place to stroll and despite the cold we enjoyed a ramble out down the broad lower valley
Plenty more deer to spy as we walked, often only a few feet away
We stopped for tea and cake by the lake, as you do on cold winter parkland stroll and then returned by way of the higher ground up to Old John Tower and its war memorial. The views although a little grey were exceedingly fine. I especially like any vantage point where you can look down over a city skyline in this case Leicester
Light was fading fast as we reached the tower and it was pretty chilly but I was learning to love this marvellous “park” and its many natural and man made features
The photo below says “cold” with no need for words
A very fine and relaxing way to spend a birthday afternoon
And so that’s it for another blog year. We’re off at the weekend to see the rain splatter the windows at a private hostel in Ingleton with friends and then heading straight to the airport to fly out and spend the rest of Xmas break in Tenerife (to watch the sun stream across the poolside patio). That of course means I start the new year several blog posts down so normal service will be resumed
Happy Xmas and New Year to you all!
As the name suggests this was a short walk a couple of weeks ago with TJS. After a catered breakfast in Waitrose in Abergavenny (what sort of knob I have turned into) we headed up the Sugar Loaf. Been up here many times so just a few photos
Weather let us down a bit. Forecast was for clear skies but while we scoffed bacon and egg sarnies a belt of low cloud descended and lingered over the hills all day while patches of sunlight were visible everywhere but where we were
Still it made for some atmospheric cloudy shots and we did get a brief burst of sunshine on the summit
Could have been worse and it was good just to get out. I did at least achieve the objective of working how far I can walk before my knee becomes unbearably painful. About 3-4 miles and a few hundred feet of ascent/descent if you’re interested. Just as well there are some good TV series around at the moment to binge watch. Also means I have less to write about. Just one more post to catch up on before I’m up to date and head off for some winter sun (preceded by some Yorkshire rain)
Onto our final day of the birthday weekend. A much soggier and wet outlook plus the need for a waterproof for me, having forgotten to bring one, saw us head into Padstow.
Despite the commercialism I like Padstow and out of season it returns to being a quiet Cornish fishing village
We took an easy stroll around the harbour and up towards the war memorial. The views over the Camel estuary, Doom Bar and Daymer Bay were superb
Dark clouds were billowing and heading our way so we had to turn and flee. Not before this rather fine shot of storms approaching while we grabbed the last rays of sun
My new cagoule got a try out but heavy rain put a stop to Padstow fun, so we moved on, figuring driving through the rain was better than walking in it. On whim we went to Tintagel as I’d not been there since I was a kid. By the time we got there the sun was out again and all was fine. We declined the offer of over £20 to look around the castle. Whilst the position is dramatic and evocative the word “castle” somewhat overplays the hand of English Heritage. Lots of steps and a few sparse walls sums up this monument plus a few “King Arthur had a pee against this rock” plaques is pretty much all you get. The views and the coast are undeniably superb but so is the coastal path to the north which is free so that’s where we went
Its a magnificent walk around Barras Nose to Willapark
These are The Sisters
Willapark was superb and completely deserted, we had the whole place to ourselves
The views north towards Boscastle were especially fine
The cliffs on the south side are frighteningly sheer, one of those places you feel you could step off the edge and fall straight into deep water. We stayed dry as well, always a bonus
Afternoon was pressing on and there were showers in the air. Most people would have decided to head home but we are better than that. Never ones to waste precious winter daylight we took a short drive to the edge of Bodmin Moor with a view to a final walk up Rough Tor. We pass by this summit on our way to and from Cornwall holidays so I was keen to take a look. We brewed up in the car waiting for a window in the weather which duly arrived
It was memorable walk to finish the weekend, just a short walk from the car to numerous granite tors that spread across the summit
The light was fading and not easy for photography but I was able to capture some nice shadows and spooky outlines
I was in my element scrambling about the rocks but the light was fading fast and the cold seeping into the soul. We enjoyed a few more shafts of sunlight and brooding views before we headed down to begin the long drive home
A weekend that started on the granite tors of Dartmoor finished with an equally fine walk on the Bodmin variety
We had one final treat in store. As we drove away from the car park we noticed that a huge flock of starlings was gathering in a nearby wood to roost. We pulled over and watched mesmerised as thousands of birds swooped no more than a couple of feet over the car and swirled above our heads. They put on show for 10 minutes or so and we were so entranced it never occurred to me to take any photos or video.
A birthday treat for TBF to remember and I quite enjoyed it as well