Archive for August 2021

Back on the Llyn Peninsula – Beach Fun   8 comments

Last summer our usual gathering at Towyn Farm on the Llyn Peninsula couldn’t go ahead due to COVID, the first year we’d missed it since 2006. This year we were determined to make it and after a bit of negotiation with owners managed to secure a few nights to meet up with friends, play some games and generally get up to all the stuff kids and adults pretending to be kids do when by the beach.

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Our encampment on the site at sunset.

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And on a sunny day. The forecast was very mixed but apart from a couple of wet nights we had plentiful sunshine and blue sky and in the UK you can’t argue with that.

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Communal eating and drinking.

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And our trailer tent looking resplendent as always.

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Our good friend J-Dog taking a nap – all this activity proving a bit much for her.

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We were very lucky this rather nasty looking storm passed us by!

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Allowing us to complete a manic game of multi-frisbee.

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The main focus is of course the beach and we spent many happy hours down there on a variety of water-craft as well as some excellent snorkelling.

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This year, even UF graced us with his presence. I think he became accustomed to us sitting on the beach all day when the kids were small so he stopped coming. Now that beach sports and campsite games are more in order he decided to return and seemed to have a great time.

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A couple of wobbly shots from me on the SUP.

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TBF prefers a more leisurely pace of life

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Second half of the week we even had some pretty decent waves for body surfing and inflatable antics. I even managed to surf the SUP, (albeit in kayak mode)

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No trip to Towyn would be complete with our wooden blocks games – this one is Molke.

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One of the highlights for me, our wanders down to the beach at sunset to enjoy the peace and quiet and play games in near darkness.

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This one was an improvised game of bowls using beach rocks.

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The sunsets here are spectacular.

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A different evening visit.

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For a few brief moments the sun illuminated the coast in glorious colour.

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The dark shadow of our old friend Carn Fadryn.

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Footprints in the sand.

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Beach cricket until bad light stopped play.

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EWO waiting for the next blue patch.

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We’ve traveled far and wide over the years but there will always be a special place in my heart for Towyn Farm campsite and its beach. So many happy memories and glad we could create some more this year.

Posted August 28, 2021 by surfnslide in Llyn Peninsula, Wales

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Tree Top Adventures – Part 1   9 comments

Time for our summer holidays. What should have been a 3-week trip to Lake Garda was hastily postponed till next year due to the ongoing travel restrictions, confusing rules and additional costs and worries. A UK based trip was arranged and thanks to some booking efforts and in no small part to the generosity of friends, a pretty decent time was enjoyed.

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All kicked off with a trip to Go Ape in the Wyre Forest combined with a visit to my parents. We were off camping the next day but as TJS had a couple of nights planned with friends and didn’t want to come camping so we arranged this as a special treat – she loves this sort of place.

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Despite the threat of heavy showers and thunderstorms we stayed dry all day including an al fresco picnic at my Mom’s.

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As always we had a great time and plenty of laughs.

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The look of concentration on TBF’s face is warranted. These are the dreaded “stirrups”, by far the hardest obstacle on these courses.

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A rear view of TJF….

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And a frontal shot of the other funster.

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Long zip wires are always a highlight.

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Great day out and a top way to start off the holiday fun that included another Go Ape day – coming in a few posts time.

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Posted August 27, 2021 by surfnslide in Uncategorized

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Summer Sunset Beers   12 comments

Brief post and a few photos of a post-meal evening sunset walk up Garway Hill enlivened with a cold beer.

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Effectively waving goodbye to the heatwave and not a bad farewell

Posted August 26, 2021 by surfnslide in herefordshire, Local Walks, Walking

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Beat the Heat   9 comments

It was now a proper heatwave – by that I mean it was far too hot in the middle part of the day for any form of strenuous exercise. Keen to keep my regime going I tried an early morning walk in the Black Mountains before work.

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Only partially successful. As you can see, the views were magnificent but even at 7am at a thousand feet it was still 20C with barely a breath of wind.

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The steep climb to the Cats Back ridge had me sweating even at this early hour, compensated by the fact I had the whole place to myself.

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Once the steep initial climb is done, its pretty much level all the way along the ridge to the summit trig pillar on Black Hill.

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I was enjoying being out and wondering just how hot it would be up here at the height of the day.

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Summit of Black Hill in the distance.

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North over the valley that sources the Monnow river.

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Across the Olchon Valley to the highest summits of the Black Mountains.

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I stopped for a cuppa when I found a spot with the merest hint of a breeze.

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Not a bad spot for the first brew of the day.

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Time to head back down the ridge and head home – I do have a job you know!

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Hotter and more tiring than I imagined but the best time of day to be out and about. Back at my desk just after 9.

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Sun + Water = Fun   9 comments

Heatwave a few weeks back – remember that? As luck would have it it coincided with a visit from our good friends the Macclesfield Massive – and – the arrival of my new toy, a Stand Up Paddleboard.

Rather than go walking in the hills in such hot weather we thought it a much better idea to play in the River Wye. First off an afternoon trip to Bredwardine near our home.

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Not unsurprisingly the kids all took to the new SUP like ducks to water whereas I kept falling off!

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They are great fun and a completely different experience to a kayak. TJF in particular was very much in her element and it was good to find an outdoor activity she enjoys (albeit only a warm weather one).

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I was only able to join this outing for the latter part of the day but it was nice to have a swim and enjoy the sunshine after a day in the home office.

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The SUP also works well as a kayak.

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Both days of the weekend we went to the Warren at Hay on Wye. Fantastic spot with great swimming and calm water for the board.

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We found a shady spot for relaxing and picnics.

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TJS enjoying being on the water.

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And the MM’s in their pink rings!

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A short section of rapids to add to the fun.

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Calm waters upstream for paddleboard action.

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Yours truly getting used to the wobble!

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Everyone was keen to have a go but only the brave few stood up.

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J-Dog enjoying the rapids!

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TBF manages to go down backwards.

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Each day finished off with an ice cream from the new gelato place in the local farm shop and an evening meal in the garden. Fantastic having our friends over for the weekend. Start of a great few weeks of trips and holidays.

Later in the week we returned to Bredwardine for another post work swim and sunbathe.

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That hot sunny weather seems a long time ago now

Hutton/Farleton Combo Again   9 comments

Before returning home we had another chance for a walk with the Silverdale Massive. Things did not start promisingly. A dreary grey and drizzly day was not looking great but as luck would have it our great friends were late (they are ALWAYS late!) and by the time they arrived the rain had stopped.

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It was still rather damp and grey but a least it was dry and Hutton Roof is a splendid place for a walk.

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There was a semblance of brightness around although the forecast was very poor and there were clearly very heavy showers around.

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Interest maintained by trying to find our way through the maze of paths and evocatively named places up here. Who doesn’t want to visit places called Uberash Breast and Plain!

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As we approached Farleton Fell (or Holme Park Fell as its named on the map), things brightened up even more substantially. There was even blue sky!

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A view out across Morecambe Bay to Warton Crag.

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Time for lunch and it was warm and sunny now. I produced our lunch of pork pies and some Plum Chutney. Apparently carrying chutney on a walk marked me out as very middle class and Mark thought this a suitable subject for some mild bantering. Ironic then that he chose that moment to produce some almond tea and an infuser. I can’t think of anything more middle class than drinking tea made with an infuser on a hike! 🤣

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After such a lengthy lunch filled with mickey taking and good humour, we didn’t in fact have time to go to the top of Farleton Fell (some important football match or other was on later in the evening) so we had to push for home.

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By now the weather was quite wonderful (if a little humid and muggy)

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The views across the limestone features as grand as ever. I really like it up here.

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Views out over the Yorkshire Dales, Ingleborough to the right of shot.

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Heading back towards Hutton Roof.

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Views towards Yorkshire and Calf Top to the left of shot.

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What started out as a walk merely to stretch the legs before a long drive turned into a really splendid day – great middle class company helps of course. Shame England reverted to type with penalty shoot outs to end the day but good to have the Professor home for a few weeks.

A Different Side of Lancashire   12 comments

That time of year – a trip north to pick up the Professor and bring him home for the summer. We always try and combine with a walk and a very suspect forecast had us looking for somewhere near the coast. Indeed as we parked up a very dark and threatening storm seemed to be heading our way. Luckily it drifted out of the Irish Sea and we missed its downpours.

Meeting up with our Silverdale friends we’d settled on a low level coastal wander around Glasson. I’d never been there before and it looked nice. It has a huge marina which looked very fetching with bright sunshine overhead and dark storm clouds in the background.

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The view across Glasson Marsh to Heysham Power Station from the impressive eminence of Tithe Barn Hill 20m above sea level!

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We were very lucky indeed with the weather. Blue skies replaced what I thought would be a real soaking. Took us a while to reach the coast having to wait for an endless queue of cows slowly wandering across the path to be milked to clear out of the way.

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Cottages at Crook Farm.

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Views out across the bay and back along the coast. The path follows the Lancashire Coastal Way. Its an unusual and interesting place for a walk when the weather rules out the fells.

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This was the reason we didn’t fancy those fells – looking out to the Forest of Bowland.

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Approaching Cockersand Abbey.

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And some close up shots. Its a very strange spot to find and ecclesiastical building, out in the middle of nowhere. I’m sure when Mark gets around to posting about this walk (sometime in 2027 I think) I’m sure he’ll tell you more about it.

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The storm clouds looked to be building so we began our journey back. We thought a walk along the lanes would be quiet but its the route to a large caravan site and there was quite a constant stream of cars.

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Glasson is the start (or end, you choose) of the Lancaster canal.

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Made for a nice photo subject.

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We were back at the car completely dry which considering the clouds all around was nothing short of miraculous. A really fine walk though in great company. A day finished off with a superb meal in the Toll House pub in Lancaster.

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Cycle and Swim (with bonus content)   9 comments

Now a very long way behind with the blog!

Going back to late June here for a day out on my own combining a cycle ride with a bit of wild swimming.

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There is s spot on the river Lugg I’d had my eye on for a while but with nowhere to park nearby I thought I’d cycle there. I took the bike to Pembridge and took in a route around the Black and White villages of Herefordshire.

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This is the river Arrow at Pembridge where there were already a number of people enjoying a paddle (not really deep enough to swim).

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My tour took me through, Shobdon, Yarpole, Luston (all with fine looking pubs!) before I reached Eyton and a bouncy ride across the fields to the Lugg and this very wobbly suspension bridge.

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I had my lunch and a cuppa before looking for somewhere to get in the water.

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It wasn’t very promising as the banks were steep and protected by a barrier of nettles and brambles.

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I was about to give up when I tried a large meander enclosing a field of sheep and it was perfect. Small beach to get in and plenty deep enough.

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The water was cold after recent rains but it made a wonderful quiet swim around the meander with a wander back across the field for another lap.

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Due to the fact that there is nowhere to park and its in the middle of nowhere, I had the whole river to myself and didn’t see a soul in the hour or so I was there.

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This stretch in particular was amazing, very deep on the bend with cool opaque water and hundreds of damsel files for company.

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It was chilly though so after a few laps, i returned to my bike to continue the ride.

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Onwards through the delightful villages of Eardisland and Dilwyn at which point I gave in to the obvious and stopped for a well earned pint of cider. Well after 30 miles I think you can say you’ve earned it!

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Off to Pembridge to finish the circuit of 30 miles.

And as a bonus a few pictures of Hereford, the River Wye, the cathedral and the famous Knife Angel sculpture that visited Hereford for a month.

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You can read about the Knife Angel here – its a stunning piece of work.

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All the photos taken on an hour’s walk around the city while I waited for my tyres to be done on the car.

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I had no idea Stand Up Paddleboards could be so big!

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