Category Archives: Elsewhere in the British Isles

Xanadu : Weekly Prompt Weekend Challenge

As close as I could get, not close enough for real.  Our favourite place, The Lake District.  

Oh my goodness it must be utterly peaceful now.  How we miss the chance to visit.  Here’s hoping for an opportunity by Autumn, when, hopefully this is all over.

I hope the colour on the wall meets the challenge to match the colour of Xanadu. 

 

Stone wall with sign pointing to Ambleside

Weekend Challenge – Xanadu

Fireworks celebrate end of South West Coast Path

Dartmouth celebrates the end of a three day annual regatta every summer with a spectacular fireworks display.  The events take place on the River Dart (including the fireworks display) – all of which attracts thousands of visitors.

Fireworks on the river Dart

We just happened to be on holiday and staying just outside the town of Dartmouth in Devon early in September 2018, our final trip down to the West Country, which saw the end of our South West Coast Path challenge.

The fireworks on that warm evening of 1st September was a happy coincidence and one we will never forget.  Sea shanties and great food being sold from market stalls made the whole experience and visit something I can recommend.

More fireworks on the river Dart

Just in case anyone wonders whether the 630 mile trail finishes at Dartmouth – it doesn’t.  It’s just the way things worked for us as we did our walking in section hikes on different trips.  I really must make a start on documenting the whole thing – from start to finish!  The actual start is Minehead in Somerset, the finish is Poole in Dorset.

Oh and just in case anyone wants to see what the above night scene looks like in the day here are a couple of photos.

View of Kingswear from Dartmouth

Another view of Kingswear from Dartmouth

 

Weekend Challenge Celebration

Things we’ve seen along the SWCP

Sometimes we do see some strange things when we are out and about.  It stops us in our tracks.   Here’s just a handful of unusual things spotted and photographed when walking along the South West Coast Path.

This is the first one taken in Dorset.  We kept our eyes peeled for those fast horses but didn’t spot any which was a shame in a way!

About a mile away from the hustle and bustle of Plymouth we spotted this very curious message. ‘Please wipe your feet’ .  What, why and how we asked ourselves.

This looked like it must have been a figurehead on an ancient sailing boat.  A wonderful wooden carving just off the footpath facing out to sea.  Symbolic maybe and I kept wondering how old it was and how it came to being where it was….fairly close to Brixham from memory.

This one just made me smile.  On the Isle of Portland where there is plenty of rock to play with.  It also made me think of Greek ruins….

Finally this sweet little house squeezed between two others.  Taken as we walked into Appledore, North Devon.

 

Photo Challenge Not the Norm!

 

Getting close to cattle on footpaths

Just saying Good Morning

Once upon a time one of the biggest fears Tim and I had when out and about walking was meeting cattle.  We would scramble across stiles and edge our way around fields.

So many stories of walkers being chased or worse, trampled, when crossing fields played on our minds.

However, over the many years of walking, we have only once been really scared.  That was up in the Lake District when we had no where to go and a herd was heading along the same path as us.  We escaped up a steep rocky bank and they passed by.  Mooing loudly as they went!

Be careful if you have a dog and be respectful if they have young and you shouldn’t really have any problems.

Here are a few photos which show how brave we have managed to get.

Cattle – always curious. We admired this one more than most.

Some have lovely fluffy hair styles

Regular milking stock

Best of all are the Highland cattle.  Surprisingly at home in Norfolk and Cornwall.

Quite fearsome but just like teddy bears

Up close but friendly

Quite at home on the coast

Photo Challenge Close

 

The Minack Theatre : Wow, what a view

At a place called Porthcurno in Cornwall, high on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean is a unique open air theatre called The Minack Theatre. Almost entirely built by a lady called Rowena Cade, it has grown and grown since the 1930s and every summer season thousands of people a year see a show or just go along and visit the site. We had no idea quite how magnificent this place would be.

While tackling this section of the south west coast path in 2016 we passed this very spot but didn’t go in, we just descended steeply to Porthcurno Beach. We promised ourselves that we would return when we were in a more leisurely holiday mode with no buses to catch or miles to cover.  This was exactly what we did last week while on holiday.

Our plan for the day was initially to just sit and take photos at a small cove called Porthgwarra, a tiny secluded place just two miles away from Porthcurno.

It’s a perilous, single track, car journey from the ‘main road’ down to Porthgwarra. I’m not brave enough to drive those tiny lanes – Tim is much more confident. We arrived safely (very early), parked the car, watched some sea kayakers set off then thought who else have we got to watch? Possibly no one. So we set off for Porthcurno.

The coastline is spectacular here by the way. The whole stretch from Lands End along the south coastline of Cornwall is amazing. A couple of headlands later we reached the Minack car park and the entrance to the site. Our entrance fee was £5 each and well worth it.

View from near the top

The staggering view blew our minds once we passed through the visitors centre but it was the gardens that we headed to first. We sat amongst the tropical plants which surround the theatre at the back and sides and began to take it all in.

Then we looked down over the top railing to the seating, the stage and the sea.

Many people seemed to have trouble with the steep steps – young and old alike.  It makes me worry for the future. Our walks in the hills and mountains has helped our ageing legs and very soon we were like goats leaping up and down and across where we could.

Lunchtime. Sat in possibly the best seats in the house, we had our picnic and watched people. It was a great spot – like a box in a ‘real’ theatre. We could see the stage and the rest of the seating as we tucked into our cheese sandwiches and topped up our sunscreen. There wasn’t a show on so people were taking lots of photos all over. One popular spot to take your shots was below an archway on the stage. You can just see a couple in the photo below.

We yawned and stared and chatted about the people around us…you know how that happens. Some people just catch your attention. The person in the multi-coloured jumper, the family arguements, the elderly person who looks lost, the people who just look so glum, the young woman doing a handstand near the stage (yes, that really did happen).

Then we decided to move from our lofty viewing area and went ‘on stage’. And people were probably watching us. I wonder what they thought….if anything. Thankfully it was quite quiet – although they quickly closed off the section that Tim had stood on (see Tim on stage below). We laughed about that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough fooling about we were back watching the beach visitors from a very lofty perch while having a nice cup of tea. What a view.

This post is linked to the Weekly Prompts photo challenge
Photo Challenge People

 

Superhero in red

This time last year Tim and I were about to start a weeks holiday in The Lake District.  The forecast was for snow and very cold weather but we were prepared.  We had our Microspikes!

Here I am on day one of our holiday, on the western slope of Skiddaw (Lake District mountain), sporting my new Kahtoola Microspikes.

The great online reviews that we had read were all true and we felt like everything was possible in our non slip, extra traction foot wear.

The weather turned out to be truly amazing all week, snowing at night and sunny during the day, and I wore those spikes every day.

I added lots of photos to a post about this trip which can be seen here :-

https://itslovelyout.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/wordpress-challenge-out-of-this-world/

Something I didn’t mention in that post is that on our way down from Skiddaw summit we passed several walkers struggling downhill and uphill.  One lady, on her way up, stopped us and asked how we made it look so easy.  We explained it was our new spikes.  Then she said she actually had a pair with her but didn’t know how or whether to put them on, having borrowed them from her daughter.  Tim immediately insisted on helping her out.  Here he is doing just that….

After this she plodded upwards for a few steps then stopped, turned and gave us a thumbs up, big smile and thank you.

My hero, in red, in his red microspikes. Doesn’t need a cape or superhuman strength – he just always strives to help whoever, whenever and wherever he can.

Keep safe in the snow and ice and buy a pair of Microspikes

Photo Challenge RED