A bit of sunshine and the gardens of Tredegar…..

Twas a bit nippy out there this morning – now is this the effect of travelling north or just a cold wind? Still we haven’t let snow or freezing temperatures put us off yet, so we had a stroll around the parkland before breakfast, ideal for Poppydog and I was quite happy too.

Later we thought we would venture outside this world of Tredegar and follow Percoed Lane a footpath running along side Percoed Reen which according to Mr OS is a small steam or gully. Well it took some finding and then turned out to be very disappointing!

What started out just to be a grassy bank along the edge of an housing estate and a rather stagnant little manmade drainage dyke, gradually developed into a proper footpath running along the same little dyke with electric pylon littered grassy wasteland running along the back of some kind of industrial estate! Not quite the stroll in the country I had planned!

At least it was mostly sunny and peaceful (if you block out the roar of the M4 which seems to be a constant!) and we eventually found a circular route back to site. As the sun was still shining, I thought we would add a bit of beauty to our day, by taking a wander through the gardens at Tredegar.

Admire the intricacy and workmanship of the gates.

The magnificence of the stable block is only slightly exceeded by the house it’s self!

The gardens themselves, quite formal in style and just beginning to show colour gave us the tranquility and freshness we needed to round off our day.

Two thoughts of the day:

This area is a lot more built up than I expected but never mind that is what the car is for!

Am missing the sea!

Croeso i Gymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿…….

Another grey day dawned and though the clouds were quite heavy at times, it remained dry. We said a fond farewell to the goats and squirrels in Cheddar Gorge and I’m fairly certain there was a little goat like cheer as no more shall their early morning graze be interrupted by the hysterical barking of Poppydog!

As planned, we were on our way just before midday with an easy 60 mile journey ahead of us, being mostly motorway. I’m afraid I shouldn’t have done this but I did!

Or this! (I was driving at a steady 47 miles per hour and with both hands on the steering wheel and Poppydog takes a lousy photo!)

We were soon driving through the NT property and parkland of Tredegar House and Country Park, just outside Newport in South Wales, within the boundaries of which is our home for the next two weeks.

Once set up, we went to explore our surroundings, finding a lovely walk around the parkland, taking glimpses of the house from all directions.

Well I think both Poppydog and I agree, this will do nicely!

Two thoughts of the day:

I shall be spending the next 6 months travelling around the coast of Wales – time enough to learn Welsh? Probably not! Where would you even start?

Now bring on a truly spectacular Welsh summer!

Last day in England…..

Well I’m afraid yesterday the rain stopped play – again! Still it was an opportunity to spend the last bit of quality time with Dad and Holly for a while, rounded off with a nice freshly baked pizza from Sainsbury’s and of course a suitably chilled glass of wine!

Today dawned dry and mostly managed to stay so. After driving up to the M4 north of Bristol to meet Paul, it was time to say cheerio to Dad (who will hopefully join me again on my travels later on in the year) and Holly (who after spending time catching up with family and friends will return to Canada until Christmas) and continue our epic journey.

We stopped off at the Reservoir for a last walk round (it is 2.2 miles around) enjoying the dramatic skyline and reflections off the water.

Just enough breeze to keep the sailors happy.

And more dramatic skies over the Mendips and Gorge.

Two thoughts of the day:

What a lovely bonus to this trip – some quality family time.

Wales here we come!

Wells – what a fabulous city….

A very sunny interval kind of day, which was ideal, as we had planned a trip to Wells, only about 9 miles from here. My kind of city, not very big, clean, relatively quiet and full of character.

The cathedral is an architectural masterpiece surrounded by beautiful old buildings, many of which now house classrooms for Wells Cathedral School.

The Music Faculty, from where we could hear arpeggios being performed on various different instruments.

The interior of the Cathedral defies description just look.

The detail and workmanship is incredible, especially when you consider the timeline and the resources that would have been available.

Imagine the sound of this organ being played?

My favourite was this incredible clock which was completed in 1390 and has been operational for over 600 years, on the quarter hour the 4 knights on the little platform at the top joust and the same knight has been knocked down every quarter hour since then! That by my reckoning is more than 21 million times – possibly time for a career change? This clock not only shows the 24 hour clock but the moon cycle as well – a truly awesome work of art!

From the Cathedral we went into the market square to a small bakery to pick up something for a late lunch, which we enjoyed sitting by the moat to the Bishop’s Palace.

As Wells appears to have a surfeit of pigeons it did cross my mind to offer Poppydog to the city as a form of deterrent?

We didn’t go in to the Bishop’s Palace but enjoyed a wander around the grounds where croquet was being played on the lawn – oh Poppydog so wanted to join in!

From the Palace, we walked along Vicar’s Close, originally designed as lodgings for the men of the choir and completed in 1363 and is now the only completely medieval street left in England.

How fabulous is this street with all houses still lived in – what a great place for a street party?

As we wandered around the city, every street was home to at least one little gem.

Great day out in the city.

Two thoughts of the day:

Fish fingers, mash and peas with lashings of ketchup – mmmmm!

The running costs of the Cathedral are £4500 per day! I get a bit miffed if I have to spend more than £15 per day on site fees!

Along Top Road to Draycott…..

A bit of an iffy start to the day with some proper April Showers, but the sun came out to play after lunch so we took a windy single track lane that runs half way up the Mendips to Draycott.

The tree lined lane afforded glimpses down over Cheddar across the valley to the Reservoir and beyond.

With the fragrant wild garlic just coming into flower along the verges.

Until we dropped down into Draycott, being welcomed by the imposing Parish Church.

Nothing too significant in the village itself, which was very quite and peaceful, with some beautifully well kept older properties, so we just wandered around a bit and then tried to make our way back south of the A371, but unfortunately were unable to make any meaningful headway without taking a massive detour.

So we headed back the way we came. Still a good rural 8 mile walk, so I’m done in, even if Poppydog could do it all again!

Two thoughts of the day:

Am enjoying some early morning (thanks Poppydog!) walks up through the gorge whilst it is still quiet – just us and the goats!

Am enjoying this village site much more than I thought I would and the car is having a break too!