Monday, 27 March 2017

Spring in our steps

Beautiful balmy Spring day up on Wharncliffe Crags this Saturday
with my erstwhile companions
 across the Trans-Pennine Trail
 and back through the woods
Then a final stroll around the tiny hamlet of Onesacre which was mentioned in the Dooomsday Book.  Its beautiful Hall was built around 1640.
Ahh Sheffield, your golden frame certainly did us proud today

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Wild Wales

We arrived in Dolgellau on a dark and stormy night in the wake of Storm Doris but were soon toasty warm inside Tyddyn Mawr - right on the side of the mighty Cader Idris
Then the birthday morning dawned - still a little damp down in Dolgellau
 with birthday choruses received under an umbrella
but soon warmed up in the cosy T H Roberts cafe - crossword and Welsh Lobscouse!
However, not ones to linger when we can get wet and muddy - we were off on the Torrent Walk - having been advised it's best after heavy rain!!
and the torrents were spectacular - you have to imagine a deafening constant roar from the thundering waters below
Still undeterred, though soaked to the skin, we wanted to see the grade 1 listed Arts and Crafts Church of St Mark's at Brithdir - looking very sinister on the outside . . .
was nevertheless stunning and quite unique on the inside
Hot baths and change of clothes then a lovely birthday meal at the stunning Bwty Mawddach and the next morning we even got a glimpse beyond the mist of the bottom of Cader Idris, from our room.
Off we went to the mouth of the beautiful Mawddach estuary and up to the wilds of the Cregennan Lakes - hardly able to walk for the gusty winds and rain.

 with views to the mouth of the Mawddach estuary and the Irish Sea
And were thrilled to discover what must be the smallest railway station ever!!  Morfa Mawddach - where you can catch regular trains between Birmingham and Pwllheli and even the odd one direct to London
We'd also hoped to do were the Precipice Walk and the conquering of Cader Idris - but those feats will have to wait for more clement weather!!
Keep that 'welcome in the hillsides', Dolgellau . . . . we'll be back!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

happy birthdays

The pre-birthday celebrations started high up on the hills of Stannington on Saturday night at the Reserved Cafe pop-up bistro night for a 5 course taster menu of surprises and fun.
Such a lovely whirlwind weekend in the best of company.
Then came my birthday proper yesterday, the day dawned sunny and frosty - totally perfect autumn/winter weather.  Our garden was golden
our pond frozen over
But we were soon venturing up through the woods towards Wharncliffe Crags on a path heavy with frost and ice and quite beautiful, if freezing cold!

The weird thing was, and it was impossible to photograph (a Seamus Heaney fleeting moment like in Postscript) - all we could hear was the sound of leaves falling all around us, frozen from the trees.  Totally magical and surreal.  They were raining down like soft snow.
We trudged upwards past the ponds
and finally out of the woods and onto the gloriously open freedom of the Heath
Though I am getting worried my hair's starting to look frosted too, like some sort of ice queen
Beautiful frozen fronds
and not another soul - the whole of Wharncliffe Heath and Crags to ourselves.
until a little chappy happened along the path towards me!
and we headed back through the woods for warm soup and coffee . . .  just about perfect.
But not to forget, just the day before, Mum reached the grand old age of 96 and all I can say is I hope the 'spring chicken' genes have been passed on!!
And finally,we mustn't forget Tilly, the other November birthday girl - who probably got the best cake of all - but then we don't have 3rd birthday parties every day do we!!
Happy Birthday one and all