A brief trip to Wales

Recently we jumped in the car and headed off to visit some friends in Wales. They live in Cardiff, but we were more adventurous than this suggests…

On a rather grey day we headed up Pen y Fan. Spoken of by our local friends as a bit of a stroll, we discovered it was a fairly substantial hike – I for one was extremely glad when we reached the top! (And I definitely wasn’t pulled up the final stretch… [ahem]) It was a stunning view, despite the lack of sun, and allowed us to see the Brecon Beacons in a new light.

Pen y Fan

Even hiking gets arty, if you cross a stream…

Walking through a river

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Scandal at Cliveden

For the bank holiday weekend, we headed to Cliveden to see for ourselves the luxurious yet scandalous home of the Astors and the Profumo affair. A beautiful house that is now a rather grand hotel, the grounds are managed by the National Trust. (Unfortunately there’s a lot of scaffolding at the moment!)

Cliveden

There was a new rose garden, which gave ample opportunity for some close-up shots…

Rose

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Cornwall part 3 – Mevagissey

As a bit of a surprise after three nights’ camping, on the final day we drove to Mevagissey, a part of Cornwall I’d never previously been to (or heard of!). A gorgeous little fishing village nestled into the side of a hill, it struck me as being rather like Padstow without the tourists. [I fell in love with it instantly.] We stayed in the wonderful Tregorran Guest House with beautiful views over the harbour.

Mevagissey at dusk

As the sun set, we were captivated by the light and the different colours of the houses…

Mevagissey harbour

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Cornwall part 2 – Lanhydrock

On one of our Cornwall days the weather was looking faintly ominous, so we decided to visit Lanhydrock, a National Trust property near Bodmin. With over 50 rooms open to the public alongside beautiful gardens and over 900 acres of land, it was possibly the most impressive National Trust visit I’ve ever had. The focus of the Trust’s vision is to bring the family (the Agar-Robartes) alive for visitors, and they certainly managed to do so for us.

From the impressive gatehouse, built in the 1500s, down the drive to the house, largely burned down and rebuilt in high Victorian style in the 1880s, we were discovering gorgeous architecture and interesting details throughout our visit.

Gatehouse

Doorway in the main courtyard:

Door

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Cornwall part 1 – Padstow

We recently escaped London for our summer holiday – hurrah! However, we decided to keep it British and opted for a ‘staycation’, heading down to Cornwall for a few nights’ camping near Padstow. I’d been before, but he hadn’t – and it was so lovely to be able to introduce some of my favourite places in the UK.

We were staying at the lovely Old Macdonald’s Farm campsite, where we were made welcome. Although I’ve camped at places with more glamorous washing facilities, the best thing about this campsite is the open farm on site where both children and adults (as I proved!) can stroke the animals [someone was a little excited about the rabbits] and have breakfast. The highlight was an extremely cute bunny which I *may* have attempted to take home!

Bunny

In the evenings, we had some delicious meals at some of Padstow’s many restaurants. We tried the new Burgers and Fish, where the food was pretty good – better than the service, at least! Then we wandered around the harbour and watched the boats…

Padstow harbour by night

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Tour to Dublin

[I didn’t fancy carrying around the DSLR on this trip, so these pictures are from my trusty compact, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35]

My first visit to Dublin [I’d visited before, but a few years ago] was in the form of a choir tour with some good friends. We decided to get the ferry from Fishguard, which made for a ridiculously long day’s travelling [never again], but at least we could admire the wildlife on the ferry crossing!

Seagull

Once we arrived, after a spot of singing and a lot of pubbing, we had a day to explore the city. We went on a brilliant river boat cruise, which took in some of Dublin’s famous bridges, including the striking, modern Samuel Beckett bridge.

Samuel Beckett bridge

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WWI commemoration – #LightsOut

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”

Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, August 1914

Marking 100 years since the start of the devastating First World War, we joined others across the country in lighting a candle as part of the ‘Lights Out’ WWI commemoration. It was wonderful to see the candles flickering in the windows up and down the street, along with the huge spotlight over London, courtesy of the ArtAngel Spectra project.

Candle