Showing posts from May, 2023

Day Tour of Southern England

  Tour group at Castle Combe, Wiltshire  This evening, I am reprising a one day section of a large group tour. First, we departed our lodgings in Bath and drove about 1 hour east to Castle Combe . Latter is a ”picture postcard’ village near Chippenham in Wiltshire. Castle Combe comprises a small community of stone built houses which date back hundreds of years. At the foot of the village is a stream whilst in the centre is St Andrew Church parts of which date from the 13th and 15th centuries. Castle Combe Churchyard Castle Combe Castle Combe Next, we drove west to Buckfast Abbey in Devon. The current building dates from period 1882-1938 and houses a community of Benedictine monks. Architecture is ‘Norman Transitional and Early English’. This Abbey is built on the site of an earlier abbey dating from 1018-1539 which, post Dissolution of the Monasteries, fell into ruin and was ultimately demolished.   Inside Buckfast Abbey Lavender Garden at Buckfast Abbey   Buckfa

Tour Hadrian's Wall Sites

This post reprises a private one-day tour of important sites connected with the 2nd century AD Hadrian's Wall in northern England. Intrepid time traveller at milecastle near Birdoswald First, we departed our lodgings in Henshaw near Vindolanda and embarked on a tour as follows: A drive to the Roman Army Museum where we parked and then hiked east up on to a high ridge to view one of the best preserved sections of Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrian’s Wall landscape Turret on Hadrian’s Wall Hadrian’s Wall Hadrian’s Wall Hadrian’s Wall Next, we returned to the Army Museum which we visited. This was a well presented and informative experience. Next, to the village of Gilsland which we used as a base to visit two sites: Poltross Burn Milecastle and Willowford Bridge Abutment. Latter is the eastern end of a Roman bridge which has been left stranded in a field owing to the River Irthing shifting course over the intervening 1800 years. Poltross Burn Milecastle, Hadrian’s Wall Will

Tour of Oxford University and English Cotswolds

 This evening, I am reprising a one-day tour of Oxford University and the popular Cotswolds region. Chapel remains at Trinity College. This morning, from our overnight base in Oxford, we drove into the city centre where we connected with a local guide who escorted us on a walking tour of local sites with emphasis on the famous university and its buildings a summary of which is provided below. This tour was undertaken in temperatures of around 28c/80f. Oxford is home to thirty-eight colleges attended by twenty three thousand students. Walking tour of Oxford University The Radcliffe Camera was designed by James Gibbs in neo-classical style and built in 1737–49 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. Radcliffe Camera. The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. The library holds over 12 million items. Bodlian Library Hertford Bridge, aka “the  Bridge of Sighs “, is a skyway joining two parts

Bagpipes, Goslings and Coote

  Canada Geese Goslings at Rouken Glen This morning I undertook an early morning walk around local parks which provided opportunities for interesting photographs. Firstly, as I left the house I could detect in the distance what appeared to be a bagpiper.Initially, I attributed this to a sound system of some sort but on further investigation came across a lone piper as per video clip below. The gentleman explained he was a late entrant to the piping profession and was simply undertaking some solo practice.     Piper at Eastwood Park Next, I moved on to Rouken Glen Country Park where I encountered a family of Canada Geese and was particularly pleased to witness the continuing survival of the clutch of goslings. As explained in a previous post, the goslings are under threat from a dominant male swan. A passer by also mentioned that herons will also take goslings.It's a tough life for the parent geese!   Canada geese with goslings Next, I was able to watch a hyper-active Coote working

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

  Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall This evening, I am reporting on the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a popular visitor site on the south coast of Cornwall in S.W. England, near St. Austell and about 160 miles S.W. of Bristol . Lost Gardens of Heligan Heligan has a history dating back to the 1770s subsequent to which extensive formal gardens were developed by the Tremayne family who resided at the mansion in the heart of the estate known as Heligan House. However, post World War I the gardens were allowed to deteriorate and became a total wilderness. John Willis Tremayne inherited the former gardens and, following an inspection of the wilderness in 1990, determined to restore them to their former glory. This project was progressively implemented and. step by step, the gardens were restored, although some work remains. Heligan has now evolved into mature and commercially viable, visitor experience with supporting facilities which include visitor centre, shops and restaurant.