Castle hunting in Manchester

image

9 April 2016

Despite my misgivings about flying on small planes it wasn’t too bad once we were in the air. In fact we had seats right next to the engine nascelle on the port side of the plane so Commando was able to admire his handwork throughout the flight. Thankfully the little door that opens to let the landing gear out, also built by Commando, did open and we landead safely. By the time we’d walked to the train station, caught a train and got to our hotel it was late afternoon. A bit of unpacking, some freshening up and a refamiliaristional walk around Deansgate was about as much as we had time for before we had to find somewhere to eat. At least it wasn’t raining and Commando’s ankle was feeling pretty good. It looked as if the marathon might be on after all, even if a PB was a bit of a stretch. Continue reading Castle hunting in Manchester

2015 disasters, history, mysteries and a marathon

image

29 December 2013

The end of the year is fast approaching so the time has come to reflect. Over the next few days I will be looking back at the the highs and lows of the old year and reminding myself of the places I discovered and the lessons I learned. Along the way I’m hoping to get a little inspiration for the year ahead. Maybe there are places that could stand further exploration or mysteries that still need solving…
Continue reading 2015 disasters, history, mysteries and a marathon

Bristol, churches a castle and laughing on the train

image

We knew we’d been riding our luck weather wise but there was still a little more of Bristol we wanted to see before we returned to Temple Meads. None of it was graffiti related but it was, broadly, on the way to the station. When I’d been looking at Google Maps plotting out our route I’d noticed a place called Castle Park and, what looked to be the remains of a castle. Who knew Bristol even had a castle? As it was close to the city centre it seemed too good to miss even if it did add a little bit to our walk back to the station. Continue reading Bristol, churches a castle and laughing on the train

Old sarum, magical ruins

image

29 July 2015

We left Salisbury Catherdral with a plan but, as we walked through the town, I began to wonder if we’d done things the wrong way round. Order is everything and it seemed that we were putting the first last and had seen the last first. We passed the fourteenth century Poultry Cross, marking the site of the old markets and it seemed we were walking back in time. In a way we were because we were heading north, back to the beginnings of Salisbury, Old Sarum. Continue reading Old sarum, magical ruins

Winchester, weirs and castles

image

13 July 2015

On a bit of  a whim I decided to get a train to Winchester on Monday morning. It wasn’t the best of weather but CJ said he’d like to come along too, especially when I said I’d be heading for Plague Pits Valley near St Catherine’s Hill. Maybe if he’d known how much walking was involved he’d have been less eager but I kept that little detail to myself. We were lucky and caught the fast train. Apart from a teeny bit of getting lost when we first left the station, we were soon walking down the High Street in search of a coffee to keep us going for the walk. Continue reading Winchester, weirs and castles

Portchester Castle, a tough climb, amazing views, a ghost and a bit more graffiti

image

22 April 2015

In the end we decided to give it a go. What was the worst that could happen? Having bigger feet, CJ found the wedge shaped steps quite difficult and even I had to watch my footing as they were quite slippery in places. At least there were small windows at intervals so it wasn’t dark. As we climbed, a strong memory of climbing these very stairs once before came back to me. When my boys were little, possibly before CJ was even born, we’d visited the castle. The one thing I remember about the visit was the climb up this spiral staircase and a slight feeling of panic that one of the boys would slip. Continue reading Portchester Castle, a tough climb, amazing views, a ghost and a bit more graffiti

Portchester Castle, stinky moats, prison cells and scary stairs

image

22 April 2015

When I said I thought I might go to Portchester Castle on Wednesday Commando Junior’s ears pricked up. He got that look, like a puppy that wants you to take it for a walk, and I knew it would be cruel not to take him with me. Bearing in mind the Tuesday debacle when I ended up dashing home in a panic I checked out the train times carefully and told him, if he didn’t get up in time, I’d go without him. It did the trick and we set off bright and early for the train station.  Continue reading Portchester Castle, stinky moats, prison cells and scary stairs

Up to Windsor to visit The Queen

Windsor Castle from The Brocas
Windsor Castle from The Brocas

5 April 2015

Not long after I passed the Windsor Railway Bridge I came out into a large open meadow, called The Brocas and I got my first view of the aim of my walk. For those who have not guessed yet it was, of course, Windor Castle. In the far corner of the meadow I could see a path that seemed to run beside the river so I made my way towards it. There was a closer view of the castle but it looked like a dead end so I retraced my steps and made my way through a narrow cutway. At the end I could see a charming little pub. Continue reading Up to Windsor to visit The Queen