British Travel

To travel is to explore. Sometimes the most fascinating explorations take place within our own country. 

Circumnavigating Dinas Head

You know somewhere is going to be special when you have to negotiate long sections of narrow lanes in order to reach it. Cwm-yr-Eglwys (pronounced as ‘coomer-egg-lewis’) is unusual in that it’s one of the few Welsh bays to face north east. It’s a tiny bay crushed...

Bishop’s Wood

The July 2014 issue of Country Walking magazine carries my 8.5-mile route around the Shropshire/South Staffordshire border, offering walkers the opportunity to visit White Ladies Priory, Boscobel house and the famous oak tree! For those with Trailzilla access the ID...

Clee St Margaret

The June 2014 issue of Country Walking carries my 7.25-mile route around Clee St Margaret, giving you the opportunity to visit the church at Clee St Margaret, St Milburgha’s Well, and Heath Chapel – it’s a right religious wander, you could say! For...

The Stiperstones

Experience the drama of this wild and atmospheric Welsh Border landscape that attracts the Devil, Wild Edric’s ghost and lightning! You can count the number of properties visible in the panoramic vista from the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve car park on one...

Alcock Tarn

Simon Whaley investigates Wainwright’s ‘dreary’ tarn. What can you do with a little under two hours remaining on a Grasmere car parking ticket, and spring showers reducing the cloud level? Don’t let Wainwright’s comments of “A dreary sheet of water named Alcock Tarn,”...

Explore Turner’s World

Step back in time to roam beautiful ruins immortalised two centuries ago by the great Romantic painter JMW Turner. Ludlow Castle, Shropshire Perhaps this romantic setting, on the banks of the River Teme, led Prince Arthur, brother of Henry VIII, to honeymoon at Ludlow...

A Treasure Hunt in Tenby

Simon Whaley goes looking for a hidden gem in this Welsh fishing town … “Sorry, all boat trips to Caldey Island are cancelled today,”  the operator apologises from his wooden hut in Tenby Harbour. “The sea is too rough to land,” he explained. “You could try...

It Rains … Get Over It!

When travelling to the Cumbrian Lake District you should always keep one eye on the weather …   There are two types of weather in Cumbria: the first is forecast by the Met Office and never happens; the second is Mother Nature doing her own thing (and never...

Hayeswater

It was a calm, late autumnal day, when I arrived at what the Rough Guide to the Lake District calls a “limpid little lake.”...

Teetering on Titterstone

The January 2014 issue of Country Walking magazine (out now) includes my 5.5-mile walk around Titterstone Clee Hill. Make sure you pick a clear day to see one of the best views in England: Snowdonia, the Peak District, the Malverns, the Cotswolds and the Shropshire...

Swirling Around Coniston

Simon Whaley savours the views from this Coniston classic. Call me old-fashioned (and many do), but I like to see the view from a summit. In 20 years I’ve climbed the Old Man of Coniston four times, but only seen the summit view once. Ironically, on the previous three...

Loweswater Loop

A sedate circuit, perfect for contemplation, says Simon Whaley. This route passes within 160 metres of the national park boundary, yet offers some of its most outstanding views. Quieter than its bigger sisters, Crummock Water and Buttermere, Loweswater has a charm of...

The River Colwyn

Captivated by a riverside spot in the heart of Snowdonia, Simon Whaley returns the following morning to photograph the location in beautiful, late autumnal light. The River Colwyn at Beddgelert, in Snowdonia, is one of those chance discoveries I stumbled across when I...

Conquer Caerleon

Explore the extensive remains of one of the most important Roman military sites in Europe … Welcome to Caerleon, or Isca, as the 5,000 soldiers of the Second Augustan Legion called it. Established in AD75, it was one of only three permanent Roman fortresses in...

My Crap Holiday

The Observer: If Michael Palin could circumnavigate the world, who could possibly stop Simon Whaley circumnavigating the Isle of Wight? In the 1990’s, Michael Palin was busy circumnavigating the world. He was either nipping around the Equator or he was dashing from...

Uncommon Waters

British Heritage magazine: The back waters of the Lake District reveal their glory … The Lake District, England’s largest national park, only has one lake – Bassenthwaite Lake. All the other bodies of water are meres, waters or tarns. Over 16 million visitors...

The Miracle on the Mynd

BBC Countryfile magazine The astonishing survival, despite the fury of the elements, of one very determined Reverend … When the Rev. E Donald Carr failed to return after conducting a service at a neighbouring village church, 24 hours after setting out in one of...

Highland Ways

Outdoor Pursuits magazine Simon Whaley takes a wander along one of Scotland’s popular walking routes and steps back in time to explore how it came into existence. The best way to escape from Glasgow is not by plane, train or car, but by foot. From the Glaswegian...

Hay Fever

Holiday Cottages magazine Online book buying is booming, but for many the magic of browsing packed and dusty shelves endures … and nowhere more so than the small Welsh town that’s Britain’s second-hand book capital. Take a leaf out of my book when...

National Treasures

Country & Border Life In the year Wales’ national parks celebrate their 50th birthday, Simon Whaley walks through history and discovers that the idea behind these gems is much older … “Where’s McDonalds?” cries a young boy clambering out of a car near...