British Travel

To travel is to explore. And sometimes the most fascinating explorations take place within our own country, and right on our own doorstep.


Ragleth Hill

The June 2015 issue has one of my photos for it’s Viewpoint section. It’s an image of the Long Mynd, taken from ragleth Hill in the evening sunlight (proof that the sun does shine some days!). This was taken on one of those wonderfully calm June evenings,... read more

It’s April – Time for the Black and White Trail!

  As flowers blossom along the route, take a drive through black-and0white clad villages in a tour of architectural history, with Simon Whaley.    The heart of an oak tree is almost as hard as iron, making it the ideal house-building material.... read more

The Original Salvager

  In 1925, Clough Williams-Ellis spent less than £5,000 buying a parcel of land, which he described as, “a neglected wilderness.” Today, on its 90th anniversary, we call it Portmeirion.  He was an architect by trade and had a vision for creating a coastal... read more

Pages of Influence

Ninety years ago Clough Williams-Ellis acquired the site that became Portmeirion. Simon Whaley discovers how Country Life came to influence the way it looks today. If it wasn’t for COUNTRY LIFE magazine Portmeirion would look a little different today. Ninety years... read more

Circumnavigating Dinas Head

Slow Journey County: Ceredigion Slow Journey Destination: Dinas Head, near Newport Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 3 miles   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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

Plodding Around Pontesbury

Take a wander around Earl’s Hill, Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s first nature reserve and explore the hill known as the Sleeping Dragon! For those with Trailzilla access, the code for this route is... read more

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... read more

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,”... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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.”... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

What I Miss – Unlocked Churches

  Slow Journey County: Shropshire Slow Journey Destination: Langley Chapel, near Acton Burnell Slow Journey Distance Travelled: About 5 metres: the length of the chapel. Slipping into the silence of a rural church to discover the secrets hidden within and steal a... read more

48 Hours in the Shropshire Hills

Check out the September 2013 issue of Country Walking magazine: Now is the perfect time to explore the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – one of the most overlooked areas of upland wilderness in Britain …For a two-day itinerary,... read more

Nature’s Gallery

  Slow Journey County: Gloucestershire Slow Journey Destination: Beechenhurst Inclosure, near Broadwell Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 3 ½ miles If you go down to the woods today … you’re sure of a few big surprises …   I’m surrounded by... read more

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... read more

Solvitur Ambulando

  Slow Journey County: Cumbria Slow Journey Destination: Loweswater Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 3 ¾ miles A chance encounter with the ‘Sage of the Lake’ brings Simon Whaley enlightenment on the road around Loweswater … “Solvitur Ambulando,”... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

Love on the Rocks

Slow Journey County: Anglesey Slow Journey Destination: Llanddwyn Island, Newborough Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 3 ½ miles The love of lore may have been unrequited here in the past, but on Anglesey’s Llanddwyn Island the passion many visitors now have for... read more

Well I’ll Be Fogbow-led Over!

Cumbria: A new weather condition requires a new word for the day … Well I’ll Be Fogbow-led Over! by Simon Whaley Astounding? Awesome? Magnificent? Stunning? Thrilling? Finding the right word was proving difficult, especially because the occasion warranted... read more