They stand, like two rows of regimented soldiers, lining the long ridge of Shropshire’s Linley Hill. It was once thought these sentinels were planted by Napoleonic prisoners of war, but tree-dating technology proves that these beech trees were planted circa 1740, long before there was even a Napoleonic prisoner-of-war camp at nearby Bishop’s Castle.
Category: Landscape/British Travel (Page 1 of 3)
Hollywood came to Shrewsbury in 1984, to film an adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. My article in the December 2016 issue of Best of British magazine takes a tour of the exterior film locations, including St Chad’s Church where it’s possible to find a real gravestone for Ebeneezer Scrooge. Don’t believe me? Well, check this out:
Gummer’s How, at the southern end of Windermere, is one of those fantastic viewpoints in the Lake District that doesn’t require the ascension of Everest in order to see it. A steep road leads up from the A592, near Fell Foot Country Park, to a signed Forestry Commission car park on the right, from where a path opposite takes you the final climb to its top.
The August issue of Country Walking magazine has a route around Chirk and the Llangollen canal. This one is for the international wanderer who likes crisscrossing the border between two countries.
Trailzilla users can access the route via code TZID30598
As Celtic Life International correspondent Simon Whaley explains, there was once a whole lotta shakin’ going on in the quaint Scottish community of Comrie.
It didn’t matter how hard I tried, nothing moved. I stamped my feet. Nothing. I jumped. Nothing. Thinking I needed more weight, I picked up my heavy rucksack and jumped again. Still nothing. I peered through the glass, my nose squashed flat against it so my eyeballs were a couple of millimetres closer, in the hope of spotting even the smallest of movements. But on the floor, standing on a small boxwood cross, the wooden cylinders remained upright. Against the far wall, only six feet away, the pen on the modern seismometer sat poised for action, rather than recording any action. There’s never an earthquake around when you want one.
“We need more kangaroos,” the manageress said to her assistant as I stepped into the shop. Puzzled why a card shop in Ludlow would have any need for Antipodean animals, I paid for my postcard and left. I’d read the Mortimer Trail was a good walk for wildlife, but I didn’t think it included large marsupials.
“Uncle Simon, why is there a goat on top of that castle wall?” My nephew stares at the white adult goat fifteen feet above us. A series of frantic bleats fill the air and, suddenly, three sure-footed kids join their parent on the narrow, stony ridge. “And how did they get up there?”
My photo of a misty South Shropshire, as seen from Ragleth Hill, appears in the February 2016 issue of Outdoor Photography, under the Viewpoints section.
‘Capability Brown was invited back to Weston Park in 1766 to undertake a second contract,’ says our guide, ‘for which he was paid £1,725.’ Scanning the beautiful one-thousand-acre parkland in front of us, I nod in approval. At that price I might ask him for a quote to landscape my front garden. Then again, at today’s prices that works out at over £216,000!
Slow Journey County: Cumbria
Slow Journey Destination: Radical Steps
Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 86 steps (ish)
Radical Steps. Such an unusual name, it seems, as I take the first step. It feels pretty solid underneath. Nothing radical there. It’s damp. Perspiring, even. As if it has been exercising, rather than those who’ve clambered up them. Leaf litter huddles against the rising face of the next step, but it’s mostly decayed stalks now: brown and black fibrous material.