Radical Steps

Radical Steps - Kirkby Lonsdale
Radical Steps – Kirkby Lonsdale

 

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.

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Atomic Ice

Atomic Ice?
Atomic Ice?

Slow Journey County: Cumbria

Slow Journey Destination: Claife Heights

Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 0 Steps.

My immediate thought was of radioactivity. It was a series of unmistakable clicks. But where from? Standing on Claife Heights, overlooking Beatrix Potter’s favourite tarn (Moss Eccles), I was puzzled by this noise. The air was still, the tarn’s waters reflective, and a cold wintry sun sat low on the horizon, as if still trying to warm itself up, let alone anything else.

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Spiralling Closer To Heaven

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Slow Journey County: Shropshire

Slow Journey Destination: St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow

Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 132 feet (about 200 steps!)

Climbing to the top of a church tower and surveying the surrounding parish landscape offers a God-like perspective of the local community. In rural towns and villages the church often retains its presence at the physical heart of the neighbourhood, in addition to its spiritual placement. Ludlow’s St Laurence’s Church, in South Shropshire’s rural landscape, is one such building. Perched on a hill, around which the sedate waters of the River Teme saunter by, the 132 feet tower punches its way into God’s heaven, like a rural version of London’s The Shard. Travel south along Shropshire’s arterial A49 and the square tower acts as a beacon, drawing the traveller into Ludlow’s heart.

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Circumnavigating Dinas Head

St Brynach's Church at Cwm-yr-Eglwys
St Brynach’s Church at Cwm-yr-Eglwys

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 (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 between the mainland and Dinas Head, a vast lump of rock that, were the sea level to rise by a couple of metres, would be a true island. Indeed, it is sometimes known as Dinas Island.

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What I Miss – Unlocked Churches

What I Miss - Unlocked Churches - The Simple Things - Nov 2013
What I Miss – Unlocked Churches – The Simple Things – Nov 2013

 

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 moment’s peaceful contemplation …

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Solvitur Ambulando

Solvitur Ambulando was published in lakeland Walker magazine
Solvitur Ambulando was published in lakeland Walker magazine

 

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 …

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Love on the Rocks

Love on the Rocks was published in Country & Border Life
Love on the Rocks was published in Country & Border Life

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 this ancient land is boundless. We meet one such visitor who was so smitten, he decided to stay …

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What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath was published in Country & Border Life magazine
What Lies Beneath was published in Country & Border Life magazine

Slow Journey County: Powys

Slow Journey Destination: Llangorse Lake

Slow Journey Distance Travelled: 3 miles

A January mist swims across the surface of the water, swallowing all that rises above its depths. The still, cold air is broken by the frantic call of a startled Tufted duck escaping into the sky, and an occasional, unaccountable ‘plop’ is accompanied by a tiny ripple that floats its way towards us. Standing at the end of the jetty, we’re hovering above the water as our eyes try to penetrate the moisture molecules that the wintry sun hasn’t yet gained the strength to evaporate. Llangorse Lake it seems, wants to hold onto its secrets a little while longer.

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