A special year for the great Dorset Steam fair as it was the 50th Anniversary show, also they were going for the record of 500 steam engines all being displayed at a single show. The fair is enormous covering over 600 acres in total with everything from classic cars, foods, Beer, army vehicles, tractors and thousands more things. We decided again to camp this year so we could have a drink on the Saturday night, and this year we had a few pints of proper scrumpy Cider !. You need a whole day just to get round most things but you will still miss loads.
We booked the tickets for the RA a couple of months ago and we have looked forward to this trip for some time. This year was the 250th year of the summer Exhibition and was coordinated by Grayson Perry the artist and committee member. Getting to the RA is easy just take a tube to Piccadilly Circus and walk the short distance to Burlington gardens, you are close to both New and old Bond Street and the arcades selling all manner of things.
For 250 years painters and sculptures have been showing their latest works and this year works by Hockney, Emin and Allen Jones were on show for the public to purchase. A good couple of hours were spent having a look around and I shall go next year as we both enjoyed it. I have included some pictures below for you to have a look at.
We decided to do this walk on the hottest day of the year I think about 28 deg of heat and very little shade on the walk. Transport links are easy for this walk as the GWR railway branch line runs from Cholsey and Tilehurst and cost about £10 for 2 people one way. From Tilehurst station you take a right and head towards the bridge over the rail line by the Roebuck public house, as soon as you come to the Thames head left towards Cholsey. The walk is flat with just a couple of small climbs along the way, the paths are well kept and you have to cross over the Thames a couple of times to keep to the path. Some lovely villages and towns are on route and you will visit Goring and Whitchurch on Thames. You can soon come off the path to visit these towns if you wish and you will find some nice pubs also if you fancy a pint. The walk was a long one and the heat was extreme but it was enjoyable with Some great scenery . Please check out the GPS file of ViewRanger to help you plan this one.
Cholsey is a village and large civil parish two miles (3 km) south of Wallingford, in South Oxfordshire. In 1974 it was transferred from Berkshire to the county of Oxfordshire, and from Wallingford Rural District to the district of South Oxfordshire. Cholsey’s parish boundaries, some 17 miles (27 km) long, reach from the edge of Wallingford into the Berkshire Downs. The village green is known as The Forty and has a substantial and ancient walnut tree. Winterbrook was historically at the north end of the parish adjoining Wallingford and became within Wallingford parish (run by its Town Council) since 2015. It is the site of Winterbrook Bridge, which carries a by-pass road across the Thames, and was one of the two main residences of the late author Dame Agatha Christie (the other being the village of Galmpton on the south Devon coast). John Masefield, poet laureate, was a resident of Cholsey.
Carn Ingli lies south of the town of Newport, pembrokshire and is a mountain in the Presell hills it stands at 347 metres. We walked from the campsite into the town of Newport and the carn dominates the skyline to the South. The paths going up are steep on good grassland with some rocks along the route however nothing too technical . Near to the top it gets very rocky and a lot of care is needed, when we went up the weather made for hard going due to sea mist coming in. There are remains of a Iron age hill fort near to the summit and also the carn has many mystical myths associated with it have a read on Wikipedia to research before you climb.
A lovely seven mile walk along the Pembrokeshire costal path, with some great hills and beaches along the route. The first part of this walk was taking the excellent poppit rocket costal bus that is excellent for walkers, this took us from Newport to Pwllgwelod car park. The first part of the walk was around Dinas Island
Dinas Island (Welsh: Ynys Dinas) is a peninsula located in the community of Dinas Cross between Fishguard and Newport, Pembrokeshire, in southwest Wales. It reaches a height of 466 feet (142 m) above sea level at Pen-y-fan, marked by a triangulation point. Dinas Head is strictly the northernmost part of the promontory, where the cliffs meet the sea, but the name is sometimes loosely used to refer to this highest point. Dinas Island is contained within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the headland is under the care of the National trust
Cwm-yr-Eglwys (valley of the church) is a small village on the east side of the Dinas Island where you will find a ruined church that was partly destaroyed in a great storm around 1850. There are some benches scattered around and it’s a nice place to sit and look out across the water. The rest of the walk is up and down following the jagged cliffs overlooking the sea, it makes for hard work but the views are fantastic. We looked out for wildlife along the route as last time we walked down here we spotted a large amount of seals basking in the sun.
It was nice weather so we set off into the peak district and the lovely Dove Dale. This walk was a 8.5 mile route following the river Dove, this river is about 45 miles in length and runs from Buxton to Newton Solney. Dovedale is one of the top attractions on the Peak District owned by the National Trust and its estimated over a Million people walk it a year. If you just wish to walk the ravine its a fairly flat route with a short climb up towards Lovers Leap however this is on good paths. If you venture out of the ravine you will find some sharp climbs but again the paths are in good condition. The stepping stones run across the River Dove and its good fun walking across the water but it can get busy in the summertime. Our walk took us down to the lovely village of Milldale where you will find a public house if you fancy a pint. This is a great walk.
The limestone rock that forms the geology of Dovedale is the fossilised remains of sea creatures that lived in a shallow sea over the area during the Carboniferous period, about 350 million years ago. During the two ice ages, the limestone rock (known as reef limestone) was cut into craggy shapes by glacial meltwater, and dry caves such as Dove Holes and Reynard’s Kitchen Cave were eventually formed. The caves were used as shelters by hunters around 13,000 BCE, and Dovedale has seen continuous human activity since. Around 4,500 years ago Neolithic farmers used the caves as tomb. For more info please click this link.
We had a week off work but didn’t go away so instead decided to have a few days out. The weather was gorgeous so we set off to have a trip to the open air museum. We had visited here before many years ago with Kay and Stuart and thought we would have another look. The admission was £9.50 each and parking was free. The museum is full of saved local buildings such as houses and farm buildings, my favourite building there was a pre-fab house which you can go into and have a look around, these must have seemed like luxury, although small, coming from the bombed out buildings after the war. There is also a small chapel and a newly constructed Iron Age round house. We enjoyed a cream tea while we were there and a walk round the woodland path. It was a pleasant day although there wasn’t as much there as I thought
The museum was founded in 1976 and aims to rescue and restore common English buildings from the Chilterns, which might otherwise have been destroyed or demolished. The buildings have been relocated to the museum’s 45-acre (180,000 m2) site, which includes woodland and parkland. The collection has more than 30 buildings on view including barns, other traditional farm buildings and houses.
Buildings of interest include a 1940s prefab from Amersham, a reconstruction of an Iron Age house, a Victorian toll house from High Wycombe, a “Tin Chapel” from Henton, Oxfordshire and a forge from Garston, Hertfordshire. A fine pair of cottages from 57 Compton Avenue at Leagrave, near Luton which started out as a weather-boarded thatched barn with central double doors in the early 18th century. In the late 18th century the barn was converted into two labourers’ cottages.
A cheap train ticket to Birmingham on a wet saturday led us to the National trust back to back houses, the restored 19th century courtyard is one of the best NT attractions we have visited and well worth the trip alone. If visiting make sure you book your tickets in advance as you cannot gain entry simply by just turning up . After that we looked around the centre of Birmingham and well not a lot I can say about that really, anyway a bit from Wiki about the back to back houses below for you to read before you plan your visit.
The Birmingham Back to Backs (also known as Court 15) are the city’s last surviving court of back-to-back houses. They are preserved as examples of the thousands of similar houses that were built around shared courtyards, for the rapidly increasing population of Britain’s expanding industrial towns. They are a very particular sort of British terraced housing. This sort of housing was deemed unsatisfactory, and the passage of the Public Health Act 1875 meant that no more were built; instead byelaw terraced houses took their place. This court, at 50–54 Inge Street and 55–63 Hurst Street, is now operated as a historic house museum by the National Trust.
Numerous back-to-back houses, two or three storeys high, were built in Birmingham during the 19th century. Most of these houses were concentrated in inner-city areas such as Ladywood, Handsworth, Aston, Small Heath and Highgate. Most were still in quite good condition in the early 20th century and also prior to their demolition. By the early 1970s, almost all of Birmingham’s back-to-back houses had been demolished. The occupants were rehoused in new council houses and flats, some in redeveloped inner-city areas, while the majority moved to new housing estates such as Castle Vale and Chelmsley Wood.
Due to a trip into the lake district we decided to stop off in Cheshire and visit Tatton Park Mansion and Estate. The Estate belongs to the National Trust and the whole site covers 2000 acres that inclues Gardens, a large Farm, and Manor House. You will have to pay £7 to get into the grounds even if you are a member of the NT, also to visit the farm will cost you a further £3.50 each but is well worth the visit. The Farm included an historic old mill complete with old mill grinders and old cattle feed mills, they will happily demonstrate with working demonstarshions if you ask. Next door is an old steam engine and boiler that once powered the mill its a shame it is still not working it would make a great demonstration. The kids will enjoy the old farm with loads of chickens, pigs and lambs about to birth whilst we were there.
The huge country house dates from 1770’s and is in good state of repair, there are no timed visit just enter when you want. the following article about the history of the man is from Wikipedia so please visit the page to learn about Tatton Park.
A good visit and well worth stopping off along the route.
The original manor house in Tatton Park was Tatton Old Hall. Around 1716 a new hall was built in a more elevated position on the site of the present mansion some 0.75 miles (1 km) to the west. This house was a rectangular block of seven bays with three storeys. From 1758 the owner Samuel Egerton began to make improvements to the house, in particular a rococo interior to his drawing room (now the dining room), designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard. During the 1770s Samuel Egerton commissioned Samuel Wyatt to design a house in Neoclassical style. Both Samuel Egerton and Samuel Wyatt died before the house was finished, and it was completed (1807–16), on a reduced scale, by Wilbraham Egerton and Lewis William Wyatt, Samuel Wyatt’s nephew. Samuel Wyatt had planned a house of eleven bays, but Lewis reduced this to seven. Wilbraham bought a number of fine paintings, and many items of furniture made by Gillows of Lancaster. In 1861–62 an upper floor was added to the family wing to a design by G. H. Stokes. In 1884 a family entrance hall was added to the north face and a smoking room to the extreme west of the family wing. Also in 1884 electricity was installed in the hall.
After a deluge of rain over the bank holiday weekend we had to get out, so we braved the constant rain and headed for Staffordshire and the national Trust Shugborough Hall and estate. In the 1960’s the estate was handed over to the national Trust by Lord Lichfield following massive Death Duties by the Government . You can obtain timed Tickets to view his private apartments and see a collection of Famous photos of the Royal family and pictures from major fashion houses around the world. He died in 2005 and his apartments are well worth a look.
Entry to the grand house is not on a timed ticket and just go in when you want, its full of works of art and various objects from the Anson family. They purchased the house in 1642 and the 2 brothers made loads of improvements and extensions to the stately home. One of the brothers was an explorer and he visited all four corners of the globe. He was involved in fighting with the Spanish Amarda and they took loads of gold and silver from them as spoils of war. A goood visit this one and well worth a visit if you are around this area.