Minnack Theatre – Beauty beyond Eyes

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During our recent trip to Cornwall, we planned to visit Minnack Theatre on a beautiful sunny but windy day. Minnack is an open theatre built on the high & rocky Cornish cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean. It is also listed in the list of world-famous open theatres. Believe me, once you visit the place you will know why is this place so much-loved.

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It is another world and it has got a fascinating history behind it. Rowena Cade is the brain and the heart behind this beautiful piece of architecture. She moved to Cornwall after 1st world war and built a house for herself at Minnack Point. She used to offer her garden space which was beside the sea to the village group people who wanted to do stage any drama for the community. Miss Cade and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, made a terrace and rough seating, hauling materials down from the house or up via the winding path from the beach below. They carried the sand and the stones on their back without any machinery, they used to carve the seats with the tools to make it more beautiful. She devoted her life to improve the theatre, working over the course of the winter months each year throughout her life (with the help of Billy Rawlings and Charles Angove) so that theatre remains functional. And the result of her hard work can be seen in pictures.

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Minnack theatre is situated not very far from Land’s End, you have to drive towards Purthcurno Bay. It has also got a rockery and alpine gardens for the visitors and a way down to Bay.

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Treat: WPC

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It is once again the favorite time of the year, not because of gloomy, windy and cool weather. But because it is the season of festivals and treats. Diwali and Christmas are on the way, definitely a lot more reasons to have more treats.

Guess who is another happy person with me. It is Ash, my baker, photographer and a cook 🙂 He is baking every weekend, a lot of experiments are being carried out recently. Like for this weekend it’s going to be Cinnamon Buns.

Here is picture from last weekend, another treat of Coconuts Lamingtons. In response to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/treat/

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The Long Walk – Windsor

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I stay in the royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and lucky enough to have access to beautiful walks around the county of Berkshire & Buckinghamshire. This area os just beautiful with a lot of traditional English villages, woodland walks, riverside walks and forest walks.

It is not possible to go for a holiday away from home every weekend, so me & ash use this opportunity to go walking in these hidden treasures, which are known only to locals. So I thought of sharing these little quaint walks with all of you so that if you are in the area you can have an opportunity to roam in this beautiful wonderland.

Those of you who love visiting Windsor or have not been there yet, I will recommend a beautiful walk at The Long Walk that is just behind the magnificent Windsor Castle.

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From the Castle gate to the foot of the statue of King George II (The Copper Horse) , it is a 2.64 miles walk. It is here at Snow Hill  where, King Henry VIII sat and waited for news of the execution of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn. The Long Walk was commenced by Charles II by planting a double avenue of elm trees on entire length of the route. There were 1,652 trees planted to create the basis of the landscape we know today. Charles wanted to remodel Windsor in a modern popular style and the Long Walk was just one aspect of his improvement scheme.

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Later in 1710 Queen Anne had a road constructed down the centre of the tree lined avenue with a comfortably smooth surface.

The Long Walk is still used by the royal carriages every year as part of the route from Windsor Castle to the Ascot Races. Cycling is not permitted on any part of the Long Walk.

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Another beautiful attraction of this park is the a large number of deers grazing around the park. Yes at times when deer are crossing the road to get across to other part of the park, you have to wait. Deers have the priority over humans 🙂

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It is a beautiful for all the seasons. I love going back there again & again.

 

Mount Snowdon – Highest in Wales

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Snowdon Mountain.

Snowdon Mountain.

Earlier this month, myself and Ash finished our long awaited hike to Snowdon Mountain. We have visited wales a number of times, but because of the famous welsh weather we could never hike this peak. But finally we got such a weekend with a bright beautiful sunny day to hike the summit.

Snowdon is the highest mountain in the Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level. It is located in the very famous Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. It is beautiful from every corner of North Wales.

There are number of paths to start your Snowdon hike to summit from easy grade to hardest one.

1.Watkin Path 2. Llanberis Path 3. Pyg Track 4. Miner’s track 5. Snowdon Ranger 6. Crib Goch

We took a combination of two routes to see different types of world around Snowdon, and I am very much glad that we opted for that( You will see in the pictures, why am I saying so) We went up by Pyg track and came down via Miner’s track. Both of the path starts at the same point at Pen-y-pass car park. If you are planning to drive there, I will suggest you to reach early as on a good day you will not get a parking space. If you do not get a parking here, your next parking point is 3miles down towards Llanberis, so either you come back via a Sherpa bus or walk (Pheww!!!)

Pyg Track-  It is not known how the Pyg Track got its name – it could be as it passes over the Pigs’s Pass (Bwlch y Mocl), because it is close to the Pen y Gwryd Hotel, or because pyg, in welsh, also means pitch, and part of the surface of the path looks like black pitch.  Whatever the origin, this path starts 1,170 feet above sea level which gives you a helpful start on the way. This walk is rugged, and very challenging, but the scenery is absolutely stunning.

View from Pyg Track

View from Pyg Track

Miner’s Track – The track was built during the 1800’s to serve Britannia Copper Mines which were abandoned in 1917.  Mine Manager Arthur Lockwood drove his car to Llyn Glaslyn, and the track to this point at the lake still resembles a road so is a good walking surface.  The track does get considerably steeper towards the summit.

At the foothills on Miners Track

At the foothills on Miners Track

Do not worry if not in the mood of walk, during the summer months you can reach the summit via Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Whatever path you choose believe me you will never fall short of mesmerizing views around you. Here are some pictures of the day, as always feel free to get in touch if you need help in planning a similar trip.

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Done & Dusted -We did need a celebration 🙂

 

Oban- You may fall in Love

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On my search of beautiful coastal towns in Scotland, I came across a website that introduced me to the town called Oban. How Oban was quoted on the website is – Be Careful! You may fall in love.  And that’s it those lines were just more than enough to lure me into visiting this little town. And Guess what? Yes I did fall in love with Oban.

Oban, meaning a little bay, is a small town on the west coast of Scotland in the county of Argyll. It often referred as ‘seafood capital of the Scotland’ .

The town is colonized by the hills surrounding Oban Bay and is a very busy summer town with great cafes and restaurants, and a big list to select your activities and day trips across various islands & in the highlands itself.

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A very popular attraction within Oban is McCaig’s Tower, the Colosseum lookalike which stands above the town. The Tower is 10 minutes hard walk uphill from the centre of the town that provides spectacular & mesmerising views over the town and onto the neighbouring islands.

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There is an Oban Distillery too right onto the high street, beneath the steep cliff that overlooks Oban. Built in 1794, this is one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt Scotch whisky. Unfortunately we could not take the tour due to time issues. But I am sure it will be worth a visit for people who loves the whisky making technique.

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Imagine all of this, and you do not even need to walk a lot or rent a car, all these attraction as visible as you enter the town. We walked down the whole town, walked upto the pier that opens up a wider view of the seascapes and tiny islands at the far distance. It was truly a magical place.

We never planned to stay in Oban as we had to drive to Fort Williams that evening, but may be I will come back sometime to re-visit this little town and spend few days here.

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Monsal Trail

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During the bank holiday weekend, we went hiking/walking to Monsal Trail. Yet another fantastic walking trail 🙂 I had heard a lot about this trail from different people praising the beauty that prevails around it. But sometime you have to be physically at the place to admire what we have in front of you. And Monsal Trail was one such beauty.

The Monsal Trail is a traffic free route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders  through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular dales, stones and green landscape. Perfect for a family holiday with young kids or older generations.

The trail runs along the former Midland Railway line for 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell. You can choose to bike or walk, most of the way is a flat surface. It is definitely a long walk, but not a strenuous one. I would personally advise for a cycle trip, but make sure you arrive early morning if plan is to hire the bikes. Unfortunately we could not get hold of bikes.

Most of the route was opened to the public in 1981  and it passes through 6 tunnels -Headstone Tunnel, Cressbrook Tunnel, Litton Tunnel, Chee Tor Tunnel, Chee Tor No.2 and Rusher Cutting – all open for trail users. Each tunnel is about 400 metres long and will be lit during normal daylight hours.

I have no doubts why it has been regarded as one of most spectacular route for liesure walking, you pass through bridges, woodlands, monsal head, tunnels, cafes, ice cream shops, mills, little villages and what more do you need on a walk 🙂

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Plan was to to a round cycle trip from Bakewell to Wyedale and back to Bakewell, but we could not get the bikes to rent 😦 Hence planned to do a 8.5 miles long walk from Blackwell crossings to back to Bakewell. If you are not in the mood to walk 17 miles, you can take a bus from Bakewell – named TP and buy a ticket to blackwell crossing. The drivers are very well aware of the fact that they are going to get a lot of hikers on board to get down at Blackwell crossing, so you will not miss the stop, he will advise you when to get down.

Yes, these people were hogging before we start walking down the trail.

Yes, these people were hogging before we start walking down the trail.

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Me & Ash are always happy on a trail 🙂

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Breakfast point, sadly nothing for me. Drawbacks of Gluten free diet

Breakfast point, sadly nothing for me. Drawbacks of Gluten free diet

Castleton Walk, Peak District

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Continuing the last post 🙂 So we walked from Hope to Castleton Village. It’s a pleasant walk of around 4 miles.

The village of Castleton was laid out in a grid pattern at the base of the slopes that surround it. It is a market town around 100 years later. There is evidence to suggest that before it became known as Castleton, the land was home to settlers from the Ice Age, as traces of Ice Age mammoths have been discovered in the magnificent caves of the village.

The earliest, historically recorded settlers were actually the Celts during the Iron Age, who built an imposing fort at the top of Mam Tor, which is also known locally as the shivering mountain. To this day, the remains of a Celtic hill fort are situated on the summit of Mam Tor, standing at an altitude of 17,000ft, standing above Castleton. It is one of the highlight of Castleton.

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Castleton is also well-known for the four underground show caves that surround the village. Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern and Peak Cavern.

Few pictures of the village and our walk.

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Hope Walk, Peak District

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Peak District in Derbyshire is the second most visited national park in the world. It’s a paradise for walked, bikers, adventure seekers. This weekend we went back to Peak District to spend sometime in the Hope Valley and do some pleasant walks. This was a last minute plan, browsed 100 of pages for an accommodation and luckily got few beds available in a bunkhouse for the weekend.

We stayed in the village of Hope at Pindale Farm & Outdoor centre. A not so cozy but clean bunkhouse at £15 pp for a night was a great deal. It has everything for a weekend stay – a small kitchen, dining table, chairs, baths & toilet.

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We then headed for a circular walk from Hope to Castleton Village.To the north stands Win Hill and Lose Hill and the heather moors of the Dark Peak, to the south the limestone dales of the White Peak. A part of Hope Village valley was once a part of Royal hunting reserve.  There is a cement factory which has been the source of employment in the village since the 80s. The railway arrived in 1892 and opened up employment prospects for local people with easy access to both Manchester and Sheffield.

Hope (meaning “a valley’) is one of the very few Derbyshire villages to be mentioned prior to the Domesday Survey of 1086, the earliest surviving record dates from a charter of 926 AD which tells that King Athelstan won a battle nearby, and purchased land at Ashford and Hope from a Dane. Hope is also unusual for having kept its name with the spelling unchanged for over a thousand years. Now a days hoarded with Tourist, this village is a home to fantastic pubs, tea rooms and a plenty of walks all around it.

With clearly marked routes and a bit of detour via public footpath, you can do a circular walk from Hope to Castleton. In my next post I will be writing about Castleton.

But here are some pictures of Hope Village and our walks till Castleton.


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A village in a Village – Bourton Model Village

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Want to see a village in a village? Why not head to Burton -on – the – water, another jewel in the district of Cotswold. It is another popular attraction among many in Burton.

The Model Village is a one-ninth scale replica of the heart of the beautiful Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water, containing all the old buildings and the new one. Yes, the team who maintains this model village keep re-working on it time to time to reflect any changes in the village.

It is fascinating that a lot has not changed in this old quaint village in so many years. And how the local community and the people have kept the beauty as it is in the heart of the village.

The village was created by a previous landlord of the Old New Inn, taking local craftsmen five years to build, and it was officially opened on the Coronation Day of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.

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Bourton On The Water – “Venice of Cotswold”

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Yet another visit to Cotswold and this time one of it’s another exotic but busy village of Bourton On the Water. Love this belt of Cotswold, filled with quaint & idyllic villages next to rivers, bestowed with bridges, honey coloured stones cottages/houses and a different kind of rustic beauty around.

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Bourton on the Water is another very famous village, also referred as Venice of the Cotswold, and very popular among tourists and day trippers. The river Windrush flows through the village and has a setting on stone banks. And I am must admit it was one of my favourite place during our visit.  We sat there for hours, watching families having a picnic, children running around the river bank, people enjoying the heat and having the PIMMS, great tea rooms near by, and I sat there with my feet soaked in the water.  What a relaxing day 🙂

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Another scene that got me awed on this idyllic setting was its low bridges beside the greens. And because of these bridges, Bourton on the Water has got its name of Venice.

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IMG_7572A lot of tea room, gift shops, antique shops, cafes to select from 🙂

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Amazing collection of perfumes. They have a factory tour open for visitors, but unfortunately because of the busy time of the year they had closed it down currently.

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Me & Ash enjoying the sun shine and cool water of Windrush 🙂 IMG_7586