Oban- You may fall in Love

Comments 14 Standard

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.

oban

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.

1087199

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.

14_0125

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.

DSC_2569

DSC_2546

DSC_2544

DSC_2541

 

Advertisements

Monsal Trail

Comments 7 Standard

IMG_8010

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 🙂

IMG_7969

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.

IMG_7964


IMG_7984

IMG_7990

IMG_8019

 

IMG_7976

Me & Ash are always happy on a trail 🙂

IMG_8007

Monsal Hea

Monsal Head

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

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

WPC: Connected

Comments 10 Standard

connected

I could not think of anything better than this picture to represent my picture of connection. Me and Ash are completing 13 years of knowing each other, yes the classic college love 🙂

4 years ago we decided to get connected via ring for lifetime 🙂 No it’s not my marriage anniversary today 🙂

In response to – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/connected/

Meeting the Unknown Faces :)

Comments 10 Standard

blogging

I find myself fortunate enough that I am getting the chance to travel the world, may not be a new country every other month but travelling all over the little island I have been living in from last 5 years.

The more fortunate thing is I have so many of you around me that love to read my posts, take out time to comment on those and sharing feelings. Last 1 year have been so beautiful and I met you, the wonderful blogger friends through this platform.

This thought gave birth to an idea of meeting all of you. How about fixing a day in our calendar to meet in person and greet each other?

I understand many of us are away from the UK, or may be in different corners of the UK. But if we can decide a place and a date for those who can make it. Wont it be wonderful?

Let me know what do you guys think. And I shall initiate the conversation ahead.

Those of you are interested, please leave me a reply on the post.

Love to All.

Castleton Walk, Peak District

Comments 5 Standard

castleton01big

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.

Castleton 1W

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.

chatsworth-and-the-peak-district-5830

castleton09big

IMG_7913

IMG_7919

IMG_7923 IMG_7927 IMG_7932

IMG_7938

Hope Walk, Peak District

Comments 8 Standard

hopevillage2

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.

1IMG_9814

4538560203

2368702_1316a45e

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.


IMG_7896

IMG_7895

IMG_7893

102-hp

IMG_7897

 

 

A village in a Village – Bourton Model Village

Comments 10 Standard

IMG_7554

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.

IMG_7559

IMG_7557

IMG_7556

IMG_7555

IMG_7548

IMG_7543

IMG_7542

Bourton On The Water – “Venice of Cotswold”

Comments 5 Standard

bourtonweb

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.

IMG_7580

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 🙂

IMG_7569

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.

IMG_7570

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

IMG_7574

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.

IMG_7578

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

Bibury- A Charming Village

Comments 19 Standard

Arlington_Row_Bibury

Bibury is a charming little village in the English countryside of Cotswold.  Bibury village has been featured at various places, particulary famous as one of the most beautiful village in the England. It has been also modelled in the Mini- Europe minitaure park at Atomimum in Brussels.

When you arrive at Bibury, the very first thought that struck you is are you watching a painting!! Believe me the setting of this place just takes you back in the 17th-18th century, because that era is still very intact in this place. With it’s 17th century weavers cottage, a walking bridge on the top of river and the meadow setting takes away your breath.

It is a small village that can be seen by walking all around it. While you are visiting this place, there are some must do/see things like

Walk to Arlington Row – a row of weavers cottages built of local stone next to the River. It is often reffered as one of the most photographed cottage row in the country. Infact it was in news recently that beauty of the arlington row has been bloomed by a yellow car, which still stands there 🙂 For a bit of history these cottages were actually built as a monastic wool store in 1380s and later converted into weavers’ cottages later.

IMG_7531

bibury_2009wallpaper1024

Walk around River Coln and find a spot for a nice picnic. Do not forget to carry duck food.

03-Bibury-07-04-11-DSCF2666

Bibury Trout Farm- Love fishing and fancy catching live trout to take back home. This is the place. There is entry of around £4 pound to get on to the farm.

Church of St Mary – I did not visit the church, and I am actually wondering how did I miss it. But there is always a next time 🙂

Go to a Tea Room , sit back, relax and enjoy Bibury.

IMG_7528

IMG_7529

IMG_7532

 

Oxford City

Comments 6 Standard

We recently visited Oxford on a family outing, and we were lucky to have a beautiful sunny day. I think Oxford needs no introduction, the famous university city is house to vibrant college crowd, amazing architecture, museums, local markets, shops.

There is a lot to do in the Oxford whether it is just a stroll around the city, shopping till you bow down or discovering hidden alleys of Oxford. The city is a potion of old era mixed with modern era.

Harry Potter movies have given another high to Oxford and it’s universities. There are a lot of tour companies in the Oxford that organizes free guided tours, harry potter places tours, ghosts tours. Pick your favourite one, you will never go out of option.  I will recommend a guided tour of this place to know more about the history.

Few places we visited during a day visit to Oxford.

  1. Christ Church – The famous Wizard School, and the famous dining hall is in here. It is spectacular to look at and the stories makes it even more interesting.

1414477074

  1. Hall_of_Christ_Church,_OxfordCarfax Tower- Climb onto Carfax tower for Oxford’s city view. The Tower is all that remains of the 13th century St. Martin’s Church and still contains a ring of six bells, recast from the original five by Richard Keene of Woodstock in 1676. These chime the quarter hours and are rung on special occasions by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers.

IMG_7045

IMG_7033

  1. Bodleian Library – One of the famous libraries of the world, number more than 11 million printed items, in addition to 50000 e-journals and huge  quantities of other materials. It has got a copy of every paper printed anywhere in the world.

IMG_7063

IMG_7059

 

  1. Museum of History of Science- Fascinating place containing collection of early scientific instruments , unvilled stars, cameras, drugs. You will be amazed to know how far we have come down in terms of technology.P7025914

IMG_7091

IMG_7087