Saturday, 10 August 2013

Llandudno & The Great Orme

When we left home it was cloudy, overcast and a little on the chilly side, but according to the weather man it was going to be a lovely sunny day.   We arrived early enough to find a free parking spot, which is always a plus, DB suggested breakfast and coffee at Weatherspoons pub.  

We walked along the street until we came to a lovely old building over which the sign read, ‘The Palladium’.   I thought a theatre how nice, I didn’t expect a theatre restaurant to be open so early.   It actually turned out to be the pub I mean would you expect a pub to look like this? 

A poster on a wall advertised that Peter Sellers and Wilfred Hyde-White would be appearing in the Wreck of the Mary Deare on 19 April, the year wasn’t mentioned but it was probably the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.   At the top of the stairs leading to the toilets you could look out across the ‘stalls’ and see that the seats in the balcony and ‘gods’ were still there.  How neat is that?

Mum said that way back when it was a working theatre, the shows used to change on Tuesdays so that when you were on holiday for a week you could see two shows while you were there.   How nice that such a lovely building is still in use rather than having been demolished.   The food was pretty good as well. 

Our walk took us around the huge limestone expanse of the Great Orme, it’s an interesting walk, there are ancient, bronze age I think, copper mines  that are open to the public on top, another place on our ever expanding ‘to visit’ list.

Our walk followed the road, it was still on the chilly side especially when we turned the corner and walked straight into the wind.    Part way round we passed a restaurant with lovely sea views called the ‘Rest & be Thankful’ which I thought was a great place for a coffee stop.   DB had other ideas and we carried on until we came to a sunny bench, out of the wind, with a lovely view across the sea to island of Anglesey.   It was a lovely spot to enjoy our snacks and coffee.
Continuing to follow the road around, we walked out of the wind altogether and looked down on the remains of a WWII Coastal Artillery School that was transferred from Shoeburyness in Essex in 1940.   The buildings were designed to look like a Welsh village to fool the enemy.  A trail winds through what remains of the site, beyond which the river Conwy spills out into the sea, and across the river the Welsh mountains and Mount Snowdon hide somewhere in the clouds.

At this point on our walk instead of walking back down onto the West Shore, we took an absolute killer of a steep, narrow path straight up the side of the Great Orme.
At the top we arrived at the tram station, and after sampling a scrummy ice-cream we enjoyed the gorgeous views as we followed the steep trail beside the tram tracks back down into town.
I took this photograph as we walked back it shows the wide curving Promenade and part of the pebble and sand beach.

As the tram arrives back in town it travels down some very narrow, steep streets, if you lived down this street, I think you’d definitely need to know the tram schedule!

Once back at the car, we changed back into our trainers and walked to the pier, the original pier, built in 1858, was destroyed by a massive storm, the present pier was built in 1877.   Until the 1960’s steam ships taking excursions along the North Wales coast and I seem to think they also went to the Isle of Man docked at the pier.   At the moment the pier is undergoing restoration and later this year the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world ‘The Waverley’ is due to dock and take an excursion around Anglesey.   The photograph below is from Waverley’s website.

Isn’t it fabulous?   I think an excursion on the Waverley is definitely on the cards.
As we walked to the end of the pier, we had a great view of the Little Orme across the bay.
We found an empty bench and enjoyed the view, but even though by this time the sun had come out, the wind was still a little on the chilly side.
After that we strolled along the promenade before settling down to watch an old fashioned ‘Punch & Judy’ Show.

We love ‘Punch & Judy’, yes I know it’s for kids, but it’s such fun, there’s always just as many kids as grownups enjoying the show, calling for Judy when Punch drops the baby, not to mention calling out the famous ‘punch’ line ‘That’s the way to do it’!   Fabulous!
Have fun, we are!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Along the Severn Way on the 10.09 to Highley

On a lovely sunny morning, we drove to Bewdley, an ancient port on the banks of the river Severn, where once, wine, lace, tobacco, brandy, port and countless other items were unloaded from ships and barges plying their trade.   We crossed the river to the Severn Valley Railway Station and took the 10.09 to Highley.

Bewdley Station.

Our train ready to leave Highley station.

We started our walk from the historic Ship Inn, right on the banks of the river, built in 1770 for a local bargeman, it’s a lovely spot and one of the railway staff told us the food is excellent so we’ll get back to try it before long.

Wildflowers were in abundance as we followed the Severn Way along the river. 


wild garlic

and masses and masses of delicately scented bluebells.

A couple of miles into our walk we came to the picturesque village of Arley, which has a tea room right on the river, DB, his friends & Meg the dog, usually stop here for coffee when they walk this way.   However on a sunny Sunday afternoon it was absolutely packed, so we found a comfy a bench, drank our flask of coffee and ate the snacks we’d brought with us.

This was our view.

Leaving Arley we continued along the river passing under the elegant iron Victoria Bridge, cast and erected by the Coalbrookdale company in 1861.

Further along we came across the remains of an old railway bridge that once served a now defunct branch line.

And just after that we came to what is probably the most quintessential (and probably very well photographed) English cottage you ever saw, isn't it absolutely gorgeous?  

By this time we were almost back in Bewdley, needless to say on such a beautiful afternoon the pubs along the riverfront were packed with people, so we had absolutely no chance of finding a table for lunch.   It’s a good job I took a photograph of the riverfront in the morning otherwise all you’d be able to see is a mass people!

Luckily for us a sign on the car park pointed the way to the 15th century Little Pack Horse Inn, so after we’d changed out of our walking boots we followed the signs and this is where we ended up.

What a find!   It’s a lovely pub, set back from the river in the town, with a small terrace at the back, the beer was from a local brewery which DB said was very good and the food was excellent.   DB had Desperate Dan Cow Pie, which was Herefordshire beef & mushrooms braised in real ale and covered with puff pastry, it even had little pastry horns!   He had a choice of small, medium and large, he chose medium and look at the size of it!!!   I think he wished he’d gone for small!

I had a lovely chunky piece of fresh cod covered in fluffy beer batter, with homemade mushy peas and real chips, scrumptious!

All in all we had a fabulous day.

Have fun, we are!