The Isle of Man -Day 2

This morning we drove to Port Erin to catch the steam train to Douglas.

We used our ‘Go Explore’ tickets which allow unlimited travel on all trains and buses for a period of 5 days.

At Douglas station we saw the platform for Isle of Man pupils of Hogwarts.

We visited the Manx Museum before getting the train back to Port Erin.

Manx cats have no tails, this one is an exhibit in the museum.
The beach at Port Erin

We had a drive to the southern end of the island, pausing to allow a herd of cows to go past!

A smaller island, the Calf of Man, is situated at the southern tip. More about this later in the week hopefully.

Back at our cottage we had time for a laze in the hot tub before dinner.

More tomorrow,


The Isle of Man

We left Liverpool this morning on the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company catamaran.

We arrived in Douglas two and three quarters of an hour later after a very smooth crossing.

Arriving at Douglas

We drove across the island to Peel and had a look round before heading to our barn conversion cottage near the little village of Patrick.

Peel Harbour
Hawthorns Cottage at Ballacallin Court
Living accommodation is on the first floor …
… to take advantage of the amazing views.
Peel Harbour with Peel Castle in the background.

After a fish and chip supper, overlooking the sea, we walked round the outside of the castle.

Bye for now, more to come tomorrow


Norfolk Adventure 2

We had a lovely few days in Norfolk, visiting friends and family.

No visit is complete without chips on Great Yarmouth market.
We sat overlooking Gorleston beach while chatting with my brother, before visiting my niece and sister.
We were invited to Langham Dome as Andy had contributed research into the life of Richard Younghusband.
Guy Martin unveiled a memorial to Richard Younghusband who died in a Spitfire crash in 1953. Following this we had a crab sandwich in Sheringham before visiting one of Andy’s brothers near Cromer, then another brother in Cawston.
On Sunday morning we visited a friend in Somerleyton, then went to the most eastern point of UK in Lowestoft where we stopped for lunch before visiting family in Filby.
On the way back to Dursley we stopped for a break at Welney WWT
and Kirby Hall, taking advantage of our WWT and English

It was so good to feel that things were well on the way to being back to ‘normal’.

Looking forward to our trip to the Isle of Man next month. Look out for more photos!



Norfolk Adventure

Today we are off to Norfolk, where we used to live. We still have lots of family and friends there so this will enable us to catch up with everyone.

The journey from Dursley to Great Yarmouth takes 5/6 hours. Today it took us seven hours to travel to our country house hotel near Norwich, making several stops on the way.

We stopped in Bibury to snap another woodpecker….
….. and Lechlade.
As we are members of English Heritage we had a picnic at Wrest Park.
It is a beautiful setting for wedding receptions.
We didn’t have enough time to explore the beautiful gardens.

After a cup of coffee in our room we are off out to dinner with friends of 40 years. It’s lovely to be back.

Tomorrow we will be visiting my family in Gorleston.


The Kingfisher Trail

The Kingfisher Trail is an arts trail of 21 kingfisher sculptures decorated by local artists displayed in and around the Cotswolds.

We made a start on the trail, visiting the kingfishers in our local area.


Hopefully we will visit some of the sculptures that are further afield next weekend.

Look out for more photos!


Porlock Adventure

Thanks to our good friends we were able to enjoy the beautiful weather over the last few days exploring the Porlock area while staying in their lovely static caravan.

Porlock Holiday Camp is a small, family run site in a beautiful setting overlooking the sea and the hills, close to Porlock centre.

Porlock Weir

On our first full day we drove along the North Devon coast road, visiting some of the many beaches.

Combe Martin
Croyde Bay

The next day we went on the Lynton and Barnstaple narrow gauge railway. It is a very short return trip from Woody Bay but there are big plans to extend the line.

From there we drove to Lynton and took the water powered funicular cliff railway down into Lynmouth.

On the Sunday we drove across Exmoor to Exford for a lovely Sunday roast at The White Horse.

Amazing scenery
Wild ponies
The Tarr Steps, a medieval clapper bridge over the River Barle.

In the afternoon we visited Greencombe Gardens, home to the largest holly tree in England, situated on the hillside overlooking Porlock.

We had a great time and look forward to visiting the area again. It was lovely be on holiday again, enjoying the normal pleasures we used to take for granted.

Thank you, Jan and Mike.

Off to Norfolk next!

An Abbey, a Steam Train and a Herd of Elephants

Sunday May 9th dawned a beautiful sunny day following a rainy Saturday so we set out for a lovely day in the Cotswolds.

We started near Winchcombe, Cheltenham, at Hailes Abbey. Founded in 1246, this was a centre of monastic life for nearly three centuries.

Not far from the Abbey is Toddington Station on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway, a volunteer operated heritage railway. We stopped for lunch (a bacon and sausage bap) at the Flag and Whistle Cafe, just in time to see a train pulled by a steam engine arrive.

After lunch we carried on to Sudeley Castle and Gardens, now the home of Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, and her family. We were particularly keen to see the 30+ life sized elephant sculptures that have made a trail through the gardens.

The elephants form part of the environmental art campaign, CoExistence, which highlights the loss of biodiversity caused by humans as they encroach on wild spaces across the globe.

It was launched by the conservation charity Elephant Family, set up by Lady Ashcombe’s late husband’s nephew Mark Shand, who dedicated 27 years of his life to saving Asian elephants.

The elephants, part of a 100 strong herd, were created in India by the Adivasi tribal community, and are set to transform London’s Royal Parks into the Nilgiri Hills of Southetn India this summer, before migrating further afield to the USA.

We had a lovely day out, beginning to feel that things are slowly getting back to normal and better times are ahead. We have missed travelling, although we know we were really lucky to get to India and Scotland last year.

Over the next few months we are travelling to the Wirral, Knutsford, Porlock, Norfolk and the Isle of Man so hopefully there will be more posts to look forward to!

Enjoy the new freedoms that are coming,


February 2021

A belated Happy New Year to you all.

I hope you and your families are all managing to keep busy and stay safe.

Like everyone, we have not been on any trips lately so I have had no interesting photographs to share with you. I have been trying to keep busy by getting creative. If you click on the ‘My Creations’ section of the blog you can see what I have been up to.

In December I created a lino cut of ‘Princess’, the cat of a friend of mine.

Since the beginning of the year I have written several short stories, some of which you can read here – ‘Weather the storm’, ‘The Visitor’, and ‘Gluttony – a cautionary tale’.

Looking forward to being able to add more holiday photos to my blog later this year, although there will be no foreign holidays this year!

Stay safe,


Christmas 2020

Christmas isn’t cancelled, although it may feel very different in these ‘unprecedented’ times. The magic of Christmas can still be found in the twinkling lights reflected in the children’s eyes, the joy of giving presents to loved ones and the sharing of lovingly prepared meals with our nearest and dearest.

However you are spending Christmas, may you feel a sense of hope that 2021 will see us returning to near normal where we can share good times again.

Local children were asked to draw characters from the Nativity story and these were enlarged and printed to decorate the churches in our town.

I haven’t posted very much in the last few months. Hopefully next year I will be able to share photos of several trips we are hoping to take.

Have a lovely Christmas, however you are spending it, and here’s to a happier, healthier, safer New Year.