Holiday continued, Wales – Day 9

After a comfortable night in our room at Bangor University we woke up to a lovely view of Anglesey from our bedroom window.

We travelled on the Welsh Highland Railway from …

… to ….

It was an amazing trip through stunning scenery.

We had a picnic by the stream at Beddgelert, then back on the train again.

Cairns on the river bed
Mount Snowdon
Back to Caernarfon.

Slow drive home tomorrow, through Wales,


The Isle of Man – Day 5

Although today dawned very foggy we stuck with our plan and drove through the fog across the hills to Douglas. We got on a tram on the Manx Electric Railway to the end of the line at Ramsey, 17 miles of stunning scenery.

After a light lunch at Ramsey we got the tram back to Laxey, roughly half way back.

At Laxey we got the Snaefell Mountain Railway to the highest point on the island.

We passed the Laxey Wheel, the largest water wheel in the world.
At the summit
The view
We passed a lead mine
Back on the Manx Electric Railway we headed back to Douglas.
We returned to our car and drove back to Peel ….
… for a walk along the beach.

It turned out to be a beautiful day after a cold and misty start at 13°, ending up a sunny and warm 24°.

More to come …


The Isle of Man – Day 3

We drove to the northernmost tip of the island – Point of Ayre. We couldn’t go on the pebble beach as the Arctic terns were nesting.

Then we continued on to Ramsey, the second biggest town on the island.

The tide was in so there was no golden sand!
Ramsey harbour
Mooragh Park and boating lake, built in 1887.

We went to Groudle Glen, a popular Victorian destination, with a lovely walk down into the Glen, followed by a short trip on a little steam train to Sea Lion Rocks.

Sea Lion Rocks station at the end of Groudle Glen

We saw some seals.
Outside Groudle Glen we saw a tram on the Manx Electric Railway. Maybe another day ….

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,


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,


India – Day 6: Return to Delhi

We left Shimla to return to Delhi, saying our goodbyes to the friendly staff and local residents.

The first part of the journey was a hair raising 4 hour drive down the mountain, through hair pin bends. I think driving a taxi is an extreme sport in this area!

Number 2 taxi, which drove us around for the 3 days we were in Shimla
We stopped for a break half way.
Local businesses were opening up.

We arrived in Chandigarh and boarded the train for Delhi.

Not allowed on the platform!
Me boarding the train
Packed lunch boxes provided for us
Views from the train ….

Eventually we arrived back in Delhi and got a coach back to the Taj Palace.

New Delhi Station
Views from the coach
The view from our hotel room

Drinks and dinner now. Tomorrow we will be having a sight seeing tour of Delhi.

India – Day 3: Shimla

After a delicious Indian Buffet dinner last night we set off at 6.30am to Delhi Railway Station to catch the train to Kalka where we got on the ‘Toy Train’ which took us through the Himalayan foothills to Shimla.

4 hour trip from Delhi (25C), to Kalka
Andy and I on the Toy Train
The Toy Train climbing up the mountain to an altitude of 7500 feet
Half way to Shimla the sky darkened and there was a hail storm with thunder and lightening
We shared our coach with a friendly Indian family on holiday from Bangalore
View from the train
Shimla Station
The Oberoi Cecil Hotel

The hotel was established in 1884 by the British. Mohan Singh Oberoi started working at the hotel in the boiler room in 1922. He rose through the ranks until he was able to buy the hotel in 1944.

Tomorrow we have a talk about the history of Shimla and a guided walk.