England · 18 November 2021
It is wonderful when some of the family come round for Christmas – but that does not happen every year as they mostly live far away and have to travel to see other members of their families.
Scotland  · 08 October 2021
Arriving in Orkney After crossing the Pentland Firth from Scrabster, on the northern most tip of mainland Scotland, near Thurso and John O’ Groats, we passed a huge rock, known as the Old Man of Hoy, among the cliffs of the isle of Hoy, one of the islands of the Orkney archipelago, which protects the port of Stromness from Atlantic storms.

Belgium · 07 January 2021
We set off by train from London on Eurostar [1] to Brussels, where we changed on to a very comfortable two storey local express that took us directly to Bruges (https://www.visitbruges.be/discover). We arrived in the mist at the railway station but decided to walk to our hotel, the Bourgoensch Hof, [2] http://hotel-bourgoensch-hof.hotel-in-bruges.com/en/ This was on Wollestraat right beside one of the main canals in the middle of Bruges old town [3] in sight of the Belfry. The 83 metres high...
Poland Krakow · 11 November 2020
We arrived at the Salt Mine (https://www.wieliczka-saltmine.com/) by coach from the centre of Krakow. From the car park at the mine we had a brief walk to the entrance at the Daniłowicz Shaft, where we walked down approx. 380 wooden steps to Level I (64 m below ground) of the Mine. We eventually returned to the surface by a miners’ lift from Level III (135 m deep underground) after about two hours, having seemingly walked miles and climbed about 800 steps. Tourists have been visiting these...

England · 28 October 2020
Woke up one morning in the comfortable Pennington Arms hotel, Ravenglass, and headed for the nearby railway station. The Ravenglass and Eskdale narrow gauge railway (https://ravenglass-railway.co.uk/) starts its journey alongside the mainline from Carlisle. On the way we passed the Ratty Arms where we had had a nice pint the previous night! We were going on the Ratty.
France Byways · 07 August 2020
Chinon, https://www.experienceloire.com/chinon.htm the last major town on the Vienne before it joins the Loire, was a royal town for the French and the English. Here, in 1429 Joan of Arc met the Dauphin, Charles VII, who was holed up in the town and persuaded him to fight to regain his kingdom. However, the ancient château of Chinon is also said to have been the preferred residence of one of the Plantagenet kings of England, Henry II. He and his wife Aliénor (Eleanor) d'Aquitaine along with...

France Byways · 17 June 2020
Candes St Martin, a small village not far from Chinon in Touraine, (https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/candes-saint-martin-most-beautiful-villages-france/) is on the left bank of the Loire on the road to Saumur. At the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers, it is said to be one of the oldest Gallo-Roman villages in the area and still retains its mediaeval street layout. The best panoramic view of the village is from the "Pointe du Véron" on the North bank of the Vienne, facing the...
France Byways · 25 May 2020
As we came down the road from Macon, we saw the Hostellerie d'Héloïse, a Logis beside the river La Grosne and the road bridge to Cluny. Cluny is a commune of more than 71,000 people in the eastern French region of Burgundy-Franche-Comte. Opposite was a little square with some shops and a memorial to the martyrs of the deportation. Nearby was the old railway station, now a bike hire place, beside the old railway line. Today this offers a green lane for exercise and picnicking and a pleasant...

France Byways · 11 May 2020
The road from St Pierre-de-Maille suddenly dipped off the upland plateau down towards the river Anglin, a tributary of the Creuse, where a simple old bridge crossed it in the shadow of the ruins of an impressive fortress on limestone river cliffs. We gentle drove up the steep narrow winding streets of Angles sur l’Anglin passed that ruined fortress and the entrance to a pre-historic site where people had lived in the stone age. Towards the top of the village we found Le Relais du Lyon d’Or...
France Byways · 02 May 2020
Perched on a steep-sided valley above the river Dronne, this picturesque site on the mediaeval pilgrims’ route to St Jacques de Compostela, is a beautiful old town, full of character but with very little parking space. Indeed, we had to leave our car in the town park and walked to our apartment. We had a first floor apartment in part of an old 15th century monastery with beautiful views across Aubeterre from the terrace where we ate many of our meals, watching the birds swooping around the...

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