It’s been some time since I last here, about a month by my reckoning. I’ve been busy not going away but, amongst other things, planning future excursions which take me way beyond next year, to 2020, in fact. Now it’s time to catch up with my most recent travels, including where I went after my day at Bedford Art Gallery. I spent 4 nights at Alwalton in late February before moving on to Norwich and beating the so-called “Beast from the East” back up to Leeds. Much of March disappeared under a blanket of snow but I did get down to London for a couple of nights last week.
Earlier this year I read ‘The Huntingfield Paintress’ by Pamela Holmes following reading a review in Country Life magazine.
Since very little is known about the family it’s a totally fictional account of the imagined life and real work of Mildred Holland the wife (and cousin) of the vicar of Huntingfield. It’s described here on the publisher’s website :
Towards the end of our hike on the Zicker Alps and through Gross Zicker we came across the delightful little village church. We’d decided not to stop and look at the Pfarrwitwenhaus Museum but the little church tempted us in and we were glad to have a look round.
Our walks through the alleys and courtyards and visits to the three houses with connections to Nobel prize winners only occupied the late afternoon on the day we arrived in Lübeck and the morning of the day we left. That left all of one day to visit a gallery, a museum and relax (yes, we did that as well!) on a river boat trip. On our final morning we also managed to fit in a visit to the huge and dominating St Maria Church (Die Marienkirche). And, would you believe, it is not the only vast church in Lübeck. Another day and we might have visited them all.
Due to a bit of a mix up Miquel had to collect us and drive us to suitable point a short way along the route. The beginning of Monday’s walk was to be along a quiet but tarmac road but he dropped us in the central square of a village on the outskirts of Les Preses. We were soon on a stony track climbing quite steeply through woodland.
Joanetes to Santa Pau: Easy paths enter the Natural Park of Garrotxa passing Romanesque churches in picturesque woodland settings. Continue through beech forest between dormant volcanoes before reaching the medieval village of Santa Pau, an ancient barony with a castle founded in the 11th century (11.8 miles, 6 hours).
Welcome to St Dyfnog’s
On our way back from Foel Fennli we stopped in the village of Llanrhaeadr, bypassed by the main road, to visit the church of St Dyfnog and its famous Jesse Stained Glass Window. The church gains 3 stars in the Jenkins Wales book. Apparently, the “rhaeadr” part of the name means waterfall.
… And one of the oldest living things in the world! I don’t know why we don’t all know about this phenomenon. From The Pulpit Yew we drove on to the village of Llangernyw in order to find this ancient yew – more than 4,000 years old.
Saint Digain’s Church also features in Simon Jenkins’s best buildings in Wales book.
Earlier this week I spent a few days in North Wales with two friends. We stayed in a lovely old Landmark Trust property, Dolbelydr, near Trefnant in Denbighshire.
Here’s an extract from the Landmark Trust website about Dolbelydr :
“Meadow of the Rays of the Sun
The weekend before last I spent three nights staying near Bury St Edmunds at a National Trust cottage on the Ickworth Estate. A friend and I stopped to visit Ely Cathedral on our journey down from Yorkshire on Friday; we visited Bury St Edmunds Cathedral and The Moyses Hall Museum on Saturday and our plan for Sunday was to walk The Ickworth Grand Tour Walk. The IGTW is a seven mile walk that begins at the NT car park. In our case, we could begin it from our Horringer Park Gates front door.
Horringer Park Gates at Ickworth Main Entrance