I spent a couple of days in Chester last week and finally got to see the Eastgate Clock.

I’ve often seen photos of the clock on the internet; on instagram and travel sites, but didn’t realise at the time that the clock resides on the actual Roman city walls.

The Eastgate Clock in Chester

The Eastgate Clock in Chester

When I arrived in Chester on Wednesday, the first thing I did was walk into the city to see the clock. It was quite late and already dark, so all I managed to do was take a couple of very dark images.

The following day, at the Tourist information office is when I discovered to my delight that it was situated right above the city walls, and a walk around the city walls was on my list of things to do.

How amazing it was to not only see the clock up close, but to be able to walk along the beautifully preserved walls, along which Roman soldiers had once tramped in their leather sandals.

Roman city walls in Chester

Roman city walls in Chester

Whoo hoo, my Camino map arrived. It shows all the different Camino routes in Spain and from beyond the borders ; its stunning.

Looking at the map I’m made aware of the fact that despite having walked 240kms from Porto in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, my route really was just a very very short distance in comparison to many of the others.

Wise Pilgrim's Guide map

Wise Pilgrim’s Guide map

My daughter joked that I should walk them all 😳😳😳🚶🚶🤣🤣🤣 Uhmm, yes, I’d need a 2nd life to do that!!!

Here’s the website if you’d like to buy a map or one of the guides. This is not an affiliate link

I’ve been wanting to visit Chester for ever such a long time, and suddenly, due to circumstances on the work front, I’m able to plan a visit.

I’ve been working up in Nottingham for 2 weeks in February/March and tacked on 2 days for exploring the city while I’m here. I then tackled Google maps to see which places of interest were nearby…..voila Chester came up in my search, and since its just a 2.5 hour train journey away, I’ve decided to travel to Chester afterwards and spend a few days there as well.

Chester, located on the River Dee, has long been on my travel dream list as well as another location for Project101. A walled Roman city, Chester has a fascinating history, some of the most amazing Tudor architecture, a castle, an amphitheatre and a cathedral and nestles alongside a river, over which I’m sure there is a bridge or two. Perfect – at least 6 or 7 of the categories I’m aiming to fulfil. Founded as a ‘castrum’ or fort during the reign of Emperor Vespasian in AD79, Chester was one of the main Roman army camps, it’s original name: Deva Victrix, it was also briefly located in Wales, and is of course mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Known for it’s extensive Roman walls made of the local red sandstone, within the medieval city is The Rows, now a shopping precinct with Tudor-style half-timbered buildings, some of which are Victorian renovations. Just beyond the city’s old walls there’s a Roman amphitheatre and ongoing excavations. I’m excited to see my 3rd Roman amphitheatre.

The Minster Church of West Mercia, founded by King AEthelred of Mercia in 689, became Chester’s cathedral and the town was granted city status in 1541 during the reign of Henry VIII.  Apparently it has one of the best preserved Roman walls in Britain, which the Saxons extended and strengthened to protect the city against the Danes. Chester was one of the last cities in England to fall to the Normans after which William the Conqueror constructed a castle, to dominate not only the town but also the nearby Welsh border.

Chester experienced substantial development during the Industrial Revolution which saw railways, canals and new roads being built. I’m so excited to be visiting there and wish I had a few more days…..but 2.5 will have to do for now.

Things I plan to see/do while I’m there:

Walk a circuit of the City Walls; 3kms approx and visit the city gates, of which there are by all accounts 7: Bridgegate, Eastgate, Newgate, Northgate, St Martin’s Gate, Watergate, and Wolf Gate. Awesome. I wonder how it compares to the city walls at Canterbury?

The amphitheatre and excavations – it will be interesting to see the comparison to the Roman amphitheatre at Guildhall in London.

The Castle (of course 🙂 ) – I love a good castle

The Cathedral – one of my favourite types of buildings to visit, they are usually quite exquisite.

The Row with it’s Tudor-style buildings – an absolute favourite in terms of architecture.

Walk alongside the river and cross at least two bridges….a must do 🙂

And last but absolutely not least….visit the famous Eastgate Clock; apparently the most photographed clock in England after Big Ben, which seems hard to believe…. This was one of the very first things about Chester that made the decision for me; I had to visit.

And so to Chester I go…..




Well we were warned! No-one can say that there weren’t repeated news briefs and weather warnings about the snow and cold that was headed our way.

It all started off rather mildly in Nottingham, a few flurries and a dusting of snow on the ground and it got somewhat colder than the days before. I thought “Oh, is that it?” But no, there was more to come.

The snow flurries got thicker and more frequent and then suddenly the storm was upon us.

Unfortunately, unlike when I was in Montgomery last year, the area I’m working in is quite dull and boring; just houses, shops and fuel stations, so absolutely nothing picturesque to photograph at all.

I did though take the opportunity during one particular lull to have a brisk walk down to the river.beast from the east, snow in nottingham, river trent, tavel diaries

beast from the east, snow in nottingham, river trent, tavel diaries

The Trent Bridge

There wasn’t much snow along the banks, but still it all looked rather pretty and I took a lovely long walk along the canal that leads into the city.

beast from the east, snow in nottingham, river trent, tavel diaries

the lock

The worst of the snowfall came yesterday and the temperatures plunged. Now, I love being outdoors, but I’m afraid that this time I’ve decided to give it a miss and have stayed indoors reading instead.

beast from the east, snow in nottingham, river trent, tavel diaries

River Trent

My time in Nottingham is drawing to a close and I finish this assignment on Monday, after which I will be spending a day and a half exploring the city before I head to Chester! I’m well excited for that.

To keep up with my travels and the places I explore, and the projects I’m interested in, follow me on instagram or Twitter (where I tend to rant a lot…if you can bear it LOL)


I finished reading a book by one of my favourite authors last night, just in time for National Book Day – which is today 🙂

Val McDermid is one of my ultimate favourite authors and whenever I come across one of her books that I haven’t yet read, I grab the opportunity with both hands. I don’t often get to read a book much these days what with one thing and another….like planning a pilgrimage or two LOL and getting some miles under my belt (or is that feet?) for the #walk1000miles challenge.

As mentioned many time before, I’m really lucky in that my job takes me to so many new places around the UK and so the temptation to get out and walk and explore is overwhelming. But what with my unsociable hours whilst on the job, I seldom get time to sit down and just read.

However with the recent appearance of the #beastfromtheeast I’ve had a good enough excuse to not go out too often during my breaks and have instead snuggled up under the covers and read….I finally reached the last page of my current read; Splinter the Silence just after midnight, unable to put the book down at a reasonable hour. It’s just such a good read.

Prior to that of course it was Shetland on TV before bedtime so by the time I settled into bed it was almost 10:30pm.

Splinter the Silence is one of many books featuring the psychologist Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan. Of course Tony Hill is a favourite character of mine every since watching the TV series The Wire in the Blood with Robson Greene for whom I carry a schoolgirl crush LOL

The latest book (2015) in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels, Splinter the Silence is fast paced, full of detail that gives you a clear idea of who is who as it wefts and weaves the characters together; the killer, the victims and the crime fighters, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses with snippets of background in an easy to read recipe for excitement as your pulse races along with the desire to get to the end and see ‘whodunnit’.

national book day, val mcdermid, splinter the silence, tony hill

Splinter the Silence – Val McDermid

I’m not one of those people who can pick up a book and put it down numerous times, I have to read as quickly as possible to get to the last page, often reading a whole book in one night – although I don’t do that anymore. I remember as a young girl I picked up the habit of reading the last page before starting the book….something that drove my Mother mad and she soon ‘beat’ it out of me…metaphorically speaking, and insisted I read the book through from beginning to end. Hahaha.

Splinter the Silence is a thriller and thrilling. I can highly recommend this as a thoroughly good read.





Dying for water


I recently read this very disconcerting and worrying article. Please read it and share. Along with other major cities in the world, London will run out of water in the not too distant future. Water is probably the MOST precious commodity next to air, and yet people waste it like its an unending supply. Only 3% of the water on the planet is drinkable and yet its poured away without thought. Of the 7 billion people on the planet, 2.7 billion have no proper access to fresh drinking water.

Just a few ways in which we waste water every day:

Boiling a full kettle for one cup = wasting water.

Gushing taps =wasting water.

Standing in the shower for ages =wasted water.

Filling a swimming pool =horrendous waste of water.

Washing a car with a hose pipe =horrendous waste of water.

Not planting a water retaining garden =waste of water.

Using sprinklers on the lawn during the day =waste of water.

Not retaining rainwater in a drum =waste of water.

Producing the hundreds of single use PLASTIC bottles of water =obscene waste of water.

Recycling that plastic = unnecessary waste of water.

Ice bucket challenge =waste of water….yes they raised money for charity, but millions of liters of water went to waste.

The list of how water is wasted is endless. Please do consider that #waterisprecious and think about how you can #savewater and #stopwaste

A good place to start would be #nomoreplastic #nosingleuseplastic #noplasticbottles


Stepping up and showing the way to all those food outlets that are STILL dragging their heels.

There is no time for mucking about anymore. Drastic action must be taken by ALL food suppliers and producers ; farmers across all genres, fishermen, suppliers, supermarkets etc etc.

3 years is too long. Drastic action needs to be taken NOW to reduce plastic in the system.

robbo worldtraveller

Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.


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