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Archive for the ‘seaside towns of Britain’ Category

2018 did not get off to as good a start as 2017…..it was wet and cold and frankly, just miserable, ergo I didn’t get to start my #walk1000miles challenge till 3rd January. Thankfully the day dawned bright and I woke early. I had been longing to get out for a nice long walk but didn’t fancy walking in cold rain. 😉 It’s one thing walking in rain on a hot day, but cold? No thanks.

I didn’t manage a very long walk after all due to the fact that not only was I due to be leaving for Wales just after lunch time, but I moved house (within a house) and was in the process of sorting through my possessions…..I’m currently downsizing and oh my gosh have I accumulated a LOT of stuff since arriving in the UK in 2001. Truly??? Insane. Although to be fair to myself it is mostly travel mementos, travel diaries, a LOT of postcards (whyyy???), plenty of mugs from places I visited over the years, some clothes and a lot of books. It’s been quite difficult really deciding what to keep and what to throw away.

So putting the sorting and packing aside I set off just after 7.30am for a brisk walk and to watch the sun rise. It’s been ages since I got to watch the sunrise and I was longing to enjoy that feeling of joy as it rises above the horizon….a new day and I was still alive….what a privilege. Viking Bay looked absolutely gorgeous, the tide far out, the beach virtually deserted and the sky a palette of pastels.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Viking Bay, Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet

With a brisk wind at my back I strode purposefully along the promenade to Louisa Bay and down the slipway to the beach. The tide was out and made walking along the crispy sands an absolute must. Cold, crispy, fresh sea air blew vigorously around me whipping my hair into my face and bringing tears to my eyes with the chill of it.

The beach looked like an alien landscape; deep swirled holes potted the beach, carved out by the crazy seas after yesterday’s storm.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Louisa Bay; an alien landscape

I watched as I walked; the sky lightened and turned a soft pastel pink, that delicious colour you get during early winter mornings. Slowly the colours changed as the sun rose higher and then to my delight it started to peep above the horizon….up and up it rose, slowly brightening the sky till the disc of gold was full in the sky…..time to go home.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Sunrise 03.01.2018

I had by then walked a fair distance and out along a spit of stones and rocks right out beyond the shore line. I had noticed the tide slowly creeping closer and as soon as it touched my toes I turned to return to the shore….I did not fancy being cut off by the tide closing in behind me.

Going back was a little quicker as the wind had picked up and was pushing hard at my back. Now I could truly not see much with my hair slapping against my cheeks, flying about above my head like a dervish. The wind skimmed vigorously along the beach whipping the sand into a frenzy and blinding the unwary as it flew into the air. White horses crested the waves that were now rising higher and higher with the wind pushing from behind.

Dogs and owners scurried along, dogs chasing leaves and debris, owners chasing their recalcitrant pets.

Looking back, the sun shone like a golden disc above the choppy seas, a shiny gold path reflecting on the wet beach.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

a golden path

I walked across the sands at Viking Bay towards the little boats sheltered in the harbour. As I neared the curve in the beach a sudden gust of wind lifted me off my feet and sent me flying across the sands…..Mary Poppins where are you now?

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Broadstairs harbour, Viking Bay, Isle of Thanet

I do so love the winter months despite the wet, cold, grey days; but it’s those clear days I look forward to most – days when the sky is painted soft pastel greys, pinks and lilac as the sun rises on a new day.

I managed to get in just 4 kms/2.5 miles although not anywhere near what I would like to do each day, I only need to walk 2.74 each day to reach 1000 by 31.12.2018……997.5 to go!!

 

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I was chatting to my daughter yesterday and remarked that I had been particularly blessed this year. Usually when you get to the end of the year you kinda feel like there is more that could/should be done before the year ends (well I do), and the last few days of December are spent cramming in just a few more activities. But this year I can truly say that I have had a year jam-packed with adventures, and for that, I am truly grateful.

inspirational quotes

Die with memories, not dreams

So to that end I decided to list my 2017 adventures, and was astounded at how much I had actually done, and how many places I have actually been to besides all my Camino 2017 practice walks that took me to some fantastic places. So this is my final blog for 31 Days of Gratitude – Day 31 – 2017 in review.

January

New Year’s Day swim 01.01.2017 Broadstairs Beach, Isle of Thanet, Kent

New Year's Day, Broadstairs

New Year’s Day, Broadstairs

Wedding Dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England

visit the isle of wight

A visit to the isle of Wight

Places I went while I was there; Nettlestone (1086 Domesday Book village),20170116_144130-01 Bembridge Windmilll, Brading Roman Villa, Carisbrooke Castle, Cowes, Ryde, rode on a Hover craft, The Needles and Quarr Abbey.

And Osborne House


Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick Park, London

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

February
Oxted, Surrey – the Greenwich Meridian runs through the town

Oxted

A closer look at Oxted

Limpsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

Down House – home of Charles Darwin

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Tatsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

tatsfield surrey

South East England’s highest village; Tatsfield. Ref wikipedia: “In Anglo-Saxon England, Tatsfield lay within Tandridge hundred. In 1086 it was held by Anschitill (Ansketel) de Ros from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday assets were: ? hide. It had 2 ploughs. It rendered 60 shillings (£3) to its feudal overlords per year.”

Tandridge & Crowhurst, Surrey

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Dublin, Ireland

 

Trim Castle & Trim, Ireland

March
City of Winchester, Hampshire, England

Winchester

Winchester

Torquay, seaside resort – Devon

torquay

Torquay

April

Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Sienna, Lucca – Italy

 

May

Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

 

Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones, N. Ireland

the dark hedges northern ireland

The Dark Hedges – scenes for Game of Thrones were shot in this area

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

 

June
Tonbridge, Kent, England

Ironbridge, Shropshire, England – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lenham, Kent, England

Lenham

Lenham

July
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route – Southwark to Canterbury

Battle of Britain Airshow, Headcorn

St Augustine’s Way – Ramsgate to Canterbury

August
Arundel, and Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England

Bromham, Houghton House with my lovely friends Lynne & Tim and Elstow (birthplace of John Bunyan) – Bedfordshire, England

Bronham, Houghton House, Elstow

Bromham, Houghton House, Elstow

Zip Line with Zip World in London with my daughter

September
Walked the Caminho Portuguese – Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain 240 kms – Both UNESCO World Heritage sites

Coimbra, Portugal – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

October
Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

November
Caernarfon Castle, Wales – site where Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway Line Train ride; Caenarfon to Portmadogg through Snowdonia

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Porthmadogg, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Portmadogg, Wales

Climbed Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd – highest mountain in Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Montgomery, Powys, Wales – The Treaty of Montgomery was signed 29 September 1267 in Montgomeryshire. By this treaty King Henry III of England acknowledged Llywelyn ap Gruffudd as Prince of Wales.

Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery, Wales

December
Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Christmas in Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent

xmas 2017

Christmas 2017 with my delightful family

And in total, between 01.01.2017 & 31.12.2017 I have walked well over 1100 miles.

What an extraordinary year; 2017.IMG_20171231_100927_404

p.s. Days 14-30 Days of Gratitude will follow shortly….I eventually ran out of time 😉

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Many years ago, back in the days when I still actually ‘liked’ Facebook and set up my profile (2007), I filled in one of those ‘where have you been in the world’ online maps. At the time I was already living in the UK and had been for a few years, so had had the opportunity to travel to quite a few places.

flag-map-denmark-puerto

Map by andrewfahmy on Reddit

While I was pinning names I realised that not only had I visited quite a few countries, but I had also visited quite a few islands…wow, awesome. And so an idea was born; I would visit 100 islands before I die. Okay!! So since I’m not and wasn’t then, planning on dying in the near future, I set about compiling a list of islands I would still like to visit, and since the UK has 6,289 (LOL) I was spoiled for choice. However, since I also wanted to visit Europe, the scope for achieving my goal widened substantially. Did you know that Norway has 240,000 islands, islets, reefs, coral reefs and cays? Now that…would take me quite a few years then!!! As if!!
Jump forward a few years (almost a decade) and subsequent to my stay on the Isle of Wight in January this year where I discovered the Domesday Village of Nettlestone amongst others, an idea was born! Supported by a previous list of the many many villages and towns I’ve visited in the UK since 2007 in my capacity as a Carer for the Elderly, and of course all my holidays; in the UK and abroad, I started thinking……..
I realised that not only had I unknowingly visited many other Domesday villages, but I had during my travels visited a great number of castles, cathedrals, cities, most of the counties in England and Ireland, palaces, famous houses, a random selection of rivers, and to my surprise, a substantial number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites!!! Wow, I had not realised this.
Thus a new list was compiled and Project 101 was born….100 is so yesterday!! LOL.

I immediately set about updating the list with these new categories and updating the details of those I had already visited or been to – this is Project 101; to visit 101 in each of these categories before I die….whenever that may be. I have a separate list of places still to visit. Clearly some categories won’t cater to my 101 target, like the counties of England for instance…only 48, so not much chance there then, but combine them with Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the numbers add up ;).

I’m planning (hoping) to write about each of these places, but this will take quite a while as I have to go back in time to find the photos, do some research and write the article….so to kick things off, I’ll start with my more recent travels which to my delight was Italy.

travel in europe

I dreamed of Florence, and Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano and Lucca 😉 all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites except with the possible exception of Lucca.

With one trip I was able to visit 5 or 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 5 cathedral cities and by extension their cathedrals, 4 or 5 walled cities, famous gardens and a river.  I’ve done research on Lucca and in google searches it comes up, but when I go to the UNESCO site it’s not listed. Further research will be needed… Some places just make it easy; cathedral city/cathedral/UNESCO site(s)/famous house(s)/palace(s)/river……think London & Florence 😉 6 birds with one visit LOL.

Of course now that I have started this blessed list my mind is like……’hmmmm, should I add Roman cities to the Project’? Or maybe churches…..and then I remember just HOW MANY churches I have indeed visited in the last 15 years alone….and my head says NO NO NO!!! So for now (?) here are the categories I’ve settled on…for now 😉 I’ve haven’t listed any of the places in chronological order; that would just be too time consuming. So in no particular order….. these are the places I’ve already been to; looks like I have some catching up to do to visit 101 in each category….now where’s that campervan?!!

ISLANDS (17)
United Kingdom
Portsea Island – UK
Ireland
Arran Islands
Manhattan – USA
Long Island – USA
Sanibel – USA
Venice – Italy
Torcello – Italy
Burano – Italy
Murano – Italy
Providence – Bahamas
ÃŽle de la Cité – Paris
Bruges – Belgium
Isle of Skye – Scotland
Iceland
Isle of Wight – UK

COUNTRIES (16)
South Africa
Swaziland
England
Ireland
N.Ireland
Scotland
Wales
United States of America
Bahamas
Italy
France
Netherlands
Belgium
Gibraltar
Portugal
Spain

U.K. COUNTIES
ENGLAND (29)
Greater London (I’ve lived in or visited 25 of the 33 boroughs, including City of London)
Hampshire
Surrey
Norfolk
Suffolk
Buckinghamshire
Cambridgeshire
Oxfordshire
Devon
Cornwall
Kent
Hertfordshire
Herefordshire
Lancashire
Warwickshire
Worcestershire
Bedfordshire
Berkshire
Dorset
Middlesex (now considered part of Greater London)
Shropshire
Somerset
Wiltshire
East Sussex
West Sussex
Essex
Gloucestershire
Bristol
Isle of Wight

SCOTLAND (5)
Edinburgh/Midlothian
Inverness
Moray
Fife
Ross and Cromarty

WALES (6)
Pembrokeshire
Cardiff
Swansea
Newport
Powys
Gwynedd

N. IRELAND (3)
Armagh
Down
Antrim

Republic of IRELAND (14)
Dublin
Wicklow
Galway
Clare
Meath
Cork
Kilkenny
Waterford
Wexford
Kerry
Limerick
Tipperary
Mayo
Donegal

CATHEDRAL CITIES (32)
London
Westminster
Winchester
Dublin
Belfast
Edinburgh
Inverness
Brussels
Antwerp
Canterbury
Rijkavik
Chichester
Oxford
Worcester
St David’s
Venice
Verona
Salisbury
Exeter
Chichester
Wells
Pisa
Florence
San Gimignano
Siena
Lucca
Rochester
Porto
Coimbra
Viana do Castelo
Santiago
Barcelona

CATHEDRALS (32)
St Paul’s Cathedral – London
Southwark Cathedral – London
St George’s Cathedral – London
Westminster Cathedral – London
Worcester Cathedral – England
St David’s Cathedral – Wales
Inverness Cathedral – Scotland
St Patrick’s Cathedral – Dublin, Ireland
Christ Church Cathedral – Dublin, Ireland
Glendalough Cathedral – Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Exeter Cathedral – England
Winchester Cathedral – England
Chichester Cathedral – England
Christ Church, Oxford – Oxfordshire, England
Salisbury Cathedral – England
St Mark’s Basilica – Venice
Notre Dame Basilica – Paris
Canterbury Cathedral – Kent, England
Wells Cathedral – Somerset, England
Duomo Santa Maria Assunta – Pisa, Italy
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore – Florence, Italy
Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta – Duomo di San Gimignano, Italy
Duomo di Siena – Italy
Duomo di Lucca, Cattedrale di San Martino – Italy
St Anne’s Cathedral – Belfast, N.Ireland
Rochester – Kent, England
The Cathedral Church of Our Lady and St Philip Howard – Arundel
Se Catedral – Porto, Portugal
S̩ Velha РCoimbra, Portugal
Basilica of Santa Luzia – Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Santiago de Compostela – Santiago, Spain
Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain

ABBEYS (11)
Westminster Abbey – City of Westminster, London, England
Sherbourne Abbey – Dorset, England
Shaftesbury Abbey – Dorset, England
Bury St Edmunds – Suffolk, England
Great Malvern (Priory) – Worcestershire, England
St Mary’s – Trim, Ireland
Kylemore Abbey – Galway, Ireland
Quarr Abbey – Isle of Wight, England
Torre Abbey – Torquay, England
Buildwas Abbey – Shropshire, England
Abbey church of St Mary and St Helena – Elstow, Bedfordshire

I visited so many abbeys, priories, friaries and monasteries in Ireland that I’ve quite lost track…so if I can I will one day try to revisit as many as possible 🙂

DOMESDAY towns & villages (108) – Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror.  My list needs updating; research still being done LOL Admittedly when I compiled this list it surprised me that I had already been to so many!

Ashford – Kent
Ayot St Lawrence – Hertfordshire
Bath – Wiltshire
Battersea (London) – Surrey
Bermondsey (London) – Surrey
Brading – Isle of Wight
Bressingham – Norfolk
Blackford – Somerset
Bodiam – Sussex
Bosham – West Sussex
Bradford-on-Avon – Wiltshire
Brighton – Sussex
Bristol – Somerset
Bromley – Kent
Bury St Edmunds – Suffolk
Bushey – Hertfordshire
Cambridge – Cambridgeshire
Canterbury – Kent
Castle Cary – Somerset
Castle Combe – Wiltshire
Chippenham – Suffolk
Cottenham – Somerset
Deal – Kent
Dover – Kent
Eltham – London
Epsom – Surrey
Fishbourne – Sussex
Godalming – Surrey
Gravesend – Kent
Greenwich – London
Hastings – Kent
Hatfield – Herefordshire
Hawkhurst – Kent
Holborn (London) – Middlesex
Hythe – Kent
Ingatestone – Essex
Kennett – Somerset
Kingston – Surrey
Lambeth (London) – Surrey
Lavenham – Suffolk
Lenham – Kent
Limpsfield – Surrey
London – City of
Maidstone – Kent
Margate – Kent
Meon – Hampshire
Meopham – Kent
Mortlake – Surrey
Nettlestone – Isle of Wight
North Cadbury – Somerset
Norwich – Norfolk
Oxford – Oxfordshire
Oxted – Surrey
Pakenham – Suffolk
Petersham – Surrey
Puckpool – Isle of Wight
Queen Camel – Somerset
Rochester – Kent
Romney Marsh – Kent
Rye – Sussex
Sandown – Isle of Wight
Sandwich – Kent
Shanklin – Isle of Wight
Shaftesbury – Dorset
Sherbourne – Dorset
Sidmouth – Devon
South Cadbury – Somerset
Southwark (London) – Surrey
Sparkford – Somerset
St Albans – Hertfordshire
Stanmore – Middlesex
Stoke Newington (London) – Middlesex
Stoke Trister – Somerset
St Pancras (London) – Middlesex
Stratford-Upon-Avon – Warwickshire
Sundridge – Kent
Tatsfield – Surrey
Templecombe – Somerset
Thames Ditton – Surrey
Titsey – Surrey
Tonbridge – Kent
Trumpington – Cambridgeshire
Tudeley – Kent
Wells – Somerset
Weobley – Herefordshire
West Camel – Somerset
West Meon – Hampshire
Westerham – Surrey
Westminster (London) – Middlesex
Weybridge – Surrey
Whitstable – Kent
Wincanton – Somerset
Winchester – Hampshire
Windsor – Surrey
Woolston – Somerset
Worcester – Worcestershire
Headcorn – Kent
Chatham – Kent
Gillingham – Kent
Rainham – Kent
Newington – Kent
Teynham – Kent
Ospringe – Kent
Faversham – Kent
Arundel – West Sussex
Bromham – Bedfordshire
Elstow – Bedfordshire
Chirbury – Shropshire

CASTLES (42)
Cape Town – South Africa
Dublin – Ireland
Trim – Ireland
Blarney – Ireland
Clontarf – Ireland
Dalkey – Ireland
Howth – Ireland
Kilkenny Castle – Ireland
King John’s Castle – Ireland
Rock of Cashel – Ireland
Malahide – Ireland
Waterford – Ireland
Tower of London – England
Edinburgh – Scotland
Urquhart – Scotland
Eilean Donan – Scotland
Deal – England
Dover – England
Midhurst – England
Sherbourne – England
Rochester – England
Canterbury – Engalnd
Pembroke – Wales
Tonbridge – England
Hever – England
Warwick – England
Leeds – England
Bodiam – England
Oxford – England
Windsor – England
Hastings – England
Rye (Ypres Tower) – England
St Briavels – England
Carisbrooke – Isle of Wight
Rocca Scaligera – Sirmione, Italy
Castelvecchio – Verona, Italy
Dunluce – Antrim, N.Ireland
Belfast Castle – Belfast, N.Ireland
Arundel – West Sussex
Castell de Montjuïc – Barcelona, Spain
Montgomery – Powys, Wales
Caenarfon – Gwynedd, Wales

PALACES (20)
Buckingham Palace – City of Westminster, Great London
Hampton Court Palace – Hampton Court, England
Kew Palace – Kew, London
Windsor Palace – Windsor, England
Burlington House – City of Westminster, London
Westminster Palace – City of Westminster, London
Banqueting House (remains of Whitehall Palace) – City of Westminster, London
St James’s Palace – City of Westminster, London
Richmond Palace – Richmond (now a private residence), Greater London
Lambeth Palace – Lambeth, London
Winchester Palace – Southwark, London
Tower of London – Tower Hamlets/City of London, London
Kensington Palace – City of Westminster, London
The Old Palace – Hatfield (home to Elizabeth I)
Eltham Palace – Royal Borough of Greenwich, Greater London
Palace of Versailles – France
The Doges Palace – Venice, Italy
Palazzo dei Cavalieri – Knights’ Square, Pisa, Italy
Palazzo Pitti – Florence, Italy
Palazzo Vecchio – Florence

FAMOUS HOUSES (19)
Jan Smuts House – Transvaal, South Africa
Anne Franks House – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Burlington House – City of Westminster, Greater London
Chartwell (Winston Churchill) – Kent, England
Ham House – Ham, Greater London
Strawberry Hill House (Horace Walpole) – Twickenham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Downe House (Charles Darwin) – Kent, England
Benjamin Franklin’s House – City of Westminster, Greater London
Marble Hill House (Henriette Howard) – Twickenham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
The Queens House – Royal Borough of Greenwich, London
Bleak House (Charles Dickens) – Broadstairs, Kent
Turner House (JMW Turner) – Twickenham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Apsley House – (1st Duke of Wellington) – City of Westminster, Greater London
Kenwood House (William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield) – Hampstead, Greater London
Hatfield House (Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury) – Hertfordshire, England
Shakespeare’s House (William Shakespeare) – Stratford Upon Avon, England
Keats House (John Keats) – Hampstead, Greater London
Chiswick House (Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington) – Chiswick, Greater London
Darby Houses – Ironbridge, Shropshire

UNESCO World Heritage Sites (31)
Venice and it’s lagoon – Italy
City of Verona – Italy
Pinvellir National Park – Iceland
Historic Centre of Bruges – Belgium
Palace and Park of Versailles – France
Cathedral of Notre Dame – Paris, France
Paris; Banks of the Siene
17th century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht – Netherlands
City of Bath – England
Stonehenge – England
Palace of Westminster – London, England
Westminster Abbey – London, England
Canterbury Cathedral – England
Tower of London – London, England
Old and New Towns of – Scotland
Maritime Greenwich – London
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew London
Everglades National Park – Florida, USA
Piazza del Duomo – Pisa, Italy
Baboli Gardens & Palazzo Pitti – Florence, Italy
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore – Florence, Italy
Historic centre of Siena – Italy
Historic centre of Florence – Italy
Historic centre of San Gimignano – Italy
Historic city of Lucca – (although this is mentioned as a UNESCO site, I can’t find it listed)
Giant’s Causeway – Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
Ironbridge Gorge – Shropshire
Porto: Historic Centre of Oporto, Luiz I Bridge and Monastery of Serra do Pilar – Porto, Portugal
University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia – Coimbra, Portugal
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – Santiago, Spain
Sagrada Familia Cathedral – Barcelona, Spain

WALLED CITIES (43)
Dublin – Ireland
Cashel – Ireland
Cork – Ireland
Galway – Ireland
Kilkenny – Ireland
Trim – Ireland
Waterford – Ireland
Wexford – Ireland
City of London – London
Exeter – England
Canterbury – England
Winchester – England
Chichester – England
Oxford – England
Rochester – England
Rye – England
Hastings – England
Salisbury – England
Warwick – England
Worcester – England
Bristol – England
Warwick – England
Worcester – England
Edinburgh – Scotland
St Andrews – Scotland
Pembroke – Wales
Verona – Italy
Amsterdam – Netherlands
Gouda – Netherlands
Paris – France
Gibraltar – British Overseas Territory
Brussels – Belgium
Pisa – Italy
Florence – Italy
San Gimignano – Italy
Siena – Italy
Lucca – Italy
Porto – Portugal
Coimbra – Portugal
Caminha – Portugal
Valenca – Portugal
Tui – Spain
Barcelona – Spain

RIVERS I’VE MET ALONG THE WAY (54)
Orange River – South Africa
Vaal River – South Africa
Great Kei River – South Africa
Storms River – South Africa
Sabie River – South Africa
Klip River – South Africa
Jukskei River – South Africa
Blyde River – South Africa
River Thames – London
Eden – England
Avon – England
Spey – Scotland
Ness – Scotland
Medway – England
Severn – England
Wye – England
Yealm – England
Lea – England
Exe – England
Wey – England
Stour – England
Cherwell – England
Cam – England
Itchen – England
Dart – England
Hudson River – USA
East River – USA
Tennessee – USA
Seine – Paris
Liffey – Dublin, Ireland
Suir – Co. Waterford, Ireland
Lee – Co. Cork, Ireland
Boyne – Co. Meath, Ireland
Shannon – Co. Clare, Ireland
Corrib – Galway, Ireland
Arno – Pisa and Florence – Italy
Lagan – Belfast, N.Ireland
River Bush – Bushmills, N.Ireland
River Arun – West Sussex
River Great Ouse – Bedfordshire
River Duoro – Porto, Portugal
Mondego River – Coimbra, Portugal
Leça River – Matasinhos, Portugal
River Ave – Vila do Conde, Portugal
Cávado River – Esposende, Portugal
Lima River – Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Rio do Paco – Portugal
Minho River – Caminha, Portugal
Mi̱o River РTui, Spain
Verdugo River – Redondela, Spain
L̩rez River РPontevedra, Spain
Berma̱a River РCaldas de Reis, Spain
Valga River – Spain
Ulla River – Padron, Spain
Sar River – Santiago, Spain

So, I’m guessing that if I ever get to visit 101 of each of the above categories, I’ll be able to consider myself; Well Travelled LOL

inspirational quotes

Die with memories, not dreams

UNUSUAL PLACES I’VE BEEN/THINGS I’VE DONE
Toured the HMS Eagle Aircraft Carrier in Durban Harbour – South Africa
Explored the Echo Caves – South Africa
Explored the Cango Caves – South Africa
Hot-Air Balloon ride – South Africa
Abseiled off a bridge – South Africa
Paragliding – South Africa
Rock wall climbing on a cruise ship – Bahamas
Parasailing – Bahamas
Wookey Hole – Somerset
Climbed the O2 – London
Helicopter Ride over London (my 60th birthday gift from my daughter)
Fire-walk – London
Stood on Greenwich Meridian Line – London
Sailed along Thames on a Tall Ship – London
Visited the Roman Amphitheatre – London
Kissed the Blarney Stone – Ireland
Climbed The Monument to the Great Fire of London 1666 – London
Followed the Gloriana in the Tudor Pull – London
Participated in the Green Man ceremony – London
Part of the Magna Carta flotilla – London
Stood on two of the earth’s geological plates at the same time; Eurasia & American in Iceland
Visited Stonehenge
Visited all the Cinque Ports in England; Sandwich, Dover, New Romney, Hastings, Hythe, Rye and Winchelsea
Walked along WW2 Tunnels at Ramsgate
Lived in a Gypsy Caravan on Eel Pie Island on the banks of the River Thames
Lived in a Castle in Scotland
Slept on The Mall in London for the Wedding of William and Kate 🙂
Bell ringing at Church of St Edward King and Martyr, Cambridge
Climbed Cave Hill, Belfast, N.Ireland
Ziplining in London with Zip World, Archbishop’s Park, Lambeth, London
Walked a route of the Camino de Santiago – Portuguese Coastal Route: Porto to Caminha and The Central Way: Tui to Santiago de Compostela – 240 kms
Climbed 601 meters of Mount Snowdon to Llyn Glaslyn
Walked 1074 miles to date in 2017

If you’ve read this far…bravo!!! Thank you, I appreciate that you did. I post photos of the various places I travel to on instagram and will be updating Project 101 as I go. I’d love for you to join me on instagram …say hello if you do.

(I found the map at the top of this article on 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World. Fascinating; worth a visit)

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After a lovely hot shower when I got back to the B&B the night before, I jumped into bed and snuggled down for the night…weary to my bones but every so happy with what I had seen. Thankfully my night was undisturbed so when the alarm went off at 7:30 again I felt refreshed and ready to go go go. This was also my final morning on the island and I was due to catch the 13:47 ferry to Portsmouth and then train to London.

Sadly the B&B forgot to put out my breakfast tray so I had to raid the dining room and left with 2 yogurt pots and a box of cereal in my backpack. Oh the food I eat when exploring.

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fantastic views from the top deck of the bus

I hopped onto the 08:50 bus to Osborne and arrived with 45 minutes to spare before the gates of Osborne House opened. Rather than hang around kicking my heels I had noticed on the way in that East Cowes marina was just a stones-throw (okay no not really…it was a tad further), so I set off at a quick pace to explore – despite that it was all downhill, I’m so glad I made the effort.

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East Cowes Marina

The weather was stunning in comparison to the day before and the marina looked beautiful. I explored for a bit then headed back to Osborne House…..urgh those hills going back up!!!

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aerial view of Osborne and the house

Osborne House was wonderful. The interior is sumptuous and the views from the patio and many of the windows are stunning. Osborne House was the much loved seaside retreat for Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, built between 1845 and 1851, and apparently they spent many a happy day there with their children. It was also the place Victoria returned to after the death of her beloved Albert in 1861. She was to spend the next 7 years there, holed up, mourning the loss of her husband, friend and confidant, dressed in black and refusing to budge, even though desperately needed as Head of State. She even refused to ‘Open Parliament’, which put the Government in a quandry!  Queen Victoria used Osborne for over 50 years, entertaining foreign royalty and visiting ministers.

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Osborne House, Isle of Wight – seaside home for Victoria and Albert

Taken on a guided tour of the lower floor and some of the rooms, we were left gasping by the sheer splendour and magnificence of the furnishings and decorations. Albert had pretty much the final say on how it should look and I can say the man had amazing taste; he has left an amazing legacy for the country.

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beautifully decorated and long passageways

Not ostentatious, but finely set out, the rooms are stunning with faux-marble columns, exquisitely woven carpets, fabulous paintings on the walls, much of it original furniture and works of art (some are replicas as the current Queen has the originals).

osborne house isle of wight, visit isle of wight

exquisitely furnished with lush carpets, decorative ceilings, fabulous chandeliers

Their initials V & A interwoven can be seen in ceiling decorations, woven into the corners of carpets and added wherever possible.

victoria and albert osborne house isle of wight, visit the isle of wight

V & A – everywhere you looked there initials were interwoven and part of the decor; carpets, floors, ceilings, cornices

I found it to be quite poignant viewing the rooms and imagined the family living there – how much they must have loved it.

osborne house isle of wight, visit isle of wight

beautiful passageways with exquisite sculptures, finely furnished rooms

Many, many family portraits filled the walls in most of the family rooms. Poignant images of beloved children, from toddlers into adulthood with children of their own; all long gone, some of whom met tragic ends.

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Victoria and Albert who between them created a dynasty that spread across the world – family portraits

The one room that left me gasping was the fabulous Durbar Room. Added to entertain large numbers of people it was built and completed between 1891 and 1892 almost 30 years after Prince Albert’s death…I’m quite sure he would have approved. This room is stunning! Designed by Lockwood Kipling (father of the author Rudyard Kipling) and master carver Bhai Ram Singh. Detailed with intricate Indian-style plaster work, it is richly decorated in the architectural styles of northern India and reflected Queen Victoria’s then status as Empress of India, the large reception room is breath-taking. Although it looks like everything is carved from ivory, the plaster-work was executed by the Indian plasterer Bhai Ram Singh -there is not one piece of ivory in the room.

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The Durbar Room, Osborne House

The Durbar Wing also provided accommodation for Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest married daughter, and her family on the 1st floor.

In the display cabinets in the room are some of the stunning gifts received by Victoria when she was Empress of India.

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gifts for the Empress of India, Osborne House, Isle of Wight

With reference to my visit to The Needles yesterday and the Marconi Monument, in 1898 messages were received from Marconi at Queen Victoria’s Osborne House on a telephone presented by Alexander Bell.

Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in 1901.

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Queen Victoria – Osborne House, Isle of Wight

Her successor, her eldest son, Edward VII (1841–1910), didn’t need it and as no other member of the royal family wanted to take on the upkeep, the king gave the Osborne estate to the nation on his  Coronation Day in 1902.  Osborne House is now managed by English Heritage.

After the tour which sadly only took in part of the house due to much needed repairs being done on the central staircase, I headed outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and views. The grounds are a delight and much as I wanted to go down to the beach are and visit the Swiss Cottage, my time was almost up, so I contented myself with a quick whizz around the perimeter of the house and at 12noon I recorded the chimes of the clock and then set off back to the bus-stop. In all a fantastic trip.

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Exterior views of Osborne House and across the grounds to the Solent

My next stop was Ryde, then the B&B where I collected my suitcase and set off for the ferry with plenty of time to spare. I even managed to watch one of the Hovercraft come in to land….again!!! LOL They are fascinating to watch.

And so it was time to say goodbye to the Isle of Wight. I shall definitely return, although I know not when. But there is still much to see and after chatting to the gentleman that I accosted one day on one of my walks in Bembridge, I am inspired to do what he did and walk around the while perimeter of the island. (btw I didn’t harm the guy, I just stopped him to ask about the walking poles he was using!! 😉 )

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Goodbye to the Isle of Wight

One of my ambitions is to visit 100 of the Domesday towns and villages in England. There are 84 such places on the Isle of Wight, some of which have morphed into larger towns and others that are still around but looking nothing at all like they may have in 1085/86. I managed to visit 6 of these places: Binstead, Brading, Nettleston, Sandown, Shanklin and a walk through the lower end of Puckpool.

The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time).

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As I said in my previous post; It’s alright on the Isle of Wight I have to admit that when the time came to leave I felt really reluctant to go. But before departure I had to make the most of the 2 half and 1 full day I had left on the island after my job ended.

I purchased a 48 hour rover bus ticket for £15 which allowed me unlimited bus travel till Saturday morning. The very first thing I did after checking in at the B&B in Ryde was head over to the HoverCraft station and book a ride to the mainland. I have a ‘thing’ for first, last and only #thingstodo and without a doubt, after watching these amazing craft either arriving or leaving I simply had to take a trip, and what a trip it was.

HoverCraft on the Isle of Wight

HoverCraft on the Isle of Wight

I purchased a ‘Hover Experience’ ticket at £10 which allowed me to travel across to the mainland, stay on the craft and then travel back again to Ryde, all in the space of 30 minutes 🙂 It was fun. I managed to film one of the craft coming in to land just before I hopped onto the one that was heading out….they are fast, noisy and totally fascinating.

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The Hover Experience – from Ryde to Southsea Portsmouth and back…

Hovertravel is the world’s longest running commercial hovercraft service and is the only scheduled passenger hovercraft service in the Europe. Hovertravel offers the fastest way to cross the Solent between Southsea, Portsmouth and Ryde, Isle of Wight and for 50 years, the Hovercraft has been the fastest and most convenient way to cross the Solent.

Once the trip was over I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Ryde more fully. There are a number of wonderful old buildings, some lovely churches and a fascinating array of street names with links to a nautical history.

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discovering Ryde

After that I managed to catch a glimpse of the sun going down behind the trees, and then totally on impulse I hopped on a bus to East Cowes. I had hoped to see the place in the light but by the time we got there it was already quite dark….so I boarded the ferry; Jenny Lee that crossed the River Medina to West Cowes and made the most of my half hour there to explore. I plan to go back again sometime and see it in daylight, but even though it was very dark I still managed to cover a fair bit of ground and got as far as the magnificent esplanade. Then the aroma of hot chips wafted through the air and before leaving I bought a packet for the trip home. I got some weird looks on the ferry crossing LOL.

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a quick trip to Cowes – east and west

The trip back to Ryde was uneventful and once back at the B&B I settled into bed and enjoyed the fact that I was no longer on duty.  Looking forward to tomorrow and the adventures that lay ahead…..a whistle-stop tour of the island, I had planned out my route to encompass as many places as possible with the limited time I had and taking into account that many of the routes only had one bus service an hour I think I did pretty good.

Day 2…..the whistle-stop tour

 

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I have had a most amazing 2.5 weeks (so far) on the Isle of Wight….so much so that I haven’t kept up with my intention to blog more often LOL.  The great outdoors has just been too tempting to ignore and just about ALL my free time has been taken up with walking here and there and as far as possible. It’s alright on the Isle of Wight!!

Based in Seaview on the east coast, this location has provided the starting point for my many excursions, whether walking to the west or along the east coast, the views of the sea are astounding, the beaches an endless source of delight.

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Seaview, Isle of Wight

I’ve also managed to enjoy the wonderful sight of the sunrise on most mornings….even those when I hadn’t intended slipping out, but on opening the curtains, unable to resist.

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sunrise, sunset – Isle of Wight

So although the job itself has been a real challenge, I have had a brilliant time exploring.

The Isle of Wight to my surprise is incorporated in the county of Hampshire, it lies just off the English coast across from the famous harbour of Portsmouth; the port of Kings and home to Nelson’s flagship, Victory and the more recently discovered warship, The Mary Rose. The Mary Rose; a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII, sank in 1545, was rediscovered in 1971 and raised in 1982. You can see the conserved remains of this ship at the museum in Portsmouth.

The strip of water between the mainland the island is known as The Solent and I have had the pleasure of watching many a cargo ship, ferry and yacht go sailing through between two of the four ‘The Solent Forts’ – a group of four man-made island forts originally built to protect the Solent and Portsmouth from attack by enemy forces in the 19th century; the first of which was built in 1865. On foggy days and nights you can hear the mournful wail of the foghorns across the water. A melancholy sound.

I stayed the first night on the Isle of Wight Sunday 2 weeks ago and spent the evening and next morning exploring the seafront at Ryde, at which stage I discovered the Appley Tower….during my many excursions I was to pass the folly a number of times 🙂 In the last two weeks I have visited:

Ryde

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Ryde, Isle of Wight

Sandown

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Sandown, Isle of Wight

Nettlestone

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Nettlestone 1086, a Domesday Village, Isle of Wight

Bembridge

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Bembridge and Bembridge Harbour, Isle of Wight

St Helens

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

St Helens, Isle of Wight

Bembridge Windmill

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Bembridge Windmill, built in 1700, the sole surviving windmill on the Isle of Wight

Binstead and Quarr Abbey

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Quarr Abbey and Binstead, Isle of Wight

Horestone Point & Nodes Point

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Horestone Point & Nodes Point

and walked in excess of 125kms on my various excursions.

I am still to explore the town of Ryde more fully, take a ride on the Hovercraft to the mainland (just because),

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world.

a full day of exploring coming up on Friday and a visit to Osborne House on Saturday.

The Isle of Wight has been a fantastic discovery on my quest to explore the four corners of the United Kingdom and adds to my list of 100 Islands to visit.

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I can’t tell you how delighted I was to get the call from my agency asking if I was interested in taking on a job on the Isle of Wight!!! Was I ever!! Yes, for sure. It’s on my list of plans for 2017; 2 islands to visit this year, so definitely. As well as which it’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit but never seemed to get this far….I’ve been to Portsmouth a number of times but never got to the ferry. So here I am, in Ryde!  On the Isle of Wight.

visit the isle of wight

the Isle of Wight

Just a 10 minute journey by ferry, catamaran or hovercraft from Portsmouth Harbour or Portsmouth Southsea and you’re here. Easy peasy 😉 I imagine the scenery crossing The Solent during the day would be marvellous.

After arrival at Ryde Pier Head, I set off at a brisk pace along the pier…keen to experience what is an early 19th century pier (built before Victoria came to the throne) and the world’s oldest seaside pleasure pier; opened 26 July 1814. Within 6 minutes I was in the town of Ryde……I’ve got a ticket to Ryde 😉 Surprised to find quite such a large town, to my relief the B&B where I was to stay was a short walk from the esplanade.

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Ryde Pier

Welcomed at the Kasbah by Josh, I was shown up to my room. Hallelujah I had a beautiful double bed room off the main road. Very comfortable and cosy, the room was beautifully decorated with a small ensuite, a t.v. and a kettle with accessories. A cup of tea was immediately brewed 🙂

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The Kasbah B&B in Ryde, Isle of Wight

I rested awhile having my tea and then, since it was still relatively early…just on 19:40 in fact, I decided to have a bit of an explore….despite that it was already pitch dark. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!! LOL I meandered along to the esplanade and never one to be having a short walk….I ended up walking the length of the esplanade all the way to Appley Tower – 4.66 kms with 7250 steps there and back.

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Ryde Esplanade and scenes at night

Hah! It was quite chilly, but not unpleasant, a few dog-walkers, evening strollers and joggers about and at no time did I feel unsafe. I passed the train station, the hover-craft platform, the tiny harbour and a row of shops and lovely old houses. All along the way I could see and hear the sea slapping up again the rocks…I love the sounds of the sea.

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Appley Tower – built in 1875 by Sir William Hutt

The Appley Tower, a coastal folly built in 1875 by one, Sir William Hutt, is also referred to as the Watch Tower. It’s awesome. Thanks mate…we love your folly.

By now there was not a soul in sight, I was on my own. On my way back I passed by the pond in Appley Park and a swimming pool that looked so inviting. Wish I had my swim costume. Oh well, if I ever come back this way…

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Appley Park pond and the swimming pool

Then it was back to the B&B for the night….work due to start on Monday.

I had a brilliant sleep, very comfortable bed and before the sun was even up I was out and onto the esplanade. A beautiful day for walking, again I saw a few people about, but by golly nothing at all like London where you can barely move for people.

I had a marvellous 45 minute walk all the way to the edge of Seaview where I caught the last of the sunrise. I had left it a tad late after all to get going. Then a brisk walk back to the B&B for breakfast.

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sunrise in Ryde, Isle of Wight

On the way I stopped off at the hovercraft station to watch one of them come in to land. wow, fascinating and loud! I’m so going to take an opportunity one day while I’m here to cross The Solent to Portsmouth Southsea. The Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world.

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Isle of Wight Hover Craft

I was well impressed with my ‘mileage’, and so enjoyed all the sights and sounds. Total 6.2kms and 9905 steps. At this rate I’m definitely achieving the desired 10,000 steps per day for good health 😉 and of course getting myself fitter for the Camino!

From what I’ve seen of Ryde so far; the esplanade and parks, it’s a really pretty place with fantastic views across The Solent towards Portsmouth in England – in fact I can see The Spinnaker in Portsmouth from the seafront and also from Seaview.

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth - across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth – across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

Watching all the shipping traffic is fascinating…..lends an exotic air to the place…ships from the far-flung corners of the earth….I think I quite like Ryde 🙂

 

 

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