Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Castle Drogo and the walk to Fingle Bridge through the Teign Gorge

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
First in the selection of reports back from our time in Devon is our visit to Castle Drogo and the walk we took to Fingle bridge through the Teign gorge. Now, the name is intriguing for starters as it sounds both Games of Thrones and Bond-esque. The building itself is baffling. C had heard about the ongoing project to make the castle watertight so warned me that it might be a bit different. I'm not a history buff (far from it - I've a memory like a sieve) but I love to snoop around places and learn a little on site. The Castle is a National Trust property and they are currently halfway through an ambitious project to sort out the massive leakage problems (it looks to me like they're rebuilding the castle - but what do I know). The time we spent inside the castle was very interesting and I really enjoyed it, I didn't take photographs as it seems rude and also boring. Unlike the people who take 3000 pointless pictures for no apparent reason, of everything. Who do they plan to subject with that arduous slideshow? Anyway, I liked the interior, displays, information and the garden areas. FYI There is a large cafe/restaurant so if you have a dither about whether to bring a sandwich there's another option.

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
Although it started as a drizzly morning, the cloud soon drifted off leaving a particularly pleasant early Autumn day. I picked up a card with a walk on, which was really helpful with step by step instructions on the back.
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
 When we reached Fingle bridge we took the path on the other side of the river as it was a much better quality and took the bridge at point 6.
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
The scenery was incredible. As the castle was on top of the hill there was a long descent into the valley which at some stages was uncomfortably close to the drop off into the valley for me and then rather steep. However, we did see an elderly man with a stick very steadily ascending as we were heading down so if he'd come from the bottom I was mightily impressed!
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
 There were so many beautiful early autumn sights to be seen.
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
 I was pleased to see the most quaint old structure when we arrived at Fingle bridge. Imagine how disappointing it would be if there was a drab concrete slab. This old masterpiece was so narrow, clearly designed for carts with little triangles for people on foot to dive into to save them from being crushed to death by carts ploughing on through.
We sought refreshments at the Fingle Bridge Inn which was unmissable and we chose to sit outside to take it the soothing flow of the river. I ended up with a milky coffee somehow (guess we got crossed wires) and fortified myself with a Mars bar. Holiday perks!
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
There was an interesting collection of 10 prints around the Castle Drogo grounds, we spotted some of them and I did intend to read up further on the inspiration but it slipped my mind.
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
Our path on the far side of he river was far superior and made for easy walking with lovely views.
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk

Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
After the steep path down the valley, I did have concerns about how we were going to get back UP! Strangely, we didn't even break into a sweat. The path wound it's way uphill at quite a pace as it seemed in no time at all we surfaced.
Castle Drogo and Fingle bridge walk
A rather lovely way to spend the day.
Sophie

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Never grow up

Never growing up dressing how you want
Never grow up. Growing older is inevitable but growing up is optional. I like to think I'm maintaining a relatively satisfactory balance at this. It's a toughie, isn't it, when you think back to how your parents or grandparents or even great grandparents may have been behaving at your age. I can say with absolute certainty that none of them would have been wearing this dress in their thirties. As a teenager I thought people in their thirties were old, in the sense of maturity. The more the years creep by the younger my thinking gets. Make up-schmakeup; if you can't handle my natural face then we're probably going to have trouble getting along. Yes, I love to pop a bit of eyeliner and mascara on, but no, I'm no longer painting myself into looking like someone else. It's been around a year now and hand on heart, I feel more comfortable with my skin than ever before.
Never growing up dressing how you want
My hair is wilder than ever after a two year skive from the hairdresser but in reality I really ought to get it trimmed as the ends are so so so dry. But as a general style, every day manangement and the overall appearance is one I am over the moon with. Wild suits me. I'm rustic.
Never growing up dressing how you want

Never growing up dressing how you want

Never growing up dressing how you want

Never growing up dressing how you want
This Dress! A charity shop find a month or so ago. It's Henry Holland and such a delight in all respects; bold summer floral print, almost saintly crochet peter pan collar while verging on being indecently short. The cut is a miraculously flattering one, giving a fitted bodice, a bit of flare to the skirt and styling to the capped sleeves. An instant favourite.
Never growing up dressing how you want

Never growing up dressing how you want
I'm making no compromises on how I choose to dress.
Sophie

Monday, 26 September 2016

Henrhyd Falls and Nant Lech Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf
On the first main day of our stay in the Brecon Beacons we took a drive to Henrhyd Falls to see the highest waterfall in South Wales. We had just been to Craig-y-nos country park which is only a short distance away. Now, the good news about visiting Henrhyd falls is that the car park has a fair bit of space and is free (phew) although take care on the steep and narrow roads which take you there. From the car park there is an information board you take a fairly steep path down to the river, which isn't an issue aside from knowing you'll have to walk the whole way back up again to return to the car. 
The waterfall isn't far from the base of the path and it's spectacular. The night before we visited there had been a downpour of rain so the waterfall had plenty of volume to it's flow. I seemed to expect the climate to be freezing so I went for full coat and scarf combo. 
Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf
Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf
Considering the descent we had undertaken, I was mindful of making the most of our time in the valley so of course we took the path along the river towards Abercraf. The sun soon came out, although the canopy kept us mainly in the shade and made the landscape really glow. In contrast to the flat landscape of Norfolk the delights of water flowing from the rocks made for a beautiful backdroop to our riverside amble.
Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf
The information board compared the landscape to the Amazon basin; while I can't say I've been trekking in the Amazon I can confirm that once the sun started beating down I saw fit to remove my coat, scarf and jumper. This thick shirt is a go-to piece for holidays and I did wear-wash cycle so it got a lot of outings. I didn't bust the knee of my favourite jeans, they've been wearing thin for such a long time. On closer inspection, they're being retired due to imminent risk of splitting at the crotch.
Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf

Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf
 A mighty beetle! I couldn't pass by without a picture.
Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf
Henrhyd falls and Nant Valley walk to Abercraf
The path carried on up to a road (and beyond) but we u-turned after about a mile or two and headed back. I very nearly slipped over badly on a large stretch of flat rock before the walkway as we were waiting for some people to pass ahead and with a small step I found myself on my palms with my backside only an inch or two from the deck and feeling like a prize idiot (but thankfully an idiot with a dry bottom and without a bruised coxis).
A walk well worth taking. We really enjoyed our couple of hours here. Mostly very quiet too.
Sophie

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Taking a break and getting home

taking a break
Now, you may not have noticed but I sneaked away for a fortnight and arrived home yesterday. It does the soul good to escape in it's entirety to a new landscape and new skies. Our destinations were the Brecon Beacons in Wales and Devon. I drank coffees to the backdrop of the sun rising and munched buttery crumpets most mornings.
taking a break
We discovered Scrabble. Yes, everyone has played before but as we've not got the game at home it was a real novelty. Evenings spent pondering the little bench of seven letters which seem to spell absolutely nothing in their own right but have desperately got to fit onto an uninviting board. 
taking a break
The mornings waking up to this view were priceless. A window from floor to hip is a tad unusual but as it was a converted barn we stayed in, who was I to protest? Sleeping with the curtains wide open with only the gentle rolling hills and grazing horses separating us from the sun rising.
It goes without saying that we went out exploring. I have so many pictures to sort through, edit and share, hopefully many will make it here over the next couple of weeks.
taking a break
There will be so much to bring you in Autumn nevertheless, we'll see what makes it into each post. I've got my new season plans and aims to share soon too.
Keep your eyes peeled.
Sophie x