Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Hundred Year Stone

We stumbled upon this beautiful sculpture during a visit to the Lake district last weekend.  It’s by Peter Randall-Page, I’ve fallen for his work in the past

Hundred Year Stone_

 

Commissioned by the National Trust in its Centenary Year supported by the National Trust’s Foundation for Art, Northern County Council and National Trust Centres Associations. Sculpture is situated on the shore of Derwent water between Calf Close Bay and Broomhill Point looking across to Brandlehow, near Keswick, The lake District, Cumbria.

I’m indebted to the two German gents, who spent quite some time with google translate, looking up  this art work on their phones, they rather obscured the view, but had they not done so, I wouldn’t have had the added extra of geese flying through the shot. All ways a bonus

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Away with the fairies

Onwards into south Wales, Joe is living and working in Cardiff , on his placement year, part of his university course. We brought a van load of ‘essentials’ and helped settle him into his new abode.  We took the opportunity to head on to our favourite spot on the Gower peninsular, Nicholaston camp site, as well as  the joys of underfloor heating in the shower block, it has easy access down on to the beach. The path takes you through ancient woodland, with many autumn delights

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Once through the woods, the path laces through the dunes,

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that have abundant flowers

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so much for snails not liking sand and prickly things

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I felt a little guilty that I hadn’t brought Spud the dog down to the beach with me, but the plan had been for a medative kind of meander, that was led by the eye, not the tennis ball; walking three Springer Spaniels must be a whole different ball game

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There was much  beauty hiding in plain sight

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A reminder of the lunacy of British politics flashed up every now and then.

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The tide sorts the shells by size, the waters draining from Oxwich marsh,

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sweep them out to sea again.

Oxwich Bay_.jpg


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Flower of the Hour

Hibiscus

Hibiscus trionum, AKA the Flower-of-an Hour,

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I can live with the ephemeral life of the flower, if it delivers such delightful seed heads ( @ £1.95 for a packet of seeds, I might have to have a crack at growing these).

Hibiscus 2

Spotted during a brief* visit to Westbury Court Garden which was a little gem of a place.

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Laid out in 1696-1715 its a Dutch style water garden,

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its first lucky break was to fall off the fashion radar at the time of Capability Brown’s Landscape School, when many such gardens were destroyed,

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secondly was to be rescued by the National Trust in 1967, in a state of neglect and disrepair, and thirdly was the archive materials, that showed which plants were planted where, how many of each and how much they cost (more or less than £1.95 I wonder?)

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A rather romantic vibe

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Although I imagine the A48 was quieter then!

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*Flat tyre on the M5, delayed our journey, it’s not a nice place to be, on the hard shoulder, with traffic thundering past; glad when we were safely on our way again after the support of the RAC. When it comes to changing tyres on the motorway, leave it to the experts, it delayed us by an hour, which is nothing in the scheme of things. .

 

 


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Best of Both Worlds

Here we are tipping into Autumn, and I’m not through with photos and adventure from May yet.

I’m going to wrap up our tour of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, with my favourite photos of my favourite moments. That I was there, and saw such beauty, and had such a privileged glimpse into another world is almost dream like.

I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

Dolphin UHDD 4

A whale watching trip, with Whale Watch West Cork

If I’d seen little more than a few fins I think I’d have been happy,

Dolphin UHDD 5

But we got so much more than that, we got

Dolphin UHDD 3

these views and the knowledge and experience of Nic Solcum  

Dolphin UHDD 6

The pod of dolphins short-beaked common dolphins  turned and tumbled in the wave from the bow, after a little while* Nic cut the engines and let them swim off, about their business. There was a little German girl on the boat, aged about five, she stood at the bow, and waved them goodbye. I’m pretty sure she will always remember the experience, I know I will.

*No idea how long, it was one of those experiences where time takes on a pace of its own.

 


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Romantic Ruins

More from our meander along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

I’m not sure why ruins are refered to as romantic, I tried to find out, but I’m not sure I’m any the wiser.  I think I’ll go with the term magnificent ruins, for these buildings are magnificent.

To me they speak of  change and in the case of these buildings, social and political turmoil, but I suppose that’s inevitable if you hang around for a few hundred years.

This is Leamaneh Castle 

Big House Ireland

It stands in private land, and due to its precarious state it’s not maintained.  The orignal tower house is on the right of the next photo, and built-in 1480-90 I’m sure if was around here, someone would have ‘repurposed’ the stone over the centuries.

Big House Ireland 2

This is Garrettstown, this is one wing, there is another wing, but the planned ‘grand house’ was never built, as the cash ran out.  It now forms part of Garrattstown Holiday Park, a stop-over on our travels.

Big House 3

Now this one has more of a romantic look  I think, with a Rapunzel vibe  It’s Newtown Castle, it has been beautifully restored and hosts weddings rather than battles 

Art School

The estate is also home to The Burren Art College, and we had a lovely lunch there, and Spud the dog had the time of his life, about six students (all girls, from the USA) who were on a month-long residency and were missing their pet pooches from back home swarmed over him, he had his tummy tickled whilst we ate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big House 3http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=CO&regno=20912426


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Mizen Head

Ireland’s most southwesterly point, and home to the Mizen Head Signal station, as you can see, it’s an isolated spot that is enhanced by modern paths and an essential bridge (to my mind)

Mizen head view

We didn’t need telling more than once

Dangerous cliff

We were keeping to the paths.

Dangerous cliff Mizen_

Which had their own attractions

Mizen Head orchid rock

 

Mizen Heasd chain

We are duty bound to photograph such feats of engineering, as Joe is studying civil engineering, and like to see a nice bridge.

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The signal station is now a museum, much of its original equipment remains,

Distress_

Mizen_

Along with documents,

Mizen Head Telegram

which kind of looked a bit haphazard, but one hopes they’ve been catalogued

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This was my favourite, an inventory of  tubes and fuses, who need an Excel spreadsheet eh? I like the faux alligator skin print of the cover

Tubes fuses Mizen_

Working here must have been an isolated life, you weren’t going to see a lot from the window, and certainly not the next landfall of America, it does feel like the edge of the world.

last view_

and before the bridge was built, there were only a few ways of leaving.

Mizen Head Rescue

We had the luxury of walking off, although Mr Uphilldowndale, was keeping to the centre of the bridge, and not looking down.

 

Mizen Head Bridge