At last the wind has subsided and the clouds have deserted the skies above. my poor sunflower is in tatters, with no petals left and only raggy leaves to show on a ten foot tall beauty. it was fortunate that I returned from my travels on Sunday night as the winds were whipping up a storm so I tied her up to every stable structure in the garden. I battled with the elements as the rain and wind lashed around me. it was worth the effort.... she survived. but then anything that grows to a height of ten feet deserves to survive.... doesn't it?
my travels? this time to glorious Gloucestershire.
the first day I saw the delights of Slimbridge Wetlands, and the fabulous birds and of course the famed Peter Scott's house.
North Nibley Monument was next, on Sunday, I was met with a strange site as I approached the monument .... 100 white plastic chairs!! after viewing the monument and then a subsequent walk around the area I came back to the answer to the riddle of the chairs. a procession by locals to a picnic by the monument... a celebration of their victory in buying the land around for future generations to enjoy... hopefully forever. power to the people!
Monday I climbed Cam Peak and Longdown. the views were spectacular although the wind nearly blew me away!
Tuesday was a visit to a dear lady in Torquay and a welcome rest from all that walking :-)
Wednesday was the highlight of the trip and a visit to Hetty Pegler's Tump, a longbarrow dating from around 4000 years ago. the tomb consists of a main chamber with two sub-chambers to the south side (the north side chambers collapsed in the early 19th century when the stone was robbed for building materials). I'm claustrophobic so managing to go inside the longbarrow was amazing for me, especially as it was dark inside and I only had my flash on my camera for light lol (should have taken a torch!). the longbarrow is named after the wife of a local 17th century landowner.
next was Nymphsfield Viewpoint and the longbarrow. the Nymphsfield longbarrow has, in the past, collapsed and now has no top to it... so not anywhere near as impressive as Hetty Peglar's Tump... but interesting all the same.
then on to Uley Bury hill fort which was approached through the woods. once at the top it boasted lovely views.
apparently it was a settlement from about 300BC to 100AD. on the way back I found some beautiful and succulent elderberries so picked half a carrier-bag full and made them into Elderberry Vodka (recipe in 'Foraged Fruits Recipes').
Thursday was coastal day at Brean with a picnic on the sanduned beach watching up to 20 model airplane enthusiasts fly their beloved models.
a visit to Somerset's Brean Down and Fort was after lunch. what a climb!! but worth it for the view.
the fort is interesting but deserted since WWII I believe.
then back down to Brean and a lovely sunset on the incoming tide.
Friday was a visit to Crook Peak in the Mendip Hills. I'd seen it so many times when travelling on the M5 motorway down to Devon that I felt it was time to get up close and personal. I wasn't disappointed! although it looks grassy and lush from below it is very craggy when at the top.
interestingly enough I spotted at least ten different kinds of fungi on my way to the summit.
next on to Cheddar Gorge. well, what can I say about the Cheddar Gorge? spectacular just doesn't describe it well enough. I was in awe of the power of nature.
Saturday I was back to Hetty Peglar's Tump with a large torch! now I could see the longbarrow inside in all it's glory. amazing!
then on to Selsley Common to stretch my legs :-)
Sunday I headed for home with a detour to the Rollright Stones, a spectacular stone circle called The Kings Men, a cluster of taller stones known as The Whispering Knights, and a lone standing stone called The King, all within about 100 yards of each other. worth a visit, with parking in a layby and a farm shop and cafe about a mile away to enjoy morning coffee or lunch.
hope you enjoyed reading my blog. and well done for anyone who got this far!!!