Tag: walking

Visit Wales content via Telegraph Travel

Wales is lovely in autumn.

While everyone is back into work mode, I love escaping to Snowdonia [atop Y Eifel pictured above] and marvelling at the changing colours of the landscape.

This was the idea behind a series of editorial posts I worked on recently. It was sponsored content for Telegraph Travel and commissioned by Visit Wales.

The themes were adventure, days out and hidden gems. I also wrote a couple of more narrative-based posts about the heritage of Conwy Castle and walking trails.

You can read the full set of articles at Find Your Epic in Wales.

Or catch the individual posts as follows:

Alternative activities in Wales for the whole family

Ten of the best walks with rewards in Wales


Wild Wales: walking in the footsteps of George Borrow in Llangollen


The writer George Borrow arrived in Chester in July 1854.

He walked the 20-odd miles to Llangollen and made his base there, starting the mammoth quest into the culture and language of Wales that would inspire his book Wild Wales (first published 1862).

According to a January 1936 edition of Cheshire Life magazine, available from the Cheshire Record Office in Chester:

“From there [Llangollen] he made those remarkably inquisitive excursions into unknown territory which enabled him to produce on work which will immortalise him — Wild Wales.”

I was in Llangollen last week, armed with an old copy of Wild Wales and a new Wild Wales iPad app, to retrace some of Borrow’s walks for a forthcoming article on Greentraveller.

I was staying at Geufron Hall [pictured above] and spent the first blue-skies evening hiking up to the summit of Castell Dinas Bran, a short yomp across country from the hillside B&B.

Borrow is not, in many ways, easy to like. His world view was very much of the times and his writing style is, at best, rather dense.

But, as the local walking guide Andrew Parish observed when he joined for one of the walks, “Wales was a tough old place at that time so we have to admire his gung-ho spirit.”

You can read my full story shortly but, meanwhile, here’s a sneak preview:

The most evocative walk for me was the energetic yomp up to Castell Dinas Bran, the ancient ruined castle set high above the town.

The view from the summit was spectacular: Llangollen below, Offa’s Dyke National Trail to the north, the Berwyn and Clwydian ranges meeting on the horizon.

We could almost touch the pristine-blue sky, dipping our fingertips into candyfloss clouds as the ancient spirits circled around us.

Have you read Wild Wales, or do you have walking tips around to Llangollen to share? Post below.

Liked this? Try also A Walk in the Shadow of Wild Wales.

Magna Carta: A walk through the history of medieval Lincolnshire

Feb 2015 Lincoln Magna Carta - Routemaster in Depth on the Stephen Langton Trail to Lincoln Castle with David Atkinson.
Feb 2015 Lincoln Magna Carta – Routemaster in Depth on the Stephen Langton Trail to Lincoln Castle with David Atkinson.

* Photography by Steve Morgan.

The latest issue of Walk magazine is out now.

That’s good timing given that this weekend the cathedral city of Lincoln celebrates Magna Carta weekend, the 800th anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty from the 13th century.

I visited in March to research the story, preview the events and walk a new trail that leads from rural Lincolnshire to the cathedral where Stephen Langton pour over his medieval manuscripts.

Here’s a flavour of the feature:

I have come to Lincoln, home to allegedly the best preserved of the four surviving copies of Magna Carta, to walk a new, independent trail.

Picking up the trailhead at the church of St Giles Church in the village of Langton by Wragby, I wanted to learn more about the learned scholar Stephen Langton.

This Lincolnshire lad was born in the village in the 12th century.

He went on to become both Archbishop of Canterbury and one of the chief architects of Magna Carta, presenting the document to King John for signing as a fait accompli at Runnymeade, Surrey, in June 1215.

Read the full story, In Search of Magna Carta, in the new issue of Walk magazine.


Visit Lincoln

Lincoln Castle

Magna Carta 800th

Glyndwr’s Way: Walking the trail of a national folk hero in Mid Wales


It was the day of the spring solar eclipse.

While others gathered in workplaces and snatched glimpses from public transport, I was lucky enough to be in a field in Mid Wales with a clear view across dew-sugared fields.

I was on assignment at that time for Greentraveller.co.uk, walking sections of the Glyndwr’s Way National Trail.

The eclipse arrived with a beautiful spring morning and the countryside around Machynlleth proved itself – once more – to be full of mythology, spirituality and intrigue.

Here’s an extract from my article:

That night, Romy Shovelton [pictured above] described her journey from working farmhouse to five-star eco-retreat over a pint of locally brewed Monty’s MPA pale ale at her local pub, The Aleppo Merchant Inn.

“I lived 23 years in Notting Hill but, when I first drove up here in 2007, I felt like I was coming home,” she said. “It’s like I was supposed to care for this land.”

We set out from Tyddyn Retreat early the next morning, spring lambs gambling in the fields from the farm across the way, to pick up the trail on the tops over Machynlleth near Bwlch.

Canary-yellow daffodils dotted the trail and flowering tufts of bracken lined the path as we descended a set of old Roman steps to stroll into the bustling little town.

Read the full story shortly at Greentraveller.co.uk.

What did you think of this story? Post your comments below.

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