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.
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.