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Goodrich Castle

Things to do on a slightly grey and drizzly bank holiday weekend when you haven't gone biking/camping with friends because of dog faff: visit a castle!

This is the view from the top of the keep at Goodrich Castle.

We've had this one on our list for a visit for ages now - a couple of years ago we used the car park and walked up Coppet Hill, intending to go in afterwards... but ran out of time.  I'm certain I'll have been dragged around it as a child, of course.

It's a dog friendly site, and the admission charge includes a really... continue reading »

Chepstow Castle

It confuses me a bit when May bank holiday weekend is partly in April.  Anyway, this year I was feeling a bit too poor for the usual trip to Woolacombe, so instead we popped down to Chepstow to visit the castle.

They had some re-enactment people there, and every hour they were firing cabbages from a trebuchet over the castle wall into the river.  Pretty impressive.  I also learnt that replica metal helmets are rather heavy, and too big for my head.

The castle wasn't our only reason for visiting Chepstow - we'd also booked a go on the Swing at the... continue reading »

Conwy

It seems to be some sort of unwritten rule that meetups with Rachael involve running of some sort.  For her birthday, we went to Snowdonia.

I had to stop on my drive up to take some photos because the sunset/view was absolutely stunning:

Anyway, to the bemusement of everyone else I managed to get all the way to Llanberis without the aid of satnav or google maps.  I still maintain that it's not that difficult, but then again I've been to Llangollen/Bala kayaking so many times and once you get past that point there are only so many main roads and big... continue reading »

Manics at Cardiff Castle

When the Manics did the 20th anniversary tour of the Holy Bible last year, I was sad that all the gigs were far away.  I was also slightly surprised that none were in Wales.. turns out they were just saving the best for last.

Cardiff Castle, on a warm Friday evening as the sun set.  Wow.

First up, the Holy Bible played in full.  It's probably not my favourite album (don't kill me, Manics fans) because some of the songs are just a bit too dark, but seeing the whole thing performed live was something else.  And knowing that it was being... continue reading »

a few days in France

I've previously mentioned that I'd been having French lessons.  Sadly this term it turned out that the 'intermediate' class was far too easy and there weren't any more advanced options, so that ended up being refunded.

French learning continues with occasional Duolingo, working through the text book, and a few days in France in mid October... Not that I really needed an excuse for a holiday, having not taken any time off work since June. oops.

I went for the "spend as little money as possible" option - flights from Bristol to Béziers were £20 each way, and I stayed in an... continue reading »

lower Monnow cycling

Sunny Sunday afternoons are made for cycling.  Even better if it's following up a roast dinner with my parents! I went for a reasonably short (26k) bike ride up the Monnow.  Quiet lanes there, b-roads back, and two border crossings.

It would possibly have made life easier if I'd remembered that the lanes turn into narrow pothole filled not-very-road-bike-friendly terrain.  Which at one point turned into a huge road closed barrier!  But some people walking down told me it would be fine, as long as I was happy lifting my bike over a ditch/fence/barrier at the other end - and a... continue reading »