Archives for May 2016

the mighty Nene

The Nene, in Northampton, was the UK's first pumped artificial white water course. It's a 2 hour drive from Gloucester, which probably explains why I've never been before as that's a long way to go for a small section of grade 2 water.

But we do like a bit of paddling variation, especially in summer months where there's not much natural whitewater around. I took my ridiculously small playboat, which hasn't been on any sort of moving water for quite some time.

Because of that I put on half way down the course for my first couple of goes - below the... 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 »

Charcoal Measure and Sentient Forest

Following the removal of 'Place', the Forest of Dean Sculpture trail has recently gained two new (temporary) artworks.

Both are right at the start of the trail at Beechenhurst Lodge.

First up is "Charcoal Measure".  It's basically a series of black lines on the ground, made from charcoal produced from burning the wood that made up Place.  The lines map old coal mine workings in the forest.  So that's two ways it links up with the history of the local area.

However the work itself is a little underwhelming.  It had been there for about six weeks when I visited, and is already... continue reading »