Explore Llangollen

LLangollen is a fantastic area to take in the Welsh atmosphere, stunning scenery and the beautiful River Dee.

You can take a trip on the train, have a picnic by the river, take a walk with nature and look in the many independent shops in the small town.

There is an 11-mile canal corridor from Horseshoe Falls in Llangollen to Gledrid in Shropshire that crosses aqueducts, goes through tunnels and along viaducts and sits across two countries (Wales and England) with World Heritage status and mostly located in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Standing at 39m high The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site is only a short distance from Llangollen. The aqueduct took 10 years to construct (1795 – 1805) at a cost of £38,499. With 18 tapering stone piers and 19 arches it is a truly beautiful piece of engineering. Holding 1.5 million litres of water the aqueduct holds enough to fill 8,572 bath tubs!  

‘Pontcysyllte’ pronounced Pont – ker – sulth – tay, is the Welsh name for ‘the bridge that connects’

Walks

The Old Railway Walk at Trevor is a gentle 2-mile stroll in the Dee Valley taking in sites such as the natural rising spring Fynnon Oerog renowned for its ‘healing powers’.

Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail runs adjacent to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. At 177 miles passing through 8 counties and crossing the boarder between England and Wales over 20 times, Offa’s Dyke Path is a unique journey. Why not head on up and take a short walk along a section of the path, taking in the beautiful views.

Walk the LLangollen canal, easy to follow and plenty of beautiful views and nature to see. There is a selection of places along the canal where you can get a drink and an ice cream or if you’re looking for a meal you won’t have to venture far from the canal. Check out the Canal and River Trust website for more information on the Llangollen Canal Walk.

Boat Trips

Take a leisurely boat trip with Llangollen Wharf Horse-Drawn Boats one of the longest established visitor attractions in North Wales.

The Anglo Welsh have a delightful round trip across the 126 feet high Pontcysyllte Aqueduct with spectacular views across the Dee Valley.

Boat Hire

Maybe you would like to captain your own boat, with many companies offering reasonable hire rates this is a great way to explore the canals. A few hire boat options are:

Crest Narrowboats

 Anglo Welsh

Black Prince Narrowboats

Water Sports

Have your own paddleboard or kayak? Then head to Horseshoe Falls for a trip along the canal. Check out the Pontcysyllte Paddle the Right Way Leaflet for all the information you need.

Food & Drink

There is a lovely local selection of places to eat for all tastes and budgets:

The Chain Bridge Hotel – Dining

The Corn Mill

The Wharf Tea Room

Chatwins

Cottage Tea Rooms & Bistro

This is only a small selection of eateries with plenty more for you to get discovering.

Places to Stay

Looking for somewhere to stay? Here are a few options:

The Chain Bridge Hotel

The Hand Hotel

The Wild Pheasant Hotel & Spa

Gales of Llangollen

Airbnb

So why not get planning your trip now, I know that I will be making another visit again this year, why not follow my Instagram account to follow my travels.

Canterbury Festival 2021

The fantastic Canterbury Festival runs from 16th – 30th October. With a great selection of Music, Performances, Talks, History, Science, Walks and more there is something for everyone of all ages.

The Kingdom Choir are performing in Canterbury Cathedral and it’s going to be spectacular, performing old favourites including Stand By Me in their gospel sound that will lift your heart and soul. Saturday 23rd October 7:30pm.

The Hogswallops a family full of fun and jokes will be showcasing their unusual and thrilling circus skills performed by Lost in Translation Circus. Tuesday 26th 7pm and Wednesday 27th October 2pm and 7pm.

If you’re wanting to find out more about Canterbury’s architecture and future plans for the city, then book to attend the Canterbury Take Care! Talk. Tuesday 19th October 8pm.

Zoologist Megan McCubbin will be sharing her passion in Living Wild, Weird and Wonderful Lecture discussing her passions of the natural world and sharing some of her own personal field stories. Monday 18th October, 8:30pm.

A time travelling magician duo bring Morgan and West’s Fantastic Family Magic Spectacular! A fabulous family half term treat, that all the family will enjoy. Tuesday 26th October, 2pm.

This is a very small selection that is available during the festival, head over to the Canterbury Festival Website to find the full programme.

Why not stay in Canterbury? With a great selection of hotels, B&B’s and Airbnb’s you can take a little extra time to explore this beautiful city steeped in history.

Sharing and Caring on the North Downs Way

Today I spent walking on the North Downs Way with a group of fellow ambassadors training and sharing knowledge.

It was such a lovely day with everyone really supporting each other in every way. So watch out as we are going to share with you some of the amazing hidden gems of the North Downs Way.

You can explore the North Downs Way yourself with many self guided walks available from Explore Kent or the National Trails website. If you’re looking for an ambassador guided walk I will share them as they become available across the whole North Downs Way network.

Pumpkin Picking

It has become an autumn hit to go pumpkin picking there are several places that offer pumpkin picking in Kent including:

Felderland Farm PYO Sandwich, Deal – October picking dates: 9th, 10th, 15th and 31st.

They have been growing thousands of pumpkins and squashes in lots of shapes and sizes, so there’s a perfect pumpkin for everyone. There will be hot catering, a straw bale fun zone and a family photo station.

Entry to the patch will be by pre-booked ticket only, these can be bought online and are scanned on entry, tickets costs are: £2 for all visitors over 12, £1 for 3-12 abd Under 3s free.

For more information and BOOKING please use this link Felderland Farm PYO Pumpkin 2021

Riverside Farmers PYO Hoo, Rochester

Booking has now opened for the weekends of 9th-10th, 16th-17th, and 23rd-24th of October.

Ticket prices for a vehicle entry start at £7 which allows entry to the carpark, the pumpkin field and use of facilities.

Pumpkin prices will range between £1-£6 per pumpkin / squash or corn

Tickets for half term week from 25th-30th October will be release in October when the weather and COVID position becomes clearer.

No Dogs allowed, cash debit and credits card payments accepted.

For more information and BOOKING please use this link Riverside Farmer PYO Pumpkin 2021

Pumpkin Moon PYO three sites in Maidstone, Bapchild and Rainham

This year with over one hundred varieties of pumpkin, squash, and gourd you will be sure to find your perfect autumn décor or delicious autumn recipe.

All sites have parking and delicious food and beverage stalls.  

For more information and BOOKING please use this link Pumpkin Moon PYO Pumpkin 2021

Ticket prices are £1.50 – £2 and children under 2 are free. You must bring your entry ticket or show it on your phone.

Chiltern Manor Farm PYO Sittingbourne

This family run farm shop and pick your own site is a home gown Kent gem. Pumpkins are available for pick you own open every day from from Saturday 23rd October with no need to book.

Check out their website for the latest information.

Four winds Farm – Country Pumpkins PYO – Tunbridge Wells

With a variety of pumpkin sizes and colours a scarecrow trail, tea, cake and facev painting on offer you will be sure to have a great time this autumn. Open from Sunday 24th October – Sunday 31st Oct 10am – 4pm. Entry will be by TICKET ONLY.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are £1 (+ 75p booking fee) per Vehicle.

Each ticket admits one vehicle and its occupants all pumpkins to be purchased in addition to the entry ticket.

Pumpkins will be sold on the day with the price depending on size, ranging from £2-£10.

For more information and BOOKING please use this link Country Pumpkins PYO

Hewitt’s Farm PYO – Orpington, Kent

A variety of pumpkins and squashes await you at Hewitt’s Farm pick your own and will be available from the 1st October.

There is no need to book, no entry fee, just turn up. With a large free hard standing car park with cash & card both accepted.

Pay for what you pick prices, Pumpkins are 88p per kg and Squashes range from 88p-£1.76per kg.

Embrace the Autumn Fun

Each location has individual booking policies so please check out your local site to avoid disappointment.

Also please be aware pumpkin fields are that a field, they can become muddy and wet. Take welly boots and a raincoat encase it rains, maybe even some spare clothes. The autumn weather can be all part of the fun if you are prepared and embrace it.

Pick your own is not just for pumpkins you can get apples, pears, plumbs, sweetcorn and much more depending on the time of year so please support your local producers and pick or buy form them where you can.

If you know of any other sites offering PYO Pumpkins in Kent please leave them in the comments below.

Moving into Autumn

As the sun sets on today tomorrow will bring the start of autumn. 🍂🍁🥮

Interesting fact: The astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degrees of tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the Sun. Against that of the meteorological seasons that consist of splitting the seasons into four periods made up of three months each. By the meteorological calendar, the first day of autumn is always 1 September; ending on 30 November. The astronomical autumn calendar starts Wednesday, the 22nd September and ends Tuesday, the 21st December. 🥮🍂🍁

Kent’s Ancient Dunes

The stunning Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve is home to Kent’s only ancient dune pasture and home to many rare plants and animals. The New All England Coast Path Runs through and around the nature reserve and it’s stunning.

Remember to always respect, protect and enjoy so that we keep these amazing places in tip top condition.

Ribble Valley Views

Views across the stunning Ribble Valley from Clitheroe Castle.

The castle was built by Robert de Lacy in the 12th century and the Norman keep is understood to be the second smallest in England.

Experience Kent

I am so excited to share some fantastic news that I am not only going to be offering experiences in Kent but that I am training to be a North Downs Way Ambassador.

The North Downs Way is 153 miles and one of the lesser know trails against those of its National Trail counterparts. It’s a true gem of the Kent and Surrey Areas and I’m going to be sharing with the world how great it is including offering my very own guided walks.

The North Downs Way travels mostly through the Kent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offering spectacular open spaces even though it runs in one of the most built up areas of Britain.

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you all about The North Downs way and hope to see you all exploring it too.

Check out my interview with the team at Kent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Little Venice and Camden

Nestled in London you will find the hidden gem of Little Venice, a beautiful area and perfect for taking a relaxing canal boat up to Camden Town.

There are a variety of boat trips that you can take, we took the London Waterbus Company from Little Venice to Camden Market and then on our return we went on Jason’s boat, the trip takes approximately 45 minutes each way.

The London Waterbus Company has a traditional narrowboat with large slide to open windows, with a friendly knowledgeable crew providing a good sightseeing talk.

Jason’s canal boat is open sided but can be more enclosed to provide protection if needed. The boat is steeped in history and now has a diesel engine to power it rather than the horses that once would have pulled it. With the friendly crew providing a sightseeing talk from Little Venice to Camden but no commentary on the Camden to Little Venice (although you can request if you would like).

The canal boat trip will take you on a leisurely journey through some iconic landmarks, The 248 meter Maida Hill Tunnel into Little Venice, Regents Park & London Zoo, Cumberland Basin & Primrose Hill and Camden Market.

As you drift through the canal at London Zoo you might catch a glimpse of a warthog or African wild hunting dog.  You will also see the zoo’s Snowdon Aviary is currently being renovated to accommodate the zoos Columbus monkeys and African parrots’ walk-through exhibit, so I’m sure in the future you might see some and hear some during your trip.

There are many magnificent mansions along the canal bank with stunning landscaped gardens including that of Grove House designed by Decimus Burton and built by James Burton.

Every section of the journey is different from the modern graffiti, bridges, the power station and the nature living in and along the canal.

A brief history

The Regents Canal opened in 1820 linking the Grand Union Canal at Little Venice and the River Thames at Lighthouse. The Regent Canal completed a link that enabled canal boats to go all around England including major trade hubs in Birmingham and Manchester.

As the transportation system changed over time the use of canal boats for moving goods dramatically declined, they became neglected and saw little use by anyone. These canals are now flourishing with people using them for all different purposes. There are water sports companies like The Pirate Castle are utilising the canal for kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing. Beautiful old canal boats are being renovated for living in and being used to provide leisure trips to locals and tourists. There is also a selection of canal boats being utilised for dining, including The Grand Duchess.

Things to Do

At Camden Lock you can explore the famous Camden Market, set in a former warehouse, now offering a delightful selection of street food from all corners of the world alongside a selection of shops and market stalls selling all sorts of wares from vintage items to handmade goods. If you venture further into Camden Town along the High Street, you will find the buildings covered in bold art and signs, they are truly wonderful to see with even the big brands joining in with the local art vibe.  You could also check out the Buck Street Market which is a new Eco-Focused Market.

At Little Venice you could treat yourself to a tea or coffee at the Floating Boater Café which is based in the same area where the tour boats leave from. Or Maybe book for a show on The Puppet Theatre Barge which is currently at Little Venice from 11th September – 7th November 2021. You could also take the short walk along the canal towards Paddington where you will find some wonderful, converted canal boats offering food and drink including, The Darcie & May Green, The Cheese Barge and The Grand Duchess. There are also other restaurant and drinks options along the bankside like Zizzi and The Union Paddington.

We opted for a drink on the Darcie & May Green which was lovely and a bite to eat from Bar Torelli which was delicious I would recommend both.

If you are looking for somewhere in London a little different to explore, steeped in history with a mix of modern then head up to explore the Little Venice and Camden Market areas.  

Perfect for children – download your very own free local map and sight spotting list here.

Canal Boats Tours & Hire

The London Water Bus Company

Jason’s Trip

Jenny Wren

Canal and River Cruises Ltd

The Electric Barge

Go Boats – You can hire these from Paddington a great fun experience where you can captain your own boat. There are several locations that you can hire a GOBOAT including Paddington where you could explore the section of the Regents Canal between Paddington and Camden whilst enjoying your very own picnic on board.

New Adventures

Walking into new adventures 🥰

Starting a new chapter of my life and so looking forward to sharing with you all.

%d bloggers like this: