Friday, September 27, 2019

Five at Deganwy

On the way home from our break in Wales we dropped into the little town of Deganwy whilst on our way to RSPB Conwy.

As it is Friday here are five things we learnt about the town whilst we were there.

1.  The town is on the Creuddyn Peninsula at the side of the Conwy Estuary, not far from Llandudno and Rhos-on-Sea with views across to Conwy and out towards Angelsey.

2.  We parked on the station car park.  The trains running on this line are the main line train to Manchester and the smaller Conwy Valley Line which calls at places like Llanrwst, Betws-y-coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog.  Shelters have replaced the original station building which was built in 1866. From about 1876 Deganwy became a popular seaside attraction.

3.  Visitors came off the trains at the station and joined  paddle steamers which ferried them down to the popular spa of Trefriw sailing across the river from Deganwy to Conwy before reaching their destination.

4.  The Edwardian Beach Shelter along the promenade was built in 1904 and was damaged by a a severe storm in 2014.  Local residents set up the Beach Shelter Restoration Team and with help from local councils the Heritage Lottery Fund and HAFOD it was restored in 2017.  The promenade on which the shelter stands is part of the Wales Coastal Path and the National Cycle Network.

5.  One of Deganwy's noted personalities is Commander Harold Lowe who was 5th Officer on board RMS Titanic.  He assisted in launching several lifeboats before taking charge of lifeboat number fourteen.  He collected three other lifeboats and formed a raft, then he returned to the wreckage looking for survivors.  He found four of them and headed back towards RMS Carpathia stopping to help another lifeboat which was in trouble and he towed it to safety.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

At Beaumaris Castle

Returning to Wales and our short break a couple of weeks ago.  We visited the little town of Beaumaris on our first full day on Anglesey.

It was raining and quite windy as we parked on a muddy field not far from the castle.  It was about 9.30a.m. and the castle was due to open then but we had a little walk along the front first.

I spotted some Eider ducks in the water.

Our first view of the castle from the car park.

 A view of the castle from the little public park at the side of it.

 Beaumaris Castle is known as 'the greatest castle never built'.  It was the last of the 'iron ring' of castles built in Wales by King Edward I and is considered his unfinished masterpiece, built with the help of his architect  James of St George.  

 The castle is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Lack of money caused work to cease on the building and its unique squat shape tells its own tale of a dream castle of perfect symmetry which never quite materialised.

We had a little wander around the lovely buildings opposite and into a little square before making our way to the castle gates.

At this time it was still wet underfoot and damp in the air but the heavy rain had stopped.
 We entered the castle and apart from a couple of other people we had it mostly to ourselves for a good half hour.

 The lady above was sweeping up conkers, which had fallen from the horse chestnut tree, so that people didn't slip or turn an ankle on one.  She also told us that she knows of several people who collect the conkers to place around the house at 'spider time' apparently the spiders don't like the smell.

 We watched a little film about the history of the castle and by the time we came out and went up onto the walls grey skies had disappeared and the sun was shining brightly.

 The town looked lovely in the sunshine.

Along the inside of one of the wall passages was the chapel.  Above it was a room which overlooked it.  This is where the King could watch the services in private.

In several corners there were sculptures to be discovered.  I must admit I had a play with this one and enjoyed making it sound through the empty 'rooms' of the castle.

It was getting warmer.  Raincoats came off and sun hats put on.

The views from the castle walls were spectacular.

More photos above of the castle interior.
 From the castle we wandered back into the town.

Across the road from the castle we found Castle Gardens.

A delightful little haven of peace and quiet away from the main street which had become rather busy whilst we were in the castle.

Containing lovely plants and flowers, metal and wood garden sculptures and a gorgeous resident cat.

We rather liked this woodpecker.

and the puffins too.

Below some more photos of the town

I'd like to return one day as there was plenty more to discover but it was time to move on further up the coast.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

From Yesterday to Today

It was a most beautiful day yesterday, in our little area anyway.  We drove the few miles to the town of Leek where all was looking lovely in the bright sunshine.  The antiques and bric a brac market was in the market square with a few food stalls and a display of birds of prey.  Sorry no photos as there were too many people around.

We wandered into Getliffe's Yard after taking a couple of bags of books and clothing to the Staffordshire Wildlife Charity Shop nearby.

There are some lovely shops in the yard and they were all decorated, very tastefully for Autumn.

 It felt like time for coffee and a toasted teacake. So we went into 'Tea-Cake'

We were the first people in although others soon followed.

Coffee was served using such pretty china which had been designed by the owner of the gift shop and cafe.  Here is a link to her website so you can see more.  Fully refreshed we had a look at the market stalls both inside and out before returning home.

The afternoon was spent washing and getting things dry outside including winter dressing gowns which are now clean and ready for when it gets colder.  More work was done on the tedious job of getting the weeds out of the pebble path.

The garden was full of bees and butterflies. There were at least five Red Admirals.

 They were all over the Sedum flowers.

Whilst Commas, Tortoiseshells and whites

seemed to prefer the Verbena Bonarensis.

We spotted a little frog on a lily leaf in the pond.

 He or she had popped up out of the water to enjoy the warm sunshine.

It was nice to see the frog as we've had hardly any in the pond this year.

 The Golden Hop has developed hop flowers.

 The Clematis we thought was lost has flowered

 Dahlias and Japanese Anemones are adding colour to the garden at the moment.

 Giving the impression that it is still summer in their hearts.

 Even though by the end of the day the lawn was covered in the first large leaf fall and silken spider webs were trailing across paths and adding a delicate glitter to the heather.

We've been thrilled that over the last few days the long tailed tits have returned to the feeders joining their blue tit and great tit cousins.

What a difference a day makes this morning we were woken by the sounds of heavy rain and thunder. I'm so glad we made the most of yesterday.