McCaig’s Tower, Oban, Scotland – The Scottish Amphitheatre

Located in the Scottish Highlands, the port city of Oban is the gateway to the Hebrides. McCaig’s Tower stands tall on Battery Hill overlooking the city and the bay. McCaig’s Tower was the idea of John Stuart McCaig, a banker who wanted to do two things: Leave a lasting monument to his family Create work…

Pen y Fan, Wales – At the head of the Valleys

In the centre of Wales lies Brecon Beacons National Park, which contains a mountain range of the same name (Brecon Beacons). One of these mountains is Pen y Fan. Pen y Fan is the highest mountain in central and southern Wales. It sits just southeast of the town of Brecon, which is related to the…

Arduaine Garden, UK – A slice of the world in Scotland

Just south of Oban lies the Sound of Jura. Overlooking the Sound is Arduaine Garden, which contains plants from around the world. Established in 1898, it was a time when people were becoming very interested in plants from other parts of the world. Here native plants mix with those from the tropics and Asia. Tropical…

Ardchattan Priory, UK – A garden of contemplation

Ardchattan Priory sits approximately 10 miles/16 kilometres outside the port city of Oban in Scotland. Its history dates back to its founding in 1230. History Ardchattan Priory resulted from Duncan MacDougal, the Lord of Argyll, located in Dunollie Castle. He invited the Valliscaulian Order to set up a local priory. They had been given a…

Falkirk Kelpies, UK – A tribute to Scotland and strong horses

Situated between the towns of Falkirk and Grangemouth in Scotland, the Kelpies are an art installation by Andy Scott, an artist of renown famous for his other installations around the UK. This installation is of two “kelpies”. The myth behind the Falkirk Kelpies A kelpie is a mythical creature said to be like a seahorse…

Rest and Be Thankful – Scotland A83

In 1753 there had been a recent Jacobite rebellion; General Wade had the task of subjugating Scotland. One of the many things they built were roads to improve connectivity, This would allow troops to move faster and react to these crises in the future. One of the results was Drover’s Road (the old A83) and…

Tintinhull Gardens – Weekend Paradise

Set amongst the rolling farmland of Somerset, TIntinhull is a house/gardens combination; it sits in the tiny village of the same name. To visit the house you have to rent it from the National Trust and stay there for at least 3 days. As a result it is not open to the general public. The…

Brean Down, UK – Down to the Sea

On the Somerset coast just outside Weston-Super-Mare is a small holiday village: Brean. Apart from the beach and holiday homes, there really isn’t much there. There is just one exception: Brean Down. History Brean Down formed about 60,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age in southern England. Glaciers retreated across the…

Lytes Cary, UK – A bite-size manor in Somerset

In the backcountry roads in Somerset on a single-track line lined with hedges on both sides winding through farmland lies a couple of houses. Collectively these houses are “Lytes Cary”. It is easy to miss due to the hedges but if you notice the low stone walls on either side of an unassuming (with the…

Peak District, UK – The land of inspiration

The Peak District in England is a national park that draws an estimated 20 million people every year. They hike around the rural areas, including farmland, moorland, hills and the peaks themselves. History Historically this area has been very important to England and the UK as a whole. Settlements of the area have been dated…

Glastonbury Abbey, UK – Walking the ruins

Nestled in the sleepy, mystic town of Glastonbury in Somerset are the ruins of what was once one of the most powerful institutions to have existed in the UK. I am of course referring to the famous Glastonbury Abbey. History Foundation The history of the Abbey goes back to the 7th century. The king of…

Ystradfellte Waterfalls, Wales – Welsh Waterfall Wellness

As discussed in my previous post about Castell Dinas, Powys is the home of the Brecon Beacons National Park and beautiful nature! One of the areas of Brecon Beacons is called Waterfall Country at the head of the Valley of Neath where many waterfalls can be found and are easily accessed. One such set of waterfalls…

Castell Ddinas, Wales – Ancient defences

Castell Ddinas was the highest castle in England and Wales and dates back to the Iron Age, which in Britain was between 600BC and 50AD. Along with many castles in Wales, such as Caerphilly Castle, it was built during the Norman Conquest of Wales. This particular castle was expanded to become a Norman fort in…

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales – Mum wants to live by the sea

Pembrokeshire is well known for its Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Can you guess where it is?Pembrokeshire. Can you guess what it contains? The majority of the Pembrokeshire coast. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is also the only national park in the UK created primarily for coastal areas. The only non-contiguous parts are a few port…

Oystermouth Castle, Wales – Guarding the Bay

One of the castles overlooking Swansea Bay is Oystermouth Castle in Mumbles, the village of the rich just outside of the city of Swansea. Oystermouth Castle has a thousand-year-old history, although the present castle of stone has only been standing for around 800 years (and underwent refurbishment, meaning they added a few things like a visitors…

Three Cliffs Bay, Wales – A coastal retreat

Are you looking for an unlikely beach where there aren’t many people? Would you consider going anywhere north of Ibiza? Well, if you answered yes to these questions (or at least the second one), then have I got a beach to show you!! This is Three Cliffs Bay: Not far from the city of Swansea…