Two More British Walks – Farmland in England and Wales and a 12th century Welsh castle

Here are some photographs of two more walks in the British Isles. The first is walking from my parents’ house in a village called Willaston in Cheshire. This is in the north of England, close to the Welsh border and the area where I grew up. This is just a short jaunt from my parents’ place through gentle, flat agricultural land viewed from a disused railway line. As with all of the British countryside, there are footpaths that you can take off this public land onto privately owned farmland. As you can see in the photographs, this is agricultural land and when I was there, the farmer was harvesting wheat.

The second is rural north Wales. This is sheep pasture land and a rugged terrain in Snowdonia, and mountainous region of Wales. The highest hills are 3,000-3,500ft above sea level. The village is called Dolwyddelan (pronounced Dol-with-ellen – double ds are pronounced ‘th’ in Welsh).

These two places are about 60 miles apart.

First Willaston:

This little diversion took us to a pasture in which just a month ago the field was full of orchids and the dog rose was in bloom too. The following photographs were taken by my dad.

And here we have the rugged sheep country of Snowdonia…

It was a rainy day in August…well this is North Wales. We climbed out of the village into the hills along a farm track, the views opened up behind us and then we approached the ridge

Here we are close to the ridge above the village, about 2,500ft high

Flora and fauna along the way – sheep, yellow gorse and purple heather

And the cairn on the top for lunch.

And back down through the windy and rugged sheep pasture. Most of the sheep we saw were sheltering from the wind on one side of the ridge

Our return route took us via a castle that was built by the Welsh of the principality of Gwyneth. The Welsh in this part of the country resisted the Normans for two-hundred years longer than the English Saxons and were conquered by the English until the late 13th century (under Edward I). It was not used for defence but as a garrison for soldiers to help the security of travel routes for trade within the principality.

We had to climb the stairs, above, to get into the main hall inside.

And from there, we climbed up a dark stone stairway up to the top, and here’s the veiw. The mountian by the way is called Moel Siabod (pronounced Moe-ell Shab-odd)

Below us, a shepherd was training his two sheep dogs

David Clayton

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David is an Englishman living in New Hampshire, USA. He is an artist, teacher, published writer and broadcaster who holds a permanent post as Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Liberal Arts at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. The Way of Beauty program, which is offered at TMC, focuses on the link between Catholic culture, with a special emphasis on art, and the liturgy. David was received into the Church in London in 1993. Visit the Way of Beauty blog at thewayofbeauty.org.

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