Archive | September 2017

My Trip to England – Whitby – Part 7

Whitby is a seaside town in Yorkshire, northern England, split by the River Esk. On the East Cliff, overlooking the North Sea, the ruined Gothic Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula”. Nearby is the Church of St. Mary, reached by 199 steps. The Captain Cook Memorial Museum, in the house where Cook once lived, displays paintings and maps. West of town is West Cliff Beach, lined with beach huts. Wikipedia.

To me, the crowning glory of Whitby are the ruins of the Whitby Abbey.

To reach St. Mary’s Church and the Whitby abbey one must climb 199 steps to the top of the East Cliff above Whitby.

      

At the  top of the hill there is a magnificent view of Whitby.     St. Mary’s cemetery sits at the top of the cliff overlooking the town.

                                       

After visiting St. Mary’s Church, we venture on to the ancient Whitby abbey ruins behind the church. Both the church cemetery and the abbey ruins were the backdrops for  Bram Stocker’s  horror story of “Dracula”.  Here is a link to the story of “how Dracula came to Whitby”.

                                           

Back in town, Whitby is a tourist’s delight for cafes and restaurants, as well as book stores, souvenir shops, and art galleries.

  

Mr. Seagull was eager to pose for me.  He was very patient and unafraid as I came closer and closer to take his picture.

    

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My Trip to England – Southport

Taking the train from the Wirral to Southport is slightly more than an hours ride, transferring once in Liverpool.  The train station is conveniently located in the heart of Southport and just a few blocks from the Southport Pier.

Lord Street, Southport, England                                                                                                                      

 

When we reached Lord Street we browsed through a few shops and had a cup of coffee in one of the many little cafes on this attractive main thoroughfare.  Then we headed on down to the Southport Pier – show me the water!  Coming from a city that is nowhere near a large body of water the sea breeze and salty air seems to attract me more than anything else.

As we get ready to head down the half-mile pier you can see Marine Drive under the bridge, which follows the seashore.  There is a large shopping complex not far from the pier.

         

A tram runs back and forth on the pier so if you get weary from walking one can hop aboard the tram (for a fee).

The tide is way out with lots of beachcombers down there!  And the ice cream truck is ready and waiting for kids and parents to come buy some ice cream.

Marine Way Bridge

At the end of the pier there is a building with a fully loaded arcade, food, and restrooms with plenty of tables to sit, eat and rest before heading back.  On one side of the pier you can see the wildfowl reserve –  Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve.

        Swans in the man-made Marine Lake.

As we head back there is music in the air as a musician entertains in the pavilion next to the pier-bridge.  People are sitting outside eating as they listen to the one-man band.  Then the roaring sound of a boat fills the air; a tour boat is just about to take off.

                   

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My Trip to England – Bidston

My friend and I started off for an invigorating walk in the neighborhood of Birkenhead, which is located on the Wirral Peninsula across the Mersey River from Liverpool.

Clock tower flanking two chapels.

About a quarter of mile into our walk we came upon the Flaybrick Memorial Gardens, a fairly old cemetery, dating back to 1864.  It was originally named Birkenhead Cemetery and had three chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a Non-conformists chapel and the Church of England chapel, all of which are either torn down or no longer used.

                                                               

In 1990 it was designated a conservation area by Wirral Borough Council, who own the site and renamed the Flaybrick Memorial Gardens.   There are many fine specimen trees throughout the cemetery, including the cut leaf beech, monkey puzzle tree, silver lime tree, and  the London plane tree.

 

 

 

After walking around the perimeter of the closed cemetery taking photos we crossed the street to the entrance of the Tam O’Shanter Farm. This is a delight for little children who have never seen farm animals up close and personal and to get an education in farm life and the many varieties of farm animals.

 

 

Treking up the path parelleling the farm, we headed up the hill towards the Bidston Hill windmill. We looked at the map in the carpark but were totally bamboozled as to where the path was leading to the windmill! After a few false starts we finally made our way in the right direction.

This was really beginning to look like a forest, dark, dank, and dangerous with very uneven paths, but nonetheless awesome and beautiful!  According to the Bidston Hill Heritage Trail this was a 2.5 mile trail.

  We slowly made our way up the rough uneven terrain, eventually coming to a partial clearing. Making our way around a curve in the woods we could see the windmill!

      The windmill has been here since 1596.  For the history of this impressive windmill
click here.

After resting a bit, we headed further up the trail to view the observatory, which was not open to the public at the time.  And, a further bummer, later I discovered there was a stone carving we missed seeing, called “the sun goddess”, which
Wikipedia states: “There is a 4 12-foot-long (1.4 m) carving of a Sun Goddess, carved into the flat rock north-east of the Observatory, supposedly facing in the direction of the rising sun on midsummers day, and thought to have been carved by the Norse-Irish around 1000 AD. An ancient carving of a horse is located on bare rock to the north of the Observatory.[

Heading down the hill  and round the bend into more thick terrain we came upon a clearing with a magnificent vista of the city of Liverpool!

         

And this ended our scenic hike through the Bidston Hill Heritage Trail – at least the scenic part.  All that remained was finding our way out, as the paths had become rather overgrown, indicating most hikers headed back in the other direction!  For a most interesting pictorial and written history of “Bidston – the Hill” click here.

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My Trip to England – Chester

Chester  is a walled city in Cheshire, England, on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales. It is well known for its Roman city wall, the oldest and longest defensive wall system in Britain; and the Chester Cathedral Wikipedia

Chester, England

Chester Cathedral, Chester, England

Click here for the history of the Chester Cathedral, its many modifications from as far back as 1093, and  its fascinating architecture which includes all the major styles of English medieval architecture.

 

                                         

                                         


The Water of Life, statue by Stephen Broadbent can be seen in the cloister of the Chester Cathedral.

The city is encircled by almost two miles of city walls.  Fascinating to walk around the city from the top of a Roman wall that has been there almost 2,000 years! The Chester walls make up the most complete Roman and medieval defensive town wall system in Britain.

  One of the statues in the ARK exhibit at the Chester Cathedral.

Here is a print I bought while in Chester by local artist, John Donnelly.  This is a view of a portion of the city wall with the clock tower in the background. John has been stationed on the wall painting his views of the city for the past twenty years.

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My Trip to England – On the Wirral – Part Four

Now I’m going to include all the little towns and villages I left out of the first two sections on the Wirral – or is it – In the Wirral? There is a debate as which is the correct way to say it. I’ll let the folks in or on the Wirral duke it out!

Meols, Wirral, England

Meols, Wirral, England

Prenton, Wirral,  England

St. Andrews Church, Hoylake, Wirral, England

St. James Church, Birkenhead, Wirral, England

Christ Church, Birkenhead, Wirral, England

                                   

       In the Wirral, England                                           On the Wirral, England

 

 

 

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My Trip to England -the Wirral – West Kirby

If I lived in England I think West Kirby would be a good place to live! It’s beautiful, has a magnificent seashore and the Marine Walk is a great promenade for walking, socializing, feeling the sea breeze, sailing on the Marine Lake, a man-made lake, making it possible to even sail during low tide!

West Kirby is a town on the north-west corner of the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside, England, at the mouth of the River Dee. To the north-east lies Hoylake, to the east Grange and Newton, and to the south-east Caldy. WIKIPEDIA.

  Getting ready to walk the promenade around Marine Lake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 Marine Lake is man-made and is large enough to hold sailing events,  sailboarding and many more water related activities including: canoeing, kayaking, and power-boating.

During low tide it is possible to hike to HILBRE ISLAND, a TIDAL ISLAND, meaning it’s important to time your visit just right or you may have to wait for the tide to change before geting back to land!

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My Trip to England – the Wirral

NEW BRIGHTON

This is part two of My Trip to England. I took loads of photos of the many lovely areas in the Wirral. The only problem is, I’m not sure that I remember where each photo was taken. Hopefully, my English friend, Robert, who lives in the Wirral, will recognize where each photo was taken and correct me if I get the village wrong! That’s why I’ve decided to make this blog all about the Wirral, instead of each town separately.

What and where is the Wirral?

The Wirral is located in northwest England across the Mersey River from Liverpool and consists of many towns and villages. The peninsula is approximately fifteen miles long and seven miles wide. The Merseyrail, a commuter train, runs through many of these small towns. I love the train system in England! Oh, that we had a train system running in the US like this! I only had to walk about a block to the train station and then travel to New Brighton, West Kirby, Wallasey Village, Port Sunlight, Bidston, Birkenhead, and more, most in the matter of minutes. The same trains would travel in the other direction across the river to Liverpool, Crosby, Southport, and many other little towns.

First, let’s get on the train at the Birkenhead North station and travel to  New Brighton.
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New Brighton, England

New Brighton, England

New Brighton, England

New Brighton, England

New Brighton, England

One of six mermaids lining the streets of New Brighton, part of the
Mermaid Trail.

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Fort Perch Rock is a coastal defence battery built between 1825 and 1829.

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One of three cast iron shelters made in the late 19th century.

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Black Pearl pirate ship, an art installation, constructed mostly with drift wood.

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