Wordless Wednesday….Another Favourite Place


Location:- Derwent Water looking towards Blencathra and Walla Crag, Cumbria

11th July

(C) David Oakes 2018


A Lazy start…. then a little bit of Heritage



A Spectacular Dorset Castle

We had a lazy start to Sunday…. Coffee, a good book and some welcome shade just to sit and read…well we are on holiday. But the afternoon was for some exploration of a part of Dorset’s Heritage.

So it was the Village of Corfe Castle, and of course, its distinctive and spectacular castle of the same name, our destination.  Both the Village and the Castle are built of the distinctive Purbeck Stone… always light and bright, but in this afternoons blistering sun, reflecting as if it was a true white.

Its History is long and chequered so you are best dong an internet search for comprehensive information…so here is the brief vision.

In 1086 William the Conqueror did a swap. A Church for this land on which he built Corfe Castle. It was very much a defensive castle with Outer Baily and Gatehouse then an inner Baily and Gatehouse..being situated on the hill it was a position of strength and provide extensive views over all it surrounded. It must have been a strong fortification as it withstood several sieges. It was though during two sieges in the Civil War of 1643 -1646 that Corfe Castle fell to the Parliamentary Forces…but only through an act of  treachery from inside the castle.  After this Castle was partially demolished by order of Parliament, stone was robbed to build elsewhere.  The Castle and surrounds continued to  remain in the hands of the Banks Family and did so for more than 3 more centuries.  It is now in the hands of the National Trust.

So here is a mini tour…


An interesting and relaxing afternoons exploring.  Then a leisurely drive back to where our caravan is currently located for yet another glorious summers evening..


Dusk over Kimmeridge Bay

9th July

(C) David Oakes 2018

Silent Sunday…So Off to Church



Glastonbury is a town of Legends and Myth.  King Arthur and his Round Table of Knights, Merlin and Druids, legends that for many are as real today as ever.

But legend apart Glastonbury was for centuries a Religious Centre.  Glastonbury Abbey is very much a legend in its own right. The earliest Christian Monastery that became the wealthiest and largest in England only to fall fowl of Henry VIII Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.

We visited the ruins on what was a surprise wet day but it didn’t take the shine of this wonderful estate.  The buildings cover an enormous are, there is a conical shaped Abbots Kitchen, Kitchen gardens and a couple of Fish Ponds (Stew Ponds), guides in authentic costume help the tour parties to get the full enjoyment from their visit….so here is a quick glimpse of Glastonbury Abbey


But back to another Legend….a legend and Chapel missed by many visitors to the Abbey.

It is the Chapel of Saint Patrick of Ireland who when he returned to England and with the blessing of Saint Dunstan built with the help of several like minded Hermits this rather wonderful small Chapel.  Today the interior decoration has been restored and for those who seek it out it remains a quiet place of contemplation.





A dull damp day but not a dull visit by any means

8th July

(C) David Oakes 2018

Wells Cathedral…a Must See



Wells Cathedral, Somerset

On our current tour we couldn’t leave Somerset without visiting Wells Cathedral. Lets give it its proper name  ” The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrews”.

Like most Cathedrals, Wells Cathedral is built on an earlier religious site this one dating back to around 700ad.  The Cathedral we see today was built between 1175 and1490.

Whilst the exterior is dramatic, bold and finely detailed it is the interior in a Gothic style  equally bold but could well be mistaken for a contemporary design that takes most visitors by surprise…. crisp modern yet full of the usual overpowering sense of being.

Wells is also the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells and an equally stylish Bishops Palace hides its charms away behind the Cathedral… and missed by many.

So share with us a brief visit to Wells Cathedral…




Apart from the Cathedral, Wells is a lovely City (on a small scale) to visit.  But it is well and truly on the Tourist Trail…Coach Parties are a major feature in visitor numbers. So pop along late afternoon for a more peaceful atmosphere in the Cathedral and if you are there around 6pm you can listen to the music and singing of Evensong echoing round the high ceilings of the nave…enjoy


6th July

(C) David Oakes 2018



You could say….Hard Cheese!


Cheddar Gorge

The area of Somerset know as Cheddar is famous for its Cheese and for me a rich mature Cheddar takes some beating. But Cheddar is also famous for its Gorge and Show Caves and is well and truly on the Tourist Trail.


It is over two decades since we last visited…from where we once lived it was a short afternoons ride for a cream tea and a walk down (or up) between the limestone cliffs that create the Gorge.  But time (and maybe memory) has not served the Gorge that well, at least, in my opinion.

Whist nothing but time and weather can change the drama and natural beauty of the Gorge the same cannot be said for parts of Cheddar village at the base of the Gorge.  Lets just say its cheap, tacky and rather uncared for…not to mind creating any welcoming impression for visitors….. listening to comments from overseas visitors it was a view they shared. True one or two traders do make an effort  and the Show Caves a worthy attraction…..but as a tourist community it could do to exercise some basic care.


 I hope the years ahead see some much needed improvement as Cheddar Gorge is really worthwhile exploring…and if you have the legs for it walking bottom to top and back again  (you can of course drive, still exciting…but that’s cheating)


5th July

(C) David Oakes 2018

Cheddar Gorge