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Continuing adventures in Shropshire... - There's something about Mary...

Jul. 30th, 2010 02:32 pm Continuing adventures in Shropshire...

So, where was I?

Ah yes, when I left you on Tuesday we were off out to Queen's Head, to try out the pub, called 'The Queen's Head".  I enjoyed a delicious prawn cocktail, followed by chicken stuffed with stilton in a creamy bacon sauce, all washed down with a bottle of Rioja. Excellent food, though the wine choice was limited (plenty of them, but only a couple from Europe - and, for reasons of carbon footprint I tend to choose European wines where I can).

As an aside, I am impressed with the De Vere venues hotel chain, who have English wine (and a nice one) on their wine list at Wychwood Park and Latimer Place.

Wednesday turned out to be a Welsh day - we got up late, then headed out for an adventure into Wales, driving for about 4 hours or so down endless picturesque country lanes, stopping to look at pretty things.  I only took one photo on Wednesday, of a stone circle we found in Llanfyllin  (see link to photos below).  I have tried and failed to find anything on google about these stones - they were in the grounds of Llanfyllin school, and weren't marked on the OS map.  If anyone can enligten me as to their history I would be most grateful.

Another highlight was Lake Vyrnwy, which had a road all the way round it from which to view is beauty.  I feared we would be sleeping there, whe the car started making weird clunking noises.... but, Tim crawled under the car and found nothing seriously wrong, so we drove back (slowly and carefully) to our cottage in Grimpo.

I made roast gammon when we got back, and excitedly read through my hardcopy of the Science Festival programme (which arrived the day we left) putting rings round all the talks I want to go to.  Looks like a really great programme this year - can't wait!

Thursday, we decided, was castles day.  First, a visit to Whittington castle (see photos) - a small ruin in a lovely village, surrounded by a moat with ducklings, goslings and cygnets (which I called swanlets at first, until I remembered the correct term!).  Then, it was on to Old Oswestry, an iron age hill fort (one of the best preserved in the country it said, though I think they all say that).  Certainly quite a large, many-layered, mound.  And good views of the surrounding countryside from up there.

From there, we went on to Chirk Castle, which I forgot to photograph, so you will have to google for it.  This castle was very much intact, managed by the National Trust (and at £20 for 2 adults to get in, I was glad of my NT life membership which got us both in free).  Well worth a visit though, if you are in the area: impressive rooms inside, including a library; gorgeous views across Wales and England; lovely gardens; a tea-room; dungeons; gift shop; farm and farm shop; woodland walks; etc

We had a very late lunch, or was it early dinner, at about 5pm at a pub not far from the castle.  I can't remember what it was called, but it was on a canal, and had a giant snail on the wall outside.  They did me an excellent cajun chicken breast.  And our drive home got us back just in time for the evening prom of Wagner, Beethoven and Dvorak. 

Today, Friday, having worn myself out most thoroughly yesterday, I am having a lazy day, reading, internetting, and generally moving as little as possible!  Tim has gone out for a stroll this afternoon.  And we have Shostakovich and Mahler to look forward to in tonight's prom - on BBC4 as well as radio 3 today, so they must think it's going to be a good one.

Tomorrow we have to leave this heavenly place - me for Crewe, staying overnight Saturday in the Ramada Encore hotel (ready for a training day at Wychwood Park on Sunday); and Tim for home for the weekend.  I have Stuart joining me in Crewe for a romantic night on Sunday evening, but I am a free agent Saturday night, so if anyone feels like joining me for a drink at my hotel on Saturday evening, do give me a shout (by text preferably, or by email to SaintMaryUK AT gmail DOT com).

It has been a good week.  Just what I needed :-)

Photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maryrperkins/sets/72157624593886480/ 

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Date:July 31st, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
Glad you're having such a fantastic time!

The correct term for a young swan is 'cygnet' by the way, just to complete the set.
Date:July 31st, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, the cygnets were gorgeous, and their parents were, unusually, not too protective of thm.

Mary x