Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Getting Lost in the Woods of Laggan Hill, Crieff

On our second morning in Loch Monzievaird, I enquired at reception about walks in the area and was told that I could take a circular walk around Laggan Hill and that it would ‘take about an hour’. After assuring the owner that I am indeed a seasoned walker, I left the grounds of Loch Monzievaird and set off up the hill.

It will surprise absolutely no one that I got lost

Crieff, Scotland

This is the point at which I went wrong, turning towards Trowan instead of veering toward Puddock Wood. What I thought would be a short 1 hour, 3 mile walk turned into a 5.5 mile or 9km hike.

Crieff, Scotland

Of course, for the longest time, I didn't realise that I was lost or that I was heading due west instead clockwise around an east, south-east loop.

Crieff, Scotland

This had nothing to do with me stopping every 3 minutes to admire the views and take photos of the scenery.

Crieff, Scotland

I soon found myself wandering deeper and deeper into the forest. I have to admit, I was pretty much in my element at this point until the path veered in a direction that I was absolutely not expecting it to.

Crieff, Scotland

It got to a point where I was photographing any landmark I could find because I incorrectly thought Google maps had my location wrong too (it didn't, I was way off course). I had very little mobile phone coverage the whole time on our holiday and it was glorious.

Crieff, Scotland

Eventually, I realised with dismay that Google Maps was not wrong and that I was closer to Trowan than I ever expected to be. I tried to take the path to Baird’s Monument but I either took another wrong turn or the path to the monument is not passable after recent storms because I found myself in deep forest and definitely off the path. I turned around swiftly! Here is a link to the monument at IWM – it is really lovely, I wish I’d have found it.

Crieff, Scotland

'No matter', I thought, 'I'll have a nice cup of tea and maybe a scone when I reach Trowan'

Crieff, Scotland

Except, as you can see above, Trowan is little more than this house and is mainly named for the large farm is there.

I walked a little further, hoping to find the loop I was trying to circle, but I dropped my paper map at some point and with it, I lost my bottle. I'd already taken an hour walk alone and gotten lost. The responsible thing was to head back along the same path.

Crieff, Scotland

My route took me through the forest again…

Crieff, Scotland

… past scenes of incredible beauty. I might not have taken the path I’d been expecting to but I loved every minute of the walk (barring the part near Baird’s Monument where I went sliding down what may or may not have still been the path).

Loved this post? Click to visit more of my posts on Loch Monzievaird, Scotland and exploring.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2022

The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

View of the Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

I love all things abandoned and derelict. When I visited my friend in Bournemouth in September, she asked if I was keen on visiting a little Dorset village that had been evacuated during World War II and abandoned ever since. I most definitely was keen! Following our morning wander around Corfe Castle, we headed up to the derelict village of Tyneham in Dorset.

Telephone box at the Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The story of Tyneham is fascinating. During World War II, the British Army needed to extend their training area and gave the inhabitants of Tyneham 28 days notice that they would need to evacuate the village. They left on 17 December 1943 but were certain they would return. Sadly, that was not the case because the army kept the land in the face of the Cold War threat after the war. The village remains part of the Ministry of Defense Lulworth Ranges to this day but the public are allowed to visit on most weekends and bank holidays.

The Row

The Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The first thing you notice when you arrive in Tyneham is the Row, a line of four tiny little cottages.

4 The Row – Shepherd’s Cottage | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

4 The Row – Shepherd’s Cottage | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The cottage on the end is 4 The Row, the Shepherd’s Cottage.

3 The Row - The Old Post Office | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

Next to that is the old Post Office at 3 The Row.

2 The Row - The Labourer's Cottage | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The labourer's cottage was at 2 The Row.

1 The Row - The School House | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The school house was at 1 The Row and was home to the village teachers and their families.

View of the cottages at The Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Church

The Row and Church, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Tyneham Church is located at the top of the Row, opposite the school house.

Inside the Church, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

It has recently been refurbished and is beautiful inside.

Church, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

You might wonder why the church has been preserved in an abandoned village. It was the wish of the villagers. When they left, they affixed a sign to the church door:

Please treat the church and houses with care. We have given up our homes, where many of us have lived for generations, to help win the war to keep men free. We will return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.

The School

The School, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

Tyneham School closed in 1932 but the building has been lovingly restored to show how it might have looked in the 1920s.

Old Books Inside The School, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

Old Scale Inside The School, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Rectory

The Rectory, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Rectory was home to the reverend and his family and of course it was the most grand building in the village.

Then and Now Comparison of The Rectory, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The house was sadly gutted by a fire in 1966 and is fenced off, but you can compare the current state of the building with a photo of how it once looked.

Pondfield Cove

The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

It doesn't take long to see everything in Tyneham so we took a long walk afterwards to Pondfield Cove where we climbed the hill and admired the views of the cove and Tyneham. All in all, it was a wonderful day out with magical memories made.

Visiting Tyneham

MOD Ranges
Tyneham
Wareham
Dorset BH20 5QF
Opening times
Directions

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Wednesday, 2 November 2022

A Sunday Morning in Corfe Castle

Signposts at Corfe Castle | Dorset

I'm full of British wanderlust today. I just want to find a little village and explore, take photos and eat cake to my heart's content. It'll be a little while before I can do that, so I'm reminiscing about one of my recent trips instead.

The day after the Bournemouth Air Festival, we decided to take a drive along the coast towards Tyneham (I think you're going to love my next post!)

The Ruin at Corfe Castle | Dorset

Our first stop was the Dorset village of Corfe Castle where the ruin of Corfe Castle is located. I've wanted to visit this tiny village for years, since our trips to Cornwall and Lyme Regis, and I'm so glad we finally did so.

Roses and the Ruin at Corfe Castle | Dorset

We parked off the A351 (exact details at the bottom of the post) and walked up the path past the ruin. We decided not to go inside on this occasion because Corfe Castle was not our final destination that morning but I'd love to visit again one day. We were blessed with wonderful weather for early September, it really did feel like summer was endless this year.

Stone Cottages on West Street, Corfe Castle | Dorset

The village is so picturesque, with stone cottages and quaint shops.

Village Bakery, Corfe Castle | Dorset

We hadn't had breakfast yet that morning so we stopped off at the Village Bakery for coffee and Chelsea buns. We don't often find Chelsea buns that we like - they are huge in Johannesburg with just the right mix of cinnamon and icing - but these were yummy!

St Edward King & Martyr, Corfe Castle | Dorset

After our much-needed snack, it was time to carry on exploring. We left the square and walked past the St Edward King & Martyr Church...

Corfe Castle from the Bankes Arms | Dorset

... taking the opportunity to appreciate the views of the castle from the beer garden of the Bankes Arms ...

Corfe Castle Rail Station | Dorset

... before arriving at Corfe Castle Rail Station.

The Platform at Corfe Castle Rail Station | Dorset

The rail station is a delightful step back in time, splendidly preserved with a nod back to the golden age of rail travel. The station opened in 1885 but was closed and very nearly demolished in the 1970s. It is a privilege to see it so lovingly restored today.

The Platform at Corfe Castle Rail Station | Dorset

"From our picturesque station ideally located for the village you can catch the Swanage Railway trains to Harmans Cross and Swanage, as well as trains heading north to the Park & Ride facility and mining museum at Norden" - Swanage Railway website

Suitcases at Corfe Castle Rail Station | Dorset

The Swanage Railway Museum is located in the old Goods Yard at Corfe station and is open every day that trains are running through the station. You can check the monthly timetable here.

The ticket office at Corfe Castle Rail Station | Dorset

The station ticket office was absolutely charming and full of nostalgia, from the fireplace to the posters to the wooden bench. The ladies waiting area is located just off the ticket office.

The View of Corfe Castle from the Rail Bridge at the Rail Station | Dorset

We took the foot bridge over the tracks to the other platform. The view of Corfe Castle from the bridge is just incredible.

The Boilerhouse Gallery at Corfe Castle Rail Station | Dorset

Located behind the platform to Swanage is the Boilerhouse Gallery, celebrating the work of local Purbeck artists.

Visions of Yesteryear at Corfe Castle Rail Station | Dorset

All too soon, it was time to go and we took a long walk back to the parking area which really was conveniently located (and free!) as there is no parking at the station. Located just off the A351, next to Corfe River, the Plus Code is JWRR+G7C Wareham and the coordinates are (50.6413941, -2.0592499). There is also a paid parking at the National Trust car park close by, BH20 5DR.

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Wednesday, 19 October 2022

A Day at the Bournemouth Air Festival

Bournemouth

I’d planned a trip to Bournemouth to see one of my oldest friends in September. When we arrived, she mentioned that the Bournemouth Air Festival was on that weekend – would I be up for a long walk along the beach to see if we could spot some planes? Of course I would!

Eurofighter Typhoon at the Bournemouth Air Festival 2022

Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect – the display started as we made our way from Southbourne Beach towards Boscombe Pier. We spotted the Eurofighter typhoon…

BBMF Hurricane at the Bournemouth Air Festival 2022

… as well as the BBMF Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane. I think that is the Hurricane in the photo above but it was obviously taken from quite a distance.

Bournemouth Air Festival 2022

I know it seems from my photos that it was a dull day but it was really lovely out (for September) and loads of people were on the beach and in the sea.

Boscombe Beach, Summer 2022

The great English summer of 2022 was slow to start but it was lovely, long and glorious in the end.

We finally arrived at Boscombe Pier and stopped off for a pizza at The Wood Oven on the beach – highly recommended if you’re ever in the area. We were exceptionally lucky to get a table on such a busy day and got down to the busy work of eating and catching up.

The Red Arrows, Bournemouth Air Festival 2022

After lunch, we began to make our way back to Southbourne. Our timing was perfect again because as we were leaving, we were very excited to see the Red Arrows.

The Red Arrows, Bournemouth Air Festival 2022

They put on quite a show and it definitely makes your heart stop from time to time.

The Red Arrows, Bournemouth Air Festival 2022

I did wish I’d come out with a better camera but I’d been planning for a long overdue catch up with my friend. Then again, the planes are so fast that I’m not sure my DSLR would have been able to cope any better.

The Red Arrows, Bournemouth Air Festival 2022

The Red Arrows left us with a giant heart just as we were finishing our walk.


The Beach at Hengistbury Head, September 2022

That evening, we decided that poor Stephen hadn’t been tortured enough and we decided to take a long, dusk walk around Hengistbury Head.It’s not that Stephen has anything against walking but 19,690 steps on a day when he was expecting to relax is a bit much for him. Plus, he got to listen to my friend and I reminisce about being 15 again, which he surprisingly didn’t find as interesting as we did.

The View at Hengistbury Head, September 2022

The views were quite beautiful and it was lovely and peaceful up there too. We could see all the way to Bournemouth.

Street Art at Hengistbury Head, September 2022

I spotted some street art and then we decided that it was probably a good idea to head back before it got dark. We’d had a marvellous day and had yet more adventures planned for the next day.

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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