From Chequers to pizza

We had a couple more days in Birmingham before going to London. There’s an environmentally friendly shop called Clean Kilo, which uses no plastics, and you take your own containers to fill up with food, toiletries, and cleaning stuff. There were two shops at one time, but they struggled during the pandemic. The one in … Continue reading / view photos From Chequers to pizza

Damselflies in Ironbridge

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and a short drive got us to Ironbridge. We’d done an autumn walk there a few years ago and I had fond memories of the once industrial town. We followed the same route, finishing at the Iron Bridge itself. Along the canal on the walk, the azure-blue damselflies were … Continue reading / view photos Damselflies in Ironbridge

Hay Festival 2024

A last-minute decision and booking took us to Hay-on-Wye for the second May Bank Holiday weekend. Before going into town, we walked up Hay Bluff, one of our favourite hill walks. You can ascend and descend the 677m in about an hour. Hay-on-Wye is renowned for having lots of bookshops. When I first went there … Continue reading / view photos Hay Festival 2024

Great Malvern

Being in Birmingham, I took a day trip to Great Malvern, which is easily reached by train. I’ve been many times to Malvern and have always liked walking in the hills, which the station poster told me consisted of some of the oldest rocks in England, formed over 650 million years ago. Malvern is also … Continue reading / view photos Great Malvern

Capital Ring — sections 3, 4

Section 3 of the Capital Ring was from Grove Park to Crystal Palace. Quickly after starting, we were onto the path called the Railway Children Walk, named after the book (and film), The Railway Children. The book’s author used to walk in the Grove Park nature reserve. Although without many points of interest, the first … Continue reading / view photos Capital Ring — sections 3, 4

Capital Ring — sections 1, 2

After finishing the London Loop, my friends and I started on the Capital Ring. Both are circular routes around London: the London Loop encircles Greater London and the Capital Ring encircles Inner London. The London Loop is about 242km (150 miles) and the Capital Ring is about 126km (78 miles). Hopefully, the elapsed time for … Continue reading / view photos Capital Ring — sections 1, 2

Leaving Finland

On our last day in Finland, we had a little adventure. We had planned to catch an early morning train to the airport, so we arrived at Helsinki central station around 5am. However, to our surprise, the doors were closed when we tried to get in. Looking through the windows, we couldn’t spot any life … Continue reading / view photos Leaving Finland

Visiting EMMA

A pleasant Easter Sunday walk on a misty morning took us to the cosy Cafe Regatta in Toolo — a part of Helsinki we’d not been to. At the secluded waterside cafe, I had coffee and an indulgent cardamom bun. I also got my dose of dog therapy playing with three dogs sitting in the … Continue reading / view photos Visiting EMMA

Return to Helsinki

After a restful night’s sleep on the train, we awoke to find ourselves nearing Helsinki. Since we had time, we made our way to the train’s restaurant car and had a hearty, piping hot porridge. Our hotel was around the corner from central station. We chose it because of our upcoming early flight, which would … Continue reading / view photos Return to Helsinki

Visiting Santa

Our time in Rovaniemi was drawing to a close. For our final day, we went to Santa’s village in the Arctic Circle. The regular Santa’s Bus takes about 40 minutes from the train station to reach the village. On arriving, we went in the first building we saw, which happen to have the line marking … Continue reading / view photos Visiting Santa