Pigs in Notting Hill

This Sunday, in trying to avoid coronavirus-drenched crowds but still wanting to make the most of the British summer, we turned to Stephen Millar’s book, London’s Hidden Walks. We went to Notting Hill. It was an illuminating day. The origins of the name Notting Hill are uncertain. An early version, Knottynghull, was recorded in 1356. … Continue reading / view photos Pigs in Notting Hill

Cows and chips on the Thames

For a moment, I thought I was back in India, where cows are everywhere – from the high street to the beach. Curiously, I’d been on several Meetup walks in Gorring but none of them took in the Thames. We were following a walk in the OS Pathfinder series for the Home Countries, which I … Continue reading / view photos Cows and chips on the Thames

Bare chests and lively tops

As I hiked Runyon Canyon Park and the Hollywood Hills, I felt overdressed and under-muscled. I was wearing t-shirt and shorts. But this was too much. Many men were bare-chested with well-developed muscles. Some women wore low-cut, and lively, tops. The area is popular with people in the film industry and, if you’re eagle-eyed, you’ll … Continue reading / view photos Bare chests and lively tops

Angel Island

One of the day trips you can do from San Francisco is to Angel Island, a thirty minute boat ride that passes Alcatraz (the inescapable prison, now closed). Once there, I walked up Mount Livermore – a pleasant two hour circular climb, ascending about 240m. From the top, you get good views of the San … Continue reading / view photos Angel Island

Beautiful Yosemite

Yosemite is one of America’s best kept secrets. It is a beautiful national park – unspoilt and not commercialised. There are many hikes people can do – easy and hard. After our Half Dome marathon, we had a recovery day, seeing Yosemite’s many faces without much exertion. We were in a minibus. Anyone can drive … Continue reading / view photos Beautiful Yosemite

Hiking to Half Dome

One of the famous peaks in Yosemite is Half Dome. The name will be obvious when you see a photo of it. The hike to the top requires using cables. To avoid a traffic jam, any one hiking to the top requires a permit. The handing out of permits is a lottery: there is no … Continue reading / view photos Hiking to Half Dome

Zion National Park – Angels Landing

Angels Landing is a 450m rock formation. Several people have died trying to get to the top. At its worst, there are steep drops either side of you as you ascend or descend its spine. There are now chains to help you go up. Before getting to that stage you ascend 21 switchbacks, which have … Continue reading / view photos Zion National Park – Angels Landing

Lydney Harbour

In the late 1980s/early 1990s, a new DJ was broadcasting on GLR, the BBC radio station for London. Unusually for the time, the station gave DJs a free hand. They could talk about anything and play whatever music they wanted. There was no playlist. Some of the DJs who started on the station included Chris … Continue reading / view photos Lydney Harbour

Wye Valley walk: Coleford/ Lower Redbrook

The Wye Valley always seems to be deserted when I walk there. Today we did see a small group – the sort of people I associate with the long-established Ramblers group: hardy, well-equipped, appropriately addressed, senior and led by a cheerful, never-say-die leader! We walked this section of the beautiful Wye Valley starting at the … Continue reading / view photos Wye Valley walk: Coleford/ Lower Redbrook

Forest of Dean walk

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Forest of Dean. It’s lovely to return and stay with my long-time friend, Dave. This was a short but thoroughly enjoyable walk in the Forest. It has changed in the past few years. The boars are more plentiful and digging up the paths. Despite that, … Continue reading / view photos Forest of Dean walk