Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sojourn in the Peak District - National Cycle Network Route 68

I have just spent a couple of days talking up my Peak District Cycling Map. Visiting my various retail outlets: the National Park Centres, Cotswold Outdoor and other specialist retailers. Mayfield Books of Sheffield do a fine job in placing my maps in the many sale outlets but there is always a job to do, to get around and "Talk Up' the product.  I camped beside the High Peak Trail at Hurdlow, enjoying a couple of pints of local ale in the Royal Oak, a perfect spot for those cycling this trail, or for those seeking a small camp site, free of caravans. The cycling couple illustrated below were heading for Berwick-on-Tweed in the borders, and the northern end of NCN 68. Good luck to them!

The Shire Horse Inn, Wyaston on the NCN 68
Leaving the Shire Horse Inn, Wyaston

The Royal Oak, Hurdlow
High Peak Trail, Parsley Hay

Parsley Hay
The Peak District is a fabulous playground for family cycling on traffic-free trails, or for those seeking the thrills and spills of manic off-roading. Each to his (her) own!  I am told cycling is the new climbing obsession (for many), and long may this continue.
Our brilliant and all encompassing map
The funny fellow showing off his fine legs and handsome features is my route-man, Al Churcher - a great buddy and very knowledgeable cyclist. He is a Pentathlete and is about to compete in the Bejing Games - Good Luck Al!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Snowshill Lavender Gloucestershire

If purple is your favourite colour then this is the venue for you. But, get there now because the harvest has just begun. You can wander through the fields of lavender and admire the geometric lines....and, smell the sweet smell of....yes, lavender.

There is a splendid tea room and gift shop, and thank you, for, so far, selling ten of my Cotswold Collection.  Herewith, an example of this lovely plant.   I just love the tree on the horizon...

Friday, 15 July 2011

To Succeed - A Successfull Hostelry Must....

Is it no wonder that pubs/inns close at a rate of 100+ per week when those in charge have few social skills and can not recognize their regular customers, and fail to greet them with a "Good Evening", or "How Are You"?  Living in North Devon one has got used to lack lustre drinking holes. The olde-worlde decor was ripped out in the 60s to cater for the tourists, and so those that are left have little, or  no, homely ambience about them.  The three inns that I visit regularly: The Rock at Georgeham (bar man never smiles) with an OK ambience, The Kings Arms, Georgeham (proprietor didn't recognize my wife despite having employed my two children) serves up superb Exmoor Beef, and the Grampus Inn, Lee is improving but you wonder if the publican cares whether you give him business or not. What is it with these people? Where is the drive, the enthusiasm, the old-fashioned hospitality. Why do they  bother?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

King Arthur's Camelot - Tintagel

Tintagel is known across Europe (in especially Germany and Holland) as the ancient site of Camelot.  And, has thus become a place of pilgrimage bringing in millions of pounds to the local economy of North Cornwall. A fact ignored by the Cornwall County Council who in their wisdom have closed down the stunning  Heritage Centre in Tintagel.  That the Tourist Information Centres of Boscastle, Falmouth and Penzance have also closed due to shortage of funds is anethema to me, too, and shows the complete disregard for the future of tourism in the county. Who and what pays these people's salaries? You don't look a Gift Horse in the mouth do you?

Have you been enjoying Channel 4s Camelot on Saturday evenings? I believe filmed in Ireland, and not, sadly in North Cornwall.

Cumbria is another county that has closed down all but one of the National Park Centres....They blame it all on the internet....but as we know. It is difficult to find quality, reliable information that has not been parley to heavy advertising....Comments, please.
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