Tag: walking

Cwm Amarch

September 18, 2020 2 Comments
Cwm Amarch

There are places in Wales – places no one would call remote – that few people, even those living here, have visited, or even knew existed.  Cwm Amarch, it would be safe to say, is one of them. I got to Minffordd early enough – before ten o’clock.  Normally, on a Monday in mid-September, you’d […]

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John ‘Walking’ Stewart, an extreme pedestrian

July 10, 2020 0 Comments
John ‘Walking’ Stewart, an extreme pedestrian

In his time Foster Powell was known for mighty feats of pedestrianism.  But his achievements pale in comparison with those of a rather younger contemporary, John ‘Walking’ Stewart (1747-1822).  While Powell’s stage was mainly limited to England and Scotland, Stewart walked over large parts of the globe.  As well as his wanderings he was known […]

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Foster Powell, the great pedestrian

June 26, 2020 0 Comments
Foster Powell, the great pedestrian

When he was 21 years old Samuel Taylor Coleridge came to Wales for a walking tour with his Cambridge friend Joseph Hucks.  In a letter written in Denbigh in July 1794 to Robert Southey he summarises the trip so far, and writes, From Bala we travelled onward to Llangollen, a most beautiful village in a […]

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Grass for pillow: early Japanese travel poems

February 29, 2020 0 Comments
Grass for pillow: early Japanese travel poems

Last year Penguin published a selection of classical Japanese writings about travel.  Travels with a writing brush, edited by the Australian translator Meredith McKinney, didn’t receive much attention at the time, but it’s a wonderful and wonderfully varied introduction to poetry and prose written in Japan between the seventh and seventeenth centuries.  For anyone who’s […]

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A reader walks out

December 27, 2019 0 Comments
A reader walks out

In the huge and magnificent William Blake exhibition now on in Tate Britain there are many images that were new to me, even though I’d seen the earlier big Tate shows of his artistic work, in 1978 and 2000.  One of them comes from a series Blake produced during the last three years of his […]

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Werner Herzog’s pilgrimage to Paris

September 28, 2019 1 Comment
Werner Herzog’s pilgrimage to Paris

Many think Werner Herzog our greatest living film-maker.  His major fiction films of the 1970s and 1980s will always find new viewers.  Aguirre, Wrath of God, a study in conspiracy, tyranny and madness, has a claim to be one of the most powerful ever made.  Once you’ve seen it the first time, with its dense […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 14: Clwyd Gate to Bodfari

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 14: Clwyd Gate to Bodfari

This was the day we were not looking forward to.  For a while the weather forecast was adamant: heavy rain in the morning, lighter rain for the rest of the day.  But the heavy rain cleared early, and it was just spitting when I went out into the streets of Ruthin in search of a […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 12: Trefonen to Castell Dinas Brân

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 12: Trefonen to Castell Dinas Brân

Today was due to be rain-free, and it is.  This fact alone lends us a lightness of spirit that lasts all day, another long one.  We’re joined by our guestwalker and friend A., fit after his holiday in the Italian mountains.  A taxi returns us from Oswestry to Trefonen.  We’re immediately unable to find the […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 11: Buttington to Trefonen

September 15, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 11: Buttington to Trefonen

At nearly seventeen miles this is going to be our longest day, so C, M and I set out early from Buttington Bridge.  It’s already raining steadily.  The path takes us along the towpath of the Montgomery Canal, no longer navigable and the preserve of great sheets of algae rather than narrow boats.  We pass […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 10: Cwm to Buttington

September 15, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 10: Cwm to Buttington

We start out early, with a spring in our step: no rain’s forecast, the wind’s slackened, and the day’s climbing is limited.  After a short walk along lanes we rejoin the Dyke, and follow it, still tall and well-ditched, downhill and northwards, through trees.  The tree roots need constant watching, to avoid a fall.  On […]

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