Tag: walking

Father Toban, the greatest scholar in the world

July 30, 2021 0 Comments
Father Toban, the greatest scholar in the world

It’s late summer, 1854.  George Borrow, walking around Wales, has arrived at Holyhead.  He stays overnight at the ‘Railway Hotel’ – reluctantly, because he detests railroads and never takes a train if he can do the same journey on foot.  In the morning he explores the town and then finds himself on the breakwater at […]

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Cwm Cadlan

June 25, 2021 0 Comments
Cwm Cadlan

At the centre of Penderyn is the Lamb Inn, with its blue plaque commemorating ‘Lewsyn yr Heliwr’, one of the leaders of the 1831 Merthyr Rising.  Almost opposite, there’s an ancient signpost labelled ‘Cwm Cadlan, Brecon County’.  It points to a lane off to the east.  After climbing gently for four or five miles across […]

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Field

February 5, 2021 0 Comments
Field

The simplest way to get there is from the top of the road that climbs up from the bay.  Turning left at the signpost, you walk along a broad path.  At one point it’s ankle-deep in mud, like most Gower footpaths in this damp and Covid-walker winter.  Suddenly the path opens out into a field.   […]

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Thomas Traherne goes walking

November 7, 2020 0 Comments
Thomas Traherne goes walking

Today Thomas Traherne is counted alongside George Herbert and Henry Vaughan as one of the great ‘metaphysical’ poets of the seventeenth century.  All three, interestingly, were men of Welsh and Welsh Borders origin.  Herbert was born in Montgomery, Vaughan came from Llansantffraed near Talybont-on-Usk and returned there to live, and Traherne was probably born in […]

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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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