As the dark, cold, winter nights draw in and signal the end of the year I’ve took some time out to reflect on the places that I’ve visited this year.
|In May my good friend Simon and I did the first half of our tour along Hadrian’s Wall.
We started at the Cumbria end of the Wall and worked our way along, stopping at several historical sites along the way. In one day managed to enter Northumberland, stopping at Walltown Quarry and Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum.
Next year we are having another day out, starting at Vindoland Roman Fort & Museum and working our way along to the end of Hadrian’s Wall.
|As part of my birthday celebrations I invited family and friends to spend the day with me at Chester Zoo. I really wanted to see the Islands Exhibit.
Unfortunately not many people could make it on the day to share the experience. The Islands Exhibit was also rather disappointing.
But the well-established exhibits were great. My favourites were: the Elephants enclosure, the Butterfly house, the Giraffes, the Chimps, the Flamingos, the Lions, the speckled Bear and the Black Rhinos.
|In July Simon and I set out to one of our faviourate places – Rivington. But unknown to us, there was some sort of cycling event and with many roads closed we couldn’t work out how to actually get there.
So instead Simon directed me to Astley Hall Park. It was a place that I had never been to before and is beautiful.
We had a walk around the park, stopping to take photos. Then we had coffee and cake in the on-site cafe.
|I have wanted to visit a botanical gardens for sometime now. I wanted to meander inside a giant glass greenhouse full of exotic plants and trees. I even put it as a goal for 2016. So I did a Google search looking for my nearest botanical gardens, found Southport Botanic Gardens (Churchtown) and dragged Simon along.
It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. No giant glass greenhouse. But the weather was sunny and warm and in its own way it was totally charming. The small park was filled with trees from across the world. I just wish there had been some sort of guide to what species the trees were and where in the world they had come from.
There was an unexpected aviary and a small yet delightful Victorian gardens. There was another cafe, so of course we stopped for coffee and cake.
|York is known for its iconic Abbey and shopping. It’s a place that I had never been to until this year.
Probably the greatest thing about our visit is the fun we had together. We talked and laughed lots. Here are two photos of me being silly (click on any image for full size):
So these are the places that I’ve visited this year. I think it’s time to start planning for 2017.