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All aboard a new walking trail across Wales

All aboard a new walking trail across Wales The 122-mile Heart of Wales Line Trail traces a much-loved railway through magnificent countryside, taking in a forgotten wonder of the industrial age On the station platform at Craven Arms, a helpful elderly lady asks where I’m going. “I’m looking for the Heart of Wales?” Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Kevin Rushby Tweet

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Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK

Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK ‘Going for a run’ is exhilarating when forests and mountains are the backdrop. Two trail runners pick six stunning routes for beginners from their new book There’s no doubt that running as a pastime is booming; big city marathons report record numbers of entries – London received over 250,000 applications for its 40,000 places in 2018 – and Parkrun interest has soared, from 13 runners in 2004 to over three million globally today. But the focus has always been parks and pavements, with off-road running dominated by cross-country and fell races. Now, more of us are venturing into fields, forests, moors and mountains in search of a wilder kind…

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20 great UK cottages with pools

20 great UK cottages with pools Holiday homes with swimming pools sell out fast in peak periods, so get in early this year at some of the best around the country Sitting on the edge of Newtown national nature reserve, Shalfleet Manor Estate is in a top spot for birdwatching, canoeing and walks around the Newtown estuary. The 17th-century Grade-II listed manor and separate outbuilding conversions have been recently renovated, and share the heated outdoor pool (May-September), tennis courts and gardens. The heritage colour palette keeps spaces light, while a large restored oak fireplace in the main house adds a touch of drama. A mooring on the nearby river is also available to guests. No more than a 35-minute…

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Winter wanders: 21 UK walks with a wow factor

Winter wanders: 21 UK walks with a wow factor Authors, travel and nature writers pick routes in the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Scenic Areas that take on a special aura in winter Start Chace EndFinish North HillDistance/time 9.3 miles/5 hoursRefuel The Red Lion, Malvern Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Guardian writers Tweet

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Slated for success: a walk in Snowdonia, Wales – a potential new Unesco site

Slated for success: a walk in Snowdonia, Wales – a potential new Unesco site Cambodia has Angkor Wat, Jordan has Petra and Unesco may soon add the slate landscape of Snowdonia to its heritage list. We walk its old miners’ trails ‘It’s a new Machu Picchu!” I cried to my companion as we crested a high pass and gazed down. In a secret mountain fastness lay the remains of an ancient village. A grid of streets passed silent dwellings. Further below, two Nazca-straight lines led past a decaying temple. We were 21st-century Hiram Binghams. I could already hear Kirsty Young asking me what my first disc would be. I was a little wide of the mark. We had climbed…

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20 of the best indoor family activities for half-term

20 of the best indoor family activities for half-term From the UK’s longest indoor ski slope to the Roald Dahl Museum, Rachel Dixon picks fun days out from her new book for childrenMore days out: 20 outdoor activities This fun-packed museum has six zones – covering topics such as the human body, nature and technology – with 400 interactive exhibits. The current temporary exhibition is devoted to digital art, and children can create their own animated creature. Over half-term, kids can enrol in Ghoul School, where terrifying teachers include Dr Frankenstein, a witch and a werewolf. Lessons cover potion-making and survival skills, and dressing up gets bonus marks. For adults, Halifax’s recently renovated, 18th-century Piece Hall is next door…

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Restorative powers: a stay at historic Llwyn Celyn

Restorative powers: a stay at historic Llwyn Celyn As the Landmark Trust opens this 600-year old house in Wales’s Black Mountains, Owen Sheers finds its period details offer a richly atmospheric stay We arrive in a storm. It is late, the night alive with wind and slanting rain. For the last few miles the narrow lanes, lit by the car’s headlights, have been strewn with a winter confetti of leaves, twigs and branches. In contrast to all this wild movement and scattering through which we’ve been driving, our destination, Llwyn Celyn (meaning holly bush) at the mouth of the Llanthony Valley near Abergavenny, appears as a mass of stillness and solidity, looming dark above us. With no exterior lights…

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Walks with a tale to tell – part 2

Walks with a tale to tell – part 2 Fascinating stories lie at the heart of these autumnal walks, as nature writers follow in the footsteps of a Pictish queen, an eccentric poet-priest, Charles Darwin and more Strolls with stories: part 1 Length/time 3½ miles, 2-3 hoursStart/finish Honister Slate Mine Refuel Sky Hi Cafe, at the mine Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Tweet

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20 of the best UK hotels, B&Bs and campsites for walkers

20 of the best UK hotels, B&Bs and campsites for walkers After a day’s hiking, a cosy place to bed down for the night feels like heaven. All these boltholes are in walking country and many offer extras such as guides, pick-ups and picnics At the foot of the imposing Cadair Idris mountains, the Old Rectory in Tal-y-Llyn offers access to Snowdonia’s quieter southern reaches, as well as good walking around the nearby market town of Machynlleth, including Glyndŵr’s Way National Trail. Two of the B&B’s four attractive lake-view rooms have big, free-standing baths, ideal for an end-of-walk soak, or muscles can be soothed in the hot tub outside.Walks An easy 2-mile trail loops around Tal-y-Llyn lake – look…

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UK walks with a tale to tell – part 1

UK walks with a tale to tell – part 1 Fascinating stories lie at the heart of these autumnal walks. From exploring dark history on the moors to Roman Britain, nature writers follow in fabled footsteps• See part 2 tomorrow Length/time 2¼ miles, 1-2 hours Start/finish Upper Birks car parkRefuel Aberfeldy Watermill or Birks Cinema Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Guardian Staff Tweet

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