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Tintern – Not Just the Abbey, There’s More!

Tintern Abbey is such an iconic place and it is easy to spend a whole day there. The Tintern Village web pages describe it as "the jewel in Britain’s beautiful Wye Valley" and yes, I agree!

Explore the Abbey

I really enjoyed my walk amongst the ruins of Tintern Abbey. Despite the fact that there were other people around, it felt very peaceful. With the sun on my back and all day to spare I meandered around reading the information boards at my own pace.

It has had an interesting history. I could imagine a time when it was home to the monks who lived and laboured there.

Tintern - Not Just the Abbey, There's More! - Abbey View
Tintern - Not Just the Abbey, There's More! - Picnic spot

Have some refreshments

Having had my fill of history, it was time for lunch. There are several pubs and cafes to choose from. I was there on a busy Sunday. It was Mother’s Day and there were families picnicking amongst the ruins of the Inner Court.

I chose to have a sandwich in the courtyard gardens of the White Monk Tea Rooms. To be honest it was my second choice as I had originally fancied the Filling Station Cafe, but the queue was too long and I was too impatient. It was tasty and filling and you can’t ask for much more than that!

Enjoy a walk along the river   

The weather was fabulous and after lunch I walked a little way along the river. If you felt so inclined, you could go much further. The path I was on is part of a long distance path from Chepstow to Plynlimon. It is a walk of 136 miles in total and Tintern is at mile 6.

There have been some very famous walkers along the Wye Valley, including Turner the painter and Wordsworth the poet. It did amuse me when I went into the toilets to see that someone had left a copy of the Wordsworth poem by the basin. The title of which is Lines Composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey. The painting by Turner is called Tintern Abbey from the River Wye!


Tintern - Not Just the Abbey, There's More! - River Walk

Do you have any ruins near where you live? Can you spend a whole day there enjoying the scenery and maybe even doing a Treasure Trail? We’d love to hear from you if you have, through the usual channels - Facebook or Twitter.

3rd June 2019

Posted In: Things to do, Wales


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Walk Through History in LEGO Bricks

We were really lucky to have had the chance to see the Brick History exhibition recently. It is touring Britain so do try and see it if you can!

The Artist

We saw the exhibition at the Hereford Museum and Art Gallery.

According to a description on the wall, Warren Elsmore loves Lego. He spends his days creating models with the little plastic bricks. He has written books on Lego and takes commissions to recreate places, objects and events.

I love that his Twitter description says “and yes I do get to play with LEGO for a living”.

The exhibition is a whistle stop history tour.

Walk Through History in LEGO Bricks - The Artist
Walk Through History in LEGO Bricks - The Exhibition

The Exhibition

The exhibition itself is fascinating. It is divided into various sections - equality, exploration, transport, arts and conflict. There are models of events such as the handover of Hong Kong. The destruction of Pompeii and the first London underground train.

The detail is amazing and the use of the different bricks is incredible.

I always think of LEGO as bricks that hurt when you stand on them!

Warren and his team have created landscapes and they’ve used oblong and rectangular bricks to create curves. Really inspired to get out the box of LEGO I’ve been storing for the last umpteen years!

The Local Input

What I really loved was that the museum has placed a local Herefordian LEGO character in a standard display case.

We searched for characters as diverse as King Ethelbert to Jessica Raine. Also Ellie Goulding to Frank Oz, the voice of Yoda in Star Wars. And lots more!

There are also LEGO models all around the city to find. It was great fun to see the current mayor and a woolly mammoth sharing their space.

Walk Through History in LEGO Bricks - The Local Input
Walk Through History in LEGO Bricks - Did You Know

Did You Know

  • 2.16 million bricks are moulded every hour.
  • Laid end to end, the number of bricks sold in a year would reach more than 5 times around the world.
  • LEGO mini figures are the world’s largest population with over 4 billion of them around the world.
  • On average there are 80 LEGO bricks for every person on earth.
  • The world’s tallest LEGO tower is  made from 465,000 bricks and is 28.7m high.

Phew that’s a lot of LEGO!

Apparently, the exhibition will also visit Derby, Greenham Common and Norwich later this year and next. Click here for the dates.

Do let us know if you get a chance to see it.

9th May 2019

Posted In: Berkshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, London, Norfolk, Things to do


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