Tag Archives: Churches

London – The Moonwalk marathon, what a way to see the city at night!

Heading for the Big Pink Tent

Heading for the Big Pink Tent

The London Moonwalk is an annual event and this would be my second one. It’s a tough challenge to walk twenty six point two miles but when you don’t start until midnight and you’re dressed in leggings and a decorated bra it is more like torture and should probably be banned under the Geneva Convention. Still, it is to raise money and awareness for breast cancer and it’s a novel way of seeing London. Continue reading

Southampton to Winchester, via Eastleigh and Twyford

Well, I made it to the river and the swans at least

Well, I made it to the river and the swans at least

Walking a marathon is not as easy as you might think but my training for the London Moonwalk took me through some interesting places that I might otherwise not have seen. This is the story of my final training walk, the full twenty six miles from Southampton to Winchester and back again. When I got up the rain was teaming down. Just a shower I thought, the forecast was for showers so I was under no illusion about it being a nice dry sunny walk. Then the morning TV weather forecast came on, showers all day, heavier ones later with thunder and possibly hail! Is someone trying to tell me something? Showers I can cope with, I don’t like them but I can live with them, but thunder, hail, rain all day? It wasn’t a very enticing prospect. Continue reading

The New Forest – Lyndhurst and Matley Woods

Water, water everywhere

A wet Sunday walk from Lyndhurst to Matley woods and back

Lyndhurst is the administrative capital of the New Forest, where the district council and the Court of the Verderers are based. The many interesting little shops, cafes, pubs and even art galleries make it very popular with tourists. Even so it’s a relatively small village with only around three thousand inhabitants. There are some great walks around Lyndhurst across the heathland and into Matley Woods and on one cold, damp November Sunday recently I tried one out.

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Barcelona – the famous unfinished church Sagrada Familia

First sight of the famous landmark up close

First sight of the famous landmark up close

Sagrada Familia outside and in – Barcelona

The building is impressive, despite all the scaffolding and cranes and has to be seen to be believed. Each side is different and our first view was of the face depicting the crucifiction. This was also where we got our first glimpse of the queue to get inside. Walking round into Carrer de Proven├ža, we stared up at the mass of spires then turned into Carrer de la Marina to gawp at the astonishingly intricate nativity scene built by Gaudi himself. Turning into Carrer de Mallorca, we found most of the building ensconced in scaffolding. Then we were back where we started staring at a very big queue. Continue reading

Southampton – Holyrood Church and a trail of sculptures

QE2 anchor, who'd have thought it?

QE2 anchor, who’d have thought it?

The ruins of Holyrood Church and a quest to find five sculptures

Holyrood Church is actually the shell of a church. It was built in the early fourteenth century and was one of five churches in the old walled city. Right up until the Second World War it was in use as a church but, during the terrible bombing raids in November 1940, it was more or less destroyed. Because of its long history, it was used by crusaders en route to the Holy Land and soldiers before sailing to the battle of Agincourt amongst others, it has been kept as a monument to sailors of the Merchant Navy. Continue reading

Southampton – walking the historic medieval city walls

Ferns growing on the historic walls, Southampton

Ferns growing on the historic walls, Southampton

Walking the medieval city walls of Southampton

The last time I walked the walls was when the boys were at school. In fact I think it was part of a school history project. Living in a city packed to the gills with history, I tend to forget about it most of the time. There are bits I stroll past on a regular basis but I don’t really think about them. Other bits I’ve barely even seen, despite living here all my life. Continue reading

Southampton, Hampshire – Peartree Church, a spooky tale

 

Southampton Sunset

Southampton Sunset

The real Richard Parker, a gruesome and spooky tale of shipwrecks and cannibalism

Southampton, Hampshire on the sunny south coast of England is my home town. It’s a city filled with history and this is one little bit that has some surprising connections with the film Life of Pi. If you’ve seen the film you will know its the story of a shipwreck and a tiger called Richard Parker. What you probably won’t know is that Richard Parker is also the name of several real people (and a fictional one) who were shipwrecked. Continue reading