PENS AND NEEDLES
MARGATE IN DECEMBER
NORTH WALES IN NOVEMBER
CHAPTER FIVE BEACHWRITER'S BLOG
For a wider view of the world I have a blog on Wordpress
MARGATE, ISLE OF THANET, KENT - DECEMBER
We stayed in Margate for five days over Christmas. The town was recently host for the Turner prize award as befits the town where the artist loved to stay.
A strange pillar box and new plaques about T S Eliot, who convalesced in the town and sat in the Nayland shelter to write part of his poem 'The Wasteland,' were perhaps in honour of the press coming to town.
Christmas Eve was bright and on the beach the specially created bathing machine, which is actually a sauna, was being used by intrepid swimmers.
Off the high street someone had been busy with the paint pots at the shops.
Boxing Day returned to grey skies, but there was plenty of colour at Dreamland and the amusement arcade.
READ MORE ABOUT MARGATE
IN CHAPTER FOUR TRAVEL NOTES
You know you are in Wales when the road signs are in both languages. Only about a fifth of people in Wales actually speak Welsh fluently, but in the north the majority do.
We stayed in Porthmadog for four nights, a lovely town with mountains in the background, a harbour and lots of trains, including the famous Ffestiniog Railway, Rheiffyrdd Ffestiniog.
Portmeirion is the fantasy cliffside village designed by architect and local aristocrat Clough Williams-Ellis. It is famous as the setting where sixties television series ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed, one of those dramas where viewers had no idea what was going on, thus making it a cult film. You have to pay to go in, but it is well worth a visit and it must be even better on a sunny summer’s day. Colourful strange buildings cling to rock faces. Various winding steps, slippery in the damp weather, take you down to the edge of the estuary. No one lives there. We went to the hotel that was the house of a previous reclusive owner before Clough Williams bought the land in the 1920s and had coffee in front of an open fire. It was quiet, but apparently they had had a hundred guests for breakfast, those staying at the hotel and others in self catering apartments in the exotic buildings. Behind the village woodlands spread up the hill.
We drove to Llanberris through the mountain scenery of Snowdonia in mist and rain to visit the Snowdon Mountain Railway. It was closed till March, but we thought it would be fun to see the station. I had always imagined a station sitting at the foot of the mountain. It isn’t quite like that and with the low lying cloud and mist we were not quite sure which mountain was Snowdon. Since 1896 the little rack and pinion railway has been taking visitors up Snowdon and there is now a new visitor centre and cafe at the summit. But even in winter the area is well worth visiting and the sun came out for a while.
You can read more about our trip to North Wales at my Tidalscribe blog.
VISIT MORE PLACES IN CHAPTER FOUR
TRAVEL NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND
THE WEBSITE OF AUTHOR JANET GOGERTY