Thursday, 20 October 2011

North Pier at Tynemouth

It may have been an October afternoon, and it may have been breezy, but it was also very bright and sunny when we went to Tynemouth and walked along the North Pier. The building of the Piers was a crucial factor in the development of the Tyne as a major port in the Victorian period, though they took 50 years to construct. The North Pier was started in 1854 and work on it was not finished until 1895. A huge storm two years later caused significant damage and another 14 years of redesign and rebuilding.

Take a walk along the North Pier if you are in Tynemouth. There is no charge, and the bracing walk of over 1.5km to the lighthouse at the end will certainly blow away the cobwebs!

Overlooking the Piers from the top of the adjacent cliffs are Tynemouth Priory and Castle.

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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Copenhagen and Malmo short break

I visited Copenhagen and Malmo in July. This is the video of the whole trip.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Syria and Lebanon

In December 2010 I went to Syria and Lebanon, visiting Damascus, Palmyra, Homs, Hama, Aleppo, Krac des Chevaliers, Beirut, Baalbeck and Byblos. I will be posting up more detailed comments as well as videos and photos about each place I visited. In the meantime, this is the video I shot of the whole trip.

Crystal Palace Park

The Crystal Palace was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton to house the Great Exhibition in 1851 in Hyde Park, London. When the Exhibition was over, the Crystal Palace was dismantled and eventually moved to a new and permanent site at Penge in what is now the London Borough of Bromley. The park was created in the grounds of the Palace and its most famous features are the dinosaurs, lifesize replicas of what the Victorians thought dinosaurs looked like.

The park's lake attracts many wild fowl and there is a huge number of grey squirrels living in the grounds.

There is a small farm/zoo in the park, near the station which houses pigs, goats, lamas, rabbits, guinea pigs and pet birds. There is also a small hot house for reptiles and amphibians.

Both the following videos were filmed in January 2011 (you will spot the ice). The park is worth a visit if you are in the area. Alas, the Crystal Palace was burnt down in December 1936 and was never rebuilt. There is a proposal to rebuild it but the chances of that happening have to be remote. Those pushing the most for the rebuild do not appear to be those who will have to pay for it!

The terraced area of the Crystal Palace is part of the park and there are steps and some arches from inside the original building still there.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Penmon Priory and Black Point, Anglesey

I was in Wales again last week so I took the opportunoty to go to Anglesey, specifically to Penmon and Black Point, on the eastern tip of the island. Puffin Island sits just off the coast at Black Point and is now a protected bird colony. There appears to be a walkway to the lighthouse just off the coast at Black Point but the tide was largely in when we were there.

There is a cafe at Black Point but given we were there at the end of November, it was closed for the season.

There is a bit of a drive to get to Black Point but you have to go past Penmon Priory and it's worth stopping off there for a visit (it's free to get in).

A monastery was founded here in the 6th century by St Seiriol. The later Augustinian Priory was dissolved in 1538 and the site passed to the Bulkeley family who built the dovecote.

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Above and below, Penmon Priory

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Above and below, the Penmon dovecote

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Above - Penmon Lighthouse, just off Black Point

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Above - Puffin Island

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Above - Puffin Island and Penmon Lighthouse

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Palace Spice

If you are in the "Triangle" in Upper Norwood, South East London, try the Palace Spice. This Indian restaurant can be found at 16 Westow Hill. I have eaten there a number of times but my last visit was last week.

Good food, modestly prices. Go for the house wine. It was reasonable quality for something selling at under £10.

Watch out however for overly large portions, especially on starters. I think it was a mistake to go for a starter and we more than struggled to finish the main course (in fact we were beaten by it). One of us had a tandoori trout. It was quite a size. We went away absolutely stuffed.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Bill Quay Community Farm

Bill Quay Community Farm occupies a narrow pice of green land between Gateshead and South Tyneside. It overlooks industrial Tyneside. There's no charge to visit the farm. Plenty of pigs, goats, sheep and bee hives. There is also a visitor centre/cafe.

I visited the farm in August 2010 when I shot this video.

Bill Quay Farm
Hainingwood Terrace
Bill Quay
NE10 0UE

Tel: 0191 433 5780