Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Visit to Wayne Manor... Plus General Outings this Spring!

Hello! It feels like I've been hibernating in the wilderness....maybe it was all that food I indulged in over Christmas!

 Welcome, long time no see! I've really been meaning to post regularly since my last entry in January but my job seems to be taking up all my time, and if I'm not working, we are sorting the house out ready for the big house move next month. I made it my new years resolution to blog more, so I've really failed that. Throw your bad luck my way! So what I have missed...? Probably a lot, I haven't had chance to catch up on much Doctor Who news over the last few months, but I have made it my mission to follow some of the filming (as always) ...just because I'm a nosey person! 

So what have you missed....? Not a lot here either, I am now nearly 6 months into my job in the NHS, getting used to the whole commuting to work business (finally) but also on the lookout for new ventures which could guide me down my desired career path. I've been out jogging the last couple of weeks, nearly finished the NHS podcast series 'Couch to 5K', if you are a novice runner like I was, I definitely recommend it, I'm now running 25 minutes comfortably when this time last year I couldn't jog for longer than a minute! I've also been out and about a lot over the last few months, forcing Luke to take me here, there, and everywhere at the weekend so we aren't stuck inside, glued to the television. I've visited all kinds of places, from beauty spots, to castles, zoos and cities. 

So first of all let me welcome you back to the blog with a few recent snapshots of my life, and ideas for places to visit during your bank holiday weekend. I will then follow this blog entry with details on a recent Doctor Who location visit... but more on this later.

A few weeks ago, I had a few days left to take as leave, so I booked three days off work to go out and about. My brother happened to be off as well, so I decided to recruit him on my trip to Nottingham, where we visited a location from one of our favourite films, The Dark Knight Rises. As predicted, the day mainly consisted of my brother wheeling off uncanny impressions of Bane, but it was actually a pretty cool day, and the location itself and its surroundings were exquisite. 

The house which doubles as Wayne Manor in the film is located in Wollaton Hall and Park, Nottingham, a short ride away from the city centre. The house is free to go in and walk around, but you do have to pay a couple of pounds to park. More information here:-

 We did have a little surprise when we walked into the hall, not only was there a batman theme and activity for kids, but the house itself also doubles up as a Natural History Museum... which made me feel a bit queasy with all the lifeless animals, so I didn't spend much time in many of the rooms, but preferred to be outside taking in the pretty view :-)

 As well as our visit to make-believe Gotham, (ironically there is actually a village called Gotham just down the road from Nottingham), me and Luke have spent a few weekends in different places around North/Mid Wales. I persuaded Luke to drive us to Llangollen in Wales one Saturday a few weeks ago, as I wanted to walk across one of the infamous aqueducts I had read about on the internet. It wasn't until we got there, and I was halfway across the aqueduct itself that I realised I was actually very afraid of heights, and with a ridiculously huge drop each side of the bridge, I cautiously made my way back from the direction I came, clinging to the railings above the steep drop. Just look how high/unsafe it looks! The views are spectacular on a clear day, but its not for the faint-hearted. I recommend getting the canal boat across if you are a wimp like me!

 We then shot across the countryside to Chirk castle, which was closed due to the time of year, but there was still access around the courtyard and gardens, which were beautiful. The castle is on top of a big hill, with the carpark located at the bottom. Althought there is a shuttle bus for those with walking difficulties, please be aware that it is a bit of a trek uphill, which I for one, wasn't prepared for as I decided to wear my ballet pumps!
The following weekend the sun decided to really descend on Great Britain, so I used it as an opportune moment to get my new shorts out! We decided to head to Lake Vrynwy in Wales due to its idyllic scenery and remote location in the Valleys. Even the drive there was beautiful! Lake Vrynwy consists of a Victorian reservoir and stone built dam which you can drive or walk across. I have been coming to this spot since I was a young child, but not once had I seen the lake water high enough to spill through the dam, until now. 
And lastly but no means least, we visited Chester Zoo. Having not been here since I was a young child, I was quite apprehensive about the whole day, but it turned out wonderful, I even managed to walk through the batcave which contains all kinds of bats flying loosely around the room. Below are some of my favourite snapshots from the day:- 
  If you have any queries on any of the places I have visited, or want to know more information/links to particular sites, just drop me a comment/email/tweet and I'll happily get back to you.

Exploring out and about in Wales really made me appreciated the life we lead here in the UK, who knew so many places so beautiful were just on our doorstep?! And unlike my usual spots to explore, even though Doctor Who wasn't filmed in any of these locations, I loved being out and breathing in the fresh air of Wales and the surrounding area. It is a glorious country, and I do hope we have some more sunny skies heading our way soon so I can get out and about once again! 

 Last weekend I visited Cardiff and Bristol for some up to date Doctor Who location hunting. I will hopefully be writing up my next post about this in the next week or so, so watch this space! Its been a long while since I last visited some locations.

In the meantime, have a lovely bank holiday weekend and Easter Sunday everyone!

Blog to you soon