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light light quality the sea the seaside the shore Wales

Seaside Textures

Every time we visit the seaside and take a walk along the sands we start collecting shells to decorate our Seaside Garden at home, and once we start looking we notice the amazing patterns and textures created on the sand as the tides retreat.

We recently drove over to Anglesey and after leaving the main road as it crossed over from the Welsh mainland we drove down lanes which got narrower and more secretive until we arrived at our favourite beach. On opening the car doors all we heard was silence occasionally broken by birdsong and the raucous calls of gulls. That is why it our favourite beach for a quiet walk. Come with us as we wander heads down seeking shells and finding the shapes and textures etched into the sand.

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Please enjoy this gallery of photos to help you share our wanderings.

The strangest shape and texture of all belonged to these beached jelly fish, their star like shape and jelly texture sitting lifeless on the sands. It looked as if the sun had fallen from the sky and was resting on the sand.

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We stopped part way home to watch the sun set over the sea. What a great day out!

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birds Church architecture the sea the seaside the shore

3 photos at the seaside

We spent a sunny day wandering along the North Wales coast early last week. We strolled along the promenade at a place called Rhos. I thought you may like this little set of three pictures.

Crabbing as the tide comes in.
Crabbing as the tide comes in.
The smallest church in the UK with room for 6.
The smallest church in the UK with room for 6.
First gull to second gull, "Just look at those two! Haven't they heard about the harmful rays?"
First gull to second gull, “Just look at those two! Haven’t they heard about the harmful rays?”

 

 

 

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architecture buildings Church architecture colours light light quality outdoor sculpture photography the sea the seaside the shore townscapes

A Seaside Town at Night

We often visit North Wales and the island of Anglesey. It is an area with beautiful countryside, long quiet beaches, tiny villages and seaside towns. When we stay for a mid-week break we sometimes use a hotel in the seaside town of Caernarvon, enjoying the walks along the sea front, the quay and the marina.

This post is a gallery of shots taken on a wander through the town and along the sea front as light fell. The temperature was slowly falling as the evening crept in. The atmosphere of the place reflected the changing temperature and light levels. Come and share our wander with us! Fresh evening air and the sounds of the sea lapping at the sea walls trying to drown out the harsh cries of the sea gulls.

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Great memories that make us yearn for a few more days by the sea!

 

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countryside landscapes meadows the sea the seaside the shore Wales

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside – Part Two – The Great Orme

For our second reminder of autumn we return for our next bout of sea air. This time we made our way over more Welsh hills, moors and mountains to the northern stretch of coast. We stopped off in Llandudno for a wander along the pier before taking the driving tour of the Great Orme.

The sky was blue and the sea matched it. The pier seemed all blue too and on this bright day it looked so cheerful. The odd splash of yellow and red added even more drama.

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In the next shot you can spot the Great Orme looming in the background, with its strata lines of limestone clearly visible in the bright light. Isn’t it inviting when you spot it there?

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Jude enjoyed the sight and sound of the sea as we reach the end of the pier.

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Having enjoyed our walk out into the sea along the old blue and white pier we went on to start the second part of our day out, a drive around the Great Orme following the toll road.

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The single track road winds in and out of the inlets and headlands closely  following the line of the coast. The track is enclosed within limestone walls, laid as dry-stone walling.

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One feature of the Orme is a unique herd of wild white goats. We have driven up to the summit of the Orme and around the edge plenty of times in the past but rarely even caught a glimpse of these strange creatures. This day was our lucky day! Their white coats glowed against the deep blue sky.

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We took a diversion to the summit when we were almost all the way around the perimeter road. Our eyes were immediately drawn to this bronze statue of a wild white goat.

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As well as its white goats the Great Orme is known for its ancient mines and its Victorian tram line. While wandering the summit we discovered near the old mine that visitors had used fallen limestone blocks to write their names on the close cropped grass.

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We just had to have a go!

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We enjoyed a wander around the summit, discovering a little wildlife garden and wild meadows surrounding the quarry and the tram terminal.

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We enjoyed wide views across open pastureland on our drive back down into Llandudno.  What a great day out at the seaside!

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colours conservation countryside landscapes meadows nature reserves the seaside the shore Wales

A coastal meadow – Anglesey

On a wet, cold March day it seems a good idea to look back and enjoy some blue sky.

When we spend a few days on Anglesey, an island just off the north coast of Wales we always take a short walk through this colourful acidic meadow. Often it is a good place to see unusual birds such as Chats and Pipits, but on our latest wander along its narrow gravel track it was very quiet. There were no calls from birds, no buzzing from bees and no clicking of grasshoppers or crickets. But the flowers were performing their usual colourful display. As we began our walk we watched a single Chough flying along the horizon in its typically undulating flight. This is a strange bird, jet black like most of the corvids but with bright red legs and a slender curved black bill.

Come for a wander with us and the camera, enjoy the blue sky the sweet scent of gorse flowers and the gently undulating landscape.

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We reached the look out tower where we stopped to look out over the sea which was coloured in constantly changing tones and blends of deep greens and blues with silver sparkles where the sun hit each breaking wave. As we turned to retrace our footsteps we heard the first sounds of Chats and scanning the top branches of the heather or rock outcrops we spotted several Stonechat perched bolt upright constantly calling to each other. Gulls wheeled over our heads as they made for their cliff face ledges.

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This cliff top walk never fails to impress with its richly coloured meadows and views out over the Irish Sea. We have wandered this track so many times over the years and will keep returning to enjoy it over and over again.

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architecture buildings colours garden buildings gardens gardens open to the public Italian style gardens Wales woodland woodlands

Portmeiron – the work of an eccentric.

We always enjoy spending the day at this crazy, quirky and totally exuberant “garden” on the Welsh coast near Portmadoc. Portmeiron is a village and gardens created by the eccentric Clough William-Ellis who bought the site in 1925 and then spent the following 50 years developing it into what we can visit and enjoy today.

The village is a collection of buildings  reminiscent of an Italianate style. Every wall is brightly painted in an array of extravagant colours. Some are hotels or holiday cottages, others restaurants and cafes while others are shops and galleries. It is a busy little place sitting on a strip of land below the Lleyn Penninsula and it fits snuggly between the beach and a wooded slope.

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In between the collection of crazy buildings a team  of gardeners work hard to maintain patches of colourful gardens. The soil is both shallow and full of stones and the land is on a steep slope so gardening here is a tough challenge. So come through the towering gateway and wander around with us.

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Although the Italianate style of the buildings that fascinates at first glance after a while the interesting juxtaposition of colours begins to catch the eye. Colours that you would not think of putting together when choosing paint for your home actually work beautifully.

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Although the bright colours dominate every scene once your eyes and mind adjust to them interesting details come to the fore, such as these bright blue ironwork, a relief sculpture alongside a ring, classical figures, the beauty of this stone archway and the vintage petrol pump.

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We took a break from the colourful conglomeration of buildings and ambled along through the wooded slopes above the village itself. Here we discovered ancient trees native and cultivated and an atmosphere of peace, with restful greens and relative silence, broken only by the calls and song of birds.

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We followed the woodland path until we found ourselves close to the cliff tops and followed it down towards the shore, where the buildings began again. This time they had a maritime twist to their architecture with white and blue colours dominating.

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As the road way climbed upwards we returned to the brightly coloured buildings of the village.

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We were fascinated by the interest of some visitors in particular buildings which it appears were featured in a TV series from the 1960’s, The Prisoner, which still has a strong cult following. It adds yet another layer of interest to this utterly fascinating “one-off” place.

Categories
buildings light light quality the sea the seaside the shore townscapes Wales

Llandudno Sea Front and Back

We decided a visit to see the sea was a good idea. It would blow away the cobwebs of winter and give us a healthy dose of sea air. So off to North Wales we went, stopping off at Pensarn for a wander along the beach and then further along the coast to Llandudno where we wanted to visit a photography exhibition at the gallery, Oriel Mostyn.

Our beach wanderings featured in the post “Textures on the Beach”, but in this post we visit Llandudno. The photos were taken on my Galaxy phone’s camera, an excellent little machine. We started by visiting the gallery but after indulging in an excellent coffee brew the exhibition of photographs disappointed. We decided a walk along the town’s main street and along promenade would make up for the disappointment. We enjoyed the walk but we were oh so cold.

Enjoy a walk with me and my little camera starting in the coffee shop at the gallery, along the street and the promenade. You will have to imagine the biting wind making your eyes run and burning your cheeks. The late afternoon light created a blue haze over the seafront giving the photos an unusual feel to them.

From the gallery coffee shop window we could look down and over the town.

 

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Off into the cold walking against the wind along the main street.

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A side street took us back to the promenade with its strange palm trees opposite a street of tall hotels.

 

 

 

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The blue hue over all the buildings reflected the colour of the sea and sky.

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One last photo. This lady reminded me of the Anthony Gormley steel sculptures of his work, “Another Place” on the beach at Crosby. She looks as if she is deep in thought looking out to sea.

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photography the sea the seaside the shore Wales

Beach Textures

Off to the North Wales coast to blow away the cobwebs and breathe in some healthy sea air, we stopped off on our way to Llandudno at Pensarn to explore its pebbled shore and collect driftwood to make some mobiles with for our seaside garden at home. Spot the sloping horizons! A side effect of having one leg shorter than the other!

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The textures of the pebbles and objects discarded by the tides attracted us and we wandered the length of the beach with heads bowed down. I hope you enjoy this series of pictures I took with great difficulty as my eyes were running so much I couldn’t always see clearly.

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We went home with a good collection of small pieces of driftwood so we can get busy making things for our seaside garden.

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photography the sea the seaside the shore

Strands – Discovering a Beach – Part Two

Back on our favourite beach on the North Wales coast we are carrying on our discovery of the gifts the sea has deposited on the strandline. First she uses her power to shape and smooth, to erode hard and soft matter alike. Feathers, seaweed, boulders, stones and all sorts of wood.

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I promised a selection of images of pebbles that the sea has created from man made materials normally found on a building site.

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We followed on carefully studying the pebble beach and the strandline picking up interesting pebbles and shells until we felt we needed to turn around and start back. We decided to walk back following the grass path along the top of the beach so made our way carefully over the pebbles and rounded boulders upwards. When doing this we found the remains of an old wooden pier now exposed and well-eroded. This slowed our progress to a stop as here there was so much of interest.

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Enjoy our exploration of the old wooden structures and share with us the smells, sounds and sights all around. Follow the gallery by clicking on the first photo and using the right arrow to move on.

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Rusted plumbing?

A snail like metal peg.

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Algae on eroded wood.

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Curled metal rod

A perfect circular hole mystery.

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A split groin topped with algae.

Once we decided to make our way back to the car we started searching for objects we wanted to collect to take home as added features to our seaside garden. This part of our garden needs a revamp in the spring so the items we collected will be most useful.

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In Strands Part Three we will make our way back to the car and a welcome cup of coffee!

Categories
architecture buildings colours landscapes photography the sea the seaside

Pier and Promenade – a day at the seaside.

We both love the sea and we both love wandering along the promenade and walking out to sea along a pier. So what could be a better place to visit on Valentines Day than Llandudno with its promenade and its pier?

14th February – sunshine and blue skies – well, that makes a change! Share our day at the sea in North Wales with words by Jude and photos by me.

DSC_0011nb Along the pier.

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Except in the fairground rides which glow with colour even though they are hibernating for the winter.

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The outdoor cafe seating area hibernates too, but the indoor version provides a welcome respite from the chilly far point of the pier. The effects of the biting wind are done away with. Noses are blown, tears are wiped away as coffees and doughnuts are relished. A few of the cute little stalls remain open whatever the weather, selling typical seaside wares.

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Freedom and wide open spaces

Big skies

Freedom from the rain

Sheer pleasure at feeling the power of the sun return

Children laughing, enjoying being outside

Their parents smile at the joy of simple pleasures

Sitting by the sea, listening to waves lapping the shore

Watching patterns of sunlight playing on distant headlands.

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The wide promenade gives space for aimless wanderings, for children to ride scooters and bikes, and for us all to admire the architecture of the seafront of hotels. We enjoyed our day at the seaside and are hoping the sea air will do us good!

Enjoy my gallery of some of my other photographs of our day in Llandudno.