Our trip to Leeds wouldn’t have been complete without a hike, so a few days before we left, my OS maps came off the bookshelf and the felt tips were brought out. We ummed and ahhed over where to go (Yorkshire Dales? North York Moors? Ilkley?) and eventually settled on a ten kilometre hike across the eastern edge of Rombalds Moor, a fairly low-lying area of moorland between Ilkley and Keighley.
Stretching from Prestatyn to Llandegla, the Clwydian Range is a chain of (fairly low) peaks that runs along the border of Denbighshire and Flintshire, in North Wales. Having grown up just across the border, it’s an area that will always hold a special place in my heart. Today, I’d like to take you on an armchair tour of Foel Fenlli, a peak which lives in the shadow of its neighbour, Moel Famau.
If push came to shove, I’d say that the highlight of my trip to the Cinque Terre was the full day that we spent hiking from Manarola to Vernazza, via Volastra and Corniglia. The Cinque Terre is one of those places that looks spellbindingly beautiful whatever the weather, but when the sea glitters and the colourful façades glow in the sunshine, it’s truly other-worldly. Without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off: tracking down the starting point of the trail to Vernazza.
One of the things that drew us to the Cinque Terre was the promise of hiking trails and hills. Cambridge, you see, is sorely lacking in that department. After two days of cloudy skies and intermittent sunshine, we were treated to a day of scorching temperatures and cloud-free skies. We picked up some chocolate and jam croissants, washed them down with coffee (well, Laurence did), and hit the trail.
According to the well-known proverb, the early bird catches the worm. Or, in our case, the pastries. (I know which one I’d rather.) With everyone else having a lie-in – it was a Sunday, after all – we had pick of the pastries at Pasticceria Corbani. After much umming and ahing, I went for the pear and chocolate pastry, while Laurence opted (surprise, surprise) for the Nutella swirl. (If there’s a way of getting Nutella into a meal, he’ll find it.) Pastries in hand, we made our way down to the small harbour, set on enjoying our breakfast with a view of Manarola.
Conwy Mountain isn’t really a mountain; it’s more of a hill. But, for one reason or another, the giant mound behind Conwy Marina is known locally as Conwy Mountain. Growing up, I spent lots of summers (and many more weekends) in North Wales, visiting seaside towns such as Caernarfon and Beaumaris, collecting shells and sea glass at the beaches and taking in the splendour of Snowdonia National Park. From Chester, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump down the A55, and I was only too happy to spend a weekend there with my parents over the summer.
Shortly after my hike in the Chartreuse, Olivier suggested a ‘randonnée cerises’ in the nearby Monts du Lyonnais. It’s fairly self-explanatory what this hike entailed, but I fancied sharing a few photos from it as I had a jolly good time. (Let’s face it, a hike that combines rolling hills and end-of-season fruit is pretty much the dream for me.)