Places to go, things to see …

Tredegar backdoor

Tredegar House, Newport … I’d never heard of it, or thought of going, I must be honest, but our good friend Claudia is visiting this weekend, and we all have National Trust membership which we don’t use enough. I was checking the nearby properties that we could drop in and see, and  the decision was made.

It’s a fairly easy drive from Clevedon, up the M5 to the M49 and then the M4, over the Severn Bridge and then on to Newport. Like most people, I love going over bridges. It’s partly the architecture/engineering and partly the views, so any trip that involves a bridge or two is off to a good start.

Tredegar House is just off the M4 and has lots of easy parking. It addition to being easy to get to, I must say that it has something for almost everyone, whether you like looking at formal gardens, feeding the ducks on the lake, picnicking in the park or kicking a ball around – or, of course, looking at stately homes. This one has had several incarnations, including a spell as a school, so it’s interesting to see the layers of history and how the different eras merge and, indeed, emerge. The suite of rooms that constitute the kitchen and household management zone are particularly impressive: separate rooms for pastry preparation, meat preparation, a still room as well as a scullery and the main kitchen.

The cream teas are great too! Well worth a visit. 

Much enjoyment to be had earlier in the weekend too, with an enjoyable visit to Clifton, and a look at the camera obscura in the observatory. My companions didn’t fancy the trip down into the Giant’s Cave, so I’ll save that for next time. Great wildlife watching opportunities in the Avon Gorge, with a pair of kestrels almost persuading me they were peregrines … And a drink on the terrace of the White Lion Bar, behind the Avon Gorge Hotel. Fabulous! There was a wedding party having photos near a fabulous old car, and students in gowns – for graduation photos of course. As always, lots to look at. 

Lots to enjoy in Clevedon too, with a stroll along the shops on Hill Road and across the park to the pier, as well as a very nice pizza at Scoozi’s.

The great thing about getting out and about is that you burn off a few calories and get some exercise almost without noticing it – and certainly without minding it. As I say in my book (A beginner’s guide to walking for pleasure, available now on Kindle ASIN  B00L3D7ENY) find something you like doing – such as walking in interesting places – and it is much easier to switch to a healthier life style than it is if you try to make yourself take exercise that you don’t enjoy.


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