ENGLAND: Haunted by Heathcliff - Yorkshire's Bronte Country
The custodian of the Bronte museum says that Haworth is “second only to Stratford for the number of visitors.” I asked him why he thought people were so interested in the Brontes and he answered, “They wrote good, clean, imaginative love stories.” So wrote Glyn Hughes in his book, Millstone Grit first published in the UK in 1975.
ENGLAND: Mark it in Your Calendar – Visit Skipton, Yorkshire
Besides being the setting for part of the movie ‘Calendar Girls,’ this country market town was the winner of the best high street in the UK in 2009 but Skipton offers more than just a good place to go shopping. Situated on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park, Skipton has long been known as the ‘Gateway to the Dales’ a region that begs to be explored further.
SCOTLAND: A Scottish Highland Fling
East Neuk is on the Firth of Forth, a scenic route passing through clusters of tiny fishing villages surrounded by fields of hay bales rolled like giant roly-poly sponge cakes. Here picturesque biscuit-tin scenes of fishing harbours such as Anstruther and Crail displayed idyllic walled harbours protecting sturdy North Sea fishing boats.
REPUBLIC of IRELAND: Wrestling Wrasse on the Beara Peninsula
The Beara Peninsular is one of the least explored regions in the west of Ireland. This is a rugged landscape but with a good fishing guide you can soon be spinning for pollack, float fishing for wrasse, fly fishing for sea trout, fishing with a strip of mackerel for lesser spotted dogfish or a sandeel for thornback rays. Most of the shore fishing is easily accessible on flattened rock formations.
REPUBLIC of IRELAND: 48 Hours in Cork
On a cold and crisp, clear blue sky day I had driven from Cork Airport to the city centre. As a proud Aherne I was visiting Cork for the first time to see for myself where my maternal grandparents had been born, prior to them settling in West Yorkshire just after 1900.
ENGLAND: The Land of Romans, Myths and Medieval Castles
Having found the warmth of the local inn I could see Hadrian’s Wall snaking over a large crag before dropping down into a windswept saddle. In this historic spot it was easy to imagine the three Roman legions who built it trooping down the slopes not knowing it would take over six years to complete the 67 mile wall (or 80 Roman ones) stretching from coast to coast - North Sea to Irish Sea.
SCOTLAND: 48 Hours in Edinburgh
Friday night in Edinburgh is an eye opener for an Aucklander who thinks we have great nightlife in the City of Sails. Americans, French, Polish, Italians, Spanish, Germans, Dutch and even groups of Irish seemed to outnumber the Scots as accents in every bar attested to.
WALES: Wandering North Wales
A weekend wandering the moorland's of Snowdonia, the backstreets in Anglesey, and the churches and castles of North Wales where the Kings of England tried to impose their authority. Finally I landed in Portmeirion - a one-off architecturally inspired wonder that blends an Italianate village with some Welsh whimsical flavour.