Weekend wanderings – Hawkstone Park Follies Shropshire

Last month we returned the wonderful Hawkstone Park Follies in Shropshire. It’s an inspiring place to walk around, with caves, ravines and a tower to explore. I would like to share a few of my photos from the day. First the views…



The Monument – a very steep climb with a perfect viewing platform at the top if you’re not scared of heights. I didn’t take up the challenge.


The caves – the first one was pitch black, thank goodness for the torch app on my phone.

I used this shots for one of my blog tour picture quotes.


The ravine (the squeeze) was by far the best place to visit, but my photos just don’t do it justice.


Who doesn’t love a tree sculpture?


Finally, I’d also like to share some close ups.



If you’re ever in Shropshire, take a few hours out to visit this beautiful historic park.

Weekend Wanderings – Along the River Thames #photo #nature

Last week we took a family stroll along the river on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I haven’t really seen this hidden part of Staines-Upon-Thames before, and it was only spoilt by the occasional dumped rubbish or poo tied up in a bag (why do dog walkers do that?). Plus I got a gnat bite which has been driving me crazy, but it was still a wonderful hour on an August afternoon.

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Some interesting angles.

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And my favourite, a couple of macro shots to finish off.

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Weekend wanderings around Malta & Gozo #photo #travel

For a long time, I’ve been too scared to fly. But when my parents offered to take us on a family holiday I put aside my fear and went for it. I chose a destination that interests me, Malta.

The worse part for me was take off, but then I was surprisingly relaxed and even enjoyed the view.

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Views from our hotel -DB Seabanks.

The hotel was clean and cool, and the all inclusive food was excellent with plenty of opportunities to be more adventurous with food choices. The staff were friendly, and it was a great location for the beach / sea just across the road.

  Trip to the Blue Grotto


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This cool looking rock shelter


A look at the Maltese wildlife and fauna

Bee in a cactus flower

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Lovely lizard

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Biggest cricket I’ve ever seen

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I didn’t spot much in the way of wildlife or fauna. Malta is a very hot and dry country. We were told it hadn’t rain for a while and even some of the cacti looked in need of a drink. Along the roads there were lots of beautiful shrubs / trees with vivid pink flowers, but I didn’t get to find out what they were.

A day trip to Gozo

We enjoyed a boat trip around the Azure window (apparently it’s been made famous by the Game of Thrones series, which gives me the perfect excuse to re-watch it for a glimpse of the amazing natural phenomena.) I wish there had been more time to get some shots from land as well.

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Gozo was gearing up for its Fiesta celebrations


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The Cittadel and the view from the highest point in Gozo


A view of the island of Camino and the Blue Lagoon.


The main reason I chose Malta / Gozo was its history and the architecture.

From the small, every day buildings…

To the magnificent churches like Ta-Pinu.

I’ll finish with some shots of other buildings seen from afar.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my brief tour of Malta and Gozo. There is so much more to see, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to go back one day.

Note – Photos taken on my Sony Xperia camera phone and faithful old Lumix (some picture quality is poor due to being taken through coach windows).


I’d like to dedicate this post to my parents and take the opportunity to thank them for taking us away with them. They’ve helped me get over my fear of flying, and now I know there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored.

Weekend wanderings – Bodiam Castle, Sussex #photos

I thought I’d take a break from the blog tour and instead have a wander around Bodiam Castle in Sussex. The ruins are well preserved and still a beautiful example of a moated castle.

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It’s strange to be looking back at these photos of Bodiam Castle today, as its my wedding anniversary and this trip was during our honeymoon. We had a 4 month old baby and a toddler, so a holiday abroad wasn’t possible. It was a wonderful honeymoon all the same, perfect for a writer who loves everything medieval (and my husband liked the fish!).


I have so many photos, it’s hard to pick my favourites. This next one makes me smile, my curly haired little boy chilling with his dad.


Now lots of random shots.



A mystery we’ve yet to solve – what do these tiles symbolise? – found on the floor, on the wall and up in the tower.

The last visit a couple of years ago was during the summer holidays, when my son and daughter took part in a knight and princess workshop. They had great fun, and I got to soak up a bit of medieval magic as I watched the people in costumes and wandered around the camp they had set up around the castle.


This weekend wander was inspired by a question from Faith on day 4 of the blog tour. See her interviewing me here, along with her review of Visions of Zarua.

Now back to the blog tour. Click the image below if you want to find out more.

Visions of Zarua Blog Tour Banner


Weekend Wanderings with Wolves!

To take my mind off the blog tour for Visions of Zarua (starts tomorrow!) I decided to look back through my old photos.

I came across these lovely wolves and remembered when I went for a visit to The UK Wolf Conservation Trust in Beenham, Berkshire.


It was back in 2006 and I was pregnant with my daughter (funny I was pregnant the last time I walked with wolves see my post here on that special experience).


Unfortunately the pups were too worn out to play that day. I’d love to go back and take part in the weekend walks with wolves that they organise. I can’t wait for the kids to be old enough to visit (minimum age 12). And as Michelle Paver the author of Wolf Brother is a patron, I’m sure my son with be itching to visit too.

#Weekendwanderings Whitecliff Bay – Isle of Wight

We spent a wonderful summer break last year at Whitecliff Bay. It was late August and the weather was lovely. The sea was even warm enough for the kids to swim in. As I’m preparing to send my son off to the Isle of Wight for his PGL school trip, I thought I’d go for a little weekend wander around the beautiful island.

White Cliff Bay


One of my favourite places on the Isle of Wight is Shanklin Chine. This gorgeous ravine has been open to the public since 1817. It has a drop to sea level of 105ft. It’s an inspiring place to visit and I plan to use the location in at least one of my future books.


The Chine leads you down to a beautiful beach.


I was able to capture a couple of good shots of a local buzzard.

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Finally, some beach art and a gull.


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I hope you’ve enjoyed this weekend wander.