Mendip Hills Somerset

The Mendip Hills, aptly described by Thomas Hardy as ’a range of limestone rocks stretching from the shore of the Bristol Channel into the middle of Somersetshire’, are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty and display the typical scenery of karst: dry gorges the spectacular remnants of collapsed cave systems at Cheddar, Burrington and Ebbor; smooth, domelike summits with thin calcareous soil; disappearing streams and swallet holes features that attract the rider, hiker, camper and caver.

Visiting Somerset

Generalizations about any English county are of dubious value. In the case of Somerset this is especially true, for the old county has been truncated, and the northern coastal towns of Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and Portishead, together with an ample slice of the Mendip Hills, have been incorporated in the new county of Avon formed in 1974. Having been born and brought up in Clevedon, then styled ’the gem of sunny Somerset’ and likened to Rome on account of its seven hills, I was placed in the curious situation of having to drive some twelve miles south and over the River Axe at Lympsham (marked by the Viking sign of the Hobb’s Boat Inn) in order to attain the county of my birth. The change-over enraged many traditionalists ’I invite you to join the growing number of people who refuse to call Somerset anything but Somerset,’ urged a letter addressed to me at the time. One automatically sympathizes with such a view but unfortunately the packaging and re-allocation of boundaries is as old as history.

West Midlands

You can discover a lot about a stretch of country simply by looking at it. When you have found out how and why the country looks as it does you can say that you are beginning to understand it. Another part of understanding lies in seeing how things and places lit together as part of a pattern or structure.

West Midlands

People like to be near each other most of the time and we gather together in families and other sorts of groups for various reasons: for friendship and company, or to look after and protect each other. Together, families and tribes can defend themselves from their enemies and rivals. People also join with others to make tasks easier. ‘Work shared is work halved.’

Bude, Cornwall

Bude is laid out on the southern slopes of a broad tongue of rising land almost filling a mile-wide gap in the rocky wall that Cornwall presents to the Atlantic.

There is no formal front at Bude; the Parade" is a broad stretch of open turf bounded on the west and south by low cliffs below which are wonderful expanses of firm golden sand.