Living here in North Yorkshire I have a pretty fixed idea of what it is like to visit an abbey. We are spoiled for impressive stone ruins set in beautiful open green landscapes. Two of the nation’s stunners – Fountains Abbey and Bolton Abbey – are less than 30 minutes drive from Harrogate. Fontevraud Abbey Heritage I wish that I had cleared my head completely of these pre-conceived notions before visiting Fontevraud Abbey in the Loire Valley. It was a bit of a culture shock. Bear in mind, the French didn’t have Henry VIII so abbey ruins are not…

View Post

#28 in the Judging a Photograph Series .One of my favourite things about our self-drive trips to France has been the chance to stay in a few different places on one holiday. One time, after a week near Guerande in the Loire Atlantique region, we had a second week in western Brittany. On the drive between the two we stopped to see the Carnac Megaliths. These ancient avenues of stones are as old as Stonehenge but are smaller, irregular shapes. Around 3000 standing stones stretch in eleven lines for over one and a half kilometres. Roadtrain Tour We decided to…

View Post

Last week I announced that our family is travelling to see a total eclipse of the sun in the USA. On Monday 21st August 2017 millions of people in parts of the USA will see the phenomenon. The eclipse will make landfall in a narrow strip from the Pacific northwest all the way to the Atlantic coast in South Carolina. We’ve been dreaming of seeing this total eclipse ever since we saw one in the Champagne region of France in 1999. I wrote my story in Views of a Total Solar Eclipse from France but I’ve also asked friends who…

View Post

We’re travelling to see a total eclipse of the sun in the USA. On Monday 21st August 2017 millions of people in the USA will see the moon completely obscure the sun. A stripe of shadow will pass across the land from the Pacific northwest all the way to the Atlantic coast in South Carolina. This family holiday has been a very long time in the making, and it’s mainly happening because we have relatives in the USA to visit, but it’s almost here. It’s just the lights going out, right? I’ve found it a bit hard to convince some…

View Post