Within moments of arriving in the UK in September, we had our sights set further afield. It’s tough to live in a place so close to, seemingly, everything! When Paris is a 2-hour train ride, Germany is an hour flight, staying put is tough to do. However, given my inability to take a day off just three weeks after my work transfer, we decided that a quick trip to Wales would be a good compromise, and allow us to take Basil on an adventure of his own. Wales isn’t really its own country, but it does have its own Olympics team for some sports and its own national football team, which is good enough for us.A quick three hour drive and we were far, far away from London.We settled on the village of Tintern as our base camp, primarily because it’s one of the closest villages to the English border, thus reducing overall travel time. Tintern is also home to an amazing ruin, the Tintern Abbey.
Saturday proved to be a great day for a hike, so we drove to another ancient pile of stones, Goodrich Castle. There are many preserved castles and homes throughout the UK that are overseen by one of two trust services. You can get an annual membership to the trusts and explore the UK that way. This time, instead of paying the entrance fee to walk around the castle grounds, we grabbed a map and headed out on our own hike.
The entire area is covered with public paths, though they do cross into private land. Landowners know this, and are welcoming of the walkers and hikers that are out for a little exploring. When we walked through a farm of sheep and alpacas it was a little awkward, but no one even batted an eye. Basil had a great time, and we marvelled again at how nicely our beagle with a British name fits in here.After a full weekend of pub food, local beer, exploring Tintern and enjoying the countryside, we headed back to city life and got to work planning our next adventure.
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