Category Archives: Travel

Welwyn Garden City

I didn’t plan to write today about Welwyn Garden City. But, as I was busy, I didn’t have time to write the post I’ve intended to write. So, instead, I’ve decided to share pictures from a lovely city I’ve seen a couple of days ago. All the pictures are taken with my phone, as I didn’t plan to blog about it, so the quality in dim light is not as great as with the DSLR.

Door with beautiful shrubs in front

Welwyn Garden City, field of grass with houses in the background

A few words about Welwyn Garden City. It is a town in Hertfordshire, only 20 mile from central London. It’s an hours drive to Kings Cross (if there isn’t heavy traffic). Also it’s close to where we are staying in London this week. I heard about it in a TV show, when it was said that Welwyn is the second garden city in England, founded in 1920.

Welwyn Garden City

Welwyn Garden City, house

The whole concept of a garden city is to reunite the countryside with the town. Big open spaces with grass give one the impression you are up north in a small village. The big houses in Georgian style makes you think you are in a city centre. I enjoyed walking around the Welwyn, it’s a wonderful place to see. There are shops, but I didn’t want to take pictures of those, as the open spaces and the beauty of houses sets apart Welwyn from other cities.

Welwyn Garden City, row of houses

Sir Ebenezer Howard was the visionary behind this project. He was the son of a baker, after school he became a cleric. He went to America, but it didn’t work out. He came back to England, where he got a job with Hansard, which made the official record of the Parliament. His time in work exposed him to ideas about social reform. He married twice. As many late Victorians, he considered the social problems of the time, trying to find alternatives.

He wrote a book, To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, revised in 1902 as Garden Cities of To-morrow. His vision meant the new cities didn’t have any slums, they were not dirty and polluted.
The fist city he created was Letchworth Garden City, and the second one Welwyn Garden City. His ideas influenced future developments made by the government.

Door

House

Welwyn Garden City, road and houses

I think Welwyn Garden City is still an amazing place to live in. So green and beautiful, and very close to London (by London standards).

Church

Tree on the street

Have you been to Welwyn Garden City?

Peak View Tearooms

I went to the Peak View Tearooms before, for my birthday a few years ago. I thought it will be nice to stop there again. There is a pub too, but I prefer the views at the tearooms, so instead of going to the monthly pub, we went to the tearooms. This means that I finished my challenge to visit a pub each month. Needless to say, this is a challenge I’m going to keep doing next year too. It was lovely having drinks or meals in old pubs, so I want to discover more.

Vegetarian lunch at Peak View Tearooms

The food was just as delicious as last time. The staff was very friendly too. I would recommend them without a doubt. We had vegetarian options, obviously, and both of them were delicious. I think it was good value for money too.

Mulled wine and tea at Peak View Tea Rooms

I’ve started with a glass of mulled wine, while my husband had a tea. I love mulled wine and I wasn’t the one driving, so happy days. The wine had a lovely flavour, I enjoyed it.

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Snow in Peak District

For most people, snowing is just fun. For me, it’s one of the things I miss most. While I love the British weather, never too cold, never too hot, I was used to heaps of snow in winter. With all the amber code for snow these last few days, I wanted to see the snow. Liverpool is a place where seldom snows and, if it snows, it’s not cold enough to have snow on the ground. The only thing we could do was to get in the car and drive a bit over an hour to Peak District.

Fence with snow

Hills with snow

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Malpas

Malpas is a small village in Cheshire, close to the Welsh border. I blogged about The Bull Pub, a lovely Victorian pub nearby. I would definitely recommend it.

Malpas village

I wanted to visit Malpas because is one of those cute villages with stunning old houses, a cross in the middle and a beautiful church. I find walking around these kind of villages very relaxing. Malpas is French for “bad road”, a reference to the wildness of the territory, vulnerable to Welsh raids. There was a castle, but not anymore.

The village doesn’t appear in the Domesday Book, but a reference of it is made in 1121. So the village appeared between that dates as a “planned town” after the Norman Conquest. A bailey castle with a motte was made. Under a Royal charter of 1281 annual fairs were allowed and a weekly market was held near the Cross. The nearby properties began in the medieval period as burgage plots for the local people to rent.

Feature on an old building

Sir William Brereton, one of the sons of Sir Randolph Brereton of Shocklach and Malpas, was groom of the chamber to Henry VIII. He was beheaded on 17 May 1536 for a suspected romantic affair with Anne Boleyn.

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The Bull Pub, Malpas

For my birthday, my husband and I went to The Bull Pub, Malpas for lunch. We had a big breakfast, so we only took some starters and a side dish to share. I loved the food so much that I want to go back and sample more. Their vegetarian range is amazing. The prices are good too, we’ve spent around £20 on the food and coffee. More information about them on their website.

The Bull Pub Malpas, from outside

The Bull Pub is located just outside Malpas, in the rural hamlet of Shocklach. The Victorian pub, dates from 1850. From what I saw on their website, dogs are allowed inside too. The pub is child friendly and we saw a couple of families with small children having their lunch.

Table, picture with a horse and the fireplace beside them

We ordered what we wanted and went to sit at the table. I took advantage and took pictures from inside the pub. Some of the pictures I took on our way out, when the tables were free.

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Las Iguanas

My husband and I tried the vegetarian burritos at Las Iguanas recently. I though I should share my experience because I was very pleased with the food and the staff. We went to Trafford Centre for lunch. I think I mentioned Trafford Centre 10 times in the last month, but we are really happy with it. It’s not far from us (a bit further than Liverpool city centre), but it comes with free parking, in addition to lots and lots of shops and restaurants.

Las Iguanas Trafford Centre

One of the most beautiful things at Trafford Centre is the food court. The decor is beautiful, exotic and over the top, but it works.

Las Iguanas vegetarian burritos

I like Mexican food a lot. Their vegetarian burrito is made with Sweet potato, butternut squash & chickpea chilli. It came with guacamole, roasted tomato sauce, sour cream, and salad. The salad had lovely unusual types of pepper, called schinus if I remember correctly. The waitress told us about the pepper when we asked, a round pink pepper I’ve never seen before. The staff was friendly and the food and the drinks arrived quickly.

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National Football Museum

After a long chat with my husband, we’ve decided to go to Manchester for the day, a couple of weekends ago. We’ve chose National Football Museum as the destination.

National Football Museum seen from outside

The museum is free, donations welcome, but not mandatory, details on their website.

National Football Museum the entrance

The museum starts with the history of the football. It was really interesting. In 1863, Ebenezer Cobb Morley, an Englishman, wrote the laws of football. Today, 250 million people around the world play by following the same rules. Billions more watch the game. A replica of his notebook is on display at the museum. The British football is older than that. There were football quotes on the walls, some from Shakespeare.

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