For Canadians who’ve been in the UK for three and a half months, Castle Fatigue is starting to set in. We don’t push ourselves to see every tourist spot in a 50 km radius, but we do see our fair share. Often, we visit a town for nothing more than a bit of exercise with some new scenery. Inevitably, we see Castle Street. We no longer feel the need to see another castle (or museum, or cathedral, or monument), but it just seems wrong not to stop.
Such was the case when we visited Rhuddlan.
The Rhuddlan Nature Reserve.
We do temper our expectations when travelling off season. This carved statue was possibly the only bird we saw, and we laughed when the website claimed there would be, “…a very slim chance you could spot an otter.”
All was not lost, we found a free, convenient spot to park, stretched our legs a bit, and Ozzy was able to sniff his way along the walk way. Next, he helped Mike Owens’ The Knight’s Sculpture guard the entrance to town.
The knights were carved from a 380 year old oak, while the bench was made from a larch grown by the artist’s grandfather.
The walkway along the River Clwyd is heavily used by walkers and cyclists alike, even on a cool, drizzly day in March.
The debris along the raised walkway reminds us of the damage caused by the flooding in early December. Even though we’ve seen the effects of the flooding elsewhere, we were surprised to see how high the water must have risen in order to leave deposits so far from the bank of this shallow river.
These terraced houses directly on the street never cease to amaze. You don’t want to step our your door without checking both ways!
Onto the high street and we passed the old parliament building, where Edward I is said to have signed the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. What originally drew my eye were the closed up door and window openings. Always checking out other people’s renovations!
Another modernization a little down the street. I’m pretty sure the combination lock is not original to this weather-beaten garden door.
Then we saw the sign for Castle Street.
I suppose we should go look. Yeah, we’re here; we might as well. How can we ignore something that’s been around for so long? Off we go.
Rhuddlan Castle, one of Edward I’s chain of fortresses along the North Wales coast, has an interesting history, including a ghost story. It was here that Edward’s baby boy was presented to the Welsh nobility as the first English Prince of Wales.
All the same, we gave a little sigh of relief when we saw the sign telling us that a tour of the ruins wasn’t even an option. Castle Fatigue. We’ve just about hit our limit.
From history to modern day, and something we never tire of: trying new food! Enter Bodnant Welsh Food. Well, hello! Award winning cheese, Welsh wine, on-site bakery, deli, and more. What’s not to like?
Karen liberated a steak and ale pie from this nasty prison. A little asparagus quiche was calling my name.
The wine store carries a selection from some of the twenty wineries in Wales. The most popular, apparently, being a sparkling wine. A tasting of the Chardonnay didn’t win me over; it’s not my favourite white in any case. The reds produced in such a cold climate wouldn’t be like the big, bold New World wines we like, so I left empty handed.
I’m not sure if this quote can actually be attributed to Jean-Paul Sartre; apparently, Benjamin Franklin said the same thing about beer. This still is a sentiment I can get behind. In fact, a glass of wine just might help with the Castle Fatigue.