An Andalusian Dawn….

Spanish Coast

Dawn over the Cabo De Gata coastline, the start of what would be another very hot Andalusian day.  I can still feel the heat rising despite a slight breeze from off the sea.

No matter where you are, no matter the weather…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

11th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

Silent Sunday….. Off to Church


Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire

The Abbey Church of St. Mary the Virgin is the buildings  official name today……  but will always be known as Tewkesbury Abbey. It was once a Benedictine Monastery, dating back to the 12th century.   Like so many of our old religious buildings it was built on a even earlier site of religious worship.

Tewkesbury Abbey is a fine example of Norman Architecture, in particular the Cross Transept Tower is claimed  to be the biggest in Europe.   With Tewkesbury standing  on the flood plain of Severn and Avon, its tall tower is a clear landmark for many miles.

Like all our old religious buildings Tewkesbury Abbey has seen some violent and testing times over the centuries.  During the “War of The Roses” ( 1455 -1487) witnessed this violent period of English history at close hand.  After the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 the Abbey provided sanctuary for the Lancastrian forces.  Then it had to overcome the challenges of the Dissolution of the Monasteries  that occurred by Royal Order between 1536 & 41.  It was at this time that the Abbey became the Parish Church.

Apart from being the Parish Church, Tewkesbury Abbey is also a major tourist attraction, the centre of a equally attractive Town in an equally attractive location. Tewkesbury nestles below the  higher ground of the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire’s rather fabulous countryside.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

9th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

When is a Castle not a Castle ?



Floors Castle, Kelso, Roxburghshire,  The Sottish Borders

High above the famous River Tweed, on the fringe of the Scottish Border town of Kelso, stands the rather fine Scottish Floors Castle. It is an imposing building in an equally imposing location of gardens and a wider Country Estate.

But this is not a traditional Scottish Castle.  Built in 1721, for the 1st Duke of Roxburghe, to a design by the architect William Adam, it was in fact  designed as a rather fine ‘Country House’.  Those castle like features of Turrets and Battlements were added later in the 19th century., but it was never designed as a fortress.  No matter it is still a rather grand building.  Today I am told that Floors Castle is the largest inhabited ‘castle’ in Scotland.   It is also the  family home of the  11th Duke of Roxburghe.

The name Floors is rather intriguing.  I was told of two possible meanings.  Floors being the adaption of the French word  Fleurs  or flowers.  Todays  magnificent gardens would be a fitting tribute to that name.   The other possibility is the interpretation that Floors means Terraces, and Floors Castle is certainly built on  a high terrace above the Tweed.

The Scottish Borders are rich in history.  Nor can you travel far without tripping over a Castle or Abbey all in great scenery.  All well worth exploring …. if you do take a tour put Floors Castle on the top of your list.

As always….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

7th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

An Inspired Link……


Crinan Canal Basin, Argyll, Scotland

Crinan is the western end of a nine mile canal  opened in 1801.   Designed to create a short cut for  small inland steam ships, ‘The Clyde Puffers” and for Fishing Vessels. linking the Clyde (and Glasgow) with the North West Coast of Scotland and the Hebridean Islands.  Time saved, and the possible trauma, of  navigating the often turbulent and exposed Mull of Kintyre were a vital bonus.

The Crinan canal  cuts a scenic route from Lochgilphead,  on Loch Gilp in the east, to Crinan. It is here by  the means of sea locks, that the  traffic along the canal  regains open water into Loch Crinan and the Sound of Jura, then onwards to the Isles. Whilst today the ‘Puffers’ are gone, fishing vessels still use the route.  However it is Leisure Craft that are todays prime users.

It is also a great little tourist spot for visitors  to this part of Argyll and Bute.  Lovely on a sunny day, even rather Mediterranean ….. it would have been a busy,  noisy, smoky world in its  heydays.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

6th August

(C) David Oakes 2020