Surrey – Oxfordshire – The Costwolds – Anglesey – Snowdonia – Breccon Beacons – Cheddar.
During our year off we decided we should show each other a little more of where we’re from. I guess we figured it might help us better understand some of the characteristics we find weird in each other, or it was just a chance to show off what our homelands have to offer. So we kicked off our big adventure with a sailing, cycling and camping trip in the Netherlands and then a driving, hiking and camping trip in the UK. After living in China for 4 years we craved fresh air, blue skies and GREENESS. I really cannot explain how good it is to see expanses of green after living in Shanghai, you really do have to put in a fair bit of effort to see it in China (but you can, so don’t let that put you off going there).
So to optimise the exposure to nature we planned a trip from my parent’s house in Surrey through Oxfordshire to the Cotswolds, before heading into Wales. In Wales we travelled from North to South, starting off in Anglesey and then hiking Snowdon, before setting up camp by Nantcol Waterfalls. We then made our way to the Breccon Beacons for a few days with my sister and brother-in-law before we all set off to Cheddar to meet up with the rest of the family.
I must now take the chance to thank my mum for lending us her car, a.k.a ‘The Baby’. I was planning on just including this shout out in the previous paragraph, but I know my mum and I know this will go down much better; she might even lend me the car again! But seriously the 18 year old Micra served us well and helped us navigate some very thin and windy roads in Wales.
Niek : I really didn’t like the English and Welsh roads. I especially hated the tiny curved roads that hardly fitted one width of an 18 year old Micra, let alone my mother-in-laws Micra with a big SUV coming towards me. I am used to driving in the Netherlands where the roads are all straight, flat, and big enough for the cars that are on it.
Some interesting British road facts now:
- The longest motorway is the A6, which runs from Rugby to Gretna Green and is 232.2 miles longs. It is also one of the busiest routes.
- One of the shortest roads is the A308 in Berkshire, which measures 0.6 miles.
- The widest road is the M61 in Greater Manchester where it meets the M60 and A580. It reaches a width of 2.5 miles and is covered by 18 lanes.
- The narrowest road is Parliament Street in Exeter, measuring 1.22m across and dating from the 14th
- The highest and lowest roads are in Knock, Ireland and Holme, near Peterborough.
- We did find ourselves on the steepest road in the UK in the beautiful village of Harlech on the Welsh coast. Ffordd pen Llech has a gradient of 40% and is a good workout for the calves, as is the whole village actually.
Our Wales top 3: click on the links for more details