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Make Tracks: 15 Walks around Lichfield and surrounding villages in Staffordshire, UK by Bryony HalstedBurton on Trent, Staffordshire, GB
I decided to share a book cover design I've done called 'Make Tracks' which is about short walks around Lichfield and surrounding villages in Staffordshire. The format was portrait, so further illustrations of local Staffordshire village scenes and pubs fill the remaining space!
I live just by the South West Coast Path, which hugs around 660 miles of the English coastline, from the rocky cliffs of North Devon, through Cornwall and over to the gentle waters of Poole in East Dorset. At least once a week I walk this path. The Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast of England and I have looked over to it as I walk the coastline near my home in Devon. I recently I climbed up and down the grass clad, golden cliffs of the Cap to the top. The sky was azure, hawks, and a helicopter circled below me and people on the beach were no bigger than grains of sand. The Golden Cap features in my illustration of Dorset, like a bright beacon, shining its light over the deep blue sea.
Beautiful Island... Good times never if end if they are remembered. Beach rules, wake up smiling, flips flops are the mandatory, feel the breeze, take long walks, soak up the sun, make a splash, hang up to towel, leave the sand at the beach, relax and unwind, watch of sunrise, ride the waves, kick back, build sandcastle, cold beer with good company, laughs, fall in love, enjoy each moment, look at the stars, be grateful, the life is two days.
Our lockdown restrictions prohibit us from walking much further than 1km from our homes but luckily within 1km of our home is a village square with a 9th century Byzantine Church so we walk there. I added some Greek place names to give a vague sense of the location and how it feels to walk through the winding streets and tumbled up houses of Geroskipou.
Situated just a few miles from the beautiful South Wales coast, we are lucky enough to have many lovely walks on our doorstep. No need for the car, in just minutes we can be surrounded by green space, walking through peaceful woodland or the picture postcard village of Merthyr Mawr, with its ancient church and cluster of perfect thatched cottages. Over the 15th century 'Dipping Bridge' where the farmers would drive their sheep through the two parapets into the river for an annual dip - there is always something new to see. The much newer 'Swing Bridge' will take you on to the picturesque river crossing at Ogmore Castle - still marked by a series of ancient stepping stones that you can cross if the tide is right! If the river is too high, we can walk on to Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes - home to the 'Big Dipper' the highest dune in Wales and if we're feeling particularly energetic, a walk through the dunes with all its wildlife, will see us reach the sea at Ogmore-By-Sea and a much-deserved cuppa, before picking a route for the walk home! The kids love these places! Look them up - they do exist - I wish I had time to squeeze in more! Next time!
My 4 year old son is obsessed with trains so when his nursery was closed last year, we spent many a happy hour touring the bridges of our home town and getting to know our local area in a new way. Nothing would make him happier than to get a toot and wave from a train driver while we waved enthusiastically from the bridge! We developed our own set of nicknames for each bridge, most of which were coined by my son, and those are the names included on my map, The Bridges of Urmston.