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An artist’s thoughts on Wales (based on a breakneck-speed tour of the countryside)

If you’ve never ventured into Wales from England, Scotland or Ireland, do so, immediately! If you are a fan of natural beauty and our earth’s glory, the gorgeous and rugged terrain is something you won’t want to miss.

My better half and I drove straight through the country from the border of England to the Atlantic Coast, halting in Barmouth to visit family there. Though way too short, the ride was stunning and I took zillions of photos from my passenger’s seat with the intention of doing a series of paintings on this lush countryside one day. Stay tuned for those, but for now, here are a few examples:

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Random revelations culled during our recent visit to Wincanton, UK

The weather in England isn’t always rainy and miserable.  In fact, while we were there, it was glorious, sunny and perfect!

Climbing to the top of the Glastonbury Tor isn’t nearly as easy as it looks.  The view from the top, while gorgeous, is a bit scary.  It’s windy as all get out.  But it is soooo worth it and IMHO, should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Dorset and Somerset have some of the most beautiful countryside in all of Christendom. Or at least the U.K., based on my limited knowledge of the country. And that of my stepson, a UK native.

Wincanton in Somerset is a beautiful and enjoyable market town, not just a racecourse, although having visited, it does spark in me the desire to re-read Dick Francis and the books by his son, Felix as well.

Visit the Wincanton Primary School schoolyard in the afternoon and watch the parents pick up their children, you’ll feel like you’re watching the start of schoolyear at Hogwarts (minus the wands and book of incantations of course). I have to give my hubs attribution for this observation since he’s the one who aired it as we wound our way through the (mostly) fair-haired youngsters and their equally fair-haired parents, nans and granddads.

There’s an awesome farm store offering local meats, produce, and other great British food treats located between Sherborne and Shaftesbury. It won the gold medal at Taste of the West in 2014, so check it out if you are in the area.

Speaking of Shaftesbury, what a lovely, lovely place!  We took a daytrip there and started with the best “full English” breakfast I think I’ve ever had – it was at The John Peel . Then, we had to work off the meal, of course, so trekked over to Gold Hill, a breathtakingly picturesque hill that’s been dubbed one of the most romantic sights in England. It has been featured in movies, television ads, on the cover of books and more. Don’t miss it if you are in the area.

One final stop during our days in Somerset was a visit to Clarks Village in Street (yes, that’s the name of the town — located just across the river from Glastonbury.)  This pretty outdoor outlet mall was made much better by the great spring weather we enjoyed while visiting. It has more than 90 retail outlet stores including great high-end designer shops, along with restaurants and more. A very pleasant and worthwhile trek if you have the time. Especially, if like me, you are a fan of Clark footwear.

Below are a few of the photos of our trip there. If you’d like to see more, jump over to my Photobucket album.