I may have said it before, but I do so love this time of year when everything is so very green; before it starts to get a bit dry and brown and fall over, and when the lush growth is peaking. From the path you can hardly see the stream (in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture). So very different from a couple of months ago.
Along to the end and up the road towards the church, past this lovely building and a profusion of cottage garden flowers.
The castle is just behind the church, and you can glimpse it from the road.
It's a beautiful Tudor building, begun in 1511. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed here in 1535, so it has a real sense of history about it. It's a luxury hotel now, but every so often events are held for the local children here. I've been to a Beavers ceremony there in winter, in front of a huge roaring fire, with a long oak table and silver candlesticks and tales of ghosts. And last Hallowe'en there was a fantastic free party with a witch treasure hunt and apple bobbing and all sorts of wonderfulness. We always feel incredibly privileged to visit such a stunning historic building.
Onwards we go, past the church.
The graveyard is beautiful, especially in the quiet evening air.
On past the entrance to the castle and a lovely climbing summer rose...
past the little meadow opposite the church...
... and past the old grammar school.
Then we've reached the high street.
In between the usual shops are a few treasures - a wonderful little deli and the local wool shop for example.
These are the last houses in town, and just opposite are the allotments.
Over to the right are the playing fields, the park with its little paddling pool, football pitches and tennis courts. On a clearer day you can see Wales in the distance, beyond the river.
Time to turn left and head back through town.
Past the town museum - how wonderful is this tiny place?! And past many lovely gardens.
The town loves its flowers, and always does well in the Britain in Bloom competition. Last year it was awarded Champion of Champions, which was such a wonderful testament to the amazing people who give up hours and hours of their time to raise funds and do the hard work that it entails. There are flowers in all sorts of places, not just bedding plants and hanging baskets, but in little borders and small plots there are shrubs and cottage garden planting.
And it really struck me on the walk home how many people have made a huge effort with their front gardens. I didn't feel I could blatantly take photos, but really there were some amazingly beautiful plots. Very inspirational; it certainly makes me feel I need to make an effort with mine, which is very bare. These cottages only have tiny front gardens, but they are wonderful nonetheless - something simple and green is completely transformational.
Anyway, that was my wander on Thursday evening, I hope you enjoyed coming along. I got home at about 9.30pm. The biggest boy jumped up guiltily from the table where he was reading in the (almost) dark and professed to have no idea that it was long past 8.30pm. Other half was bemused by the whole incident until I reminded him that he was supposed to send biggest boy to bed an hour ago... It's cub camp this weekend, so I am expecting even more tiredness tomorrow evening. And judging by the shipping forecast, this may be The Year The Tents Blew Away. I'll let you know.