I’m thrilled to be joined on the blog today by the wonderful writer and dear Twitter friend, Nicholas A Rose.
Author of the ilvenworld fantasy novels, Nicholas A. Rose lives in North Wales and loves the sea, outdoors, photography, history and, of course, writing.
(All photographs used here were taken by the author and are hereby considered to be in the public domain. This means anybody who wants can copy and use them!)
I live in Flintshire, on the Dee Estuary. From my study window, I look across the estuary to the Wirral, and can glimpse the taller buildings of Liverpool on the far side of the River Mersey.
Flintshire is in north-east Wales (this area was called Perfeddwlad in Welsh), at the northern end of the border between Wales and England. There is an official border, but the real change between England and Wales is not easy to define. The whole border area is known as The Marches.
Wales is a land of castles, some built by the Welsh princes, and others by English invaders. In Flintshire we have two castles dating from less settled times: Ewloe Castle is a Welsh castle, built by Prince Llewelyn (the Last) and Flint Castle was built by Edward I of England.
After writing, walking is my main hobby, and the Snowdonia National Park is about an hour’s drive away. I can be found most weekends tramping around the National Park. My favourite haunts range from the beautiful Mawddach Estuaryin the south of the Park, to the equally beautiful Conwy Valley in the north.
And in between, lie most of the mountain ranges of Snowdonia. Not high by the standards of the Alps or Rockies, and not even the highest in Britain (Scotland wears that crown), they are still impressive hills. Like many people, I’ve spent many happy hours sweating to lofty summits and drinking in stunning views.
Snowdonia is not simply a playground for walkers and climbers. It is also a bastion of Welsh language and culture: the majority of people who live and work here are native Welsh speakers, and culture flourishes in many of the small Eisteddfodau that are held regularly almost everywhere.
If you enjoy the outdoors – or even if you don’t! – Snowdonia is rightly rated as one of the many beautiful parts of Britain. And if you don’t fancy walking up Wales’ highest mountain, you always have the option of taking the train.