Visit to the UK

My birthday was approaching and although I have not lived in the UK for many years there are times, naturally, when I really want to be with my family.

The journey from our house in Italy to England is quite straight forward:

We leave home at 6am for Pisa, which is a journey of approximately 134 miles,  take a Ryanair flight of 2 hours 35 mins to arrive at John Lennon airport in Liverpool,  pick up a rental car and we are only 45 minutes away from an olde world village pub where Bruce can enjoy a cold Guinness within an hour of our arrival in the UK.

Whilst we were in England we decided to do a spot of market research in the award winning Bodnant Gardens, Conway, North Wales. The Bodnant Estate is  predominantly agricultural, with woodlands and lakes, however, it’s magnificent gardens are open to the public.

Bodnant Estate is a strikingly beautiful agricultural estate in North Wales IMG_4462IMG_4467 IMG_4457






This is where I digress because this next part has nothing to do with gardening, but Conway is a great place to visit.

Conway town center, is dominated  by an ancient castle built by Edward I between 1283 and 1289 during his conquest of Wales.




The smallest house in Great Britain is also in Conway. The house,  has a floor area of 10.0 by 5.9 ft and a height of 10 feet 2 inches to the eaves, it was used as a residence from the 16th century until 1900.IMG_4448

The last tenant was a 6ft 3 fisherman named Robert Jones.  The rooms were too small for him to stand up in fully and he was eventually forced to move out when the council declared the house unfit for human habitation. The house is still owned by his descendants.

No visit to Conway would be complete without a serving of Conway mussels  conwy mussels cooked on the beachwhich are renowned for their colourful  shells and rich tasting meat, they are simply the best  mussels  in the UK.