A cold cloud swirls down from the hills and cloaks the chapel, the slagheaps, the grey stone and pebbledash houses and the brightly coloured playground. The roads are empty, and the school quiet, its roof ripped off by Storm Barbara. This is Rhosgadfan, where Kate Roberts spent her childhood on the slopes of Moel Tryfan and Moel Smytho” and is the setting for her earlier novels including Feet in Chains and Tea in the Heather. Suddenly the cloud dissolves. The sea glitters, skylarks rise over the moors, children laugh on the swings and the mountains are revealed.

Read more in the July edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine 2017

‘Firelight flickers over faces and gilds the silhouette of a bicycle tossed to the ground as we join a small crowd of people sitting on strawbales around a musician and his acoustic guitar. Suddenly I’m awash with serene joy and equanimity. I often get this feeling at festivals – like I do after days spent hiking – a kind of fusion with the landscape, but at festivals it’s also about shared human spirit…’

Read more in the June edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

‘Independent by nature, Corsica began life as part of the Alps but broke free about twenty million years ago to slowly migrate across the Mediterranean. Several hiking routes cross this fascinating island, including the GR20 – allegedly Europe’s most gruelling trek; a goat-track which scrambles from north to south across the peaks of an alpine chain. By contrast the Mare a Mare Nord is a challenging but more manageable mule-path which takes you into beautiful mountain country from Moriani Plage in the east to the west-coast fishing port of Carghese. ‘

Read more in the Spring edition of Country Walking magazine.

‘At lunch, we squeeze into the tiny tearoom, and the conversation becomes nostalgic. ‘Whatever happened’ says Jan wistfully, ‘to those bacon-flavoured piglet crisps they sold in the canal shop?’ Chris recalls wandering about the Beacons with a chicken-paste sandwich and a sauce bottle of squash, prompting Ray to remember making fishing weights at home. ‘Sometimes the lead would explode out of the fire’ he laughs ‘and get stuck in the coconut matting. It got so heavy my Mam had to throw it out!”

Read more in BBC Countryfile Magazine, April 2017

‘Mountainous in spirit if not in height, Yr Eifl is a hill of vertiginous vistas and igneous granite intrusions. Its craggy summits have various names but are referred to here as Garn For, Garn Ganol, and Tre’r Ceiri, and this walk scales all three.’

Read more in the March 2017 edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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‘Meanwhile, as the train arrives in Blaenau Ffestiniog, the platform is a-billow with pungent smoke and all other sound submits to the hiss of steam. Raw and beautiful, Blaenau Ffestiniog in the belly of Snowdonia is overlooked by jagged mountains disembowelled for their slate. The air feels more brittle than down at the coast. Trees are few and bent, and terraced stone inky-dark houses bear witness to the industrial age in which they and the railway were built.’

Read more in BBC Countryfile Magazine, February 2017

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Sunlight augments the reds in the sandstone paths and the feathers of a kestrel in the wind, hanging still as a held breath. And it kisses the hummocky nests made by rare black bog ants out of heather, sphagnum and molinia grass, before cresting the hill and sluicing Rhossili Bay with rosy light…

Read more in the January 2017 issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine

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