20150412_Daffodil Festival Monks Kirby

20150412_Daffodil Festival Monks Kirby

When : 12th April 2015
Where : Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.
Distance : A little wander – Not even worth measuring the distance.
Significant Heights : None to speak of.
Maps : 1:25,000 OS Explorer Map No.222 Rugby and Daventry (but not needed).
Start + End Point : approx. SP 477,835

If you click on a pic’ it should launch as a larger image on my photostream on Flickr.

This is not really a walking post this one, but still kind of out-doorsy all the same, and it is associated with raising money for charity so I’ve deemed it more than worthwhile writing about it on my blog.

20150412-A_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Daffs

Daffs _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

20150412_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival

A rough indication of the “walk” around the festival’s grounds

Every year, the village of Monk’s Kirby (a member of the Revel Villages), holds its annual daffodil festival, a sort of village fete, at Newnham Paddox, at the kind permission of The Earl and Countess of Denbigh who live there. It’s all organized by and in aid of The Friends of the C-of-E Revel Churches.

There was a small entrance fee of £3.00 for adults and £1.00 for children.




20150412-C_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Wooded Glade

Wooded Glade _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

The six churches of The Revel Group are, in no particular order :-

• St Leonard’s, Willey,
• St. John The Baptist, Brinklow,
• St. Denys’s, Pailton,
• All Saints, Harborough Magna
• Holy Trinity, Churchover
• And of course in Monks Kirby, St Edith’s.

Once in the grounds of Newnham Paddox, there were various stalls to peruse, live music, performances and displays to enjoy and, of course, food and drink to be had.

Performances this year (I’m writing in 2015) included :
Ocho Rios Steel Band, Jill Bartlett School of Dancing and Dunchurch Silver Band.

Foody stuff had all the usual suspects ;
Ice Cream, Cakes, Hot Dogs, Hot Drinks, etc.

Other exhibitors etc. included ;
Coombe Abbey Woodturners, Beekeepers, CPL, Jewellery, Kids Games, Alpacas, RSPB, Preserves, Donkey Rides, and various others, notably a super Model Woodyard.

20150412-K_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Cherry Blossom

Blassom _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

Despite all these attractions, the star of the event, was the grounds themselves. The initial “fete” area, leads into a shallow valley, surrounded by farmland (mostly crops), and within the valley are a couple of ornamental lakes. Well, lakes may conjure up an image of huge, wide expanses of water, but these aren’t in that league. No, they’re more like sizeable ponds, but large enough to be in scale with the surrounding landscape, mature trees and shrubs making a slightly wild appearance whilst also being obviously planned out. In fact, the drive up to the entrance, out of Monks Kirby village, is along a sweeping drive through landscaped grassy parkland, [by Capability Brown between 1745 and 1753] with individual specimen trees apparently randomly scattered across the pastures.

20150412-E_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Spring Bud

Spring Buds _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

20150412-D_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Primroses

Primroses _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

Getting back to the grounds; there are large drifts of daff’s, blossom trees, mature deciduous trees coming into bud after their winter slumber and interspersed with evergreen conifers. Other spring flowers graced the area, including some beautiful clumps of primroses. I don’t think the grounds are overly gardened though, they certainly aren’t very manicured. However, there is a certain unkemptness which maybe adds to the charm rather than detracts. The lakes themselves are lined with sizeable areas of reeds and rushes and the whole area doesn’t take long to walk around, unless of course, like me you stop to look closer at the details and attempt to take photo’s, trying to do the place justice.

20150412-B_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Poolside Daffs

Lakeside Daffs _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

20150412-G_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Decaying Wood

Decaying Wood _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

20150412-F_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Decaying Wood

Decaying Wood _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

I say attempt, because I wasn’t really happy with my photographic attempts today; I just couldn’t find a decent exposure setting, but hey, maybe there are days when things just don’t work out OK.

20150412-I_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Cheetah Sculpture (b+w)

Cheetah Sculpture _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

In the past, the lakes area was laid out as an outdoor sculpture park, with some very large pieces of art (including a couple of huge plate-iron elephants), but I was disappointed to find that over the last few years (when I haven’t visited) many of these art-works have gone and not been replaced, leaving only a few pieces of note. Of these, I think my fave would be the Cheetah and cub.

20150412-H_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Cheetah Sculpture

Cheetah Sculpture _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

I’ve had a look on the inter-web and cannot find any recent web-pages/sites that suggest the Art-Park is currently open, but I stand to be corrected. Good luck if you fancy finding out more yourself.

20150412-J_Monks Kirby Daffodil Festival 2015_Sun Bleached

Sun Bleached Branch/Stick _ At 2015 Daffodil Festival, Newnham Paddox, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.

Anyway, I don’t think there’s much more to add, apart from I’m sorry that I’m posting well after this year’s event; but it is an annual happening, so make a note and next spring, sometime around Easter, go find out about 2016’s event and hope for some sunshine to make the day really extra special.

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings and my photo’s such as they are …. If you’d like to comment on my diary or any of my pic’s please feel welcome. I’d love to hear from you.

T.T.F.N. Gary.


20120527_The Bourton Festival 2012

20120527_Lias line walk to The Bourton Festival20120527_The Bourton Festival 2012

When : 27th May 2012

Who : Just Me

Where : Bourton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire,

Map used : 1:25,000 Explorer Map No. 222 Rugby and Daventry

Grid Ref. : SP43,70


20120527-16_Flipside Stage - Crash Jackets by gary.haddenThis is a follow on from my previous diary describing a walk from Cawston to the festival via the old Rugby to Leamington railway line (known as the Lias Line) and this is really just to finish off the day’s trip out and give a belated plug to the charity event … who knows once published on the world wide web, it might help a few people find next year’s event.

The main reason for going was as a field trip organised as part of a beginner’s photography course and this was supposed to test and improve our taking images of people, either taken candidly or by approaching someone and asking if we could take a portrait. I must admit to doing the candid shots, but being a little too shy to approach 20120527-27_Flipside Stage - Staff by gary.haddenstaff + festival goers directly … you might say that was a bit cowardly but it’s not easy going up to total strangers and sticking a camera lens in their faces. Well, I hope you like some of my pic’s … there’s some more you can go see on my flickr photostream.

Anyway, here’s some words about the festival itself …. the “blurb” below is kind of reworded from The Bourton Festival facebook site, sort of précised down for my diary after the event  … so I can’t really claim much credit for most of the words, just the order they appear in and a bit of changing the tenses around.

20120527-26_Flipside Stage - Staff by gary.haddenFace book page : http://www.facebook.com/events/209555002475168/

The day-long event (10am to 7pm) was run on behalf of Southam 2000 Rotary Club, in conjunction with The Vault nightclub in Rugby along with a bunch of other sponsors including Flipside recording studios in Coventry. The event was completely the work of volunteers and those contributing their services and time in aid of a worthy cause. The entrance costs were £4.00 including parking and under10s were free.

The festival was in aid of Rotary International’s END POLIO NOW and raised money for some of the best causes around whilst celebrating some of the best live music talent in The Midlands. One of the other charities there was SHELTERBOX which is a fantastic charity supplying practical aid into disaster areas. In my mind not well enough known – Go see what they do – and donate if you think you like their form of relief.

Also showcased were local arts and crafts and there was a classic car rally (my fave’s being the line of Triumph Stags, a Triumph Gloria, a Doretti and a Morgan). There were also stalls with home cooked food and cakes, and other stuff – including a bar (that actually ran out of beer at one point!).

20120527-07_Doretti Badge and bonnet bubble by gary.hadden    20120527-05_Triumph Gloria Wheel Nut + Spokes by gary.hadden

20120527-10_Morgan reflection by gary.hadden    20120527-01_Triumph Stags by gary.hadden

20120527-04_Triumph Gloria by gary.hadden

So, all in all, there were a wide variety of people coming together (Rock Bands and their fans, Staff, Photographers, Rotary Members, Families, etc.,) for a day of what the organisers hoped would be a joyous day of sunshine and fun! …. and looking back from a very wet November evening, it turned out to be one of the hottest and sunniest days of the year – One of the few days where you could get sun burnt (if you wanted to) – The festival got very-very lucky.

20120527-25_Flipside Stage - Photographing StoneFire by gary.hadden

20120527-24_Flipside Stage - Watching StoneFire in the Sun by gary.hadden    20120527-22_Flipside Stage - StoneFire by gary.hadden

There were three music stages :-


On the lawn in front of the manor house showcasing the best live bands all day : Sponsored by Rugby’s Vault nightclub / live music venue … They claim it’s the best, but I can’t comment as I’ve never been there!.

20120527-43_Vault Main Stage - White Men Can't Funk by gary.hadden    20120527-32_Vault Main Stage - Morningstar Setting Up by gary.hadden

20120527-42_Vault Main Stage - White Men Can't Funk by gary.hadden


On the back lawn of the house, hosting new and exciting alternative acts good enough to rival those playing the main stage : Sponsored by the recording studio FLIPSIDE … They claim it’s the premier studio in Coventry, but I can’t comment as I’ve never used it.

20120527-18_Flipside Stage - Crash Jackets by gary.hadden

20120527-20_Flipside Stage - StoneFire by gary.hadden    20120527-19_Flipside Stage - StoneFire by gary.hadden


In an intimate little copse around the back of the house, this was a completely acoustic stage … Why it was called a village, I’ve no idea as it was just a small tent and some open air seating, so village was a complete misnomer.

20120527-35_Acoustic Tent - Getting Close listening to Damion Lee Taylor by gary.hadden     20120527-33_Acoustic Tent - Damion Lee Taylor by gary.hadden

Well that’s about it really. I hope you enjoyed my scribblings and pic’s ….

If you’d like to comment on my diary or any of my pic’s please feel welcome. I’d love to hear from you.

T.T.F.N. Gary.

20120527-41_Vault Main Stage - Doing The Cha Cha Slide by gary.hadden

20120527-40_Vault Main Stage - Doing The Cha Cha Slide by gary.hadden


20100613_Rugby Western Relief Road Sponsored Walk-Cycle-Fun Run

20100613_Rugby Western Relief Road Sponsored Walk-Cycle-Fun Run

Where : Rugby, Warwickshire

More Specifically : Along the soon to be opened southern most section of the Rugby Western Relief Road.

Start Point : at the Cemex junction of the new Western Relief Road and Lawford Road.

Mid point (turn around and go back again) : Potfords Dam, Cawston.

End Point : at the Cemex junction of the new Western Relief Road and Lawford Road.

More details at :




tel : 07720 444084

email : info@rugbyfunrun.org.uk

This is an event I’ve just learnt about and I’ve been asked to help spread the word … I don’t know David Head personally, but I’m happy to pass on the details he has supplied to me per the above links …. Please use his links for the formal details, any updates etc., etc. ….. [I know nothing about the events organisation, so please don’t ask me as I won’t be able to help].

TTFN. Gary.

20061021-27_The Dales Way Walk

The Dales Way _ My Charity Walk Over 6-Days

In October 2006 I walked The Dales Way from Ilkley (Yorkshire) to Bowness-On-Windermere (Cumbria – Lake District).

Although I did the walk partly for myself, the main purpose of the 6-days was as a one-man charity walk in aid of the SPEAKABILITY COVENTRY GROUP (reg charity no. 295094). This is a local self-help and self-funded charity “Helping people with aphasia (disphasia) – the medical term for language loss following a stroke, head injury or other neurological condition”.


If you’d like more info about SPEAKABILITY COVENTRY GROUP

then please call 024 7669 5239

The same number can be used to to make any donations to the charity.

I hoped my walk would help in two ways

a) to raise a bit of money to aid in the day-to-day running of (and to help ensure continued existence of) a local self-help group in the Coventry and surrounding area.

b) to raise awareness that the group existed by using some of the moneys raised to print leaflets or other similar literature to be posted at libraries, hospital noticeboards, etc. Also, the local newspaper group Coventry Telegraph/Warwickshire Telegraph http://www.coventrytelegraph.net ran an article in their publications. Thanks to them for the publicity.

I haven’t written up anything directly in this site as yet, but my lovely wife ran a blog whilst I was actually doing the walk, her posts being based on the ‘phone calls I made periodically through the walk.

Please visit the following web address to see the blog :-



Visit http://www.dalesway.org.uk/ for news, route updates and other info’ on The Dales Way.

Anyway that’s it for now,

I hope you enjoy reading about my Dales Way walk.