A White Van Man`s Travels

During my travels as a white van man I`ve been fortunate enough to visit some interesting places and to take some snaps I can now share with you.


October 2015. Near Bolton today. Chapeltown near Edgeworth where you`ll find the Wayoh reservoir. If you take a walk round the waters you`ll see the Armsgrove railway viaduct.

The image below shows the waters with Chapeltown in the distance.

More info HERE


September 2015. Reservoir walks this week. Below is a view from the Facit quarry tramway incline near Whitworth, Lancashire.

The image below shows the incline itself which went down to Facit station on the old Rochdale to Bacup railway line.

Following the public footpath over the hill leads to Cowm reservoir.

Below is an against-the-light shot of waterskiing on Cowm reservoir.

More info HERE

Facit tramway info HERE


September 2015.On the way to Deganwy and Llandudno via the B5381 road from St.Asaph. The picture below was taken en route. I can`t recall the exact location.

Walking between Llandudno and Deganwy. The picture below is from the beach footpath, looking toward Llanfairfechan.


September 2014 and the weather`s still good but I didn`t want to travel too far so I took a short drive to Marple and had a walk down the canal towpath toward Romiley. Below are the locks at Marple.

The photo below is of the Macclesfield Canal which starts at Marple

The above shot is close to Marple town centre. An old mill converted for use as offices

Further along the route toward Romiley is the Marple Aqueduct over the River Goyt. More info on the aqueduct...CLICK HERE

Further information about Marple.........CLICK HERE


A few days after the Marple walk I decided to look even closer to home, realising it was a long time since I`d had a walk along the Rochdale Canal from Littleborough toward Rochdale.

The above picture is close to Halifax Road where a lot of houses were built close to the canal (or maybe the canal came after)

A pleasant picturesque setting at Littleborough Bottom Lock

The picture below is from 1987 when the large chemical factory still blighted the canal walk from Littleborough. It`s gone now and the land is currently unused.

Above is the swing bridge at the end of Little Clegg Road not long before you reach the mill at Clegg Hall, below (now looks as if it`s been converted to flats)

Clegg Hall, below, is restored and in private ownership

In the photo below all the buildings look as if they`re jostling each other for space........

More info about Littleborough...HERE and more info about the Rochdale Canal....HERE

Walking the other direction from Littleborough to Walsden a few weeks later you first come to this old mill

Hardly a thing of beauty but perhaps of historical interest

This old lock keeper`s house at Summit is evidently a shop

A pleasant spot to live, as long as the canal doesn`t overflow.......

It shouldn`t be a problem for these houses.



A rather ornate railway bridge over the canal at Gauxholme

The Great Wall of Todmorden, as it is known locally, seperating the railway line on high from the canal

Near the town centre at Todmorden, showing a view of the unusual vertical lock gate just before the road bridge

And here it is again from the other side

A view from a little bit further along the canal heading toward Hebden Bridge


Now into September 2014 and the weather is holding up very well so I decided to go and have a look at Lakeside in Cumbria where you can catch a boat to Bowness-on-Windermere.

It was a bit cloudy when I was there so the distant mountains aren`t too clear but it was warm and quiet apart from the occasional jet fighters carrying out low-altitude training.

There`s a heritage steam railway that brings passengers from Haverthwaite to the boats at Lakeside which then will transport passengers northwards to Bowness-on-Windermere

A short video of the steam train`s arrival is on YouTube........CLICK HERE


After an hour or so at Lakeside I went to take a photo of the lighthouse-style monument at Ulverston. It commemorates Sir John Barry and is designed as a replica of the third Eddystone Lighthouse. More info at Wikipedia...CLICK HERE


Yet another day trip while the August weather is favourable. This time to Tywyn, a small seaside resort in Cardigan Bay, Gwynedd.

More information about Tywyn .....CLICK HERE

The town is situated on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park which makes a spectacular backdrop for the town (above)

It`s the home of the Talyllyn Railway, the narrow gauge heritage line that was the inspiration for the Thomas the Tank Engine books. For more on the railway.... CLICK HERE

If you want to look at my video of the above scene....CLICK HERE

On the way back from Tywyn I stopped off to take some pictures of the coastal route. I think the above is near Llangelynnin.

Fairbourne Bay (above). The village of Fairbourne is evidently at risk from rising sea levels....more info CLICK HERE

This is the toll bridge at Penmaenpool. A handy short cut over the Mawddach. At one time there was a GWR branch railway from Ruabon to Barmouth which used to stop here. The old station and signal box have been preserved along with a solitary signal. The old line forms part of the Mawddach Trail used by cyclists and walkers. It was featured in an episode of the BBC`s Railway Walks.


I`ve had a long standing interest in windmills (there are quite a few featured on this website) but recently I read about one in Holgate, York which spurred me on to have a day trip to Yorkshire to have a look.

Built in 1770 and restored in 2011. Now incongrously surrounded by suburban housing. More information HERE

Fortunately it was a lovely day in York so I took a walk round the city walls:

A classic view of York Minster from the city walls not far from the railway station.

Micklegate Bar is part of the city wall

Plenty of river traffic on the Ouse. Sightseeing boats and self-drive motor boats (£25 per half hour!) York often suffers serious flooding in this area.

Lendal Bridge. A recent traffic restriction experiment resulted in over 50,000 fines for hapless motorists who were unaware of the new ruling and didn`t spot the signs warning them not to use the bridge between 10.30 and 17.00. The City of York council is now seeking legal advice after a traffic adjudicator ruled that the traffic restrictions were "not legal".

Stonegate. Location of Ye Olde Starre Inne and numerous little shops.

For a short video of my day trip on YouTube..CLICK HERE



I`m still driving a white van even though I`ve given up the courier work. In June 2014 it took me down to Pembrokeshire. From a hotel base in Pembroke Dock I took some trips out including Pembroke itself:

A fine example of a Norman castle


Another impressive pile at Manorbier, below


Not far from Pembroke is Angle, a coastal village with a sheltered bay, shown above, and a fortified island on nearby Thorn Island, built to defend the area from the French..more info HERE


Pembrokeshire doesn`t have a lot of beaches but there are some pretty good ones, like Freshwater West below


A very important religious site and the smallest city in the UK is St Davids, below a view of the cathedral......more info HERE


Another religious site, and a very unusual one is St Govans, the chapel in the rocks near Bosherston. Situated within a military firing range, it`s not always possible to reach it but, if the road is open, there`s a car park within a few hundred yards of the cliff.

You need sensible shoes to descend the steep steps to the chapel


Below is a shot of the interior of the chapel. More information HERE


I particularly like Tenby. It`s very tourist orientated, of course, but has plenty of character

Above is the classic Tenby view. Below is its oldest building, the Tudor Merchant`s House..................more info HERE


On the way home I took a coastal route, heading to Fishguard via Narberth, below

Old Town Hall at Narberth. Now a museum. There`s a ruined castle in the town.....more info HERE


Lower Fishguard harbour below. Photographed from the Marine Walk that goes round to Goodwick where the boats to Ireland sail from.


Further up the coast is a lovely little place called Aberaeron.


On the way home I stopped to have a look at Devil`s Bridge. No demonic presence noted but it has an unusual bridge

and also a terminus for the Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge railway. Below is locomotive No.8, HERE

more info on Devil`s Bridge HERE



web-001-Dover (215K)

I`ve been on my holidays. Went to Kent. Stayed at Dover and explored the surrounding areas. Above is a view of the impressive Dover Castle. History available HERE


web-002-Dover (98K)

Above is a view of Dover Harbour from the famous white cliffs. According to QI there are no Bluebirds in the UK. They are a native of the USA. What was Vera thinking? Bluebird info HERE


web-003-Dungeness (84K)

Dungeness (above) is a privately owned estate but is open to the public. Dominated by the nuclear power station it features two lighthouses (old and new), a pub, a railway station (Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway) and numerous little wooden dwellings. Classified as Britain`s only "desert" by the Met Office. More information HERE **Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway video..CLICK HERE.


web-004-KingsgateCastle (149K)

Built for Lord Holland in the 1760s. Designed as stables and coach house and more recently used as a hotel it has now been converted into no doubt very expensive flats. Nearby is the view below:

web-005-Kingsgate (114K)


web-006-Ramsgate (155K)

Like a lot of British seaside resorts Ramsgate and its near neighbour Margate look a little bit run down these days, although there seems to be quite a lot of remedial work being carried out on old Victorian terraces. Some impressive old brickwork shown above on Ramsgate seafront.


One of the famous Cinque Ports, Rye is very picturesque. Once entirely surrounded by sea but now only navigable for small boats. More information HERE Below is a view of Traders` Passage.

web-007-Rye-Traders Passage (145K)

** web-008-Rye-Landgate (192K)

Above Landgate, Rye and below is the Ypres Tower, now a museum.

web-009-Rye-YpresTowerMuseum (163K)


web-010-St Margaret`s at Cliff (202K)

St Margaret`s at Cliffe, near Dover. A good place to start a walk over the white cliffs toward Dover. Lots of houses perched precariously on the edge of the cliffs here but the view must be worth the risk.


web-011-Whitstable-Old Neptune (151K)

Almost quaint is Whitstable. Famous for its oysters. More information HERE


This tower at Deal used to inform mariners when it was 1pm GMT by the lowering of the ball on the roof, operated on receiving an electrical signal direct from the Royal Observatory. More information HERE


Roses in the garden 001 (88K)

Okay, it`s nothing to do with travelling around but I was so pleased with my back yard rose bush and its numerous flowers last year that I thought I`d show this snap as proof of how beneficial total neglect can be when it comes to gardening. The local bee population are also delighted. I thought they`d all emigrated.


Chollerford and Humshaugh (79K)

A weekend away with friends near Hexham and an opportunity to take some photos of the beautiful countryside around Humshaugh and Chollerford, a view of which is shown above.

Fallowfield Alpaca (97K)

An Alpaca farm at Fallowfield not far from Chollerford.

Chollerton (111K)

Distant view of Chollerton.

Old water pump (153K)

A photogenic old water pump in a field near a farm en route to the local tea rooms for toasted teacake and other delights.

Old barn near Humshaugh (53K)

A lovely day for photography.

Rapeseed and tree (68K)


Clifton 001 (109K)

May 2013. A delivery to Bristol gave me the chance to go and have a close look at Brunel`s Clifton Suspension Bridge which I`ve only ever seen from a distance up to now. Clifton is where the well-to-do of the city tend to hang out. Current house prices start at around £200,000 and soar to the real estate stratosphere from there. It`s a very green and pleasant area, plenty of parkland and no problems finding a place to park your vehicles. Read more about the area HERE

Below is the view towards the city from the bridge. On the left is the Clifton Gorge Hotel. Information about the bridge CLICK HERE

Clifton 002 (87K)

The image below shows the observatory on the cliff top to the left which houses a camera obscura and also is the entrance to St Vincent's Cave (also known as Ghyston's Cave or Giant's Cave). More info on the observatory HERE

Clifton 004 (79K)

Below is a photo of the cliff top entrance to the Clifton Rocks Railway which was closed in the 1930s but there are plans to renovate and re-open it. The funicular railway carried passengers from the top of the gorge to the lower level and back for about 30 years before being closed due to lack of business. Read more at Wikipedia HERE

Clifton 003 (73K)


Fotheringhay church and village (61K)

April 2013. On a recent trip down to Peterborough I thought I`d take the opportunity to visit Fotheringhay, a village about 8 miles from where I was delivering. This pleasant little picture-postcard settlement is famous (or infamous) as the place where Mary Queen of Scots was executed having spent some time incarcerated in the castle of which little remains other than the earthworks, a mound on which the keep stood and a piece of masonry which is now surrounded by railings, no doubt to stop people hacking off bits for souvenirs. There`s a rather impressive church nearby. I`ve wanted to have a look at this place for a while because of the Sandy Denny recording of "Fotheringay" made with Fairport Convention which was about Mary`s imprisonment. A beautiful, sad song. Read more about the village Click Here

Fotheringhay castle site - the mound (96K)

Below is the view of the village from the top of the mound

Fotheringhay village from castle mound (79K)

Below is the last remaining bit of the original keep

Fotheringhay castle site - remaining stone (114K)


Point of Ayr - lighthouse 001 (51K)

April 2013. There`s not an awful lot to see at the Point of Ayr at the mouth of the River Dee. There`s a lighthouse and a RSPB nature reserve. The history is quite interesting from an industrial point of view as the location of one of the last deep coal mines of Wales. There`s a collection of bungalows at Talacre, mostly holiday homes I think and dunes of scientific interest. Read more HERE


Rhos on Sea 001 - boat (103K)

A pleasant little place on the North Wales coast, not far from Llandudno, Rhos on Sea is quieter than the bigger resorts. I like images of boats left high and dry when the tide`s out. Below is a picture of St Trillo`s chapel on the promenade at Rhos. Thought to be the smallest church building in the UK. More info CLICK HERE and for more facts about Rhos on Sea CLICK HERE

Rhos on Sea 003 - St Trillo`s Chapel (122K)


Hathersage 001 - 7thDec2012 (50K)

December 2012. Just enough snow to make the area look pretty but not enough to close the Snake Pass or any other roads. Two snaps taken near Hathersage on my way back from Chesterfield. Cold but bright, late afternoon.

Hathersage 002 - 7thDec2012 (49K)


Humber Bridge 001 (62K)

September 2012. Down on the Hessle river front by the Humber Bridge is a pleasant spot to have your lunch. Once unkindly said by some to be the bridge from nowhere to nowhere, I think the Humber bridge is a very impressive structure and there are some excellent observation facilities including a free car park. More info HERE

Humber Bridge 002 (68K)


Cheadle church 001 (75K)

September 2012. St Mary`s Church in Cheadle, Greater Manchester caught my eye because of its unusual clock faces, shown close-up below. Further reading on the church HERE

Cheadle church 002 (45K)


Raby Castle (67K)

Returning from Newcastle Upon Tyne via the scenic route I chanced upon several castles. First up was this impressive pile. Raby Castle near Bishop Auckland on the A688 road just before the attractive little village of Staindrop. History HERE


Barnard Castle 001 (78K)

Next up was Barnard Castle. A lovely little market town. Wikipedia notes HERE

Barnard Castle 002 (96K)


Brough Castle (43K)

And then there was this moody shot of Brough Castle in the rain. More info HERE


Butterfly - feathered 001 (94K)

I had to travel all the way down to the front gate of my house to take this picture. A peacock butterfly. British butterflies info HERE


Somerset monument - Hawkesbury 001 (42K)

Often listed in books as a "folly", this tower at Hawkesbury is actually a monument to commemorate General Lord Edward Somerset. Read more HERE

Somerset monument - Hawkesbury 002 (49K)


Lymm 001 (74K)

I had a look round Lymm in Cheshire recently. First time I`d seen the centre of the village. It almost makes it to being picturesque but not quite. Some of the more modern buildings detract from the overall effect. More info HERE

Lymm 002 (87K)

Lymm 003 (80K)


Stalybridge - Victoria Bridge (95K)

An opportunistic snap from the van window of Victoria Bridge in Stalybridge. History of the town HERE Stalybridge is where songwriter and entertainer John Judge allegedly wrote the famous wartime song "It`s A Long Way to Tipperary" and there`s a statue in Lord Pendry Square celebrating the event. This claim has been disputed. Details HERE and more details HERE

Stalybridge - statue and civic hall (31K)


Fernwood tower 001 (51K)

Glimpsed from the A1 near Newark on Trent. A rather incongruous tower rising from the midst of a modern housing estate at Fernwood. A water tower? Church? The style suggests a church building. But it`s got a clock face on it. Not many churches have a clock on the tower (some do). It might be what`s left of an old RAF airfield. I`ve found references to a listed building which sounds as if it might be this one, but information is hard to find. I like a good mystery but I also like to solve it....AND NOW I HAVE! It`s all that remains of Balderton Hospital which was built on the site of Balderton Hall. The hospital was built in the 1930s for the care of people with learning difficulties. One source says it was a water storage tower which seems likely.


Fernwood tower 002 (16K)


Whitby 001 (66K)

I like Whitby, even though it can be a very busy place. Lots of interesting alleyways, yards and narrow streets. A very impressive abbey ruin and an ancient church atop the crumbling headland.

Whitby 003 (80K)


Withernsea 001 (68K)

Not far from Hull is Withernsea which looks a bit run-down generally but must`ve been a prosperous seaside resort at some time. Below is a view of the old lighthouse. Unusual in that it`s situated in the centre of the town, several hundred yards from the seafront. It`s now a museum to memory of actress Kay Kendal who was born in the town. More info HERE

Withernsea 002 (50K)


Halifax from Blackley - Elland 001 (74K)

A rather nice view of a distant Halifax from Blackley, near the M62. Below is a view of Sowerby Bridge from the same viewpoint.

Sowerby Bridge from Blackley - Elland 001 (76K)

Not far from Halifax is Luddenden Mills (below), incongruously (from a modern perspective) situated in beautiful countryside. Wikipedia info HERE

Luddenden Mills near Halifax (109K)


Pont aqueduct 001 (79K)

This is the famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct near Llangollen. Still in regular daily use. Read more HERE

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct 002 (117K)


Llandudno 001 (65K)

I`m fond of seaside towns and Llandudno is a favourite. There are also lots of other attractive areas to visit nearby. Great Orme tramway video HERE

Llandudno 002 (77K)


Penshore Monument 001 (91K)

A rather scruffy looking Doric temple folly near Sunderland. This is the Penshaw monument, a well-known landmark. Click Here for more info

Penshore Monument 002 (70K)


Tree House - Lovers` Lane - Atherton 2007 (159K)

I took this photo in 2007. I hope the tree house is still there at Lovers Lane, Atherton. Very impressive.


Tamworth Castle 001 (116K)

Tamworth has a neat little Grade I listed castle. Evidently it used to be somewhat bigger. More info HERE

Tamworth Castle 002 (103K)

It also has a fairly typical market hall (below). The statue is of Bury-born Sir Robert Peel, who lived in the castle at one time.

Tamworth Market Hall (80K)


Ormskirk Church with two towers (55K)

Ormskirk church. The story was that two sisters in the family that paid for the building couldn`t agree on whether to have a tower or a spire so it ended up with both. Not the real reason, though. More info here


Chesterfield Church (66K)

Another unusual church. This is a familiar sight to many people, but, in case you`ve never heard of it, this is the church with the twisted spire in Chesterfield. Wikipedia gives the lowdown HERE


Bleeding Wolf - Scholar Green - Staffs -  thatched pub (65K)

This is rather unusual in the Northern part of England; a pub with a thatched roof. The Bleeding Wolf in Staffordshire.


Alloby - Cumbria 001 (78K)

Allonby in Cumbria. Used to be a fishing centre. Info, click here


Chew Valley - Greenfield - Oldham 001 (71K)

Chew Valley, Greenfield, Oldham. Popular area for walking. Quite spectacular scenery, yet only a few miles from Oldham.


Hollingworth Lake sunset (75K)

Also not far away from where I live. Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough. Very popular for evening strolls.


Saltburn - North Yorkshire 001 (84K)

Saltburn by the Sea, North Yorkshire. Built by a railway tycoon of the old school. Great setting. Read more here


Silloth - Cumbria 001 (93K)

I like Silloth. It`s nice and quiet. Great views across the Solway Firth to the Scottish hills.


Silverdale - Cumbria 001 (105K)

You`ll need a lot of pennies to live here in Silverdale, Lancashire. Another little coastal gem. Info here


Staithes 001 (88K)

Staithes, North Yorkshire. Not pretty like a Cornish or Devonshire seaside village. A bit more rough and ready and industrial, but it attracted a lot of painters over the years and probably still does. Below is the classic "view" of the village.

Staithes 002 (111K)


Wells Next The Sea 001 (109K)

I was a bit disappointed with Wells-Next-The-Sea. The weather was fine but I`d been expecting a quiet little backwater. What I got was a very busy little tourist trap. Still, it`s worth a look. Perhaps off season.


Brecon - 001 - 2ndApril2012 (52K)

Brecon in Powys. I stopped here after an early morning trip to Cardiff on the way back North via the scenic route, avoiding the motorways as much as possible. Brecon is in the beautiful setting of the Brecon Beacons National Park. More info here...


Clevedon - 001 - 14thOct2011 (61K)

October 2011. After delivering to a place in Somerset late in the afternoon I decided to have a look at Clevedon and let the rush hour traffic ease up whilst I had a break. I`d visited a friend there back in the 1980s and rather liked the place. Wikipedia info...

Clevedon - 002 - 14thOct2011 (100K)


Llandrindod Wells - 001 - 2ndApril2012 (93K)

This is Llandrindod Wells. It used to be a popular spa town and the huge hotel pictured was built in its heyday. Like so many places it has a brand new big Tesco extra store near the railway station. Many of the other properties in the town look a little run-down and neglected. More info here...


Trearddur Bay near Holyhead - 001 - 2012 (98K)

Just outside of busy Holyhead there`s a rather run-down little seaside village at Trearddur Bay. A pleasant little spot if the weather`s good. Wikilink here...


Near Glossop 001 - 3rdApril2012 (64K)

Not far from home this one. Taken from the road going over to Charlesworth near Glossop and looking back towards Hayfield and the A624 road.

Near Glossop 004 - 19thJune2012 (39K)


Marsden Grotto 001 - South Shields 2012 (51K)

Above is a picture of the Marsden Grotto at South Shields, a pub/restaurant which originated from a cave house built by quarryman Jack the Blaster and from which he and his wife sold food and drink to visitors. Later the site was developed into what you see above complete with elevator tower and an extended area built out from the cliff face. More info here from wikipedia.


Whitburn Windmill - South Shields 2012 (28K)

Not far from Marsden Bay is Whitburn Windmill, a grade II listed building set in a grassy square incongruously surrounded by a housing estate on three sides with an outlook toward the North Sea. Now owned by the local council and renovated in 1991/2. More here on wikipedia...


Windmill - Hull - 2006 (38K)

Another renovated windmill. This time in Hull. Now part of a pub not far from the centre of the city.


Breedon on the Hill Parish Church 2012 (72K)

I saw this from the A42 travelling from Nottingham towards Ashby-de-la-Zouch. It was late afternoon, the sun was setting and there was this lovely little church sat atop a hill in the distance and looking for all the world as if it should be in the Italian countryside. It`s Breedon on the Hill Parish Church.(I originally thought it was Staunton Harold, but it isn`t!) More info again on wikipedia.


Edinburgh 001 Forth Bridge - 2012 (84K)

Always wanted to have a close look at this iconic landmark. Trains every ten minutes or so crossing over this bridge. A bigger surprise to me was South Queensferry, a very old and quaint area right next to the bridge. See below:

Edinburgh 001 Queensferry - 2012 (83K)


Llangollen 001 - 2012 (58K)

Couldn`t believe my luck when I got this trip to a printing works in Llangollen. I was surprised that there was a printing works here. Shame that it rained all the time but it wasn`t too bad.

Llangollen 002 - 2012 (78K)


Parkgate 001 - The Wirral 2012 (44K)

Above and below are two views of Parkgate on the Wirral. This used to be an important port before the river silted up then became a popular resort but the sand was replaced by grass and it`s been left high and dry, or low and dry. Lots of bungalows built nearby. Probably a popular retirement area for Liverpudlians and Wirralians (?). Conservation area. Wikipedia!

Parkgate 002 - The Wirral 2012 (39K)


Thornton Hough 001 - The Wirral 2012 (35K)

Also on the Wirral is this remarkably well preserved little place.

Thornton Hough 002 - The Wirral 2012 (46K)

Thornton Hough. 22 listed buildings. Conservation area as of 1979. Wikipedia again, link here.


Richmond 001 - North Yorkshire 2012 (64K)

You can almost taste the money in this prosperous Yorkshire town. Richmond in Yorkshire. So many bank branches in one little square. Very well preserved, as no doubt are the inhabitants.

Richmond 002 - North Yorkshire 2012 (88K)


Slaithewaite 001 - Yorkshire 2012 (74K)

Still in Yorkshire but further South. Slaithwaite near Huddersfield. What used to be just very grim and industrial is now picturesque.

Slaithewaite 002 - Yorkshire 2012 (75K)


Blacko - Lancs 2012 (22K)

Near Blacko just outside Colne in Lancashire. Cameras never quite capture the subtlety of what we see but the effect was so nice I though I`d give it a try.

Blacko - Lancs 002 2012 (41K)

***** Here`s a link to some unusual buildings around the world. some are quite amusing...CLICK HERE

***** Back to the Tapptoons webpage...CLICK HERE