Tuesday, 20 March 2012

'A Chepstow Salmon's worth his weight in gold'

The past week we have been playing tourist guide. I have to say I am enjoying it, not only am I getting re-acquainted with some familiar parts of Wales and the changes, I am discovering unexplored parts.
Well, yesterday we found ourselves in the historic walled border town of Chepstow.
We parked our car at the bottom of the ruins of Chepstow Castle before taking a leisurely stroll to the town centre.
There were a lot of independent niche shops here.  Also we were very impressed with the welcoming pedestrian environment, improved massively by the public art that focused on the towns history: 'A Chepstow Salmon's worth his weight in gold'.
The most prominent public art perhaps is the curved carved and well-detailed wall in the town centre.  This wall was designed by Howard Boycott and carved by Tom Clark.  In 2005, it was voted the best UK Pedestrian Scheme and it truly shows why.   It really is a remarkable piece of work.
This is perhaps my favourite aspect of the wall.  Click on the image and find the mouse.












My mother in law really liked Chepstow because it did not seem to have the hustle and bustle of cities, so we will definitely be making our way back there again.
As we were about to drive out of Chepstow, we noted on approach to the roundabout this amazing willow sculpture just outside Chepstow Racecourse. I've always wanted to have a go at weaving and creating a vegetable basket or something like that, so have always been keen on admiring such sculptures made from natural resources.  Anyway, I was impressed with it so much to stop the car and get picture. Whilst taking the picture, someone else was there too snapping a photograph.  We learned it was Mike Hartley the artist who was commissioned to create this willow racehorse.   D and me smiled at each other, the last time we met the artist of a creation was in Glasgow for the Govan Mosaic Cherub.  So funny.  Oh whilst driving about, I also spotted some wild garlic for the picking.  I will be out foraging in the next couple of weeks for sure. 

19 comments:

  1. Chestow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I cannot say how much we love this castle. It was my first contact with history, and it still is my "coup de coeur". I envy you to be there!
    Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, we hope to return again as my mother in law liked it, esp. the thrift/charity shops there.

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  2. Well Chepstow looks an interesting place. I'm always in favour of places that think properly about pedestrians and street art is usually a sign that a place is well cared for.

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    1. I so agree Choclette. It did seem to appear that way.

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  3. Lovely post Shaheen and I loved the link to the artist’s work-stunning!

    I shall look at Chepstow with new eyes!

    I haven’t visited the castle for years-last time I think was for an evening medieval feast where all we were given was a small knife and had to use this and our fingers to eat...it made for an ‘interesting’ experience when vegetarian option was vegetable lasagne....

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    1. I didn't actually go into the caste, still quite short on pennies, so enjoyed it from the outside. I prefer them from the outside to be honest, but who knows next time we may go in.

      A medieval feast you say, that sounds interesting :) Lasagne as a veggie option, I bet you were disappointed, i know I would have been.

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  4. i love Chepstow as well as Abegavenny and Monmouth, all lovely market towns and Abergavenny has really good food festival. Chepstow has a market on the racecourse on Sundays.

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    1. Thanks Kim,
      I am hoping to check out the Abergavenny festival when it happens :) We've been there twice now just for the Market Hall. I will keep in mind the Chepstow Market on Sunday. I don't think it has started up yet though.

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  5. Chepstow looks interesting, what fantastic carvings, sounds like my kind of place. Goodness me you've spotted wild garlic early, I think it will be another month before I find any here but I can't wait for that lovely smell wafting in the wind.

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    1. Thanks Patty,
      I know I got beady eyes :)
      The garlic was only beginning to appear on the surface, so I know it will be good for a while. I would have stopped to pick some, but i thought it would be a waste, as my mother in law was here and it may not have got used.

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  6. What a full day you had......love it all. Here in New England we use to have traffic circles Suddenly we see signs saying "approaching a roundabout." It makes me smile every time I hear or see it.

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  7. thank you for these fun pictures..i very much enjoyed traveling with you!

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  8. Hi MC,

    My first visit here since you moved to Wales, so really happy to see that you've settled in.

    Will enjoy browsing the back catalogue, and glad to see you're still putting your extraordinary cooking and blogging talents to work.

    reapwhatyougrow
    x

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    1. so good to hear from you Moira.
      I do hope you and the family are well.

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  9. Funny reading this post ... Tom Clark is a friend of ours who lives in the next street. We had a lovely evening fishing at the coast last year which I blogged about! A very talented guy, he has just carved some local interest panels for our little village shopping precinct. M x

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    1. Hi M,
      Oh wow that is interesting. I really loved the wall, esp. its relation to food. Very detailed. How lucky to have some of his work in your village, as well as having him as a friend. I'd love to see some of the panels, if you get to post it on your blog.

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