Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here. I don’t know why I introduce myself every time I posy a blog. You already know that it’s me. Anyway, me and my human have just been on a walk in the grounds of a castle. Chirk Castle or Castell y Waun, to be precise, in North Wales. Just over the Wales / England border, the castle was built in 1295 by Roger Mortimer to defend the Ceiriog Valley. Nowadays, it is owned by the National Trust and is a Grade 1 Listed Building. Waymarked walks are available in the grounds and woodland and we chose to walk the Blue Trail with a few diversions, as we tend to do. The trail is 2.5 miles long, but we covered around 4.5 miles in total. So, it was just a short and pleasant walk in beautiful surroundings.
This was the first time that I had used my new lead that was kindly sent to me by one of my subscribers. It is red with black fleck and made from climbing rope with a carabiner to clip onto my collar. Vicki from Flyingbulldog.uk gave me a nice 1.5 metre one and my human said that the way that the knots are positioned make it comfortable for him to grip. So, thank you from me to Vicki for the lovely gift.
We parked in the Home Farm car park and my hudad went for a mooch around the second hand book shop and gift shop before we set off on our Sunday morning walk. Initially, we followed the blue waymarkers which took us to the castle. After we had walked around the eastern side of the castle we turned back to follow the path. My human seemed to be fixated on the castle that loomed above us. I was fixated on marking my territory. The castle was originally built to control the Welsh by the English owners, but now it is mine after a few well positioned pees!
Ed Sheeran had his song Castle on the Hill destroyed by my monotonous human as we walked. I ignored him and crossed my paws that nobody could hear him. He only knew a few lines of the song anyway. So embarrassing!
Autumnal fallen leaves coated the path and floated in the breeze from the branches as we headed away from the castle. I loved running through the piles of leaves as my human kicked them into the air for me to play in.
We soon came across a bird hide at the side of the path. After having a peep inside ( I said peep by the way) and not seeing any birds, we continued along the footpath. Leaves were falling off the trees in front of us. I tried to catch a few as they floated in the breeze. It turns out to not be a skill of mine, but everyone loves a trier, so I am told.
After passing through a gate we entered Deershed Wood. I couldn’t see any deer or any sheds, so why it is called that I don’t know. My human rested his large butt on a lovely carved bench while I had a mooch around for those pesky squirrels that I kept spotting sprinting from tree to tree. They were obviously avoiding me. The word must have been out about my visit. I must add tree climbing to my to-do list of woodland skills.
We stayed for a while amongst the trees before we entered a large meadow overlooking Chirk village. We heard the whistle from the factory in the valley as steam was released into the air. I could detect a feint whiff of wood and chocolate in the air from the factories. Wood I like, but chocolate isn’t one of my permitted treats. My human says that it is bad for dogs. I think that it is bad for my human too by the look of his podgy belly!
The rest of the walk was across meadows that were well cropped by the local woolly inhabitants. They seem to turn the grass into poop in incredibly large amounts. I had a sniff around a dead old tree as we approached the castle drive. I mean that it was dead and old not that it was extremely old like my dead old human. You know what I mean don’t you?
The sky above the castle was a mix of dazzling sunshine and menacing black cloud. My hudad seemed to love it and tried to photograph it with his phone. I think that he needs to write a letter to Santa Paws to fetch him a decent camera.
We were greeted at the castle entrance by a scary dude with a massive axe. I barked at him, as you do, but he seemed unmoved by my attempts to scare him away. We had a sneaky mooch around the formal gardens that were out of bounds for us four legs. My human said that the castle was stunning and beautiful, but I wasn’t allowed inside. Doggy discrimination!
The path back to the car took us past a squash court and through the visitor centre. My human had another sit down on a bench. He had one butt cheek in Cymru (Wales) and the other in Mersia (Mercia) with Offa’s Dyke where the sun don’t shine!
Signs pointed toward the real Offa’s Dyke, but the tracks were closed over the winter months. A walk for next time methinks! Methinks! I have gone all medieval since we went to the castle.
Our short walk was over and we jumped back into the car. I dozed off on the back seat as we drove through the castle estate. Just as we were about to leave the grounds my human pulled over to photograph the Davies Gates at the exit. These beautiful wrought iron gates were designed and constructed in 1712 by Robert Davies for the Myddleton family. My human said that they should not be missed if you visit the castle. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I did. I missed them as I continued to snore curled up on my blanket in the comfort of the car. Till next time!