“At last! Lancashire’s hills,” proclaims my friend, soaking up the scenery. Well, yes, in a sense they are — even though we’re in the wrong county. But I don’t like the look of those clouds. I may have promised Friend a big walk, but the weather suggests it’s a valley day, not an upland one.
So instead we visit a National Trust beauty spot nearby. It’s centred on one of the area’s many 19th-century industrial relics, which — thanks to a sustainable makeover 18 years ago — is as interesting as the woods and gritstone rock around it.
I tell Friend we must follow its beck until it reaches a market town, two miles southeast, that’s found fame in a television series. Meanwhile, he grumbles about the lack of promised hill-walking. “You’re all mouth and no trousers,” he mutters as we wander the streets. “Unlike this town,” I tell him — then whisk him off to a second market town, four miles southwest of the first.
Friend is impressed by its neoclassical town hall, opened in the mid-1870s. “Oh, there’s nothing shoddy about this place,” I tell him. “Although you couldn’t say that about some towns east of here. Shall we take a look?”
“No, we’re going for a walk,” he insists.
When I remind him how hard it can rain in these parts, his patience snaps. “Stop trying to police my day!” he cries.
Half an hour later we’re on the moors, above a reservoir, three miles northeast of the first valley town. “Happy?” I ask.
“As an escaped convict,” he purrs.
1 What’s the name of the National Trust beauty spot?
2 What’s the name of the second market town?
The winner and guest will enjoy a six-night, self-guided Highland Adventure railway holiday from Ffestiniog Travel. Included in this well-paced itinerary are stops in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William and Oban, as well as return travel along the magnificent West Highland Line. The fifth day is spent on the celebrated Jacobite steam train, with Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor and the Glenfinnan Viaduct among the scenic highlights.
En route, accommodation will be B&B in four-star hotels, while rail travel is in standard class. If the winner would prefer a different trip, Ffestiniog Travel is offering a £2,000 voucher to be used against an alternative holiday in its 2023 programme.
Ffestiniog Travel is owned by a charitable trust and profits support the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland railways. For details of its international programme of tours see ffestiniogtravel.com.
The prize must be taken as one package and is valid until December 31, 2023. It must be taken when the Jacobite train is operational, excluding July, August and public holidays. The holiday must be booked at least six weeks before the departure date.
The prize does not include travel from or to the winner’s home, food and drink, personal expenditure or incidental costs, other than where mentioned. All elements of the prize are subject to availability. A voucher alternative, to the value of £2,000, can be used towards an alternative Ffestiniog Travel holiday.
The winner may be required to participate in reasonable publicity on behalf of the Prize Provider and the Promoter. The competition closes at the end of February 15, 2023.
How to enter
Can’t see the competition form? Enter at thesundaytimes.co.uk/wherewasi
Last week’s prize
The answers are the Grove of Narberth and Pendine. Paul Ives from Croydon wins a villa holiday for two on Hydra, Greece, with the Luxury Travel Book.