35 View from Whitecastle, Wales

(Image, June 1996 © 2005 M. Childers)

Only a hint of the lime plaster that gave the fortress its name still clings to the stone-grey towers and curtain walls of Whitecastle in Gwent on the Welsh borderland. The high walls are ringed with a substantial moat dug around the top of the hill. Here, tall reeds make shelter for butterflies, dragonflies, mallards and grebes.

Standing atop the western-most barrel tower, you can feel at once completely safe in a medieval sense with a peaceful awe for the gracious rolling countryside. It is also where you realize how much you’ve missed, traveling down the entrenched miles of hedgerows to simply get there.