Stairway to heaven….

We found the real stairway to heaven recently… and then the day after we climbed it, we read about the court case Led Zeppelin were fighting over the song’s origins. So strange when that happens. And so today, as the court has decided in the band’s favour, I thought I would post about the beautiful valley in mid Wales that supposedly inspired the lyrics.

We came across it by accident, We’d spotted the sign ‘Artists’ Valley’ and were intrigued. Who were the artists? I imagined a Victorian woman with a bun, watercolours and a flirty-eyed husband in an artistically tied cravat, so it was a bit of a shock later when the waiter in the hotel told us the valley was the ‘real’ Stairway to Heaven. Had we heard of a band called Led Zeppelin, he asked.

Yes, we said. We had. And so the next day, of course we had to climb the path up the hill… and yes, indeed, it was heaven. But what was amazing was how what we were seeing matched so many of the lyrics.  Who knows if this is what Robert Plant had in mind. Probably not,  because nothing is so literal as that, so I hope he’ll forgive me, after all sometimes words (and pictures) have two meanings….

First though, here’s a link to the song to listen to when you feast on all this beauty.

Luckily birds don’t know they are tweeting…

… because they might stop at 140 characters then.


And that would be far too short. Turn your volume up and listen….

This clip above was taken yesterday at the RSPB Ynyshir nature reserve in Wales. I was standing there trying to think how I could describe the beauty of the birdsong. And then I thought I don’t have to, I can record it instead and let the birds sing for themselves. Here’s another.

For lots of reasons we didn’t explore the whole reserve, but it does have possibly the biggest bird feeder I’ve ever seen so we sat on a bench and watched the birds come to us.


Including what are called, I’ve learnt from a friend recently, are a charm of goldfinch… Isn’t that perfect? Here are some of the other birds seen there…


And this is a first. The first time I think I’ve put up a photograph of a loo sign from the reserve on this website. But just look how she is dancing… bird10

Perhaps not surprisingly. Research shows that listening to birdsong can help mental wellbeing, increase concentration during homework, and when we are feeling worn out and stressed. 

But we knew that instinctively anyway, didn’t we…