Spent a fascinating morning at the National Trust property Charlecote Park last week.
Overlooking the river Avon on the edge of Shakespeare’s Stratford and home to the Lucy family for over 900 years, Charlecote Park is an immaculately preserved and presented Victorian family home. I love a Victorian House and this is one of the best- especially the kitchens and courtyard areas. After a wander around the house, the surrounding gardens and parkland provided a great walk with the family. The weather was cold and crisp; a perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon.
Brownsea Island is the largest of the islands in Poole Harbour in the county of Dorset, England. The island is owned by the National Trust with the northern half managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.
I have this goal to travel to the islands around the UK and this has been on my list for a couple of years. It was well worth the wait, although COVID restrictions limited our time there. lots of woodland, coastland and wildlife. Amazing experience.
A gorgeous sunny walk up on Lewes racecourse on the South Downs in East Sussex on the first warm day in May.
Lewes Racecourse shut its doors for the final time in 1964, bringing an end to more than 200 years of history. However it is still an active training centre today and pedestrians and cyclists need to be mindful of racing horses.
The ‘pop up’ Paddock Bar was an unexpected treat and a real pleasure. A bar in a horse box with straw bales for seats. A pint of Sussex cider in the sunshine on the South Downs was a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Nymans’s-National Trust property in West Sussex- dramatic architecture is part Regency, part pseudo-medieval – and now part ruin, following a fire in 1947. Nothing is quite as it seems…
Been there a few times but last weeks visit had added interest after watching Netflix’s drama The Crown and realising it was the ancestral home of Anthony Armstrong Jones, lord Snowden, husband of Princess Margaret.
Last Sunday saw us walking another stretch of the South Downs from the Cuckmere Valley to Birling Gap.
Cuckmere Valley is a civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. As its name suggests, the parish consists of a number of small settlements in the lower reaches of the River Cuckmere.
Birling Gap is an idyllic coastal hamlet nestled between the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. It is famous for its Coastguard Cottages and Cliff Falls.
It was a tough but exhilarating walk across four of the Seven Sisters, helped along with a flask of sweet tea and a Mars Bar in a sheltered spot.
I walked a National Trust section of the South Downs this morning, from Went Hill to Brass Point.
Walking, my mind was full of mariners tales, coastguards, forgotten villages and smugglers- all fighting to survive in the rugged and wild conditions.
I will never tire of this landscape and its rich history!
A Smuggler’s Song.
If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet, Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street; Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie. Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
Five and twenty ponies, Trotting through the dark — Brandy for the Parson, Baccy for the Clerk; Laces for a lady, letters for a spy, And watch the wall, my darling, While the Gentlemen go by!
Running round the woodlump if you chance to find Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine, Don’t you shout to come and look, nor use ’em for your play. Put the brishwood back again — and they’ll be gone next day!
If you see the stable-door setting open wide; If you see a tired horse lying down inside; If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore; If the lining’s wet and warm — don’t you ask no more!
If you meet King George’s men, dressed in blue and red, You be careful what you say, and mindful what is said. If they call you “pretty maid,” and chuck you ‘neath the chin, Don’t you tell where no one is, nor yet where no one’s been!
Knocks and footsteps round the house — whistles after dark — You’ve no call for running out till the house-dogs bark. Trusty’s here, and Pincher’s here, and see how dumb they lie — They don’t fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!
If you do as you’ve been told, ‘likely there’s a chance, You’ll be given a dainty doll, all the way from France, With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood — A present from the Gentlemen, along o’ being good!
Five and twenty ponies, Trotting through the dark — Brandy for the Parson, ‘Baccy for the Clerk; Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie — Watch the wall, my darling, While the Gentlemen go by!
I’ve seen a lot of these crafting trees around this December. I think that creating them over the lockdown periods have given many people something to do and have helped alleviate loneliness and boredom. These ones were at Standen House, the National Trust Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a hillside garden.
Stumbled across this guy on a walk at the weekend. So had to do another Goblin Market post…!
So without further parleying, If you will not sell me any Of your fruits though much and many, Give me back my silver penny I toss’d you for a fee.”— They began to scratch their pates, No longer wagging, purring, But visibly demurring, Grunting and snarling. One call’d her proud, Cross-grain’d, uncivil; Their tones wax’d loud, Their looks were evil. Lashing their tails They trod and hustled her, Elbow’d and jostled her, Claw’d with their nails, Barking, mewing, hissing, mocking, Tore her gown and soil’d her stocking, Twitch’d her hair out by the roots, Stamp’d upon her tender feet, Held her hands and squeez’d their fruits Against her mouth to make her eat…’
‘The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off—and they are nearly always doing it.’
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Chapter 8. “The Robin Who Showed the Way.
An autumn walk around Bateman’s gardens and this engaging robin reminded me of Frances HodgsonBurnett’s The Secret Garden. A childhood favourite book.
Charcoal burning is one of the world’s oldest crafts dating back to pre-Roman times. It has a long history in the High Weald, being used in the production of iron from the time of the Roman occupation. Low value, coppiced or ‘waste’ wood is normally used for charcoal production.