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  • Four Highlights of the Test Valley and East Hampshire

    Four Highlights of the Test Valley and East Hampshire

    A dramatic finale to this display involved a bush fire and the sudden appearance of several different birds flying overhead including vultures, storks and ibis. A cheeky meerkats was perched on a rock keeping an eye on the proceedings. Deep, throbbing African music accompanied this incredible display ...

  • Alton in Hampshire - All About Jane?

    Alton in Hampshire - All About Jane?

    Jane Austen is not the only famous person to be associated with Alton, another well-known resident was Sweet Fanny Adams. Fanny Adams did actually exist but today she is more commonly associated with the phrase sweet fanny adams that translates as sweet nothing or very little. Her story is told in the Curtis Museum and her grave can be seen in the town’s cemetery on the Old Oldham Road.

  • Arundel and its Castle - a West Sussex Gem

    Arundel and its Castle - a West Sussex Gem

    Of particular interest in the castle grounds is the Collector Earl's Garden This incredible garden is decorated with colossal green oak structures surrounded by flowerbeds bursting with colourful blooms. It was established as a memorial to the fourteenth Earl of Arundel who was a friend of the famous architect Inigo Jones and a keen collector of art. The oak structures have been created from drawings by Inigo including Oberon’s Palace, the centrepiece. This oak building features a decorative arch over the doorway, four hanging turrets and a higher dome covered in hand scalloped cedar shingles that looked as though they have been covered with gold.

  • The Isle of Wight Walking Festival and Some Island Lore

    The Isle of Wight Walking Festival and Some Island Lore

    Our path took us to the cliff edge where we could see the wild, natural coastline on both sides of us. By this time there was a chill in the air and I could see a light mist creeping towards us. I hoped we were not about to be enveloped in the notorious Swaalien. Would be transported back in time or to some foreign land?

  • The Bembridge Coast Hotel in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight

    The Bembridge Coast Hotel in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight

    The hotel is situated so close to the coast that the beach is a natural extension of the lovely grounds that surround it. These grounds include a small pitch and putt course and a formal walled garden. Easy access to the beach means guests can walks along the beach. When the tide is out it is possible to walk from the hotel to Bembridge Harbour. A lovely long walk through impressive scenery. At high tide the Coast Path offers a pleasant alternative ...

  • The Isle of Wight Walking Festival and a Featured Walk

    The Isle of Wight Walking Festival and a Featured Walk

    We followed a path that went into the woods before beginning a gradual ascent up the side of Sibden Hill. When we emerged at the top of the hill we had glorious views across the countryside and down to the sea. This hill is also known as the village green. When it was threatened by possible development the proposals were thwarted when local residents managed to register it as a village green ...

  • Re-live the Good Old Days in Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire

    Re-live the Good Old Days in Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire

    There is a sign on the first house in Amersham proclaiming that the Magistrates for acting for this Hundred have given the peremptory Order to the Constables and other Peace Officers to apprehend all Common Beggars and Ballad Singers and other Vagrants that they may be dealt with according to Law …

  • Five Top Places for a Day Out in England

    Five Top Places for a Day Out in England

    Beyond the formal gardens the River Path winds its way down to the banks of the privately owned Beaulieu River. This area is a very natural contrast to the formality of the gardens around the house. Other attractions include a bog garden and a huge rock garden. The latter, spread over an area of two acres is probably the largest of its kind in Europe. A miniature train trundles around the grounds at regular intervals ...

  • Winchester College - a Medieval Marvel

    Winchester College - a Medieval Marvel

    The buildings surrounding this courtyard were constructed between 1392 to 1394. They were built around a courtyard for defensive purposes as the college was established a year after a big rebellion in the town. Designed to be self-sufficient the buildings in the outer court included accommodation for servants, a granary, a bakery and a brewery. As the water was not safe to drink in those days everyone drank ale. Only one female servant was allowed and that was the washerwoman who had to be old and ugly ...

  • Staycations in the Colourful Countryside of Britain

    Staycations in the Colourful Countryside of Britain

    Deep in shady trees of ancient Sherwood Forest is the amazing Sherwood Hideaway. A variety of tracks penetrate the surrounding woodland which can also be viewed from the cosy depths of individual hot tubs on the veranda of each wooden lodge. The lodges are spread around a large grassy clearing inside the forest and each has its own parking space. I felt very close to nature wallowing in my hot tub listening to the birds tweeting in the trees around me and hoping I might hear the frantic drilling of the resident woodpecker ...

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