Monday, 25 October 2021

Staycation 2021 - Sheffield Park Gardens - Done

We set off about 1030 and decided to take the route that the Nissan Navigator chose for us via the motorways and the A22.

A pee stop at Clacket Lane for Reggie and so we arrived about 1215.  It was sunny.  Remember that!

Once out of the car we headed in to visit the loo ourselves before a coffee and a sit down before setting off around the gardens. All areas are dog friendly and they even have indoor seating in one of the tea rooms where dogs are allowed.  Something that other NT places maybe need to think about?

Once we had drunk up we set off to find the autumn colours.  There are plenty.  I took a few photos with the Nikon D50 today.

They seem to have come out pretty well.

Then the clouds came over and it started to rain!  A drizzle turned into a deluge!  As can be seen on the surface of the lake in the picture below!

The rain battering down on the lake!

There was even a rainbow at one point!

Doubt there's a pot of gold to be found!

Once we were suitably drenched we headed back to the entrance where the shop has a large cover.  There was room to stand before taking another pee break!  When you get to a certain age you pee when you can!

And then we set off. I got even wetter trying to get the excess of water off Reggie's coat and then had him successfully connected to his car harness.  Luckily he doesn't complain much and a few gravy-bone treats makes up for any discomfort.  Especially as when we stopped at Clacket Lane Services on the M25  I left the bag where he could find it and he ate the entire lot!

We were home via Sainsbury's at about 4.15pm. 

Had it not pissed down with rain we would have stayed longer at the Gardens. 

But hey-ho. That's life.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Staycation 2021 - Sheffield Park Gardens

It's school half-term and I am on holiday.  So we are looking for places to go. Sheffield Park Gardens is a National Trust Estate and is dog friendly.

Their busiest period is in the autumn (fall) when the trees are turning and so they have a pre-booking scheme in place. 

I have booked for Monday 25th at 1230-1300. This gives us time to decide which route to take to get there and of course, make the 1h40m drive over there.

More to follow. Waterproofs and dog towels?

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Staycation 2021 - Shornecliffe

Today Claire and I along with my brother Neill and his wife, Catherine, went to a guided tour and talk from an expert to Shornecliffe Military Cemetery.

Steve the Guide gave us some history and the backgrounds to many of the servicemen buried there since it opened in 1856.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Staycation 2021 - Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Today we decided to have the last day of my holiday and go to Sissinghurst Castle Garden with my Aunt Yvonne. 

I meant we had to be up early and off from about 9.45am. The traffic wasn't too bad and we were there about 10.30am.  The drive to Sissinghurst was maybe another 40 minutes.

As we had Reggie with us he wasn't allowed in the garden and so after a coffee and a cake they set off for the gardens and I set off to walk around the outside of the moat and down to the lakes walk. Altogether its about a mile and half or so. I forgot to set the app on my phone so haven't got the actual distance.

Who could live here?

Delos Garden

We walked around the lower lake and of course, met some other dogs. Reggie in his best behaviour. 

By the time we got back to the restaurant and shop area Claire and Yvonne were in the shop. We decided to call it a day and on the way they checked out the plants for sale and Reggie and I sat and waited.

Th drive home via Yvonne's was okay and it was almost 4pm when we arrived home.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Staycation 2021 - Norfolk Day 8

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thought's escapin'
Home where my music's playin'
Home where my love lies waitin'
Silently for me

(Thanks to Simon & Garfunkel)

We had to be out of the cottage at 9am, and after a restless night we were up and the car packed with 5 minutes to spare. The plan was to go to Monks Eleigh to visit Claire's cousins before heading to the A12.

Ready for the Off!

Whilst in Monks Eleigh I took Reggie for a turn around the churchyard.  I saw a sign to say that there were some Commonwealth War Graves in there, St Peters Church.  There were two well tended graves with the traditional white Portland Stone headstones.

Reggie had a snuffle around the long grass and hedges.  We had tea and biscuits and then all too soon we had to leave. Expecting traffic to be awful we left before 1pm.

An aborted stop at the overflowing car park opposite Colchester United's football ground later, we eventually stopped at the "services" at Chelmsford.  Not as I remember them. A huge McDonald's and a poor excuse for a shop at the fuel station.

A couple of chicken sandwiches later and we were off. traffic alternating slow and then fast, then slow.... We arrived home at 4.01pm. Even the queues to the Queen Elizabeth Bridge wasn't too bad.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Staycation 2021 - Norfolk Day 7

Today's target was Felbrigg Estate. It's a little way off the A140 towards Cromer.

We set off late as contrary to the forecast it had rained and was drizzling. Car loaded and we were off. Despite Nissan Connect showing a looping route via Dereham we actually went almost the same way as yesterday.

The newish A1237 was again coned down to one lane and a ludicrous 10mph limit showing. Not much evidence of any work though. Quelle surprise!

Once we arrived it was a case of waterproofs on and a walk to check out the walks. We decided on the blue waymarked "Church & Lake" walk. At 1.7 miles far enough in drizzle.

We had a coffee and Claire took a walk to the Walled Garden. Reggie not allowed so we hung about outside. The rain stopped. Waterproof off. Rain started. Waterproof on. Claire took a few photos in there.

We got part way into the blue walk when we found the field we were crossing was full of sheep. Reggie isn't the sort of dog that bothers with sheep, but there were far too many for comfort.

The rain got more serious and the combination meant we aborted the mission early.

We set the controls not for the heart of the sun, but for Clinton Cottage.

One stop at Starbuck's for a couple of fraps. One complaint. The eco friendly cardboard straws are shite. They mush up way before you have drunk half the drink!!!!

And guess what? The sun came out and was dry and sunny once we arrived back in Yaxham.

Today is our last day here and so we can have a quiet afternoon before we start panicking with packing up for the 9am departure tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Staycation 2021 - Norfolk Day 6

Drizzling earlier on and we had to decide where to go. We decided on a touch if the Broads.

Satnav set firstly for Wroxham. There are supposed to be walks from around the bridge over the River Bure.

Problem one was finding somewhere to park. Hardly any parking signposted. The town was rammed with tourists. In the end we found a free parking space at the end of Church Road. A relatively short walk to the centre.

As we had no idea where to go, we ended up wandering around the boatyard where the rental boats go from, before finding our way to the bridge. 

A coffee and scone later at the Wherryman's Café before we gave up on the hunt for the elusive walks.

We decided to try Horning. Again nowhere to park and so we opted for Potter Heigham. Somewhere to park and have a walk, and Reggie to get out.

Potter Heigham has a massive car park essentially belonging to Latham's shop for their customers. Or so the signs inform everyone.

We were customers as we wanted to get some gifts to take back to neighbours who are watering our garden and collecting the mail.

I had failed with that at Roy's in Wroxham. But instead Latham's came up trumps. And labelled to show where the shortbread was bought. Job done.

Whilst Claire was affecting the purchase, Reggie and I went to check on the low bridge over the river.

I'd not been here since the late 60's when as a family we did the Broads in a cabin cruiser.

No larger boats made the trip through the bridge, but a couple of small boats and several swans did.

Once rejoined we had a walk along the River Thurne path.

On the way back the first ice cream of the holiday.

Then one more stop. St Benet's Abbey. Another place where we moored up to visit some 50 plus years ago.

Looking up from inside!

The Tower in the centre is an 18th Century windmill built inside the 13th Century Abbey ruins.

The last couple of miles were along a extremely bumpy and rough single track. 

From the Abbey we retraced our steps to the main road and we were away towards Norwich and Clinton Cottage.

Tomorrow is our last full day up here. Where to go? Fellbrigg Hall NT?