Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sussex - again!

STAPLECROSS

Not so much a review of Staplecross, as a recommendation. Staplecross itself, is not somewhere I've really explored, as it holds no real significance historically, but does boast one or two nice buildings that might be worth a visit at some point.
However, on the road from Cripps Corner heading towards the village, is a very nice little garden centre. The centre has a smashing cafe in an old railway wagon, which is handy for a spot of very nice lunch, and is now home to a couple of ex-Hastings trams that are being patiently restored. You can go and watch the volunteers working, and there's usually a very nice elderly gentleman available to show you around their base, their models, and the row of tiny period shops that are being constructed. He's a mine of information, which he's only too pleased to share with anyone prepared to listen! It's free, but if you visit them, please drop a donation in their bucket. They're doing a stirling job with very few resources


umm...no, it's not growing out the roof!


tiny replica tram that little ones can sit in and be pushed along a short stretch of track. And they can ding the bell!


the restaurant car. Excellent food in pretty surroundings



Thursday, 6 April 2017

Spring Sunshine in Sussex

OK, so here we go with the 2017 touring season. I spent yesterday poking around the small villages that inhabit the Kent/Sussex border between Tunbridge Wells and Lewes, and I must say, I could do with visiting this area more, as my time was limited, and I had to ride through some of them without time to stop.
However, here's a couple I particularly liked.

First, Stonegate, which lies not far from Ticehurst, on the lane that leads out to Burwash Common.
I must say, although the little B road from Ticehurst to Stonegate is in a poor state of repair, it is a pretty lane, and some of the views are stunning.
The most redeeming feature of Stonegate is the parish church, with its unusual lych-gate. Although only built in 1904, it has on olde worlde feel about the design.
The village dates from Roman times, when it stood at the crossroads of two Roman roads.



From there, it's just a short ride to Burwash Common, and then onto Burwash itself. Burwash is best known at the location of Batemans, one-time home to Rudyard Kipling, and a popular visitor attraction.
With its main street lined with pollarded trees, and a fine church at its centre, it's a very pretty village despite having a busy main road traversing it.




Saturday, 24 September 2016

Somerset

Exebridge

Tiny hamlet, which lies on the border of Devon and Somerset. In fact, the border is on the bridge which forms the divide between the two counties. There's a pub next to the bridge, the Anchor, which has a pleasant garden running alongside the River Exe.


Exford

About 7 miles from the lovely own of Dulverton, in the heart of Exmoor, Exford stands where the road crosses the old bridge over the River Exe. Well, I say old bridge, but actually it was built in around 1930 on the site of an earlier medieval bridge.
Next to the bridge in the heart of the village, is the 16th. century White Horse Hotel. It looks imposing and expensive, but is in fact, a welcoming hotel which serves a delicious Devon cream tea, and which welcomes dogs.



Curiously, on the other side of the bridge stands this building - 

Given the white horse's head statue high up on the wall, I did wonder if it was a precursor to the White Horse hotel opposite, but that is apparently 16th. century, so how old would that make this building? I've not been able to find out anything about it, but it piques my curiosity

Exmoor

Quite my favourite wilderness in the South West, Exmoor straddles North Devon and West Somerset. Partly agricultural land, and partly a treeless wasteland of sedge, it's home to the cute semi-feral Exmoor ponies, which roam freely on the common land.
They have remained largely pure-blooded since the last ice-age, and are unique to Exmoor.
Classified as endangered, they are rounded up once a year to be checked over and for the new foals to be tagged.

Simonsbath

Deep in the heart of Exmoor, Simonsbath stands at a junction of roads. There's plenty of car parking, and a large picnic area and field to play in. There's a pretty river, and an old school, which is being restored. There is also a lovely short woodland walk featuring all sorts of animals and birds carved from rough fallen timber by Mike Leach, who is a National Park Ranger.


Devon

Combe Martin

Lying about 4 miles east of Ilfracombe on the north coast of Devon, Combe Martin is a pretty seaside town, set around a little cove. It features a sandt beach, surrounded by rock pools, and narrow winding streets.



Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe is a lovely town on the north coast of Devon, with a small harbour surrounded by steep cliffs. The big attraction for us, is that there is a rocky cove with a shale beach - totally unsuitable for normal family beach activities, it is available for people with dogs to go and have fun - and boy, do they! We took our two little Shih Tzu puppies down there and they wore themselves out, playing chase around the rocks, and behaving like mountain goats.



It's also a good spot to watch cormorants fishing





Sunday, 4 September 2016

Shropshire

On my way to my regular haunt in Mid Wales, I travel through Kent, Surrey, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire...........and the beautiful county of Shropshire.
One of my favourite little towns is Cleobury Mortimer, with its church with an ever so slightly crooked spire. Nothing like Chesterfield, but definitely off kilter


Deepest Wales

Yet another trip to my favourite part of the British Isles. Found some new roads, and revisited some of my favourite places. I'm very familiar with the villages of Clatter and Knockin (no, not my bike!) but I found one called New Invention this time! Wales page duly updated, although I didn't take too many pictures this trip

Sunday, 28 August 2016

More travels in Kent

For the past couple of weeks, we've been blessed with some very fine weather. So me and Twinkle (the smallest of my bikes) have been out roaming around Romney Marsh. Therefore, there are several updates to the Kent page.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Shoreham Airport, West Sussex

Shoreham Airport for lunch? Don't mind if I do!
Shoreham Airport is a lovely place. Set in the valley of the River Adur, and overlooked by the magnificent edifice that is Lancing College, it is almost too pretty a location for something as mundane as a working airport.


The terminal building is a graceful Art Deco monument, and is preserved both inside and out, still painted white, and still fitted with the original Crittall windows. 



Walking in through the front entrance, behind the memorial garden, you are greeted with a perfect Art Deco vestibule. Look up at the ceiling, and admire the moulded plaster and the moderne chandelier, before turning into the Hummingbird restaurant.





The food is very, very good, and afterwards you can take your post-prandial coffee out onto the terrace and watch the planes and helicopters going about their business. From here, although you can see the busy A27 road, you can barely hear it.


When you leave, at the end of Almond Lane, turn right. It's a dead-end road, which leads to the old bridge across the Adur, which has become a memorial to the people who died in the Air Show crash in 2015. 




Monday, 4 July 2016

At last.............

Well, the rain let up today, and in beautiful sunshine I headed out on the bike to explore parts of Kent I'd never visited before.
Therefore, the Kent page has had a couple of updates.
Here's to more sunny days this year, and forthcoming trips to Devon and North Wales.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Christmas Time, Birmingham & Gluhwein

Birmingham, our second city, is a magical place at Christmas. Every year, a Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) comes over from Frankfurt in Germany. Local craft stalls are added to the market, which now numbers nearly two hundred stalls.
It stretches from New Street, through the main shopping area outside the railway station, through Victoria Square and Paradise Circus, right into Centenary Square, where it joins a temporary ice skating rink and a Big Wheel.
Add to this, the Christmas lights, and it is a spectacle of colour, music, food and crafts.


'Brasso', the wonderful bull at the heart of the Bullring Shopping Centre, sporting his Christmas Elf look


The Christmas tree outside St. Martin's church, at the bottom of the Bullring


the revamped New Street Station, and the Grand Central shopping plaza


the lights in New Street, and the Frankfurt revolving bar, a main feature every year


the Big Wheel outside Symphony Hall in Centenary Square

Next year, the work will have finished in Paradise Circus, and the display will be bigger and even better