Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oxburgh Hall - Part one


Oxburgh Hall reflection in moat on a sunny afternoon

Last week I paid a visit to Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk. Despite being built during the Wars of the Roses, Oxburgh Hall was never intended to be a castle but a family home. It was completed in 1482 for Sir Edmund Bedingfeld and the family have lived at Oxburgh ever since. It is now run by the National Trust, although the family still lives there.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Anglesey Abbey, a look around the house.



Cambridgeshire stately home of Anglesey Abbey

Following on from my tour around the gardens at the National Trust property of Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire, here we have a look at the impressive house itself and the accompanying Rose Garden.

Once a medieval Augustinian priory, then an Elizabethan manor house, Anglesey Abbey was restored in the early 20th century by Lord Fairhaven to create a richly decorated showcase for his eccentric collection of fine art. The house retains parts of the original medieval buildings and Elizabethan decoration.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Anglesey Abbey gardens in bloom


Anglesey Abbey scene in Cambridgeshire by Martyn Ferry Photography

A couple of weeks ago I visited Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust property located a few miles north of Cambridge. I wanted to have a mooch around the grounds and house, as well as visit the vibrant display of dahlias they have every year. 

This first post is all about the grounds. The 98 acres of landscaped grounds are divided into a number of walks and gardens, with classical statuary, topiary and flowerbeds. They were laid out in an 18th-century style by the estate's last private owner, the 1st Baron Fairhaven, in the 1930s. Baron Fairhaven bequeathed the house and grounds to the National Trust upon his death in 1966.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Exmoor Day 5 - Culbone Wood & England's smallest church


Tangle of tree in Culbone Woodland in Exmoor National Park by Martyn Ferry Photography

I arose, on my last day in Exmoor, to a dank, drizzly morning, so a sunrise was out of the question. After packing up the tent in the rain, always a delightful job, I drove to Porlock Weir so I could begin a spot of rambling along the South West Coast Path.

By the time I arrived it was starting to brighten up a bit, with the morning sunshine appearing through the ever thinning clouds. I parked up, and strapping on my camera bag, I took the little track to the coastal path. I was only walking a tiny fraction of it, the entire length of the path is 630 miles, the longest in England, and stretches from Minehead, around the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, all the way to Pool in Dorset. And because it rises and falls with every river mouth, the total height climbed, if you were to complete the route, has been estimated at 114,931 feet, almost four times the height of Everest. I wasn’t about to do that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Exmoor Day 4 – A golden valley & over familiar insects



Exe Valley in the Exmoor National Park at sunrise by Martyn Ferry Photography

Up for sunrise again this morning, this time I was heading to the Exe Valley, located just the other side of Simonsbath. The valley itself is not the most interesting of valleys, it doesn’t have the precipitous slopes or trees and shrubbery of the Barle Valley, nor is the River Exe that imposing, it’s just a small trickle occasionally spied among the valley floor grasses. The one thing it does have going for it though is the sunrise, which ascends beyond the basin and lights up the landscape below, at least that was the hope.