Friday, February 21, 2014

A bit of good old fashioned history

I was feeling the need for a bit of history last weekend, so I thought I’d head over to Chastleton House, a grand old Jacobean pile owned by the National Trust, to get just that.

On the way there however I stopped off at St. Nicholas church in Lower Oddington, it had been a long time since I was last there, and as I was driving past anyway, it seemed a shame not to pop in on the way.

The church is set amongst woodland and a little way out from the village, the original settlement was probably moved to its present site during the plague, to make use of the higher ground, away from any swampland. And this tranquil isolation is one of the reasons the church is worth a visit.

A view of the Norman church from the back wall that runs around the graveyard.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Forest of Dean

I visited the Forest of Dean on a whim the other day, as I hadn’t been for quite a while, and I fancied a bit of peace and tranquility as only an idyllic woodland glade could provide.

Unfortunately I had picked the very day that the Wydean Forest Rally was taking place, the yearly motorsport event that roars its way along a twisting course through this ancient forest. And as such, pretty much all the usual parking spots had been commandeered by the rally, so those who couldn’t find a space had parked everywhere you could possibly fit a car, and a few places you couldn’t.

After driving around for half an hour, dodging all manner of vehicles and unwary pedestrians, and wondering if I shouldn’t perhaps have thought this through a little better. I finally stumbled upon a section of the forest that was clear of activity, so I turned off the main road and parked up at Cannop Ponds.

After making much needed use of the forest facilities i.e. a tree, and vowing that all journeys from now on would be coffee free, I grabbed my camera gear and set off into the woodland. After walking/slipping along the boggy pathways for some distance, I came across one of the ponds, with a section of its bank lined with wispy reeds.

With the sun out, the water lost this green/blue hue and began to blend in with the reeds.