Curious About Calke – A Day Out at Calke Abbey near Derby

Calke is not a place for the faint-hearted surrounded as it is by death, beady eyes, horns and feathers. There are also a few sad echoes of the last throes of human life in this somewhat dark and cavernous place. Impossibly large to make a home, the most recent inhabitants retreated to small apartments within the whole.

The Glass House and Walled Kitchen Gardens at Clumber Park this Autumn

  As temperatures start to drop outside one of the most pleasant spots for visitors to explore at Clumber Park is the glasshouse in the Walled Kitchen Garden. At the moment it is just gourd-geus with superb displays in every shade of orange, white and green imaginable. They differ in shape and size too with…

Circular stroll around the Pleasure Gardens at Clumber Park

We started with a picnic on the Pleasure Grounds outside the Parsonage and headed past the Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, “A Cathedral in Miniature” on the north side of the lake.  The path then meanders through the mature trees (we couldn’t help hugging them) before you reach an elevated section at the end…

Glamping in the New Forest National Park

 This was my first experience of glamping (albeit on the cheap with our own gear).  I managed to pick up a four bed Coleman for £35 at a car boot sale and I could have got it for much less if my companion had managed to curb his enthusiasm! We stayed at Ashurst (site owned…

Beautiful Books at The National Trust, Clumber Park

Every Friday I escape to a cupboard full of weird and wonderful books at Clumber Park near Worksop.  The park is especially beautiful at this time of the year with the impressive Lime Tree Avenue turning golden brown.  The trees all look like they have been there for hundreds of years but a volunteer told…

Slow Sunday at Chatsworth

Parking at Edensor (pronounced En-saw for some reason) is something of a tradition for us when visiting the Chatsworth estate (not the Shameless one).  A short walk over the hillside delivers the best view of the big house over the bridge.  The cleaned and gilded facades probably look better now than they have at any…

Coast and Castles – Newcastle to Edinburgh

Day 1 – Newcastle to Alnwick.  We started at the station in Newcastle on a fine May day. Fortunately, it was a Bank Holiday weekend in England (but not in Scotland) and we got incredible weather. The scenery on this ride made it an absolute pleasure. We stopped at the uber-trendy café at Longsands in…

C2C from Whitehaven to Sunderland in Three Days

Day 1 –  Whitehaven to Keswick. Whitehaven is as windblown as any other English seaside town.  Wild waves smash against the breakwater in the outer harbour but an official starting point can be found on the boat ramp at the end of the white wiggly structure (see photograph). Quickly inland the path takes you winding…