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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Days out

As promised here are my photos of the time we spent with our friends recently for those of you who enjoy a tour round the beautiful West Country countryside. I hope you are sitting comfortably as there are quite a few of them but I will try to keep the text brief so it shouldn't take you too long to accompany us!

Friday 11th - since our friends had expressed an interest in visiting Salisbury we couldn't not go to Stonehenge could we? I remember this when you could actually walk amongst the stones but now it is a matter of joining a throng of tourists to walk round the perimeter cordon which keeps everyone well away from the actual stones. Not the same at all but never mind.

Next stop Salisbury - I have shown you many photos of this before here so won't bore you with them again except this couple.

The water meadows at Salisbury

And an interesting sculpture in Salisbury Cathedral which attempts to reconcile two opposed elements - the thorns hard and cruel and the flowers soft and embracing are linked by the circular base which speaks of their fundamental unity (you will have realised that these are not my own words perhaps?!) - for more information check this website where you can listen to an interview with the sculptor. I thought the sculpture really great and loved her idea of unity and peace.

Those Brits amonst you will recognise this view from the Hovis ads no doubt but of course all that meant nothing to our friends who go to the boulangerie for their bread! It is a lovely place though isn't it? Shaftesbury was en route for home so we stopped off here for a wander round in the early evening sunshine.

On Saturday 12th we went to Forde Abbey and then on to Lyme Regis.

We hadn't been to Forde Abbey before and were suitably impressed and will definitely go again - the house wasn't open when we were there but if it is anything like as good as the gardens it will be well worth a visit.

They weren't short of lettuce here! Peter Rabbit would have enjoyed this lovely walled garden.

This fountain is powered by a pump once used in the irrigation of strawberries once grown here for the supermarkets - it is apparently the highest powered fountain in England/Uk/Europe? I forget which!!

This lovely border was in the walled vegetable garden.

After a delicous lunch in the cafeteria at Forde Abbey we continued to Lyme Regis.

I don't normally include photos of people in my posts but couldn't resist this one - I wondered if her husband might ask my friend to step back a bit further!! (Actually it wouldn't have mattered if he had as it was slope and not a drop)

Making our way back up the hill to the car park I turned back for another look at the sea. For more pics of Lyme Regis see here

On Sunday 13th we decided to go to Barrington Court to look at the gardens (have you realised by now that they like gardens?!) We arrived too early and they weren't due to open for about 10 minutes so we wandered back into the village to while away the time - isn't it pretty?

By now the gardens were open - I have shown you some photos of Barrington several times before so will be brief

After a couple of hours meandering round Barrington we set off for East Lambrook where we hoped to have lunch and visit the gardens there. Sadly the cafe at East Lambrook only served cups of tea so we adjourned to the pub across the road for lunch before returning to the gardens.

This was a totally different type of garden and much more natural and one might almost say in places overgrown! I wouldn't want to visit after rain as the paths meandered between the greenery and in some places all but disappeared - however we were lucky and it was a sunny afternoon so we kept dry!

Monday 14th was their last day and as we were due for an early start the following morning we stayed close to home and went to Sherborne - see my earlier post and after lunch on those tractor stools we went to Montacute and climbed St Michael's Hill (again see previous posts for more photos of Montacute)

We did find plenty of time in the evenings to relax together as well and one evening we took them to the Rose and Crown at Trent for a meal just to show them that pubs are not all beer and loud mothed youths getting drunk! They were impressed with the quality of the food as I knew they would be.

Tuesday morning at 4.15 am(!) saw us coming together for a quick breakfast and then the drive to the airport at Bristol in time for their flight home. We'd enjoyed a few really lovely days and visited places which we had enjoyed as well as our guests. Come back soon!

And to top it off they got back to France to pouring rain and cold whilst we continued to enjoy the sunshine here in England - so now they know it doesn't always rain here and my friend e-mailed to say she wished they were back in England "where the sun shines"!! So I think they went home impressed by the gardens, the weather and the food and hopefully by the hospitality chez nous as well!

In case you've had more than enough of all that touring here is a bit of crafting to finish up with. Jill at Third Age Musings posted some wonderful photos of the sea recently and they cried out to me to be used as some sort of textile art. Here is my first attempt - a little tapestry. It wasn't what I had intended at all but as I have said before my crafting does seem to have a life of its own and it decides, not me, what I am to do. I had intended using torn silks and stitching them to a background but lo and behold this is what I am doing!!


  1. Your tapestry looks wonderful, you've captured Jill's sea-colours perfectly and I'm looking forward to seeing the end result.

    Oh to have a walled garden, it all looks so spectacular if only I had a mere patch that resembled that I'd be happy. Forde Abbey certainly does look impressive but more importantly, what were the loos like???!

  2. Ahhhhh, Sonehenge - it was also packed when we went, most definitely not the same at all. My husband said it felt like being in a Supermarket just wandering around with the masses!!

    Great holiday pics and the one of the little row of cottages on the hill (hovis ad) we very nearly booked the last little cottage when we went holidaying, only slept four!!

    Have a lovely day,

    Nina xxxxx

  3. We were to go on a trip to Lyme Regis a few years ago, got lost and never made it because we discovered Forde Abbey on the way. His Nibs does RATHER like a walled garden and straight rows of veg........... :O))))) Lyme Regis is still on my hit list of places to see....

    Your friends have had a wonderful flavour of the west country.......

    Great interpretation of the sea via your craftwork.

  4. Thanks for another lovely tour - Forde Abbey looks stunning and will definitely go on my places I like to visit list.

    I remember visiting Stonehenge and being very disappointed.

    Can't wait to see how your little tapestry project turns out - I love the moody blue colours you've used so far.

  5. I can also remember when you could walk up to the stones at Stonehenge - it's not the same, but probably, if you've never seen them before, that doesn't matter. Years since we've been to Lyme - always had to have husband quoting large chunks of Jane Austen's Persuasion! Quite miss that area now we're in the Midlands, especially being nearer to the sea.

  6. Jane,
    Thanks for the whistle stop tour. I love Lyme Regis, even those steep hills. It so reminds me of when I used to live and work in Sidmouth and covered this area. It is all so accessible from your part of the world isn't it? You lucky, lucky person. Lesley x

  7. Here's how I worked through this post: I had a quick look at the pictures, went to the kitchen, made myself some cold chocolate and came back; I followed all the links, got sentimental when I saw the picture of the roses in Salisbury - the one you used for my sachet, laughed loudly a couple of times and devoured all the photos! I love them all and I'm happy this post appeared on my screen just as I finished today's scheduled housework (spring cleaning; yes, I know it's summer!) and got ready for some rest.

  8. Absolutely stunning photos, such amazing places you get to visit! I think this is another of your posts I'll come back to visit when I dream about visiting England again. Can't wait to see your finished tapestry! It looks amazing - you are so creative!
    Have a lovely day!

  9. Oh those gardens! I am definitely going to return to look at these for inspiration Jane. All so very beautiful and you have truly shown what a beautiful country we are lucky enough to live in xx

  10. Hello, Winnibriggs said I should pop over and visit as we live in the same part of the world... We have just joined the national trust and I was planning to go to Barrington again but I will definitely add Forde Abbey to the list now... I was surprised by the gardens at East Lambrook, they do look a little overgrown... perhaps their gardening team can't cope with it all...will have to go and investigate there too! lol

    I can walk across the fields to trent do you think the pub is suitable for slightly puffed out dishevelled walkers? ;D

    lovely post and beautiful pictures I am very sure your friends will have very fond memeories of our beautiful county...

    will be back again soon
    thanks for sharing

  11. Jane, I'm catching up. What a great set of photographs, I love sharing your days out. I hope you finish your tapestry - the blues look great.

  12. I have so enjoyed your trip - almost as much as I am sure your guests did! Being a Northerner I have never been to the bottom of our country, so this has been a lovely tour of the beauty of our country.
    Many thanks for sharing with us.
    Val xx

  13. What a wonderful pictorial post! All those gardens are the type I prefer, I love natural, and slightly overgrown! I do so love Foxgloves. I have memories of them growing wild, in New Zealand, and a favourite Uncle taking me for walks among the flowers.


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