Category: Midlands

Calke Abbey Ancient Parkland Walks Through the Seasons

My family and I love to return to Calke Abbey in Ticknall, time and time again, we seem to find ourselves discovering more trails to walk each time and uncovering more of its secrets on every visit. The house is wonderful, in fact, my favourite stately home simply because of its quirky eccentricities which show through the reclusive, quirky character of the Harpur-Crewe family.  Sir Vauncey Harpur-Crewe 10th Baronet especially so, he was an avid collector, his main collection, among many other things and his main compulsion was with his collection of stuffed animals, of which there are hundreds! Calke Abbey in Ticknall, Derbyshire is not actually an Abbey...

Read More

A Nottingham Wander – Vibrant and Always an Adventure

As I walk through the city streets of Nottingham it’s clear to see the diversity of not only the differing architecture, but multi-cultural and multi genre mixing like a ballet. The variety of shopping areas, museums, galleries, eateries, bars and cafés are mind boggling. The choice of entertainment just explodes through the seasons with special events taking place in Nottingham’s old market square making this vibrant city come alive. A very cosmopolitan city with hidden gems.  Nottingham is renowned for its history, especially that of Nottingham castle and the legend of Robin Hood, the castle is a museum and art gallery, the castle and its grounds have been undergoing a redevelopment to ensure its full potential is met and is...

Read More

Up Close With Fluffy White Seal Pups – England’s East Coast

Did you know that there are beaches in England where you can get up close with over 1600 fluffy white seal pups? There are 4 thriving Grey Seal pupping colonies on England’s East Coast: Donna Nook in Lincolnshire, the Farne Islands off Northumberland and Blakeney and Horsey colonies in Norfolk. I visited Donna Nook in late November, just as pup numbers were reaching their peak.   Seals, seals, as far as the eye can see. Brownish-grey adults laying on the sand intermingled with the bright white fur of newborn pups. Some pups had even opted to snooze right up against the double fence that separates seals and visitors by only half a metre. Close enough to touch – not...

Read More

Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire – A Family Favourite

Tattershall castle has been a place for making family memories for many years since the kids were tiny and we always had a tradition of having a sword fight in the grounds, plenty of birthdays have been celebrated here too, birthday cake an all. We love the winding staircase leading up to each of the floors and up high onto the 130ft (40 metre) high battlements to see for miles across the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside and the sights from above show more of the history, looking over the vast landscape you can clearly see the lay of the land, from the double moat surrounding the castle, the lovely St Mary’s...

Read More

A Hen Cloud Ramble In The Roaches, Staffordshire

The rocky and rugged landscape near Leek in Staffordshire called the roaches is appealing to hikers, climbers, dog walkers and sightseers, it is steeped in history, myth and legend and it has meaning to many for different reasons. I love the area because of its natural ruggedness, the history and interesting folklore. The area we arrived at is called hen cloud.   The most recent archaeological find at the Roaches nature reserve has been the discovery of a burial urn said to date back 3500 years to the Bronze Age period. The burial urn and the cremated remains were discovered by a...

Read More

A Kinder Scout Adventure in the Peak District

Kinder Scout Plateau is the highest point in the Derbyshire Peak District National Park, rising to 636 metres (2,087ft) above sea level at its highest point. In 1932 Kinder Scout Plateau was historically involved in a change of land accessibility law when the mass trespass occurred on the Edale side of the plateau. After the mass trespass event on the 24th April 1932, the “right to roam” law came about, granting free access on uncultivated land.   Our adventure began at one of my regular haunts in Derbyshire, Snake Pass and Ashop Valley which I’ve previously described in an earlier blog, Wanders around Snake Pass which gives a wider view of the area. Directions  to the start of our hike; Follow the a57 Glossop to...

Read More

Sheringham – A North Norfolk Gem

Sometimes you go to a new place and as nice as it is, that will be the only time that you visit there. On occasions however one visit somewhere leads to continual return visits because something draws you back; because there are things you still want to see, because of the way the place makes you feel, because that place gives you something that you emotionally need or maybe because you simply want to relive memories. Sheringham is that sort of place for me, after almost 20 visits there I still want to return and the place still delights...

Read More

Billesley Manor Hotel: Pet Friendly Bliss

Amidst 11 acres of grounds. a short drive from Stratford upon Avon and Shakespeare country, this stunning Grade 2 listed hotel has a  great restaurant, health club, swimming pool, tennis courts, extensive grounds and is a lovely venue for a wedding. ..and brilliant for us as it’s Pet Friendly. The dog statues at either side of the entrance , a huge picture of what looked like a saluki and a statue of an Old English Sheepdog in reception bode well for our stay with Rusty. He was made very welcome. ” Bring Rusty in “, the receptionist said. Rusty could...

Read More