Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Friday, 22 September 2017

Indian Summer

No matter how bad our Summer has been, there's always a chance of an Indian Summer in middle to late September, and this year is not disappointing. Despite a couple of chilly weeks, today was absolutely gorgeous, warm, with brilliant sunshine.
So I decided to do something I've not done for ages - an almost complete journey round the coastline of Kent.
I only had a few hours, so I didn't stop to take many pictures. I've photographed most of the places before anyway, and things are very slow to change outside of the big cities in the UK.
However, I have added a couple of new photos to the Kent page, because...............well, just because..........

Friday, 16 June 2017

More Sussex

If you Google for images of Bodiam Castle, you will see loads of pictures taken from the edge of the moat, of the brooding castle, with its massive towers and strong drawbridge. I thought you might like to see a different view of it

Bodiam Castle  is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years' War. Of quadrangular plan, Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. It was the home of the Dalyngrigge family.
Possession of Bodiam Castle passed through several generations of Dalyngrigges, until their line became extinct, when the castle passed by marriage to the Lewknor family. During the Wars of the Roses, Sir Thomas Lewknor supported the House of Lancaster, and when Richard III of the House of York became king in 1483, a force was despatched to besiege Bodiam Castle. It is unrecorded whether the siege went ahead, but it is thought that Bodiam was surrendered without much resistance. The castle was confiscated, but returned to the Lewknors when Henry VII of the House of Lancaster became king in 1485. Descendants of the Lewknors owned the castle until at least the 16th century.
By the start of the English Civil War in 1641, Bodiam Castle was in the possession of Lord Thanet. He supported the Royalist cause, and sold the castle to help pay fines levied against him by Parliament. The castle was subsequently dismantled, and was left as a picturesque ruin until its purchase by John Fuller in 1829. Under his auspices, the castle was partially restored before being sold to George Cubitt, 1st Baron Ashcombe, and later to Lord Curzon, both of whom undertook further restoration work. The castle is protected as a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Monument. It has been owned by The National Trust since 1925, donated by Lord Curzon on his death, and is open to the public.
Many of you will remember it as the scene of Adam Ant's 'Prince Charming' video

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sussex - again!


Not so much a review of Staplecross, as a recommendation. Staplecross itself, is not somewhere I've really explored, as it holds no real significance historically, but does boast one or two nice buildings that might be worth a visit at some point.
However, on the road from Cripps Corner heading towards the village, is a very nice little garden centre. The centre has a smashing cafe in an old railway wagon, which is handy for a spot of very nice lunch, and is now home to a couple of ex-Hastings trams that are being patiently restored. You can go and watch the volunteers working, and there's usually a very nice elderly gentleman available to show you around their base, their models, and the row of tiny period shops that are being constructed. He's a mine of information, which he's only too pleased to share with anyone prepared to listen! It's free, but if you visit them, please drop a donation in their bucket. They're doing a stirling job with very few resources, it's not growing out the roof!

tiny replica tram that little ones can sit in and be pushed along a short stretch of track. And they can ding the bell!

the restaurant car. Excellent food in pretty surroundings

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Spring Sunshine in Sussex

OK, so here we go with the 2017 touring season. I spent yesterday poking around the small villages that inhabit the Kent/Sussex border between Tunbridge Wells and Lewes, and I must say, I could do with visiting this area more, as my time was limited, and I had to ride through some of them without time to stop.
However, here's a couple I particularly liked.

First, Stonegate, which lies not far from Ticehurst, on the lane that leads out to Burwash Common.
I must say, although the little B road from Ticehurst to Stonegate is in a poor state of repair, it is a pretty lane, and some of the views are stunning.
The most redeeming feature of Stonegate is the parish church, with its unusual lych-gate. Although only built in 1904, it has on olde worlde feel about the design.
The village dates from Roman times, when it stood at the crossroads of two Roman roads.

From there, it's just a short ride to Burwash Common, and then onto Burwash itself. Burwash is best known at the location of Batemans, one-time home to Rudyard Kipling, and a popular visitor attraction.
With its main street lined with pollarded trees, and a fine church at its centre, it's a very pretty village despite having a busy main road traversing it.