Saturday, 30 August 2014

Netley Abbey, Hampshire

With the ruins of Netley Abbey sitting just 10 minutes from where we were staying cat sitting recently we thought it a must to visit

This monastery was founded by the Bishop of Winchester in
1238. The impressive remains include the church, the chapter house and the Abbott's lodging. After the abbey was suppressed by King Henry VIII it was converted into a Tudor Mansion House.
In the 18th and 19th centuries the ruins were celebrated by romantic writers, poets and artists 

ruins always make for interesting photos

a  modern house in the centre of the picture

the internal water spring

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The New Forest with Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst, Hampshire

After about 30 minutes in a traffic queue in order to drive into Lyndhurst (a combination of narrow roads and popularity) we decided a quick light lunch would be the first stop with Welsh Rarebit being our choice.

Lyndhurst is the largest village in the forest and as such is very popular with tourists and hosts many restaurants, pubs and tearooms

the road looks quiet here but only because the traffic lights are just changing

We have just walked the length of the main street

and have now turned around to go back

and make a stop and buy the most delicious hand made ice-cream
Yes it's the wind blowing up my top

The Ferrari dealers - I took this photograph for my grandson 

I purposely waited till traffic lights changed to get clear view 

Having left the village we turn onto the forest road
The unique landscape has been shaped over many centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs, which roam freely across the forest. They appear wild but are owned by people called commoners who have historic rights to graze them here

This breed of ponies have been here for 2000 years and 
there are around 3000 here

They are rounded up twice a year for veterinary checks. 
Colts are taken out of the forest before they can breed
The breed has to be kept pure

The New Forest National Park ( 220 square miles) is home to over 34,000 people, with many thousands more on the doorstep, yet it remains one of the last places in the south of England to offer a sense of wildness and tranquillity
Indeed William the Conqueror, who set aside the forest for hunting more than 900 years ago, would probably recognise much of it today

The Pig - a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel looked a good place to stop for afternoon tea until we found that they did not serve such 

Part of an expensive chain, liked because the interiors are old and shabby looking

the car park wall made of logs

so drive into Brockenhurst instead 

and have afternoon tea in The Buttery 

Whilst having our tea these 2 ponies trotted down the main street, stopping to look in windows and when I tried to follow them I got to see why they were trotting so fast - obviously thirsty
They were followed by a large horned cow who did not keep up with them

Refreshed we drove on again into the forest and came across many more ponies proving to us that they had the right of way

before we had the road to ourselves again

 This part of the forest is full of Redwoods

We have had a lovely day so off to hit the traffic again
There are 610 listed buildings in the forest - ranging from palaces, country houses (Palace House at Beaulie, Hale Park, Exbury House, to many smaller typical cottages built of brick, timber-frame or cob - clay mixed with straw and water, straw, sand and earth)