Friday, 30 November 2012

The New Mucking Wildlife Centre

Before continuing with my Summer postings here are a few photographs from today
Having had such torrential rain and flooding for a couple of weeks now,  here we are with the first beautiful day visiting a new Wildlife centre on the River Thames
This one is about half way between London and the Estuary
It is very cold but such a blessing to see the sun
It has just been forecast that we could be in for the coldest Winter on record this year
I don't mind cold if it is sunny but not cold and dismal

The visitors Centre

I should have taken some photos inside as it is very spacious and modern with full length windows on the other side with telescopes for watching the birds
There is a restaurant and great shop including fun things for children that encourage them to enjoy wildlife and all things natural
I certainly found lots to buy for the Grand children (who will be staying with us again this weekend)
and one can walk the outside spiral ramp to the top for views

Here I am at the top looking down towards the estuary and in the foreground we see a new terminal being built where in the future one can watch the turn around of the cruise ships

A ferry sailing past
very hazy

and looking back into the sun and towards London

and towards the Estuary on the horizon
We spent some time in the Hide (seen further down the hill) and then had a walk before leaving for home as I needed to get back for lunch time otherwise we would have stopped and eaten lunch in the visitors centre

As the Grands are coming I wanted to begin putting up my Christmas tree etc. Don't normally do it this early but I thought they would enjoy it

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Long Melford Parish Church & Village

Before leaving Melford Hall behind let's look at a little of the village before moving on

This photograph of Long Melford church was taken from the grounds of Kentwell House (a few posts ago) and Melford Hall (last posts) is almost opposite across the green so it is certainly a village with plenty to see

Holy Trinity church is one of the great Suffolk 'wool churches' built almost entirely in the 15th century at a time of growing prosperity among the local cloth merchants
it was completed in 1484

On the way into the church grounds we pass this interesting building with lots of chimneys which I understand was once a hospital

Long Melford has been a busy village since Tudor times
here we see the very modern interior of a boutique
with the outside maintaining it's ancient exterior 

There are excellent restaurants and shops and above we see the Bull Inn in Hall street, one of the longest village high streets in the country 

 For those interested in the ancient history go to this link as it dates back to 8,000BC
If this link does not work then click on this link 
and click on village history on the left sidebar
definitely worth it - I found it fascinating and informative

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Melford Hall and Beatrix Potter, Suffolk

Moving on from one house to another, here we are visiting Melford Hall - not as large and grand as the previous two but interesting all the same

The Hyde Parker family have been living at Melford Hall for 200 years and the hall is alive with their stories past and present.
At first glance, this Tudor house gives the impression that little has changed since Queen Elizabeth I visited in 1578 
However inside there is a surprise round every corner as you uncover generations of changing tastes and fashions.

So many of these homes are now owned and looked after by The National Trust while the families are still able to live in them.
Last year the trust began to allow people to sit and relax in certain areas of these homes as seen here

Beatrix Potter, one of the country's best loved children's writers, was a relative of the family and often visited Melford. One sees references to this around the house
here we see the family's place cards on the dining table

Book cases everywhere

and the staircase to the side which is unusual

A stain glassed window depicting Queen Elizabeth I

the family chapel

the room where Beatrix Potter stayed

this toy duck was dressed by Beatrix Potter as the model for 
Jemima Puddleduck

One of the garden follies 

where an artist teaches people how to draw the illustrations in Beatrix books

Hope you found it interesting
I especially enjoyed a trip back to Summertime today as the weather here was so wet and nasty that it was dark by 3.0 pm

I am also excited to say that today I finished my Spring Cleaning
Can't believe it took until November but there was always something on throughout the year to stop me getting on with it
Can't say that life has quietened down now but probably just a little bit

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Ickworth House & Gardens Pt. 3

Finishing off this posting with the gardens and outside of the house 
Ickworth is a show case on a huge scale.
The impressive central 'rotunda' was built by the 4th Earl of Bristol to show off the priceless treasures collected on his tours around Europe in the eighteenth century.
Over the next 200 years, the eccentric Hervey family called Ickworth home. Not only did they add to the treasures inside but they created gardens that echoed the Italianate style of the house

Here we have walked down to the lake to see the series of walled gardens. Disappointing as they were mainly empty.
We had found the walk hard going after a pretty full day walking as the temperature was in the upper 80's with no shade and I had not brought a hat
A gardener had assured us it was not very far across the estate and fields - not true
We also had in mind that it would be all uphill walking back

We made it back and the first thing we did was make for the tearoom and the shop to buy a hat (a bit late!)

Very few taking refreshment outside today, including us
Hope you enjoyed your visit