Strolling at Titchfield Haven

This is the my last few hours of a weeks leave from work, boohoo! I’ve had an amazing week, including a real once in a lifetime event, that I’ll tell you about soon. On Wednesday I braved the storms and went east to visit Scarlett and her mummy and daddy, driving through floods, high winds and relentless heavy rain. The next day for a few hours the sun came out and we decided to pop to the coast at Titchfield. We strolled beside the tiny harbour,

looked back towards Lee on Solent, 2014 Feb 13_9005_edited-1

and then visited the Nature Reserve, Titchfield Haven.

There is an abundance of bird life that almost rivals the Exe Estuary close to home, but not within view of the lens I had with me. They have created two short trails, with boardwalks through the marshes and a stunning new hide for the serious twitcher.

The sunshine was a real treat, as was the fresh air, after the really dreadful weather we’ve had for weeks. Next time I’m in Hampshire I’ll try to remember a long lens and walking boots!

This post is for Marianne’s challenge One Trip Every Month, over at http://eastofmalaga.net/ who asks us to tell her about visting somewhere for the first time.

 

The Bishop’s Palace

Last week my daughter took me to Bishop’s Waltham, a village a few miles from her home in Hampshire to see the ruins of its medieval palace. The buildings are full of atmosphere and set in lovely grounds.2013 Aug 20_7049_

This is the great hall, imagine how magnificent it would have been. 2013 Aug 20_6988_

The buttery, pantry and servery, rebuilt in 1387-90 by Wykeham.

Intriguing little peepways, including narrow ones for arrows. I’d like to know what the curve shape is about in the second photo. 2013 Aug 20_7002_

Amazing stonework.

The Bishop’s tower, where he had his private apartments. 2013 Aug 20_7011_edited-1

I loved the shape here and the feel of the stone, each one laid by some secret hand from long ago.

The bakehouse and brewhouse, my favourite part, I think because of the chimney breast, again marvelous stonework with different bits added and repaired over time.

This palace was mainly constructed by William Wykeham who was bishop from 1367. It has earlier history though, with important royal visitors, King Henry 11 visited in 1182 and Richard the Lionheart in 1194. Henry V prepared for the battle of Agincourt here and Queen Mary 1 waited for King Philip of Spain to arrive for  thier marriage in 1554. Imagine the ghosts!

English Heritage look after the site and its free to visit all through the summer.

See what a wonderful family picnic spot the palace is! http://sugarandspiceandallthingslife.com/2013/09/02/a-family-picnic-at-the-palace/

The Meon Valley Trail

The Meon Valley trail wends its way through around thirty miles of Hampshire countryside on a disused railway branch line that ran from Alton to Knowle until Mr Beeching closed it down in the 1960’s. It’s now a lovely walk used as a footpath, cycle and bridle path. On Sunday my daughter and I walked for an hour giving baby Scarlett some fresh air.

There is an abundance of flora and fauna, we saw

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a privet hawk moth which grows to 85mm and had a vicious looking horn on its rear end.

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a Harlequin ladybird, an invasive variety that is a predator to our native ones

IMG_3568and a common frog.

The walk was lovely, come along with me.

Enjoy a ride

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Pick some nuts

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and plan your next walk

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I hope you enjoyed it!

Porchester, Ruins Of An English Castle

Porchester castle is on the complex coast around the edge of Hampshire. Built around the 11th century on a site that earlier housed a Roman fort. I visited with my daughter and we couldn’t help wondering about the lives of the many people who had lived there. It had a definite feel, a loud whispering of voices  in the total silence. Click on an image for a larger view.