Tuesday, 8 August 2017

School Holidays, Rainy Weather, Don't Know What to do with the Kids?

Well, ever since the school holidays began the weather seems to have changed which isn't much help to parents!

This gave me a problem a couple of weeks ago.  One of my granddaughters came to stay and we were really looking forward to it.

A keen and good swimmer and loving the outdoors we knew she'd be very happy on the beach. Living in Lymington, close to the beach and the forest, keeping her occupied wouldn't be too difficult!

The Great British Weather

Yep, the Summer had it's British Summer hat on!  Rain, rain and more rain so the beach was pretty much off limits and I certainly didn't feel like doing the great British thing sitting on the beach whatever the weather!

What to do on a rainy day?

So apart from drinking hot chocolate and eating pancakes at The Noisy Lobster on Avon Beach and the two of us getting grossly overweight ......
I had to think of something else pretty quickly!

A bit of pottery painting

I go to the hairdressers in Christchurch and remembered that next door was a little shop called The Clay Studio.

What a great find!

And there's a lovely cafe where you can have coffee and cake whilst you wait.  That's if you don't want to paint pottery yourself.  

I must admit I was tempted. :)
It was, unsurprisingly, very busy!  I thought for one minute we wouldn't get a place.

But we were welcomed with open arms, sat down at a table, actually the one you see here through the door.  To be honest this little shop is like a tardis, seems to go on an on, up and downstairs! 

You then get to choose a piece of pottery to paint and given instructions on what to do.  

A couple of hours of creativity and it is complete.

The finished article is then left with the shop and picked up a few days later after it has been 'glazed' and 'fired'.

Hey presto ..... one pretty piece of pottery to keep and one day in the dry!

The Clay Studio Open 7 days a week 
The Fountain, 1 High Street, Christchurch BH23 1AE
Telephone: 01202 475000

That was one day done ...... how did I manage on the other days?
Watch this space to find out.

Friday, 21 July 2017

What are you Waiting for - Next Week is National Parks Week

Gosh I've just found out it's National Parks Week next week, so a very quick blog to help you with places to visit and book your stay.
New Forest Pony

Plenty of Bed and Breakfasts in the heart of the forest.
We personally recommend the lovely Maria who owns

Better be quick though as she gets booked very quickly.
 
A few hotel suggestions from our note pad

Hotels we recommend and you can view on our Pinterest boards or our blogs:
Beautiful gardens to visit whilst you're here:
Braxton Gardens
So what are you waiting for?  Get booking!

If you are local to the New Forest and have any hints, tips and recommendations give us a shout out on Twitter or comment here.



New Forest Escape Uncovered by Travel Bloggers

Just kick off your shoes and reeeelax ......
After a very warm welcome from Maria put your feet up and totally chill out in this open and airy room.
 And if you can bear to leave it and the view ....
  why not sit outside with a drink and a snack.
It's time to read that book you never had the time for at home. :)
And the good news is the prices don't go up in the school holidays at this lovely bed and breakfast in the heart of the New Forest!

New Forest escape uncovered  learn more

Would you and your holiday business like to be featured here?


Friday, 14 July 2017

Our Travel Blog Takes You to a Little Paradise in Hordle in the New Forest

The minute I walked through the gate I went 'oh wow' and that was just the plant centre!

Happy gardeners

I met two of the gardeners here.  It seemed like they felt they were in paradise too.  Cheerful and chatty and obviously very happy working in these beautiful gardens.

So, where am I?

A plant lovers paradise full of unusual plants,shrubs and trees.










Lobelia Devils Tobacco

Pretty seating areas where I could easily sit with a book and while away an hour or two.  You can even get a cuppa here.  Sounds and looks idyllic doesn't it.




A Hosta Walk
Hosta Prince of Wales

Pretty gates and pathways.  I can tell you I was in my element here with my camera!



Lots of radiant Day Lilies in all colours.


Have you guessed yet?
Open from end of May through to September 
Thursday to Sunday 10am - 4pm
£5. entry 
OR a real bargain.  An Annual Pass £12. (definitely worth it for sure)
Well if you haven't guessed you know now
Yes.  Apple Court Garden in Hordle in the lovely New Forest.  
Open once again with new owners.
Absolutely beautiful.  A must visit.

Apple Court Garden Hordle Lane, Lymington SO41 0HU

On the way out I had to walk very quickly past the plants for sale as they are such a temptation.  

Maybe next time.

We think it's a little Paradise in the New Forest?  Do you?

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Visit Malta in Bloom at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa in June

When we visited Malta in June, we were blown away by the colours of the flowers all over the island.

However, today we share with you the amazing gardens of 
The Corinthia Palace Hotel.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Essential Travel Blog's Guide to Summertime Fun

So something a little different this week!

With the school holidays looming, thought it might be helpful to have a guide to some Summertime Fun in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and surrounding areas.

Image courtesy of New Forest Commercial Photographers
  • Many yachts again in the ever favourite Cowes Week This year 29th July - 5th August. Even if you're not sailing this is a fabulous event for all the family.  Shoreside is always a fun place with lots going on and Cowes High Street is one of my favourite High Streets and particularly this time of the year full of atmosphere and lots of offers. :)
Image from our Travel Blog
Image courtesy of Essential Images Photography
  • World of Music Arts and Dance Festival 27-30 July in Wiltshire with a brand new 'world of wellbeing' area consisting of wood fired hot tubs and Finnish barrel saunas.  Ooh sounds amazing.  For more information visit Womad
  • Oyster Festival 22nd-24th July Whitstable Bay  The official opening is 22nd which will take place on East Quay beach.
Image from our Travel Blog

Image courtesy of Essential Images Photography
  • Bestival moves from the IOW to the Lulworth Estate 19-20 August a great line up of artists including The Pet Shop Boys
  • IOW Garlic Festival is always a favourite 19-20 August and this year starring British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain
Image courtesy of New Forest Commercial Photographers
Hopefully there is something for everyone in this travel blog!

Do you know of any other Summertime Fun going on in your area?  
Let us know so that we give it a mention and share with our followers.  

The more the merrier!  Make this a Summertime to remember.


Monday, 3 July 2017

Why Getting Caught in the Act is not as bad as you Think

I had been on a photoshoot and passing through Beaulieu High Street and quickly remembered Patrick's Patch from my visit last year.  I cheekily parked in Fairweathers and popped over the road to Patrick's Patch.

On arrival in this tranquil space, you could sit a while beside this pretty meadow.  Although I am told by the lovely Rachel, who planted the seeds, that there was a mix of all sorts here and not just meadow seeds.
But don't sit too long because you will want to wander around this amazing space called 'Patrick's Patch' just as I did.  

This is a site to behold, with full range of vegetables, herbs and salads.
A garden which is maintained by volunteers, school children and a part time gardener.

Be sure to say hello to those who stick around to keep an eye on things.:)
 Some paying more attention than others!

Not only is this a learning garden it is uplifting and inspiring too.  

It's worth mentioning that free courses are run here, so it's definitely worth checking the website for details.

Ah unable to hide my large professional camera, I was caught in the act!  A lovely lady asked why I was taking photos!  Eeek, I blamed Gill Hickman :)  'Oh yes I know Gill,' she said 'how lovely, thank you for taking photos, and giving us some PR, the more people know, the more we will be visited'  and then
'would you like a lettuce to take home with you?'
 
Gosh home grown lettuce, I can't remember the last time I had the pleasure.  So, of course, I accepted gratefully.
This lettuce was the best lettuce we have tasted in a very long time - sorry Waitrose and M&S you are beaten by a mile.

So now you know why getting caught in the act isn't as bad as you think!:)

It seems I wasn't the only one visiting today .....

And you may have noticed something!  I don't seem to have taken many photos of vegetables?  Oh gosh I may have to go back!


Patrick's Patch is opposite Fairweathers in Beaulieu High Street
Visit the website for opening times and other interesting information.