Bryony’s Beach….

Well to be fair it’s not actually my beach but I’m lucky enough to live a stones throw from it and have enjoyed many walks on its shores. Some peaceful strolls with some more active workouts thrown in for good measure there’s always something different to see and photograph.

The pier is one of my favourite spots with its beautifully restored art deco café plus the “Art on the Pier” displays which have provided many photo opportunities. The view changes as you walk along from the busier areas around Splashpoint and the pier to the more tranquil “Waterwise Garden” especially created to withstand the harsher beach elements, then on past the sailing club and fishermen selling their catch of the day then further on past some of the more luxurious houses and gardens of those lucky enough to live by the sea. All this changes dependent on the weather and seasons and I never tire of my beach adventures. Here are some favourite photos…

The beach through the seasons…

 

 

 

 

 

The Cass Sculpture Foundation

Location: Goodwood, West Sussex, PO18 0QP

Visited: August 2017

I had not heard of The Cass Sculpture Foundation in glorious Goodwood even though it is located fairly near to where I live but on the recommendation of a friend I planned a visit. The fabulous foundation was founded in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass to support, inspire and enable artists to create works that they may otherwise not have the opportunity to achieve.

As with other sculpture parks I was given a warm welcome and provided with a list to guide me around the beautiful and tranquil 26-acre site and its 50+ contemporary sculptures plus indoor gallery spaces. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and I was lucky enough to visit the park on a fairly quiet day although this proved to be somewhat eerie on my encounters with some of the pieces – the abandoned car with he spooky tale inscribed on the stone telling the story of a man who having fallen asleep whilst stranded in the park awakens to discover a great deal of time has passed, this was followed by my turning to be faced with slightly sinister figures emerging from the woods!

Some of the pieces were a bit “Marmite” you’ll either love or hate them but the variety was interesting and very different to anything I had seen before. My favourites as usual were the glass pieces which looked glorious in the sunshine and were expertly showcased in the perfect surrounding as were all of the pieces. The displays change as works are sold and new works are added and I was told that the foundation only recently opened to the public and was once only for private sales but they are working towards achieving museum status.

As I was leaving they were setting up lighting in preparation for a musical theatre show that was taking place that night where the audience follow the orchestra and actors around the grounds whilst stories are told, it sounded magical and it most definitely on my list of things to do.

Here are a few of my many pics!

Godinton House & Gardens

Location: Ashford, Kent, TN23 3BP

Visited: April & July 2017

I was not familiar with Godinton until it was featured on the local news highlighting the unveiling of “Tempesta” a most beautiful face sculptured from a huge bock of marble salvaged from an abandoned quarry in Tuscany, I fell in love and decided to visit her.

Godinton House 2017(3)

On arriving at Godinton after a longer drive than I had anticipated I knew I was in for a treat when I spotted the Marmite jars full of flowers at the reception.

I booked in for the house tour which takes about an hour but was worth the time and is the only way to see inside the house. On both visits the guides were very informative and full of tips about the house,  you could tell they were really interested in the property and its 600 year history. Sadly no pics allowed inside so you will have to visit to see for yourself but Godinton is a very impressive whilst still homely and personal house. Each room is a contrast and still has many original pieces and collectables especially porcelains. The great hall and Jacobean staircase with beautiful wood carvings and panels, the Chinese room and then the more personal bedrooms are all worth seeing.

The outside of the house is just as lovely and is surrounded by the rose garden, Italian Garden, Walled Garden, Wild Garden, Lily Pond and beautiful borders.

In July I visited for a second time for Sculpture in the Gardens and was impressed by the display. and again by the gardens.

Don’t miss lovely homemade cakes and tea in the old Billiard Room.

Here are a few more photos of the gardens and sculptures, I will be looking forward to my next visit to Godinton and Tempesta…

Beautiful Borde Hill Gardens…

Location: Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1XP

Borde Hill Gardens are wonderful enough to have lured me back for three visits, twice to explore the sculpture exhibitions and once to see the lovely magnolias. The gardens surround a stunning Elizabethan Manor with glorious views over the Sussex Weald and the Ouse Valley, you can also spot the Ouse Valley Viaduct.

The gardens form a pattern of outdoor rooms including the Garden of Allah, the  Azelea Ring,  the more traditional Rose Garden and my favourite Italian Garden which would be one of my perfect places to sit on a sunny day and read a book.

The sculptures are carefully placed in surroundings that compliment them perfectly and over the past two years that I have seen the sculpture exhibition apart from the handful of “live in” sculptures which remain on the property the pieces were very different, hopefully this will continue so I can experience the joy for many years to come.

The gardens are colourful and beautiful with an impressive variety of plants and flowers, the original garden was created in the early 1900s with plants gathered by the great plant collectors from their travels to the Himalayas, China, Burma, Tasmania and the Andes.

BG Tips ~ Worth visiting during events like the sculpture exhibition (usually May-Oct), magnolia or rose seasons, classic car meets or even the musical Sundays in the Summers months.

A few more favourite pics….

 

How it all started…

Two years ago on a sunny day in September I decided to go on an adventure… Now to some people that could mean jetting off to the other side of the world but I’d already done that and after living on a little Caribbean Island for many years I decided that upon returning to the UK my new adventures were to be closer to home. Anyone that knows me is fully aware that my sense of direction leaves a lot to be desired but armed with a borrowed satnav, my newly acquired National Trust membership card and my trusty little Peugeot (henceforth referred to as Betsey) I embarked on my first solo exploration of this beautiful country we call England.

We are now two years and many enjoyable trips and photographs later with additions being added to my visit wish list on a regular basis. Some places I visit I have discovered through word of mouth, the National Trust or by looking for places near to where I have chosen to visit and many of these I had never heard of before visiting so hopefully by sharing pictures and information others can also enjoy some of the lesser known gems.

Sculptures are my absolute favourites but I love “snooping” around the gorgeous houses and learning their history plus exploring the gardens and taking hundreds of pictures of flowers. I adore peonies and have recently developed a fondness for dahlias so I make sure I keep a look out for special sculpture exhibitions and flower festivals.

I am by no means an accomplished photographer but I enjoy capturing images that allow me to revisit places months after experiencing them and out of the many pictures I take I always have a few favourites for each place so I thought I’d start a blog to share these and hopefully provide a little insight into the places I visit and to maybe encourage other people to explore these beautiful historic houses, castles, gardens and palaces in our wonderful country, plus there’s usually the added benefit of a cuppa and a delicious slice of cake! I hope you enjoy the pictures (and the cakes!)…