Camping & a visit to Cardiff Castle

We arrived at Cardiff Camping & Caravanning Park on a lovely sunny day. The first job was to put the tent up. It is an inflatable tent held up by air filled beams so it only took about 15 minutes to get it up.

We spent another half an hour or so putting all the equipment in the tent then had a rest.

It wasn’t long before we were feeling hungry. Our camping experience was quite luxurious as we had electricity and cooked on an induction hob. I cooked the onions.

Nye cooked the veggie sausages.

We sat down and enjoyed a feast. There is something special about cooking and eating outside.

After our lunch we set off to visit Cardiff Castle. We nearly got stuck in the giant deckchair, they are quite difficult to get out of!

Before climbing up to the keep we decided to walk through the castle walls.

During the 2nd World War humans used to shelter in the corridors from the bombs that were being dropped on Cardiff. It must have been very very scary for them.

There would have been air raid wardens on duty making sure people went into shelters and turned off lights. They wore helmets and uniforms like the ones shown hanging here.

There were even some beds in the shelter for humans to try and sleep on.

Many humans sheltered in their own homes, some in shelters in their gardens and some inside under a steel table. My late grandhuman used to talk of sheltering under a table shelter.

There were lots of realistic sounds being played in the shelter, including announcements by Winston Churchill who was the Prime Minister during the 2nd world war.

The tunnels were very interesting but we were quite glad to get back out into the sunshine and walk along the top of the castle walls.

In the background you can see Cardiff Millenium Stadium.

Before climbing up to The Keep we had to pass the Dragon. Wales is famous for dragons, there is one on the Welsh flag.

There are a lot of steep steps for small bears to climb.

We set off up the first flight of steps. I think we may have ended up in a human’s photograph!

Once at the top of the hill we had more steps to climb inside The Keep.

Finally, with tired legs, we emerged at the top.

There are views all around of the city and countryside around. It was well worth the climb up.

On our way out again we had another look at the dragon, who didn’t look so frightening sideways.

Cardiff Castle is worth a visit if you are in the area, we certainly found it enjoyable and interesting. For more details see :

Horace the Alresford Bear 30/5/2023

SS Great Britain

In 1970 my human saw the SS Great Britain being towed back to Bristol to the Great Western Dockyard, 127 years after first being launched from the same place. Over the last 50 years the ship has been restored; my human’s father-in-law assisted in the making of the replica engines. It is now a very interesting place to visit.

Passengers used to arrive at the dock by horse drawn carriage before boarding the ship.

I had a look around the dock yard and didn’t drink any dock water!

The dockyard is set up as a museum with lots of interesting old things that would have been around when the SS Great Britain was in use.

I didn’t get too close to the gunpowder.

There are piles of very very thick rope which make excellent hiding holes for small bears.

The ship used to carry up to 750 passengers.

I posed for a selfie in front of the stern.

Before going onboard we briefly visited the museum, we didn’t have enough time to look at everything. The tickets are valid for a year so the humans intend visiting again when they have more time to look at everything. There was time for me to try on a splendid hat similar to the type worn by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer who designed the SS Great Britain.

I think I look rather dapper.

On boarding the ship I posed next to a warning sign then was blown over by the wind. That happens to me quite often as I was designed to sit not stand.

It was wonderful to view the harbourside from the deck of the ship, usually I am down low in the water in the kayak or walking along footpaths around the harbour.

A ship seems like a very odd sort of place to find a cow, but the voyages often took several weeks and the only way to get fresh milk was from live cows.

They also carried pigs, whose destiny was probably to be pork chops and pies. Poor pigs.

I spotted a hen too, whose duties would have been laying eggs. It must have been hard for the animals (and the people) when the sea was very rough.

I am glad I am not a cow

They took geese on board too.

Some parts of the ship were only accessible to people with first class tickets.

The steering wheel at the stern is much to big for a small Bear.

The ship’s bell is quite large too.

I wanted to see the cabins below so set off down the stairs to the lower decks.

In the first cabin I looked in the ship’s captain and another sailor were studying some navigation charts.

Further along the corridor I was able to go into a cabin. The bunk beds were very narrow, humans must have been much thinner 150 years ago.

I had a quick nap to try out the bed. It was just the right size for me.

Next I found a cabin with a barber working inside giving a man a shave.

The SS Great Britain has been restored so modern day humans can see what it was like on a ship in the 19th century. There are models of people doing things, sounds and smells to make it all seem almost real.

In the middle of all the upper deck cabins there is a large open space where the voyagers could walk about and socialise.

The ship’s doctor was busy in his surgery with a chap who had injured his arm.

The medicines used to treat illnesses were somewhat different to those used today.

In the dining salon I said ‘Hello’ to a first class passenger waiting for dinner to be served.

The first class passengers ate in style!

I went down another flight of stairs where I found the engine room. This is a replica of the flywheel that would have driven the propeller. This would have been powered by coal.

The toilet seemed quite comfy!

Probably only senior crew members and first class passengers would have used the bath.

Some military men were chatting in a cabin on the lower deck

In the bakery the bread looked very tasty.

Yum yum yum…

The food taken on board had to last for weeks, and they didn’t have fridges to help preserve it.

I asked the cook in the kitchen what he was cooking.

Fish head soup for the people travelling in Steerage who had the cheapest tickets.

Dessert on a silver tray destined for the first class passengers upstairs.

I was taken by surprise to see rats running around in the cupboards!

The amount of washing up must have been huge, and the kitchen workers didn’t have Marigold gloves to protect their hands.

This is the counter where the food was served up.

The Steerage passengers slept in bunks in corridors

I wasn’t tempted to try the food!

I heard a baby crying. A woman had just given birth in one of the cabins.

In the storeroom more rather unappetizing food.

You can go down underneath the ship to see the rudder. It is all kept in a controlled atmosphere to prevent the hull from rusting.

It must have taken a lot of coal to produce the steam to turn the enormous propeller.

On the way out I posed for a photo with a gang of Brunel Bears in the shop.

I really enjoyed my visit, there is lots to see and I think human children would enjoy the ship too. Hoping the humans will take me along when they go again!

For more information see

Horace the Alresford Bear 29/5/23

Brean Down Way in the bicycle pannier

The humans let me tag along with them on their bike ride along Brean Down Way.

There is a huge sandy beach at Brean, but it was rather windy.

I had a little doze in the sunshine while waiting for the humans to get ready to ride.

They ended up pushing the bikes up a very steep hill before cycling to the Fort at the end of Brean Down. Wales is on the other side of the water.

I did a bit of exploring. The Fort was in use from 1870 – 1940s.

This is the fireplace in the barrack room.

I also found a dark tunnel but decided against going any further as it was very dark indeed.

Here I am sat in the window of the Barracks building.

Across the bay from Brean is Weston-super-mare. The Brean Down Way cycle path goes from Brean to Uphill which just before Weston.

The bluebells growing on Brean Down were an especially deep blue and very beautiful.

Here is a selfie of me on Brean Down with Weston-Super-Mare in the background. After taking this I got back into the pannier and we headed along the trail towards Uphill.

After travelling along the coast road for about a mile the humans turned off and we cycled along a traffic free route. We went over the River Axe where a special screen has been erected to protect the wild birds.

I peered through one of the gaps and saw a few wading birds.

When we got to Weston the humans cycled along the seafront until we got to Knightstone Island.

Cyclists like to eat bananas so I joined the humans and had one too!

We then turned around and cycled back to Brean Down again. The whole route was about 18 miles and mostly flat.

See for more information about the route.

Horace the Alresford Bear 20/5/2023

Clifton Library

Today I had the opportunity to help out at Clifton Library, a small branch library in Bristol.

I made friends with Shaun and Ted who both spend most of their time sat on a shelf but sometimes get carried around by children.

Ted & Shaun agreed to help me and my human do Baby Bounce and Rhyme. We had a good look at the story my human was going to read before the babies and toddlers arrived.

Here we are ready to start Baby bounce, all the children were given little shakers and we handed out song sheets to the adult humans. The small humans really enjoyed the singing, and I did my party piece which is ‘Round and round the garden like a teddy Bear….’

After all the little humans had left I gathered up all the shakers and rattles.

I then spent ten minutes wiping them all to keep them clean. Human babies seem to put everything in their mouths!

I helped out for a while on the library desk.

Humans reserve books in libraries and library staff have to find them. I spent ages looking for a book called ‘Owl Babies’ but my human found it first 🦉🦉🦉.

There is a self service machine in the library. In order to reach the returned items I had to use a little chair and a pile of books.

I was very busy for the few hours I was in the library. It was soon time to go home again.

Libraries are great places for humans of all ages, and their bears. I do recommend to everyone to find your local library and join.

Horace the Alresford Bear 28/4/23

Mallorca Adventure

After arriving at the airport in a comfy backpack I had to go through the x ray machine at security in order to get on an airplane. It wasn’t actually too bad an experience.

After a couple of hours flying and an hour in a taxi we arrived at the hotel.

I always test the bed on arrival anywhere, and pleased to say this one was comfy. You may notice my new jumper, which is a special holiday jumper to protect my aging fur.

The hotel room had a little kitchen, so after going shopping the humans cooked some supper for me which I ate on the balcony.

Before bedtime I just sat for a while looking at the swimming pool.

It is always good to sleep after a busy day travelling.

It was a shame there weren’t any small bear sized boats available for me to have a pootle in the pool.

Being April the hotel was quite quiet. I enjoyed the early morning sun on my fur.

Another day I set off to explore the town. As I walked across the beach a seaplane was flying around.

In the town I had a walk around the shops.

When I looked in the window of the ‘Charity for kids’ shop I noticed two bears sat on the sofas that were for sale.

I went in to say ‘Hello’. This chap seemed a bit quiet and was focused on looking out the window for someone to buy him.

I tried to chat to the bear in the corner but unfortunately I don’t understand Spanish and he didn’t speak English so we just smiled at each other. I hope someone buys them both soon.

Back on the beach I decided it was time for a rest, so looked for a suitable napping place.

Found one under a big straw umbrella, though I was rather hot as not in the shade.

I moved to the other side and had a lovely doze.

I enjoyed eating a tuna roll on the beach for lunch.

I think I look rather handsome in the selfie photo below…

Each morning I made my breakfast in the little kitchen area.

It was very enjoyable sitting in the early morning sun eating marmalade on toast.

Oneday the humans went out without their bikes. I climbed up to try out a bike but it was far from bear sized.

I quite like a bit of gentle hiking so joined the humans on a hike through the Boquer valley

I stopped for a while to look at the remains of the Talayot village, where humans lived 3000 years ago.

At the end of the valley there is a lovely view of Cala Boquer.

I sat and had a little snack keeping a close eye on a vulture that was flying about high above.

On our last day at Puerto Pollensa we had a splendid meal of tapas and sangria at the Coral bar and restaurant.

I enjoy travelling and having adventures but it is always good to get back to Bristol where I live.

Horace the Alresford Bear 27/4/2023

Stackpole Adventure (Pembrokeshire)

Our accommodation at Stackpole Quay was in a semi-detached National Trust cottage about 100 metres from the Quay. 

The cottage had a comfy sofa…

A cosy bedroom with a view….

The bedrooms had a wonderful view of the Boathouse Cafe garden and the sea beyond.

I enjoyed tucking into the complimentary biscuits with a nice mug of tea.

There is a beautiful bay in Pembrokeshire which is only a 20 minute walk from Stackpole Quay, so before it got too dark I went out to find it.  I wasn’t disappointed – Barafundle Bay is very picturesque

On returning to the cottage it was time to unpack the groceries.  Both me and the humans were surprised to find Nye and his new friend Clement hiding in the bag! 

At bedtime there wasn’t a bed for Nye and Clement so they had to share the sofa.  I was very comfy in my bed. 

The next day we all went down to Stackpole Quay.

On returning to the cottage the humans lit the fire for us to warm our fur.  

Another day I set off to find the famous Bosherton Lily ponds, though I did already know that there wouldn’t be any Lilies in March.  I was able to walk there from the cottage.  In this photo I am crossing the Eight Arch Bridge.

The ponds are beautiful and very peaceful with several narrow bridges crossing them.  I imagine they must look wonderful when the lilies are in bloom, but there would probably be many more humans visiting visiting then.

However, in late March all the spring flowers are out.  There are lots of primroses and celandines next to the paths plus a few violets and wood anemones.

When walking towards the coast from the Bosherton lakes you eventually arrive at Broadhaven Beach.  I had to cross a small bridge over a stream to get there.

Broadhaven beach is vast, especially when the tide is out.

Later I shared my supper with Nye and his new friend Clement.  It is good to have other bears for company sometimes.

The bear jacuzzi for the holiday cottage is situated down the road in a laundry room next to some more cottages.  I went down to check it out but I didn’t like the look of it at all as the jacuzzi didn’t have any windows.  Fortunately I didn’t have to go in there!

I enjoyed a delicious Sunday lunch at The Stackpole Inn.  They even let me have a go at pulling pints with my paws…

The walled garden is an interesting place to visit.  The very old water storage tank and the sunken greenhouses are quite fascinating.   The cafe serves some very tasty cakes and snacks including my favourite Welsh treat, Barabrith.

St Govan’s chapel is just along the coast from Broadhaven. It is next to a Ministry of Defence firing range so not always accessible. I travelled there by hitching a ride in my human’s bicycle pannier. The walk down to the entrance involves some quite steep steps. The Chapel is perched on the edge of the cliff and is very interesting. It was used by the BBC when they filmed the series ‘His Dark Materials’ so you might recognise it if you watched that on UK television. There is a small bear-sized hideaway below the Chapel that I tried out for size.

On some days we just sat and watched the world go by from the cottage window.

One morning I got up very early to see the sunrise. Nye was awake so he came along too. A tiny line a bright yellow light appeared that very quickly turned into a big yellow sun. A wonderful experience that everyone should do one day.

On our last day we decided to go down to the quay when the tide was out to get a photo of us sat on the little fishing boat that moors there.

We all got back to the Quayside safely.

We were sad to leave Stackpole Quay cottage but will always remember our adventures fondly.

Barafundle Bay has to be one of the best beaches I have ever been to…

I do hope you have enjoyed reading my blog.

Horace the Alresford Bear 30/3/2023

Getting older & needing to protect my fur

Last week I had to have a few stitches as several holes had appeared in my fur. I enjoy my adventures but don’t want to literally fall apart at the seams. So I have invested in a a jumper and a waistcoat to give my body some protection. Both have been handmade by a knitter who sells teddy Bear clothes on Etsy. Here I am in my splendid new jumper:

My human decided to treat me to the waistcoat too as she thought I would look distinguished in it. What do you think?

The clothes are really very well made and I shall enjoy wearing them. If anyone reading this has a bear needing a smart jumper see the link below.

Horace the Alresford Bear 16/3/23

Aunt Lucy’s new hat

The postman brought a parcel for Aunt Lucy today

We were all very keen to find out what was inside. It turned out to be a brand new hat for Aunt Lucy.

Aunt Lucy took off her old hat, which was very old and squashed.

She put on the new one which fitted perfectly

The band on the new one didn’t quite match her dress so she took the band off the old hat and put it on the new one.

I tried on the old hat but I don’t think I will be wearing it…

Aunt Lucy looks like a new bear in her beautiful new hat.

We will make sure Aunt Lucy’s new hat doesn’t get squashed or faded; she will have to stay out of the sun.

Aunt Lucy bought her new hat from a human who makes them and sells them on eBay. If you have a Paddington or Aunt Lucy in need of new clothes see her page at:

Horace the Alresford Bear 8/3/2023

Winter fun at Salcombe South Sands Beach Club

My human took me along on a short break to Salcombe where she was celebrating an important birthday. The balcony of the hotel room overlooked the beach and Kingsbridge estuary.

The cushions all had my initials on! HBC which stands for Horace Bear’s cushion. I enjoyed relaxing on the balcony with a glass of water and lemon. I decided against the gin as it sends bears to sleep.

I enjoy a good read so immersed myself in a book.

The next day was going to be filled with fun activities so for breakfast I tucked into a sausage and egg muffin. It was very yummy.

Each time I got into the lift the mirror reminded me what a handsome bear I am!

The humans went out for a long walk so I stayed behind at the Beach Club. I spotted a wonderful collection of wellintons in the reception area.

I like red wellies but the red ones looked a bit big, so I opted for the smaller green ones.

The green wellington boots fitted perfectly.

I set off from the hotel to explore the beach.

South Sands is a big beach for a small bear with short legs to walk around. It took me a while to get to the sea. I didn’t get too close as the tide was coming in.

I stopped for a selfie.

The rocks looked interesting so after making my way over to them I climbed up to have a look in the pools.

I saw a tiny fish disappear into the seaweed.

It was time to be getting back as the tide was coming in and I didn’t want to get trapped on the rocks.

It took a while to get back across the beach. The wellies were feeling quite heavy for my little legs.

My legs were really quite tired when I got back to the hotel so climbing the steps took a while.

I sat down for a rest then took off the green wellies. They were just as good as the red ones that I sometimes borrow from Paddington.

I put the green wellingtons back on the rack with all the other wellingtons, ready for another small bear or maybe young human to use.

When I got back to the room I had a quick nap on the very very very large bed.

After an hour or so of napping I went downstairs to find the Spa. Here I am wishing that I could get into the sparkling water. Being submerged in water is something that I avoid. My stuffing gets all soggy and heavy which could make me sink quickly.

I had a look in the sauna, which was warm, so decided to try it out.

At first it was quite pleasant but after about two minutes I was very hot so had to leave.

I cooled off on a lounger.

The humans had been saying the the steam room was very good. I wasn’t sure what went on in the steam room so decided to have a look inside.

The twinkling lights on the ceiling kept changing colour and were very pretty, but I couldn’t see properly through the steam and my fur was starting to get soggy after just a few seconds so I left the room very quickly!

I am outside the door in this photo, but the steam had steamed up the lens on the camera!

I cooled off again with a glass of water.

The spa was very quiet during my visit.

There was gentle relaxing music playing so I had another nap and enjoyed being peaceful.

Later I managed to tag along with the humans for an evening meal. I opted for some delicious freshly made tortellini.

The mini break soon came to an end and it was time to say goodbye to the view from our room.

After the big meal the night before I opted for fresh fruit salad for my breakfast.

I had a lovely time at South Sands Salcombe, the Beach Club was a great place to stay for bears and humans.

Horace the Alresford Bear 11/2/23