About karenlovestodance

I love to dance and I like to buy clothes in charity shops, though on one occasion I bought a teddy bear called Horace instead!

Polesden Lacey; with a gold room and very tasty bangers & mash!

Polesden Lacey is a very grand house in Surrey.

I don’t always go inside houses but went inside this one to see the gold room. The walls are decorated with real gold leaf and very shiny.

The ironing was done by servants with flat irons that would’ve been heated on a range. I’m not sure why the mannequin is missing her head!

At the back of the house there is a sloping lawn.

As readers may know, I like to do roly polies on grass banks.

Weeeeeeee……

The sundial clock was an hour behind time as sundials stay in Greenwich meantime.

This is my favourite photo from my visit.

On one of the walls in the garden there were lots of containers containing succulents incorporated into the wall.

The rhubarb was looking good in the vegetable garden.

I was keen to say hello to the chickens so hurried through the wildflowers meadow.

I could only see one very big chicken; I think the others must have been hiding.

Just along from the chicken enclosure the bees were very busy buzzing in and out of their hives.

I found a very interesting sign about how gardeners could progress from being a gardener’s boy living in a boggy to head gardener with a house. It took many years and lots of knowledge and hard work to become a head gardener.

The rose garden had nearly finished being in full bloom and many needed to be dead headed. It must take a very long time doing this at Polesden Lacey as the rose garden is huge.

A pet cemetery always makes me feel a little bit sad. It seems Mrs Greville liked terriers.

Before ordering my lunch I tried out this bicycle for size. It was slightly large!

Here I am tucking into sausages and colcanon mash, the best I have ever had. Colcannon mash is made to an Irish recipe and it was delicious.

Before going home I chose a plant for our next door neighbour as a present for looking after our rabbit.

I hope to go to Polesden Lacey again oneday for more sausage and mash, it would be great to eat it in the gold room but I don’t think that would be allowed!

For more information see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey

Horace the Alresford Bear 9/8/2021

Box Hill – a tad challenging for a bear with short legs.

My human announced that Box Hill is somewhere cyclists like to ride up. She is a cyclist but didn’t have her bicycle with her, so thought it would be fun to go walking there instead.

There is a splendid view of the Surrey countryside from the top, where we started the walk.

Stepping stones sounded fun so we followed the blue arrows.

We went down many many steps that were all a bit muddy and slippery due to the rain. The bit of river that had stepping stones was rather disappointing. Due to lots and lots of rain the river level was high and the stones were all completely submerged.

Fortunately there is also a bridge to cross the River Mole.

Selfie by the bridge…

There was a sign by the bridge stating that the original bridge had been put there by the Ramblers (in memory of members who died in the war).

The stepping stones route continued along for a while next to the River Mole.

Then after crossing a road bridge over the river it was time to climb back up to the top of Box Hill. All very tiring for a small bear….

It all got a bit much for me so at the first opportunity I climbed into my human’s bag.

Back at the top again I posed on the triangulation station. I really like the way those two words go together – ‘triangulation station’….

Exercise makes bears very hungry so it was wonderful to find the cafe at the visitor centre still open and even better selling Danish pastries. Yum yum yum.

I am glad I went to Box Hill as I often hear about it and have wondered where it us. We drove down the road afterwards as my human wanted to see the route cyclists take. She said she’ll stick to Cheddar Gorge for her hill practice.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/box-hill#Overview

Horace the Alresford Bear 8/8/2021

Avebury Stone Circle & Manor Gardens

Avebury Stone Circle is the largest stone circle in the world. I was a very fortunate Bear to be able to visit the stones.

There were lots of sheep visiting the stones too.

I set off to explore all around…

The Stones made me feel very small. A human lifted me up for a photo sat on this one.

Here I am looking very small indeed. The Stones have been at Avebury for about 4000 years.

There is a big trench all around the stones which was dug about 5000 years ago.

I couldn’t resist a roly poly down the bank!

I sat for a while and wondered about the history of the site and how different life was for humans when Avebury was built.

Avebury Manor is right next to the stone circle so after walking around the stones we visited the garden.

There are many herbs in the garden, including lots of sage.

I rather like the smell of sage.

I do like trees that have special sitting places for bears…

There was what I is a space inspired sculpture just outside the manor house.

The bees were enjoying the allium flowers. I didn’t get too close….

I peered into the well but couldn’t see the bottom, it seemed to go on infinitely. The grill on the top stops creatures falling in.

The composting area had lots of signs about the composting process. I would like to have a go at making compost at home but the humans aren’t keen as once in the past rats moved into their compost bin. I didn’t see any rats in the Manor Gardens.

The ornamental pots next to the pond are just the right size for bears.

We walked down a lavender lined path to leave the gardens. The lavender was starting to go to seed but smelt wonderful.

Avebury is a special place.

For more details see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury

Horace the Alresford Bear 6/8/2021

Stonehenge with Growler

Growler is very old but not as old as Stonehenge. It was built by humans about 5000 years ago. They moved huge lumps of stone without any modern inventions. We read about Stonehenge on various signs at the Visitor Centre.

There was a big lump of stone near the entrance showing how they may have moved the stones. Some children tried to pull if along while we sat on it. It didn’t move!

There were also some small thatched houses showing the sort of homes the people who built Stonehenge would have lived in.

There was quite a long walk to see the Stone Circle.

Growler was feeling tired bit kept up as he was so looking forward to seeing Stonehenge.

Finally we arrived and saw the wonderful sight of Stonehenge

We posed for a photograph with the Stones.

Further on we stopped for a rest as Growler’s legs were getting tired.

The Stones were part of a temple and are positioned to face the rising sun on the longest day on one side.

On the other side they face the direction of the setting sun in the shortest day. Modern day humans put the arrow on the ground to show the directions.

Growler was very impressed.

In the fields surrounding the Stone Circle there are many ancient barrows. When prehistoric humans from the area died they were buried in the barrows as they thought it important to be buried near Stonehenge. We stopped for a rest next to some of the barrows.

In order to get to the gate back to the Visitor Centre we had to walk through a cow field.

Once through the gate and in the wood Growler was too tired to walk any further so climbed into the bear carrier for the walk back to the carpark.

We all really enjoyed seeing the ancient Stone Circle, including the humans.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stonehenge-landscape & https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge

Horace the Alresford Bear 12/7/2021

Somerset Lavender

We visited Somerset Lavender Farm on a wet Sunday afternoon. The humans thought there wouldn’t be many other humans there due to the weather.

It is free to go into the lavender field but the owners request donations, so we posted a few coins in the box.

We clambered up onto a dry stone wall for a photo.

Then we sat a while and admired the beautiful lavender field with a huge umbrella sheltering us from the rain.

When the rain stopped we were able to explore in the field.

We are both quite small bears; the lavender plants are much bigger than us.

I stopped to take in the lovely lavender perfume

At home there are a few lavender plants in our garden, Nye thought it would be nice to add a deep purple variety to our collection so we chose one to buy..

We went to the shop to pay for our new plant.

Inside the shop we found lots of lavender goodies. We bought a Somerset lavender diffuser for our humans, and a piece of lavender shortbread to try. Lavender isn’t a usual part of a bear’s diet but we rather enjoyed the flavour of it in the shortbread.

Before leaving for home we stopped for one last photograph.

A lovely afternoon despite the rain.

For more information about Somerset Lavender see https://www.somersetlavender.com/

Horace the Alresford Bear 11/7/2021

The Confetti Fields

There are fields in Pershore where a company grows flowers to make real confetti. Today we were delighted to have an opportunity to visit. Here we are with white deliphiniums behind us.

The deep pink deliphiniums were a sea of colour.

We stopped to take a closer look at the pale pink deliphiniums.

The flowers make a great background for photographs of small bears. Here we are with the blue delphiniums.

Nye spotted a rather splendid tractor so we went to try it out. The engine didn’t start which might be just as well.

Tractors have very big wheels.

We had a rest on some hay bales.

The wildflower field was also in full bloom. Bees were busy visiting many of the flowers collecting the nectar to make into honey. Bears like honey.

As you can see the flowers were quite a lot taller than us.

Little Nye nearly disappeared at one point.

Next we spotted the mini replica of an old bus. It was bear sized so I clambered into the drivers seat and tried to start the engine, but I think it didn’t have any fuel in.

We both went upstairs to see the view from the open top.

There were bear sized seats upstairs too.

It was time to go home so we had one last look at the flowers.

We bought a bag of confetti for the humans to throw at their niece when she gets married in August, and a pot of local honey. Yum yum yum.

The confetti field are only open for a couple of weeks each year, and lovely to visit if you are in the area.

For more information see: https://www.confettidirect.co.uk/flowerfields/

Horace the Alresford Bear 28/6/2021

Blickling Estate

We entered Blickling through the large walled garden.

Very large artichokes were growing there; we stopped to admire one.

When we arrived at the splendid house we posed for a photograph. Nye needs to grow a bit taller.

We had a peer through one of the windows and decided it would be interesting to explore indoors.

The queue wasn’t too long so we joined the end.

Inside we found the giant colander that we had seen through the window.

The old 1930’s radio looked rather special.

The library was lined with ancient books.

It must have taken someone a very long time to read them all.

Before continuing our exploration with had a rest.

We followed the orange narrowed walk, first going past the house.

Nye thought the gate closing thingies were good very small bear swings.

The lake had lots of fishing platforms; we sat and watched for a while but didn’t see any fish.

It was fun trying to hide from the humans in the field.

The walk was very long but we kept going.

We passed a castle.

Finally we got back to Blicking house.

I wanted to help out the gardeners but Nye pointed out that the cafe would be shutting soon and that we needed cake.

The doors of the big house were all closed up.

What a relief that the Muddy Boots cafe was still open. Yum yum yum…

Blickling was our last outing in Norfolk, we have had a wonderful holiday.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate

Horace the Alresford Bear 22/6/2021

Sheringham Park Rhododendrons & Sea Views.

There are lots of Rhododendrons at Sheringham so off we went to see them all.

There were also some splendid fox gloves.

Nye tried to hide in one of the Rhododendrons without success.

We marched on passed many more blooms looking for somewhere to pose for a photo.

This bright pink Rhododendron had a branch in just the right place for two small bears.

Further on we found an excellent hole in a tree where we sat and waiting for the rain to stop.

We continued on our way towards the coastal path.

It was quite a long way for small bears with short legs.

It was quite windy up on the hill so we kept away from the edge. I think the view would have been clearer on a sunny day.

Before making our way back to Sheringham we just sat for a while. Sometimes it is good just to sit and look at the sea.

On our way back to base we passed through even more Rhododendrons.

We hope you enjoyed our photos. I do enjoy blogging about our adventures. Sheringham Park is another great place to spend a few hours.

For more details see; https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheringham-park

Horace the Alresford Bear 17/6/21

Ickworth – where the sprinklers were very appealing

We were feeling quite warm as we walked through the archway into Ickworth.

Bears can do things that humans cannot so we climbed into the ornamental urn for a photo.

On spotting the grassy slope in front of the house we couldn’t resist doing some roly polying.

We sat in a little shelter to cool off away from the sun.

Ickworth has a huge round Italianate house, here it is behind us.

Nye spotted a sprinkler and thought it would be a good way for us to cool off to just wet our fur a little bit.

We briefly stood under it which was very refreshing though our fur can get very soggy quite quickly so didn’t stay there long.

We always like to see tree ferns so got ourselves photographed with these.

A large very strange looking fungi was growing under one of the trees.

We set off across a field to look for the lake.

The walled garden that we passed on the way was huge.

When we found the lake we sat and watched the dragonflies for a while.

We love the wild flowers that are growing all around Ickworth.

At the end of our visit we enjoyed cups of tea, without cake today as our tummies have been getting a bit too big lately!

We think it would be interesting to see inside the big round house oneday!

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth

Horace the Alresford Bear 14/6/2021

Cambridge University Botanical Gardens

We were delighted to find the research plots full of wildflowers.

The cornflowers, daisies and poppies looked very beautiful.

We visited on a very hot June day, it felt refreshing just to sit by the fountains for a while.

Our visit to the glasshouse was very brief, way too hot for bears. We wondered if our human’s new baby cacti will ever get this big…

…or this tall…

Nye wanted to sit on the giant lilypad but I told him it wasn’t allowed.

These dangly flowers were amazing, hanging down like one of those beaded curtain things some humans put at their doors.

At The Schools garden the bee house was very busy.

It was good to find a bear sized bench in the Schools Garden too 🙂

Cambridge university Botanical garden is a lovely place to visit when in Cambridge, though it was a tad too hot when we visited!

For more information see: https://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/

Horace the Alresford Bear 13/6/21