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!

Dyrham Park; decorated trees & robins

The humans took me to National Trust Dyrham Park today where I spent most of the time in the bear carrier. It was very cold and windy. The deer didn’t seem too bothered though.

The formal gardens behind the house are sheltered from the wind so there I climbed out of the bear carrier. Humans had been busy decorating trees with ribbons.

Apparently it is a tradition dating back to the 17th Century.

I selected a ribbon and tied it on a nearby tree. Can you spot the robin who was watching me?

He was very friendly and let me take a close up photo…

After saying goodbye to the robin we headed off to warm up in the café where I enjoyed a festive spiced scone.

I bought the humans a couple of felt robins in the shop before getting back into the bear carrier for the cold walk back to the carpark.

It is cold at Dyrham in the winter but still a great place to visit.

Horace the Alresford Bear 14/12/19

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrham-park

Arlington Court; carriages & wilderness!

There is an interesting National Trust property in North Devon; Arlington Court. Years ago the Chichester family used to live there but in 1949 Rosalie Chichester gave the house and grounds to the National Trust.

At Arlington there is a carriage museum. Years ago before trains and cars were invented horses had to pull ppeople about in carriages. It must have been very hard work for the horses.

We were able peep inside one…

A very ornate gold carriage was hidden away in the dark with no photograph allowed. This carriage is The Speaker’s carriage and used to be used by The Speakers of the Houses of Parliament for special events. It was very big and ornate. Here we are peeping out; the carriage is behind the curtain!

Upstairs there was a little seat sprung llike some carriages. We weren’t quite heavy enough to make it bounce.

We tried on some splendid riding boots that made us both much taller.

Nye has a problem with hats sometimes…

There was a little carriage on display that would have been pulled by a very big dog.

Before exploring the rest of the estate we enjoyed a cinnamon bun in the tea shop.

In order to go into the house I had to climb up and push a button to ring the doorbell.

The house has lots of cabinets housing the collections of shells, model ships and pewter that the last owner Rosalie Chichester collected. We spent a while chatting to a bear in one of the rooms and forgot to take any more photographs!

Outside in the kitchen garden a wondeful habitat had been created for insects.

The formal garden is very pretty with a round pond in the middle.

We wandered on further and got quite excited when we saw signs pointing to ‘The Wilderness’. We found a great place for bears and humans that like to play (such as children). We played ‘Poohsticks’…..

Nye’s stick won!

Someone had been busy building a shelter out of sticks and branches.

After leaving The Wilderness we walked for a while along the banks of the river Yeo. The water gushed into the Yeo from the lake, we didn’t get too close.

After walking past the lake we came across a bird hide. Not for birds to hide in but for humans and bears to hide from the birds and watch them.

We noticed a couple of ducks in the water but didn’t stay long enough to see any birds.

Before leaving we had some fun exploring in Monkey Puzzle Mania.

We think Arlington Court has something to interest everyone; museum, tea shop, monkey puzzle mania and the bit we liked best the wilderness.

For more information see:
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court

Horace the Alresford Bear 19/10/19

Re-visiting Watersmeet followed by a ride on the world’s steepest & highest water powered railway.

It was good to visit Watersmeet again but this time with my little brother Nye. The river Lyn was in full flow and gushing down the valley.

The rope across the river with lots of odd shoes dangling from it was a tad ppuzzling.

Further upstream next to the shoe line Nye found a sign which explained the shoes. They hang where a bridge used to be and a local charity are raising funds to build a new bridge.

We continued on up the path next to the river and found a bridge to cross to the other side. The water was very fast flowing; not somewhere to fall in so I kept a close eye on Nye.

To get to the tea rooms we crossed a bridge at the bottom of the waterfall that many visitors come to see. We posed for a selfie on the bridge while the humans held onto our legs to keep us safe.

On arrival at Watersmeet Tearooms we spent a while looking at the roof tiles. Back in 2016 I sponsored a tile (wrote my name on the back of it) and I wondered where my tile ended up. You can read about my tile here: https://wp.me/p2Recl-sC

Freshly made red pepper soup for lunch. Yum yum yum.

With full tummies we climbed up some steep steps to see another waterfall. Neither of us wanted to fall in!

After walking back down the valley we ended up in Lynmouth.

There is a very interesting funicular railway that goes up the cliff from Lynmouth to Lynton. When one carriage comes down the other goes up and it is powered by water. We decided to have a go.

It was a bit scary as the carriage travelled up the track pulled by a very thick cable with another carriage coming down at same time.

We waved to the people coming down a their carriage passed.

At the top there is an amazing view of Lynmouth.

There is also a cafe at top where we celberated having been on the world’s steepest and highest water powered railway at a table overlooking the sea.

An excellent end to an adventure.

For more information about Watersmeet and the cliff railway see:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/watersmeet

https://www.cliffrailwaylynton.co.uk

Horace the Alresford Bear 16/10/19

Gordon’s Cabin; Mortehoe

We recently tagged along with the humans to stay in an old 1800’s linhay (a sort of barn). It was turned into a holiday cottage by the National Trust in 2016.

Inside was very luxurious with a huge bed with plenty of room for two small bears to have power naps.

The humans left us a while then put us both on a shelf!

We found an old picture with an umage of the linhay in early 1900’s wirh a horse and cart outside.

There was also another book about someone who grew up in the area that we busied ourselves reading.

There is a very well equipped kitchen at Gordon’s Cabin, so making our porridge was a pleasure.

Yum yum yum…

The humans went out and left us ‘home alone’ a few times but we found plenty to do.

We did take a little stroll up to the village.

The humans took us along to Woolacoombe which is a mile or so along the road.

They didn’t take us on their coast path wall to Bullock’s Point as ‘didn’t want to carry us’. It was listed as a challenging walk so not suitable for us to toddle along behind. A shame as we missed some spectacular scenery including this:

We did get to go to Arlington Court though (half an hour’s drive from the cabin) which is a great place for bears

Gordon’s Cabin is a splendid place to stay for a peaceful break and for exploring North Devon.
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays/gordons-cabin-devon

Horace the Alresford Bear 15/10/19

Dunster Castle & Watermill (NT)

After a few days of October rain the River Avill was in full flow.

This was good news for the water wheels that power the mill.

I kept a tight hold on Nye going over the bridge just in case he fell through; the river below would have swept him easy in seconds if he were to fall in.

We found some excellent dry land stepping stones in the woods.

The gardener was nowhere to be seen so we tried out the bear sized gardening mobile.

Our tummies were beginning to rumble for food. We had a trip down the hill to the town to one of the many teashops for our lunch.

On returning to Dunster Castle we resumed exploring. Nye was sure he saw a pixie peeking out of the Pixie Well but I missed him.

The path up to the castle is quite steep bit we are fit bears…

We stopped for a little rest at the top!

Nye couldn’t resist climbing a very tall palm.

I was quite relieved when he climbed bback down again.

The table inside the castle was laid ready for a big banquet.

It was quite surprising to find a modern ‘Hygena’ kitchen installed in the castle. It was put in by the last ownerve to make life a bit easier for the servants. The Victorian kitchens are still in the castle but we didn’t get to see them as weren’t in time for the tour.

We managed to gave a quick game of ‘four in a row’….

There was also a selection of hats to try on. I think the cap suits me….not sure about Nye though; I think he needs to grow a bit!

We sat for a while warming our fur in the conservatory.

Before leaving we sat on the wall and wondered what it must have been like to live in a castle.

A great day out for humans and bears.

For more information see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunster-castle

Horace the Alresford Bear 15/10/19

Lyme (National Trust)

Lyme House was built a very long time ago in the 16th century. It was given to the National Trust in 1946.

Humans are asked to leave backpacks in lockers while wandering around the house. We climbed out of the bear carrier backpack to join the humans…

There were many very old books in library.

A kindly National Trust volunteer found a couple of books for us to view.

The dining room was all set up for a big banquet. This made us feel quite hungry.

There was a panel that could be opened in the room above the entrance hall. The ‘squint’ had a painting hung on the other side. The family members could open it just a little to view who was coming into the house and decide whether they wanted to pretend to be out.

Bears and humans are not allowed to sit on quite a lot of the furniture but the volunteer said we could try out this giant square sofa chair thingy as it was a reproduction of the original. It was a bit hard so we weren’t tempted to take naps.

The bath had a very tall drain plug.

Being rather small we find playing snooker on human size tables a tad challenging.

In the nursery there was a very shy looking panda; we thought he needed a cuddle.

We were fascinated by the workings behind the big clock.

These special tools are used for winding it up.

Outside the front of the clock can be seen at the side if the house between two windows on the top floor.

We stopped for lunch at the Ale Cellar cafe The pea soup was very good indeed; and healthy too. Yum yum yum.

With full tummies we continued exploring. The Orangery looked interesting but it took us a while to get there.

We found a beautiful fountain covered in moss but there weren’t any oranges.

While looking a the fountain we heard several visitors comment on how sweet we looked; one lady thought we belonged in the orangery!

It was very pleasant just sitting on the grass in the September sunshine….

….and having a little nap.

We weren’t able to explore all the areas as just over a month ago some areas of Lyme were damaged in a flood when a torrent of water ran down through the gardens like a river.

We climbed up on the hedge to view the Italian garden.

Bears will be bears and we couldn’t resist playing roly poly for a while.

This seemed like a good place for a selfie though I think the image is a little blurred.

After climbing up a hillside overlooking the estate we found a building known as ‘The Cage’. It was all closed up but back in the old days it was used to watch deer hunts and have banquets.

There was a splendid view up by ‘The Cage’. Here we are with The Peak District visible in the distance behind us.

We were hungry after so much walking about so stopped for ice cream before leaving. Yum yum yum.

There is lots to see and do at Lyme and we missed a few things so hope to visit again sometime.

Horace the Alresford Bear 21/9/19

For more info. about Lyme see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyme

Bolton Abbey including stepping stones & wobbly welly trail…

Bolton Abbey isn’t an abbey but a priory. The estate belongs to the Duke of Devonshire but is not in Devon but in Yorkshire. All a tad confusing for small bears ..

The River Wharfe runs through the estate. Years ago estate workers had to use the stepping stones to cross the river. More recently a bridge was built.

We tried to cross using the stepping stones but got scared so were very pleased that there is also a bridge.

We decided to practise on dry land using the wooden stepping stones.

Nye ‘fell in’ first….

Followed by me…

Next we came across this; much easier to negotiate and we both successfully crossed.

I had forgotten to bring my wellies (it was a lovely sunny day!) and Nye doesn’t have any; but we decided to do ‘The Welly Walk’ anyway.

Here we are avoiding snakes on the snakes and ladders trail.

We had fun sliding down inside the giant snake.

It was a bit of a struggle climbing up the ladder.

The igloo was a good thing for bears to climb on.

There was a splendid view of The Yorkshire Dales from the hill above the river.

We were a tad hungry after all the exploring so stopped for a cream tea at The Tea Cottage. Yum yum yum…

The Tea Cottage is very pretty so we posed for a selfie before leaving.

Bolton Abbey is a lovely place especially with the sun shining. There is much more to see but unfortunately didn’t have time. We recommend the cream teas!

Horace the Alresford Bear 19/9/19

For more information see: http://www.boltonabbey.com

Meeting long lost relatives Fagin & Ted in Waddington

Something rather wonderful happened today. We had a message from Fagin & Ted who live a few miles away from Lower Buck Cottage where we are staying at the moment. A meet-up was arranged and they arrived with home made scones, cream, jam and fruit. All good for bears

We posed for a special re-union photograph on the bench outside the cottage.

After a short walk another photo; this time on the bridge in Waddington memorial garden.

I noticed some stepping stones that looked as though us bears could cross them. So off we went….

Fagin ended up just watching from the bank. He is a well loved bear and could not risk falling in as his fur is quite fragile.

It was soon time for Fagin and Ted to go home. We crowded together for a selfie before saying our goodbyes.

As you can see we all look similar but also have differences. This is because we were all hand made and every Alresford honey Bear is slightly different.

A very special day.

Horace the Alresford Bear 16/9/19

Dunsop Bridge; the centre of the UK.

Dunsop Bridge is more or less at the centre of the UK .

The telephone box states on the outside that it is the 100,000th public payphone, Dunsop Bridge, Centre of Great Britain.

We went inside for a commemorative photo.

Then phoned home and spoke to Growler.

Next we had to find a tea shop. Fortunately we didn’t have to look far.

At Puddleducks tea room I enjoyed Lancashire parkin while Nye opted for coffee & walnut cake. Yum yum yum…

Before leaving we spent a while watching the sheep; and they watched us too!

Horace the Alresford Bear 15/9/19

NT Biddulph Grange Garden, including China

My little brother Nye came along with me to Biddulph Gardens. We were both on a mission to find China; but first we had lunch.

On our way to China we passed many dahlias.

Nye stopped for a while to watch a butterfly.

Here we are in front of ‘The Shelter House’ at the end of the dahlia walk.

Things started to get more interesting when we discovered The Stumpery; an excellent place for bears.

Fungi was growing in some of the nooks and crannies.

Finally we found the way to China…

On the way to China we had a rest on a big boulder next to a glade. A lady stopped to take a photo of us; she thought we were part of the garden’s exhibits!

It was a big surprise to suddenly come across a very large gold bull looking down at us. We had found China!

There were big red dragons in the grass below the golden bull…

Here we are in the heart of China.

There was quite a climb up to the little bear sized house up on the hill…

We both made it to the top…

There were some lovely blue flowers growing amongst the ferns.

After leaving China we had to cross a bridge over a ravine. Nye had some problems with his feet sticking in the gaps.

Here I am with a small tree fern.

Nye wanted to be in a tree fern photo too as it was first time he had seen one.

We had to walk through a tunnel to move on to the next part of the garden.

Biddulph Grange House overlooks the lake.

I kept a close eye on Nye as he studied the fish. He has a history of falling in (remember when he fell in with pigs https://horacethealresfordbear.com/2017/04/04/roskillys-organic-farm-where-nye-falls-in-with-the-piglets/)

We sat for a while enjoying the view and saw many humans taking ‘selfies’.

Some trees are just way too tall for bears to climb up.

Nye managed to get up into the monkey puzzle tree though!

Years ago the big house uses to be a hospital. Nurses used to wheel patients out into the gardens in their beds.

The house behind me had a sinister looking Buddha inside which was lit up in red. We thought the Buddha looked a bit creepy so didn’t hang around to take a photo.

All the exploring made us both very hungry so before leaving we enjoyed a cream tea.

Biddulph Grange garden is really lovely and we especially enjoyed China.

Horace the Alresford Bear 14/9/19

For more information see:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/biddulph-Grange-garden