Bembridge Windmill (Isle of Wight)

I was very fortunate to recently visit a very old windmill, over 270 years old; the only windmill left on the Isle of Wight.IMG_0198After showing National Trust membership cards to a man in a hut  I bought a souvenir guidebook.IMG_0196I had a good look at the top of the windmill, where there is a big wheel and a wooden screw called a ‘Worm Screw’.   There used to be chains that hung down and the miller would have used the chains to turn the the top of the mill,  known as ‘The Cap’ to face the wind.IMG_0195I also had a good look at the four wooden frames (before posing for a photo by the door).  The frames would have been covered in canvas sailcloth, and a small boy known as a ‘Nipper’ had the job of climbing out onto the frames to attach the cloth.   I don’t think I would want to be a nipper.IMG_0114Once inside the windmill I set about climbing up to the top.  This took me quite a while.IMG_0139At the top there was a trap door.   I was a tad worried that it might suddenly open up so I decided not to walk over it.  Sacks of grain used to be hoisted up through the trap door.IMG_0143 Grain would have been tipped out of the sacks into this huge wooden bin.  The grain then traveled downwards through canvas chutes to the hopper above the mill stones on the floor below.IMG_0149There was an enormous wooden wheel with an iron band around the outside; known as ‘The Great Brake Wheel’.  The miller would have applied the brake by pulling on a rope (which was attached to a lever) which was passed down on the outside of the mill.  The Great Brake Wheel was used to slow down or stop ‘The Wallower’ (the horizontal wheel)  which drove the upright shaft.  IMG_0148I carefully went back down the wooden ladder to ‘The Stone Floor’ where the millstones are housed.  I got a bit distracted here as there were some windows, so I climbed up to have a closer look at the sail frames.IMG_0141One of my humans took a photo of me from the outside!IMG_0157The next floor down is ‘The Machine Floor’, with the huge upright shaft which takes power from ‘The Wallower’ at the top of the mill to the great spur wheel.   Here I am sitting on the leather belting drive having a good look at everything.IMG_0174Downstairs there are two millstones that make me look like I am even smaller than I am.IMG_0182There were also some weights which were impossible for me to lift.IMG_0186I climbed onto the scales but they didn’t even move.  This must mean that I haven’t eaten too many cakes yet.IMG_0133On the ground floor I was pleased to find some miller style clothing for people and bears to try on.  I rather like the hat but I am not sure about the smock, it was a tad large.IMG_0121Before leaving the mill I had a go at milling some grain using some small bear sized millstones.IMG_0129

After a visit to a mill I usually purchase a bag of flour milled there, but Bembridge Windmill hasn’t been used for milling since 1913, so that wasn’t possible!

A very interesting place to visit.

Horace the Alresford Bear 26/4/17

For more information about Bembridge Mill:

Roskilly’s Organic Farm (where Nye falls in with the piglets)

Last week while in Cornwall the humans decided to take myself and my little brother Nye to Roskilly’s Organic Farm.  Nye had not visited a farm before and was looking forward to seeing all the animals, especially the pigs.   When we arrived at the pigsty most of the piglets were hiding in the hay.IMG_9968After a few minutes of watching them they all suddenly got up..IMG_9995…and ran out into the field.

Nye was sat on the fence but got so excited he forgot to hold tight so slipped off and fell with the pigs.  Unfortunately we don’t have any images of what followed, as the humans were too busy with the task of rescuing Nye. The piglets were very interested in him and rushed over to sniff at him.  He couldn’t be reached from over the fence so Karen put her hand in through the bottom of the fence and held onto Nye’s leg to stop the piglets running off with him.  Fortunately the young pigs found Karen’s hand more interesting and licked at that instead of nibbling Nye.  Karen held Nye up a bit and then my other human managed to grab him and pull him up out of the mud to safety.IMG_9971Nye continued to smile – I don’t think he realised just how dirty the experience had left him. IMG_9972The humans decided that he would have to sit in the car on a plastic bag for the rest of the visit…IMG_0021 (2).JPGAfter lots of human hand-washing we continued to look round the farm. There were some very sweet lambs.IMG_0003The chickens were all indoors (to reduce the risk of them catching bird flu).IMG_9992This big brown goat was very friendly.  Goats have a reputation for eating anything.  I am glad that Nye didn’t fall in with the goats.IMG_9987We went and had a look around the farm buildings.  The open fire grills were all lit and very warming to my fur.IMG_9973There was a sign telling people all about the grills.IMG_9974I had a go at driving this rather splendid red tractor.IMG_9976I could hear some ‘cheep cheep cheeping’ sounds while on the tractor.  Further investigation found the source.IMG_9981The farm has lots of dairy cows that were all out in the fields grazing while we were there.  They make ice cream with the milk which is very yummy indeed.IMG_0014I went for a little walk around the ponds.  The ducks swam off as soon as they realised we didn’t have any food for them; before we had a chance to photograph them.  IMG_0012We started to feel a bit sorry for little Nye left in the car on his own, so before we left we bought him an ice cream and took it to him.IMG_0023As soon as we got home Nye was put in the washing machine in a special net bag on the ‘silk’ wash so as not to spin him about too much.IMG_0025Unfortunately the mud was ingrained on Nye’s bottom and he was still dirty when the wash cycle ended.   He needed to soak for a while.IMG_0029Karen scrubbed his fur after soaking and popped him back into the washing machine again, this time on the ‘quick wash’ where he was spun around rather more.   Some bears call the washing machine the ‘Bear Jacuzzi’.

After his 2nd stint in the washing machine Nye was as good as new.  He sat with his back against the radiator and was soon dry.IMG_0036

It was very interesting visiting the farm, and I think it would be a very good place to take young humans.  As for Nye, we won’t be taking him on any more outings!

Horace the Alresford Bear 04/04/17

To find out more about Roskilly’s Organic Farm see:

St Michael’s Mount

I was hoping the tide would be in which would have meant a little boat trip to get to the tiny island St Michael’s Mount which is next to Marazion in Cornwall. IMG_9818The tide was out though so I climbed into the bear carrier for the trip as the surface looked a bit wet and I didn’t have any wellington boots with me.IMG_9822When the tide is in people and bears can cross using this strange boat with wheels which is called an amphicraft.IMG_9843The St Aubyn Family have lived on St Michael’s Mount since the 17th Century, though  in 1954, the 3rd Baron St Levan gave most of St Michael’s Mount to the National Trust though they kept a 999 year lease (which is a very long time) to live in the castle and manage public viewing of the historic rooms (source Wikipedia). National Trust members and their bears can visit for free as long as they show their membership cards….IMG_9846As we climbed up to the castle I stopped to have a little rest then Karen pointed out to me that I was right next to The Giant’s Well.  I didn’t stay there long.IMG_9850I climbed up into a little window in a wall that I thought might make a good place to hide from giants.IMG_9854Further on I came across some battlements with a row of cannons.  After clambering up onto one I could see a lovely view of the sea.  IMG_9856Just in front of the castle I paused to take a ‘selfie’.IMG_9859It was a long tiring trek to the front door.  IMG_9862I was rather hesistant entering as just inside the door there was a bear much bigger than me with very big teeth.  IMG_9863The views from inside are amazing.  I was jolly pleased that my human had put her coat in the bear carrier which turned it into a pillow to stand on.IMG_9865In one of the rooms I spotted a rather grumpy looking dog.IMG_9867On the roof terrace there was a very old thermometer which was a tad confusing to read  as it was in Farenheit instead of Centigrade.  In between freezing and temperate seemed about right though!IMG_9869I peered over to have a look at the sea which seemed to make the humans a bit nervous.IMG_9870The gardens looked splendid.IMG_9880Back inside I noticed that the Queen had visited recently. IMG_9882Being a bear I am sometimes able to go places where humans cannot.  I had a peak up this very old staircase, but at the top there was a piece of glass and I couldn’t go any further.IMG_9885They are well prepared for any fires that might break out.  These buckets were full of sand.IMG_9886On returning to the outside we came across more battlements and smaller cannons.  In the past these would have been used to defend the island.IMG_9890All the climbing and walking around made me very hungry.  I was very pleased to find a cafe.  The Sail Loft make very yummy celeriac soup.IMG_9894

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to St Michael’s Mount.  There is another one called Mont St Michel in France that I hope to visit one day.

Horace the Alresford Bear 3/4/17


For more information about St. Michael’s Mount see:


Painswick Rococo Garden

My humans are great at finding places to visit that are good for bears.  Painswick Rococo Garden is one such place with lots of interesting areas and little buildings (follies) to explore.  It has been there a very long time as was designed in the 1740s.

I had a good look at the map before we went into the garden.img_9666

The first thing that struck me in the garden was the number of snowdrops.  I didn’t have time to count them all but I think there must have been thousands. img_9547I was very keen to find the follies.  Follies have a tendency to be of good size for bears.  The first one I found was quite big though – The Eagle House.img_9541I was jolly pleased to come across an adventure playground and stopped for while to play on the swing.img_9563There was a little wicker house near the swing that the Queen sits in when she visits.img_9555

I came across some really huge chestnuts…img_9565Nearby there was another folly.  It took me a while to get up the steep steps to have a look inside.img_9568

After climbing up onto the seat I had a little rest and sat and watched the world go by for a little while.img_9548I am fond of honey bees, so was very pleased to find some hives, and signs warning people to leave the bees alone.  The bees were all asleep in the hive for winter.

img_9576Further along the path a magificent fairy tale castle was perched right up on top of an old tree stump.  I wondered whether tiny bears might live there, but further inspection revealed that it had been carved out of the tree, so was solid inside. img_9586This little hut was just the right size for me. It is known as ‘The Hermitage’ and is a replica of the one that would have been there over 250 years ago.img_9591I decided to spend a bit of time being thoughtful in The Hermitage.img_9590There is a stream running through the garden with lots of ferns and mossy stones.  I very much enjoy exploring such places, but the ground was very soggy and slippy making it difficult for me to remain standing (I was designed to sit) so I didn’t spend long there.img_9596The plunge pool looked a bit cold and deep for bears.  One of the nearby trees was wrapped in a blanket to protect it from frost.img_9601I had a little paddle in the water that was feeding the plunge pool – wellies are jolly useful sometimes!img_9617Here I am with another folly.  It is rather splendid and makes me look very small.img_9620The maze is a more recent addition to the rococo garden.  I studied it for a while before entering it as did not wish to get stuck in there!img_9635 I peeped up over the hedge a few times and my humans managed to get a photo of me! img_9630Wet snow was starting to fall so I was very pleased indeed to come across this little house to shelter in.img_9656Before we left I had one last look at the beautiful snowdrops.IMG_9647.JPGI  very much enjoyed visiting Painswick Rococo Garden – a good place for bears and their humans; I think young humans would probably like it too.img_9665

Horace the Alresford Bear 13/2/17

For more information about Painswick Rococo Garden please visit

Snowdrops in the snow at Snowshill

I enjoy all the seasons but I think spring is probably my favourite time.   There are some plants that let us know that although it is still winter, Spring isn’t far away.  The dear little snowdrop is one such plant, and lots of them can be found at Snowshill Manor at this time of year.  The gardens aren’t usually open in winter but those nice people at The National Trust open them up especially for people (and bears) to see the snowdrops.snowshill

I was glad Paddington agreed to lend me his red wellingtons for the visit, as it was snowing as we walked around and although having fur I am quite hardy, my feet are not fond of getting cold and wet.   The snowdrops were beautiful and created a very peaceful scene.snowshill6We walked around the rest of the gardens, though at this time of the year most plants are still asleep for winter.  Here is a selfie of me with the Dove Cote behind me; you might be able to spot a dove peeping out of the window. snowshill2

There were lots of interesting things around, such as this bell post…snowshill1The former owner of Snowshill Manor used to collect things, such as penny farthing bicycles.  The Manor House was shut though (as the estate was only open for snowdrop viewing), so I will have to make sure the humans return in the summer in order to fully explore. All the benches that people sit on in summer were stored inside this barn.  snowshill5On the way back I climbed up onto a dry stone wall for a photo shoot.  I am quite fascinated by the way snow sticks to some things and not to others.  The snow seemed to like the wall.  snowshill7

One of the joys of visiting National Trust properties is the trip to the tearoom; especially welcome when paws are feeling a tad frozen.  Yum yum yum….snowshill8 Another feature I enjoy are National Trust produce tables where plants and vegetables grown on the premises are offered for sale by a donation.  I chose several pots of snowdrops to take home; I do hope they grow in my city garden.snowshill3

On arriving home I placed them where I can see them from the window.  They will be planted out when the weather improves.snowshill4

Horace the Alresford Bear  12/2/2017

For more information about Snowshill Manor see

Rescuing a relative from a Totnes charity shop

I recently found myself strapped in to the back of the car on a cold winter’s morning (hence the blanket).  The humans were heading off on another dance weekend, and they do like to take me along too.20170106_101700On the way they stopped at a small town called Totnes for some lunch.  Here I am in Totnes High Street. 20170106_130125There are quite a few charity shops in Totnes;  Karen always has to look in charity shops just in case there might be something there that could be useful (like a new dress).   I followed her into the Cancer Research UK shop.20170106_135539We noticed a familiar face sitting on a chair next to a heap of abandoned cuddly toys.  He was sat staring into space and looked rather worried.  I remembered how I felt when I spent a few days sat on a charity shop shelf.   I said ‘Hello’ to him and he told me that he had been made in the Station Mill at Alresford and how sad he felt that his human had abandoned him to a charity shop.  I asked if he’d like to come and live with some of his Alresford relatives.20170106_162459Jesse had a £12 price label attached to his Alresford Crafts label, which seemed a small price to pay to rescue him.  Karen took him to the shop counter to pay for him.  The shop assistant wasn’t interested in our story but stood aside for us to take a photo.  20170106_162329Once outside the shop Karen found a suitable bear carrier for Jesse.20170106_130343It was then time to get something to eat.  We went back down the hill to Maisie’s Cafe, a lovely little tearoom, where Karen treated us both to tea and cake.20170106_162120I think Jesse is going to like living with us 🙂

Horace the Alresford Bear 10/1/17

For more information about Maisie’s Cafe see their Facebook page





Winter Solstice

Here in the United Kingdom today is the Winter Solstice; the shortest day of the year.  This day is of great significance to me as it means that as from tomorrow the days get longer, giving more opportunities for adventures outdoors.  Bears like to be outdoors.   I collected some greenery from the garden to commemorate the passing of the winter solstice. 15590086_1220266011400795_4798165468317415298_n

I am not always very good at blogging (it is hard work for my little paws).  To keep up to date with my antics please view any of the following sites.  You don’t need to be signed up to any of them to view my pages.




Wishing you all a happy festive season

Horace the Alresford Bear 21/12/16


Greenway – Agatha Christie’s holiday home

I felt like a very special bear indeed when given the opportunity to visit Greenway, a house where a very famous Author, Agatha Christie, used to live sometimes. img_9350As we went into the house I noticed a huge painting on the wall of Agatha when she was a little girl cuddling a doll.img_9360Further on in the drawing room someone had abandoned a game of dominoes…img_9362No one was playing the piano so I clambered up and gave a rendition of ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’.  Unfortunately that is the only tune I know how to play; I really should learn some more as I often seem to come across pianos.img_9364In the kitchen there was an old manual typewriter with an invitation to try it out.  I managed to type my name, though it is not as easy as using a computer keyboard.  img_9368Upstairs on the landing I spotted three Aspidistra plants (they take ages and ages to grow). They were sat on top of a very interesting bookcase which was made for Agatha Christie’s children, and it was full of books written by her.img_9372I am always very interested in toilets.  This mahogany seated one was inhabited by a little green frog, which was something of a surprise!img_9374The toilet roll had ‘government issue’ stamped on it, and it looked more like the paper Karen uses to line cake tins.img_9381I had a peep in Agatha’s dressing room…img_9382The view out of the window was beautiful, I could see the boats going up and down the River Dart.img_9383Behind glass there was a complete collection of all the first editions of the books written by Agatha Christie.  She must have been a very busy lady.img_9385The bear sat on the sofa in the library looked as though he needed some other bear company as he only had dolls to keep him company.  I said ‘hello’ to him and wished him well.img_9387There is graffiti on the walls of the library painted by an American Lieutenant during the 2nd World War. img_9393In the inner hall I found a really old Motorola mobile phone.  It was quite big and very heavy and was made in the mid 1980’s.img_9395After looking around the house I was a very hungry bear so had some lunch.  The baked potato was extremely yummy.img_9398I made sure that the door remained closed on the peach house to make sure that no naughty squirrels came in.img_9411I like terraccota flower pots!img_9400The cucumbers were all knobbly and didn’t look like the ones that Karen buys in the greengrocers shop.img_9404We went on to explore the fernery, which is an excellent place for bearsimg_9413img_9416I climbed up to have a closer look at the broken pot, but only as far as the sign that said ‘no further please’.img_9422There were also some pet graves in the fernery.  I think the pets that lived at Greenway probably had very happy lives living in such a lovely place.img_9420I was delighted to come across a bear sized tractor.img_9426We walked through some woods until we arrived at an area known as ‘The Battery’.  I climbed up onto the wall and could see Dartmouth in the distance.img_9431I stopped and had a little rest against the wall and then wondered about the large iron thing with a hole in that was right in front of me.img_9439I had a look inside, though the humans told me that it wasn’t a wise thing to do!img_9436I realised then that it was an old cannon.  I felt safer at the other end.img_9442Just along a woodland path from The Battery we found The Boathouse.img_9443The Boathouse is a perfect place to sit in the sunshine and enjoy the view of the river.img_9447The lower floor of The Boathouse has a special plunge pool.  The plunge pool is being repaired and restored at the moment so we were unable to see it.  I am sure we will visit again when the work is finished.img_9449The house looked lovely in the sunshine as we walked back up the path…img_9450I stopped and had a rest for a while in one of the deckchairs…img_9464…after which it was time to leave.  We will be back 🙂img_9470

To find out more about Greenway go to

Horace the Alresford Bear 17/10/2016


Lanhyrock is an enormous house where very rich people used to live.  We entered through a very splendid gatehouse.img_8995Before we went into the house I noticed some small humans rolling down the grass bank.  I decided to have a go…img_8924Jolly good fun it was too!img_8925I could have happily spent more time playing ‘roly-poly’ but the humans said we needed to visit the house before it closed.img_8921The first thing of interest to me was the napkin folding table.  I decided to have a go…img_8929…and made a hat that I though might be good for wearing while cooking.img_8927Further along a corridor I came face to face with this chap. I’m sure he moved a little bit while I was watching him so I kept well back just in case….img_8930I tried out the typewriter in Lord Robartes’ study.  It was quite hard work typing each letter with my paws.img_8935In the nursery I spotted a couple of bears playing football  and called out “Hello”.img_8936Two more bears were on a shelf in the nursery library; they were keeping a close eye on all the visitors looking around the house.img_8938The Robartes family must have been very worried that a fire might break out.  I discovered this huge hose hung up on one landing….img_8942….plus three very impressive red buckets.img_8943Lady Robartes’ used to enjoy honey with her afternoon tea in her private sitting room.img_8945I was delighted to find a piano with a sign inviting people (and bears) to play.  I played my version of Teddy Bear’s Picnic, after which my paws were very tired.img_8947 On entering the kitchen a large cake caught my eye.  A room guide announced that the Victoria sponge was edible, but that it had been on display for a few weeks, so I decided not to try it.img_8949In another kitchen room someone was in the middle of shelling peas; I think they must have gone for a tea break (shelling peas is hard work).  img_8950Scullery maids  would have spent all their time washing up pot after pot in this sink without any rubber gloves.  I’m glad I’m not a scullery maid.img_8952There were joints of meat of all shapes and sizes sat in a big cabinet with wheels on the bottom. img_8953I think I could make a good vegetable stew with this lot.img_8955Bread was all made in the kitchens of Lanhydrock in this huge oven.img_8958Yum yum yum…. img_8959 I always enjoy a bit of grinding with a pestle and mortar, especially cinnamon which smells almost as good as honey.img_8967The tool in this photo is a special device for cutting up giant cones of sugar.   img_8968In the dairy I tried my hand at making butter.  img_8974The handle has to be turned round and round and round and round very fast until the cream eventually turns into butter.  My paws soon got tired.img_8975In another room there was a special table made out of marble with water running all around it.  It is for keeping things cool, and setting jelly.  The jelly made me feel suddenly very hungry, but I wasn’t allowed to eat it.  Karen said I could have a treat later.img_8977The treat was very yummy indeed.img_8979The gardeners must work very hard; I spent a while admiring this dazzling display of begonias.img_8984 Away from the formal garden there is a magnificent tree with lots of holes for bears to hide in.img_8990There is lots to see at Lanhydrock and I think we probably could have spent longer there but the staff were shutting everything up as they wanted to go home for tea.   Perhaps my humans will take me again one day.

For more information about Lanhydrock see:

Horace the Alresford Bear 24/9/16


My humans never drive straight to a holiday destination.  They always make use of the journey to see somewhere interesting on the way.  I was jolly pleased that we stopped at Clovelly. We set off down the old cobbled street.  Quite soon we came across some donkeys.img_8807I sat up on Eli, who was busy nibbling hay.img_8730-copyWe continued on down the street.  I wondered if I could ride down on a sledge like the one outside the pub!img_8733-copyAfter not very long we arrived at a little museum in one of the old cottages.  I read all the interesting facts about Clovelly.img_8743The fisherman’s sitting room contained many interesting things.  img_8738-copyThere was still quite a long way for my little legs to walk down to the harbour.img_8753-copyI stopped and had a rest next to some sledges.  Sledges are used in Clovelly for pulling goods up and down the cobbles.img_8747-copyThe harbour below looked delightful, though as everything looked quite small I knew we still had quite a long way to walk.img_8749-copyMy legs weren’t really made for walking; I was actually designed to sit, so sometimes I look a bit odd when I am walking…img_8754When we finally got down to the harbour I had a little rest in Rosie.img_8756-copyThen being a bear with a taste for adventure, I decided to climb one of the ladders hanging from the harbour wall.img_8759-copyimg_8763At the top I noticed a sign about fishing, it didn’t really matter though as I’d forgotten my fishing net.img_8765-copyThere was a splendid view of the North Devon coastline from the end of the harbour wall.img_8766Here is a selfie of me with the lifeboat station behind me to the left.img_8767I was feeling the need for some cake after so much exercise, so we set off back up the cobbled street.img_8777I was very pleased that we didn’t have to go too far before finding The Cottage Tearooms.img_8789I sat outside on the terrace and enjoyed a piece of blackberry and apple crumble sponge.img_8778-copyThere were lots of butterflies drinking nectar from the nearby flowers.img_8783Soon it was time to continue up the steep hill.img_8800While I was resting a dog stopped to ask if I was OK.  I told him I thought the humans might carry me the rest of the way.img_8793I said ‘hello’ to a cat. Unlike the dog, who was just visiting, the cat lived in Clovellyimg_8806After getting right to the top we went to see some more donkeys in their stable.  The donkeys sometimes pull the sledges up the hill and give people rides.img_8808I had a little sit on this one for a little while and watched the ears moving around.  Donkeys have big ears.img_8809

I am a lucky bear that my humans take me to such lovely places.

To find out more about the donkeys visit

To find out more about Clovelly see

Horace the Alresford Bear 10/9/16