The Roman Baths in Bath

I don’t have baths very often as I get rather too soggy if I am in water for any length of time.  I very much wanted to see The Roman Baths though as they are very old; people have bathed in the hot spring water that comes out of the ground for over 1600 years.roman9  The water is a bit green looking and not very inviting for swimming.roman5I could hear music playing so peered over the wall.  A busker was busy singing away but nobody seemed to be listening to him.  I thought he sounded quite good.roman16I sat and watched for a while.  There were lots of tourists walking around and taking photos.  roman4While following the arrows that guide visitors around I spotted another pool through the window.roman3Here is a model showing what the baths would have looked like in the 4th Century. roman17In the museum there are some very old pieces of stone from the temple that used to be on the site in the 4th Century.roman19Here I am next to a ‘theatrical mask’ sculpture made of Bath stone.  The sign said it was probably from a large tomb and that the person buried in it may have been connected to the theatre in some way.roamns21I thought for a moment that there were real romans still wandering around then realised that it was films being projected onto the walls.romanThis cabinet is full of lots of things made of pewter. They were thrown into the spring in the 4th Century as offerings to the Goddess Sulis Minerva.roman8This is a roman drain.  I didn’t look too closely as really did not want to fall in.roman1While I sat watching the hot water running into the pool I overheard some comments about me.  Such as “Look how sweet”.  I seem to have that effect on some people.roman7It was possible to see the reflection of the people up on the higher level in the water.  No one swims in the water these days as it contains many minerals and isn’t considered safe.  Humans can bathe at Bath Thermae Spa which is nearby (indeed I did go there later, but had to stay in the locker).roman6I had a brief conversation with a Roman craftsman (though I think he might have been an actor).roman2Sometimes I feel very small…roman11This is The Hot Sacred Spring that Romans used to throw offerings such as the pewter ornaments that are on display in the museum. roman13I was able to walk over the ruins of the really old baths using a glass bridge, but I didn’t quite trust it so shuffled along very slowly.roman15Before leaving I returned to the pool side for a selfie.  I wonder how many of my Alresford relations have been to The Roman Baths!roman12

To find out more about The Roman Baths see:

The Matthew of Bristol

The Matthew is a replica of a ship that was sailed from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497 by John Cabot. The modern Matthew was built in 1997 and sailed to Newfoundland to commemorate the 500 years anniversary of Cabot’s journey five hundred years earlier.
IMG_1201On the way to The Matthew I bumped into John Cabot.IMG_1197He spends all his time now watching the ships in the harbour.  IMG_1183On reaching The Matthew we found that it was ‘free to board’ which is excellent news for anyone interested in historic ships especially if they don’t have much money.IMG_1180On the front of the ship there is a white dog that I think might be a greyhound.  It looked rather like he might be holding onto a small surfboard.IMG_1175Once on board I climbed up the steps to the front of the ship.IMG_1138I promptly rang the ship’s bell, which momentarily caused lots of people to look at me.IMG_1142I was about to come down the stairs when a volunteer lady who helps look after The Matthew told me I must turn around and come down backwards as I might fall going face first.IMG_1133I took her advice and safely reached the bottom.  I stopped for a little rest, sitting in the life ring in order not to get my bottom too soggy.IMG_1150There is an excellent view of the old steam cranes from The Matthew.IMG_1146Here I am inspecting the steering rod.  It is incredible to think this little ship has travelled 2271 miles across the ocean.IMG_1153There are many piles of rope everywhere.  Ropes are very important in a sailing ship and are used to raise, lower and control the sails.  I think I might just get all tangled up in them if I tried to use them.IMG_1156I peered out of one of the little port holes, being careful not to get stuck.  I could see some water below so quickly pulled my head back.  Water is a big problem for me as I soak it up and cannot swim.IMG_1176Before leaving I put a donation in the box.  I like The Matthew and the money helps to maintain her.    IMG_1167I am hoping the humans might take me on a cruise on The Matthew one day.

For more information about The Matthew see:


Dyrham Park in Winter

Dyrham Park is quieter in winter as some humans don’t go out in the cold.  I am fortunate to have fur to keep me warm.IMG_0990The herd of deer certainly aren’t bothered by cold weather; they were enjoying the winter sunshine.IMG_0992After exploring the deer park I strolled down through the woods towards the big house.IMG_0996There was no chance of getting lost as there was a very big sign post.IMG_0998I didn’t see many birds but it might be that birds are afraid of bears.  IMG_0999After my walk my legs were feeling a tad tired so I stopped for a rest and enjoyed the warmth of the winter sunshine on my fur.IMG_1001In the formal gardens behind the big house a group of volunteers were busy working.IMG_1010Being a very helpful bear I decided to assist the gardeners for a while. IMG_1011It wasn’t long before my wheelbarrow was full up.IMG_1006The gardens still have some colour even in January.  The dogwood was very colourful.IMG_1015I would have liked to get a bit closer to the waterfall but there was a little fence along the lawn to remind people not to walk on it.  Walking on grass that is wet can make it all muddy. IMG_1020A hazel bush that must be in a slighty sunnier place that the other hazel bushes had lots of wiggly catkins dangling from it.IMG_1026I went into the stables but the horses weren’t at home.  The bale of hay was rather prickly to sit on for very long.IMG_1028In the shop I wondered about buying myself a hat.  My human often wears a cap; this one was rather large though and not quite me.IMG_1033The brimmed hat restricted my vision too much.IMG_1039Locally produced honey is always good.  IMG_1043I decided to buy the honey; much better for a bear than a hat.IMG_1047After so much exploring it was time for lunch.  The venison pasty was very good for bears.  Yum yum yum.IMG_1052National Trust properties always seem to have a 2nd hand book shop.  At Dyrham they keep the thin books in the sink. I hope no one turns on the tap.IMG_1055I found a very useful book to read while the humans browsed all the other books.IMG_1058In the cold store there was some food that looked quite appetising until further inspection revealed that it was made of plastic.IMG_1062The large bowls were all empty but when the house was lived in long ago they would have been used to keep things cool.IMG_1066Before going on our winter tour of the house I put my honey in a locker to keep it safe, and to prevent me from accidently swinging it into an antique vase.IMG_1069Inside the house there was work going on.  Some beetles had been nibbling away at the floor in The Great Hall, so some boards had been taken up for repairs and restoration.IMG_1073Another room was very odd.  The walls were covered in 300 year old gilt leather. IMG_1076I had a closer look at the leather.  Someone must have worked very hard decorating it, but I didn’t like it. IMG_1077After emerging from the house I was delighted to find snowdrops.  I like snowdrops; they make me feel that spring is coming soon.IMG_1082Here is a selfie of me in front of the house. IMG_1087When it was time to leave, there was a bit of a challenge for me.  Cattle grids (or perhaps deer grids) are not very bear friendly.IMG_1092Karen rescued me as the bus that takes visitors from the car park down to the house and back was approaching and needed to cross the grid. IMG_1091We didn’t get on the bus.  My humans like to walk, but my little legs were tired after such a lot of exploring so I had a lift back up to the carpark in the bear carrier.IMG_1095Dyrham Park is an interesting place for humans and bears to visit even in winter.

For more info. about Dyrham Park:

Montacute House in winter

Not so many humans visit National Trust houses and gardens in winter, but although there aren’t any flowers, they are still very interesting.  Montacute  House has lots to see and  do .20171223_132531.jpgThe Wibbly Wobbly hedge was fascinating.  I could see all sorts of faces in the wibbly wobbly bits, with noses poking out here and there .20171223_200340.jpgBehind  the wibbly wobbly hedge there was a fence that had been designed to deter bears from getting too fat .20171223_113033178453238.jpgThe entrance to the ice house was a bit creepy.  Years ago servants from the big house had to visit the ice house to get ice to keep food cold  as fridges had not been invented .20171223_1129072109123391.jpgI peered into the deep hole where the ice collected from ponds was stored .  I was glad that there were railings as the hole looked like it went on forever .20171223_200135497296256.jpgOn the top of the house there were lots of stone animals.  Humans that live in Somerset call them ‘hunky punks’.  You can just about see them in this photo .20171223_1145101725357244.jpgI sat by the fountain for a while and watched the fish swimming around .20171223_113407I leaned over to get a closer look which got the humans rather worried that I might fall in.  Within seconds my feet were being held just in case a gust of wind blew me into the pond .20171223_1959231763560868.jpgThere were a couple of lovely little houses at each end of the garden .20171223_195807348555698.jpgSomeone had thoughtfully set up a special place for bears to rest in this one .20171223_113840Inside the other little house I made a paper lantern .20171223_114955481662944.jpgOne of the humans lifted me up to hang my creation on the lantern tree.  It was covered in fairy lights to be lit up once dark.  I would have liked to have seen Montacute in the dark with all the lights twinkling but we weren’t able to stay that long .20171223_195504136289537.jpgThis is a banqueting house where the household would sometimes have meals.  It must have been very hard work for the servants carrying everything from the big house to the garden for them .20171223_121236777374869.jpgI think I look quite important sat at the banqueting table.20171223_195147Montacute House and garden is surrounded by parkland.  In the park area I discovered a tree just right for bears to climb .20171223_1204071739976832.jpgI climbed very carefully as a fall would have resulted in me having to go in the washing machine, not one of my favourite pastimes.20171223_1952552028193646.jpg

Another tree had horses made from old tyres hanging from it.  I would have liked to have swung as high as the children using the swings but the mud below and more thoughts of the dreaded washing machine put me off. 20171223_234734.jpgOn entering the  House I had to put on some special blue shoes that looked rather like shower caps.  They were to prevent people and bears bringing dirt  into the house via their shoes .20171223_122648383691909.jpgSomeone was in the middle of a game of patience but had gone off to get a cup of tea or something .20171223_122345857168362.jpgThere were  prickly teasels on lots of the chairs in order to stop humans and bears from sitting on them.  A good deterrent; I wouldn’t want one of those stuck to my bottom !20171223_194923In one of the bedrooms there was a bath inside a cupboard .20171223_122941I was drawn to the room at the top of the house by the lovely smell coming from it.  The floor covering in the Tudor hall was made of plaited rush and for some reason smelt of honey.  20171223_1244320.jpgI spent a couple of hours exploring Montacute and ended up very hungry.  At the end of the visit I was able to tuck into a big bowl of cauliflower curry in the café .   Yum Yum Yum…….20171223_1306051773797821.jpg


For more information see:













Allan Bank (Grasmere)

Before reaching Allan Bank I had the opportunity to sit and watch the Herdwick sheep for a while.  They fascinate me;  some of them look just like my human’s grand dog, Buster, who is a Bedlington Terrier.2017-09-05 14.44.17At the entrance to the gardens I posed for a photo with a willow squirrel, and hoped that I would see some of the real red squirrels that live in the garden.21559083_10156593917664112_1467079706145136111_nThere is a splendid view from the garden of the hills surrounding Grassmere.21617718_10156593919164112_6279813793134488086_nHere I am just before going into the house.  I could see the lake from here but forgot to get a photograph.21743303_10156593919119112_6055135191512495958_nNational Trust properties often have a room containing books for sale.  I read Rupert and the Magic Seeds while the humans browsed.  I think Rupert wears rather silly trousers.21617723_10156593918159112_1193428318581948777_nThe next room was set up as an art room, with tables suitable for full grown humans and small humans and bears to have a go at painting.  I did a quick self portrait.21743251_10156593918264112_8188677610596476755_nAfter going upstairs a guide suggested that I might like the play room.   The inhabitants were certainly very pleased to see me.21616348_10156593919349112_8375959351855927551_nI had a little ride on a wooden horse that rocked but didn’t go anywhere.21743027_10156593918374112_6039467563541670217_nThere were lots of hats to try on.   I don’t think I would make a very good police bear.21557760_10156593918609112_5503919330935027852_nTwo of the resident bears put on a special afternoon tea for me.  21751398_10156593918549112_738024538769168282_nBefore saying my farewells I tried out the blackboard.21616204_10156593918504112_5703185503387161730_nAllan Bank has a special room for knitting.  I did a few more rows of someone else’s knitting and would have continued but the humans said we needed to get some cake before the cafe closed.  I like cake.21616130_10156593918664112_1757181676148201231_nThere was also a great selection of games in the knitting room that visitors can play.  The croquet set was just the right size for me; I struggle somewhat with full size croquet mallets.21762192_10156593918844112_3815827628223995753_nNext to the games table there were lots of knitted animals from the Beatrix Potter stories.  They all seemed very busy but Jemima Puddleduck  quacked a few times to me.21617585_10156593918759112_5909433856682224540_nCuddly squirrels were for sale in the next room.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to see a wild red squirrel (though the humans have promised to take me to Brownsea Island oneday where red squirrels also live).   I started reading ‘Squirrel Nutkin’  but didn’t finish as didn’t want to miss cake. 21557510_10156593918904112_3960484443673277051_nWe made our own cups of tea and put some money in the donation box, then bought some cake at the cafe counter.21762170_10156593917909112_8964648287786139318_nIt was a huge piece of very yummy carrot cake.  21617616_10156593917769112_5706970000453997021_nOn the way out I posed for another photo.2017-09-05 14.41.03

I very much enjoyed Allan Bank as there was so much there to do.  It is a great place for bears and human children.

For more information about Allan Bank see:

Speke Hall

I felt rather sleepy following the car journey to Liverpool so I was delighted to find beds in the kitchen garden.  I had a ‘power nap’ for ten minutes.IMG_0901Refreshed from my nap I inspected the produce.  The squashes were growing very well.IMG_0902When we reached the entrance to Speke Hall I paused for a ‘selfie’.  Speke Hall is very old; it was built in Tudor times.IMG_0904There is a courtyard in the middle of the house, and just above the door I noticed a hole in the eaves.  The guide said this used to be used for ‘eavesdropping’ or in other words listening in on the conversations of visitors to get some idea about whether they were safe to let into the house.IMG_0911The walls between the timber frames of the house are made of ‘wattle & daub’.  Wattle and daub is made by weaving twigs with wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. (source:Wikipedia)   IMG_0908The inside of the house is mostly Victorian as the house was renovated and updated over the years.  There was a banquet laid out in the dining room including some rather delicious looking desserts.IMG_0913I was pleased to see fire hoses at the ready in case of fire.IMG_0916In one room behind wooden panelling there was a ladder leading to a ‘priest hole’.  A priest would have lived in the secret room at the time when it was against the law to follow the catholic religion.   IMG_0917In the kitchen downstairs I was very tempted by a large salmon until I realised it was plastic!IMG_0931Before leaving the house I decided to try on a few hats.  I think this one makes me look very important and a bit silly at the same time.IMG_0927I felt more at home in the cap, and the humans said I looked quite ‘dapper’ in it.IMG_0928The mop cap clearly isn’t right for bears.IMG_0929After leaving the house we went outside to explore the gardens.IMG_0934Here I am at the back of the house.IMG_0936Beyond the formal garden there are some woods including a willow sculpture which I explored.IMG_0946I played a little tune using a giant glockenspiel, but could only reach the bottom three notes.IMG_0949I should have wondered about the possibility of giants when I measured my height.  The sign behind my head said ‘baby giant’.IMG_0945I clambered around on some big tree trunks, one of which was inhabited by fairies (you may notice the door).IMG_0943It was quite hard work for a small bear.IMG_0939Just as well I found a chair to rest in, though the chair was exceptionally large.IMG_0950The very large chair suddenly made sense when just around the corner a house came into sight.  Someone was sound asleep inside, snoring very loudly.  Someone with very big feet.  A giant!  I didn’t hang around for long in case he woke up, he may have been a ‘big friendly giant’ but I wasn’t taking any chances.IMG_0954Giant feet need huge shoes!IMG_0960Once out of the woods I explored the maze, keeping an eye on the woods in case the giant had woken up.IMG_0962All the excitement made me quite hungry.  Wet Nelly yum yum yum.21369437_1473932956034098_5053894757992462935_n

For more information about Speke Hall see:

Making Pizza

To begin I fried some garlic in olive oil and added a strained tin of tomatoes.  This was then left to simmer.IMG_0844While the tomato sauce was simmering I chopped up all the other toppings.IMG_0853Grated the cheese, taking care not to grate my paws.IMG_0863By this time the simmering tomatoes were ready to be blended into a sauce. IMG_0867My human bought the pizza dough for me earlier in the day at a local baker’s shop.  It smelt jolly good.IMG_0871As I rolled out the dough it seemed almost as though it was alive as it kept springing into different shapes!  I would have liked to pick it up and toss it about as I have seen happen in pizzerias but didn’t want to risk getting dough all stuck in my fur.IMG_0882Before putting on the topping I carefully brushed olive oil all over the base.  IMG_0886Next I covered the base with the various toppings.IMG_0890At this point it things went a little bit wrong.  I forgot to put flour on the board and struggled to lift the pizza.  Sorted it in the end using the bottoms of three cake tins.  My human put the pizza into the oven as I didn’t want to scorch my fur.  The oven was on its highest setting (250c fan) with a special pizza stone in it onto which my pizza was placed.  My human says we need a pizza peel to do this next time (a flat bit of metal with a handle)IMG_0892I must say the final result was delicious.IMG_0895

I hope my human buys more pizza dough soon!

The fresh pizza dough was purchased at:

Great Chalfield Manor Garden

I had some difficulty seeing the Manor House due to the splendid bulrushes  growing outside.  I paused to take a ‘selfie’ in front of them.20170813_161104After showing our National Trust cards I had a conversation with a resident horse.IMG_0794People live in the Manor House so some of the gardens are ‘private’.  They have one of the excellent topiary houses all to themselves.IMG_0802From a distance I thought that there were some strange creatures in the meadow; however on getting closer discovered that they were piles of grass drying in the sunshine to make hay.IMG_0804A dog lives in the garden though he didn’t say much.IMG_0810The Manor House looks very pretty with roses growing against it.  IMG_0814I had a look in the well but was very cautious not to get too close.  I think it might be very deep and not a good place for bears.IMG_0818Some people were picnicking next to this topiary house; we have cut them off the photo.  Topiary houses are good places for bears and I think human children probably like them too.IMG_0821It was quite warm during our visit so I thought about cooling my paws in the little stream,  then remembered that getting soggy isn’t a good idea for stuffed bears like me.IMG_0823There is a special little house for storing apples.  I spent a few minutes in the rocking chair and had a good look around.IMG_0826High up in the middle of the ceiling was a very big wasps nest.  Fortunately the wasps had all moved out and it was empty.  I don’t like wasps;  I do however likes bees, as they make honey.IMG_0830There were lots of very big vintage cars parked in the front court yard.IMG_0831They were all Alvis cars; the Alvis owners club were having a picnic.20170813_221128A few of the Alvis cars had ornaments on the bonnets.  I really liked the rabbit and asked the humans if we could put one on our Skoda Fabia.IMG_0839My favourite Alvis car was the TC100 Grey Lady.  The owner very kindly let me sit in for a while.  IMG_0834Any visit to a National Trust property would not be complete without a visit to the tea room for cake.  Unfortunately the tea room at Chalfield had closed when we got there but tea and biscuits were still available self service.  We put some money in the honesty box.20170813_221024There were loads of packets of biscuits.  I opted for the oat cookies.20170813_160047Karen made some tea and I sat in the sunshine to eat my biscuits.  They were nearly as good as cake.20170813_155646

After returning home my humans found out that Chalfield Manor was used in the filming of the BBC series Poldark as Killewarren, the home of the Penvenens.

For more information about Great Chalfield Manor & Gardens see:

For information about the Alvis Owner’s club:



Upfest Art Tour

I live in an area of Bristol where every year artists arrive from all over the world and paint sides of buildings and the shutters on the shops, as well as artwork on big boards.  Yesterday evening I went off for a toddle round to see some of the permanent works of art.  Here is a selection…

I love the purple lion on Lion Stores.IMG_0777

Bright and cheerful design on the florist shop.


There were lots of images of boats along this wall.  The pirates looked very scary making someone ‘walk the plank’.


This is the shutter on the butcher’s shop.   Thought provoking.  My human doesn’t eat much meat, and when she does it is outdoor reared, so she liked this one.




I nearly got stuck in the railings looking at this one.


Lots going on here…


I am a small bear but even if I was big this would still be a huge work of art.  The eyes look very real.


If you look to the left of ‘THE GALLERY’ you might notice a picture painted by Banksy when he was 4 years old 😉   IMG_0734

This one is thought provoking.


I see pink elephants but I haven’t had any ale!


A good way to cheer up a dreary doorway, though the bird looks a bit grumpy.


This one is very thought provoking and made me feel rather sad.  The ice in the Artic is slowly melting meaning that one day these bears may not have anywhere to live.


If you’d like to know more about Upfest have a look at the website:


Snowshill in summer

My last visit to Snowshill took place in February when the ground was covered in snow and all the snowdrops were in bloom.  The garden had been opened just for two days for humans to see the beautiful display of snowdrops, and the house, which is full of interesting things, wasn’t open.  My humans decided to visit again in summer, and I was jolly pleased to go along with them.  I was very hungry when we arrived so before exploring tucked into a tasty bowl of vegetable curry.20170729_124908We then set off along the path to explore the estate and the manor house.  The house used to belong to Charles Wade, who started collecting things when he was seven years old.  In 1951 Mr Wade gave the house and its contents to the National Trust.  The first interesting item that I spotted was a windmill with lots of little wooden men that moved around as the sails turned.IMG_0609The windmill is a replica of the original one which is kept inside to protect it from the weather.  The windmill was on a tall post, not on top of my head as in this photo!IMG_0615Further along I was delighted to find a special area for bears, though the humans said it was for children really.IMG_0621I spent a while exploring; the humans couldn’t see where I was until I popped up over the fence.IMG_0628I was very pleased to find a little bear shelter in the woods too.IMG_0624In the orchard I climbed up into one of the trees to get a closer look at the shiny red apples.IMG_0639After walking up through the cottage gardens I clambered up onto a wall to have a look at all the doves sat on top of the dove cote.IMG_0651I forgot to ‘mind my head’ in a couple of places but as my head is quite soft luckily it didn’t hurt much.IMG_0655There was a bear sized typewriter of the sort that would have been used during the first world war.  I like being able to see the type hammers going up and down hitting the paper on old-fashioned typewriters.  IMG_0658Here I am outside the main Manor House.  Mr Wade didn’t live inside the Manor House, he had lived in a much smaller building in the garden called The Priest’s House.  Over 400 years ago the house and gardens were part of an Abbey.IMG_0674This is the bathroom in the Priest’s house.  The bath looked very deep; Mr Wade must have been able to sit in it with the water right up to his neck.IMG_0663In this photo Mr Wade’s box bed is just behind me.  IMG_0665We went outside again and I had a little rest as my legs were starting to feel a bit tired.IMG_0681The model village next the ‘harbour’ was full of tiny houses too small for bears.  They were replicas as the ones that Mr Wade made are kept inside nowadays to stop them being damaged by the weather.IMG_0697When we went into the manor house I found the original houses stored high up on some shelves.IMG_0703There were several trunks inside the house with very complex locking mechanisms. This one is over 400 years old.  I think it must have been very difficult to open without the key.IMG_0702There weren’t any bears on display anywhere though I did find some other ancient animals and dolls locked up in a glass case.  They all looked a bit worried.IMG_0706Upstairs we found an amazing display of very old bicycles.  I rather like this one, the seat looks just the right size for me.  Unfortunately as everything  is so very old I wasn’t able to try it out.IMG_0709Here I am in front of a huge clock that was telling the wrong time!20170729_143630I don’t know whether Mr Wade was able to play any musical instruments but he certainly collected many.  20170729_144255I wondered whether all the buckets were there in case of fire or whether Mr Wade just liked buckets!20170729_144136 I tried to have a conversation with chap but I don’t think anyone was inside!20170729_144932This is not a bear sized helmet!20170729_153823After being inside the helmet I needed some fresh air so went outside to explore in the  kitchen garden.  The yellow courgettes were growing well.20170729_150101(0)There were some courgettes being sold on the produce table but my humans forgot to buy them; I think they got distracted by the lovely sweet peas in the bucket.20170729_145652Sheep live in the field outside.  They had all recently been shorn and so were looking quite thin.20170729_150305I’m not sure what this plant is, but the bees certainly like it.  20170729_145829Wandering back up to the entrance I managed to get caught up in a burdock plant.  The humans managed to free me;  then I carried a few seeds along with me a for while before brushing them off my fur. 20170729_150845(0)This was a good visit food wise.  Before leaving it was necessary to have afternoon tea.  Yum, yum, yum.20170729_152042

Snowshill is a very interesting place to visit for humans and bears (there are many fascinating objects in the house that I haven’t mentioned here).   Well worth visiting.

To see my post about Snowshill in the Snow see:

For more information about Snowshill see: