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  http://www.rococogarden.org.uk

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 https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshill-manor-and-garden

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 https://www.facebook.com/Maisies-1608959262723707/

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Horace the Alresford Bear 17/10/2016

Lanhydrock

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

Horace the Alresford Bear 24/9/16

Clovelly

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 http://www.clovellydonkeys.co.uk

To find out more about Clovelly see  http://www.clovelly.co.uk/

Horace the Alresford Bear 10/9/16

 

Boscastle

I was a tad worried when Karen mentioned that the accomodation that we were going to stay in at Boscastle used to be a pilchard cellar, but our apartment, The Clinker, turned out to be very pleasant.img_8919The best thing about The Clinker was the window with a special seat for bears right in front of it.  I spent quite a lot of time sat here while the humans did long walks (they say I am ‘too big’ to take everywhere)14199392_1113856785375052_5268541012461105980_nI saw many dogs (and humans) of all shapes and sizes walking by.  I even saw some bears.  When I spotted a little Merrythought bear outside looking up at me I ran downstairs to say hello.  He’s called Severn Bear and travels about extensively with his humans.  They took a photo of us together for Instagram.

I waved to Severn Bear as he continued with his travels…14237645_1113857352041662_6335049357608771698_nThere was an interesting book in The Clinker with lots of photos of the places where the humans walk but don’t take me…14183934_1116573961770001_4219155113023618212_nOne evening Karen announced that she thought the tide times were right to see the Boscastle blow hole in action (a place where water squirts out of a hole in the cliff).  I was very excited and waited patiently in the new bear carrier for transportation.14291624_1113357358758328_1431872615531993758_nWhen we arrived at the view point there were a few gushes of water, but not anything spectacular.  Karen thought it was probably better at some tides than others depending on the height of the tide etc. I still enjoyed watching the waves.14183927_1116964495064281_7559560088952004658_nThe next day I posted a postcard to my Grand human on the way to the shops.14237488_1114644868629577_5969731953731499556_nFortunately there was still room for me in the bag after stocking up on a few groceries.

14291815_1114645301962867_5082331438333032450_n

I climbed out of the bag to take a closer look at this building.  It is The Harbour Lights cafe, and it was swept away when Boscastle was flooded in 2004.  It was rebuilt to look exactly the same as before.14316709_1114645935296137_5424543781386011345_n

After returning from another long walk the humans took me along to the National Trust cafe underneath our apartment with them.  Yum Yum Yum14330122_1116829405077790_5331512404814311674_nRight next door the The Clinker there was a very old Lime Kiln. It isn’t used for heating lime anymore and makes an excellent hiding place for bears.img_9146The day that it rained was a bit of a problem as I didn’t have any wellies with me (I borrow Paddington’s at home).  I wanted to go for a little walk, so borrowed human walking boots.img_9160Here is a selfie of me at the end of the harbour.  img_9158I was feeling quite tired as the boots were quite heavy.  I kept going though as I wanted to give some money to the man collecting for National Coastwatch;  they keep an eye out for boats or people in the water or walking the coastpath that may need assistance.  img_9169In this photo you can see the white lookout station on the left in the distance. Boscastle is a splendid place with lots to see.  I was quite sad to wave goodbye at the end of our stay. img_9211

To find out more about National Coastwatch see http://www.nci.org.uk

Horace the Alresford Bear 10/9/16

Visiting Doc Martin’s village (Port Wenn/Port Isaac)

When sat on the back of the sofa I have noticed that the humans do seem to like watching a television show called ‘Doc Martin’ about a grumpy but lovable GP who lives in a fishing village in Cornwall.  In the series the village is called ‘Port Wenn’ but in real life it is Port Isaac, and Doc Martin doesn’t really live there at all.  We set out to find the buildings used in filming the show.  As soon as we’d walked down the hill I spotted Doc Martin’s house – if you are a fan you will know which one it is!img_9067-copyThe humans weren’t sure where to look for the other buildings, so we popped into a shop called ‘May contain nuts’ and bought a little map.  I hoped that we would return to same shop for pasties later as they looked delicious.img_9090-copyWe soon found the village school, which used to really be a school but nowadays is a hotel and restaurant.img_9070-copyimg_9087-copyNot far up the hill we found the school teacher Louisa’s house.  It was actually a holiday house.  I climbed up onto the window sill for a photo.img_9082-copyWe then set off to find Aunt Ruth’s house.   I had to stop and study the map for a while.img_9099-copyOn the way to Aunt Ruth’s we passed a cottage with an excellent name.  I wondered if there was lots of honey inside.img_9103Aunt Ruth’s house was up the hill a little bit; it was for sale.  I thought it looked like a good house for bears.img_9106My legs were getting tired so I climbed back into the bear carrier in order to find the pharmacy.img_9141Here I am perched on the windowsill for a photo.  I held on tight as a dog was looking rather interested in me.img_9107The pharmacy shop is really a confectioners.  The humans went inside and bought ice creams – pharmacies don’t usually sell ice cream!img_9110Next we went up the hill to get a closer look at Doc Martin’s House. I stopped on the way to look at the school from the other side of the bay.img_9113On arrival at Doc Martin’s house there was quite a queue of people outside waiting to see him.img_9119I climbed up the front steps to see if he was actually there!img_9115No sign of him today – the people were going to be waiting a very long time.img_9121Going back down the hill I wondered if we could get a cup of tea at Bert’s Cafe.img_9122Bert wasn’t in so we went back down to the harbour.  I think I look good in yellow boats.img_9132Was jolly pleased when the humans went back to ‘May Contain Nuts’ and bought pasties for lunch.  img_9137

Yum yum yum.

Horace the Alresford Bear 17/9/16

 

Watersmeet; walk, cake & roof tiles

img_9235Watersmeet rates very highly in my mental list of places that are good for bears and their humans to spend time.  It is good just to sit and watch the river gurgle down the valley.img_9221In some places the river Lyn gets quite frothy as it tumbles over rocks.  I didn’t sit too close as I really don’t like getting soggy fur.img_9214I am quite an adventurous bear though, so when I spotted this log across the river proceeded to clamber to the middle of the river.img_9232My humans were getting a tad concerned that I might fall in but I felt quite safe and sat for a while.img_9227We followed the river for a couple of miles down to a place called Lynmouth where the river flows into the sea.img_9237Here is a selfie of me sitting on the bridge.img_9240I was very interested in the boats that were in the harbour.  I like to read the names; one day I might find a boat named after me!img_9243There is a very interesting railway at Lynmouth that takes people to Lynton which is at the top of the cliff.  The railway is powered by water, and when one engine goes up the one at the top comes down at exactly the same time.  img_9247I would have liked to have a ride, but there wasn’t time as we had to walk 2 miles back up the valley again and get to the tearoom before closing time for cake. I like cake.img_9252We walked back up the valley to Watersmeet on the other side of the river.  I had to stop and admire the lovely view.img_9258I was very pleased when I finally spotted the tea room, and extremely happy that it was still open.img_9260We had to cross on a  wooden bridge over a big waterfall to reach the cafe. Here I am sitting on the railings, though a human was holding my legs to make sure I didn’t tumble over the edge.img_9264Yum yum yum chocolate brownie and a pot of tea.img_9267After filling my tum I had a look at the signs hanging on the front of the tearoom.img_9289The lovely old building needs a new roof and the National Trust are fundraising by getting bears (and people) to sponsor slates for the roof.img_9290I decided to sponsor a slate. My name will forever be up in the roof of the Watersmeet Tearoom, or at least until it needs another new roof (quite a long time I would think).img_9283By the time I had finished writing my slate (I can only write slowly with my paws) the tearoom had closed.  I posed with my slate on the steps.img_9285I think perhaps I should have written ‘Watersmeet is a good place for bears’, but there wasn’t much time, and I am not sure that there was room for another word on the bottom line.img_9287On the way back up to the car park right at the top of the hill, I stopped for a while and watched another waterfall.img_9296Watersmeet is indeed a beautiful place.  I hope to go again oneday.

Horace the Alresford Bear 15/9/16

For more information about Watersmeet see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/watersmeet

Lynton/Lynmouth Cliff railway see http://www.cliffrailwaylynton.co.uk