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:



The Needles (New Battery & Old Battery)

Another interesting place to visit on the Isle of Wight is The Needles Old Battery and New Battery.  Actually both places are old, but one is much older.  Before exploring the buildings I climbed up to the viewpoint near The New Battery to have a look at The Needles, and they do look quite sharp and spiky.IMG_0220I then noticed a sign stating that we were at a site that had been used for testing rockets.IMG_0232Here I am looking at the place where rockets were tested.  Their engines were started up but they didn’t actually take off here, they were strapped into special gantries to keep them still.  If everything worked the rockets were taken to Australia to be launched into space.IMG_0227I spotted a couple of rabbits hopping about but they didn’t wave.  I think they are quite cautious when it comes to bears.IMG_0237The rockets gathered large amounts of information about space. A Black Arrow rocket launched the first British satellite.  The  satellite is no longer used but it still orbits around the earth twice a day.IMG_0249Here I am sat on a life size scale model of the Prospero satellite.IMG_0256In another room there was some equipment which was used for gathering information during the tests.    I climbed up for a closer look but I didn’t touch!IMG_0265Here I am in the control room. It isn’t actually the original equipment, but I think it looks quite impressive.IMG_0243The Old Battery, which was built in 1861  by the Royal Engineers, and their site office was the first building constructed.  IMG_0278Before going into The Cartridge Store I had to put on special clothing made of calico to ensure that I didn’t take any gunpowder out of the building.IMG_0268I was very excited to find an entrance to a tunnel leading to an 1899 searchlight emplacement.  Here I am running back to the humans to tell them about it!IMG_0277I climbed down to the tunnel using a spiral staircase fitted by the National Trust; access used to be via a ladder.IMG_0283The tunnel was very long and quite a walk for a small bear.IMG_0284I was quite relieved to see the light at the end of the tunnel.IMG_0303There was an excellent view of The Needles from The Searchlight Emplacement.  Fortunately I didn’t get my head stuck.IMG_0288The tearoom is situated inside The Signal Station.  The hot quiche lorraine warmed me up as a cold wind had blown up outside.  IMG_0307I managed to persuade the humans to buy me some cake too 🙂IMG_0320Yum yum yum……. tea soaked fruit cakeIMG_0317Here I am in front of The Signal Station in the sheltered pathway to the position finding cell.IMG_0328There was a special instrument in the Position Finding Cell for gathering information about the whereabouts of ships and the direction in which they were travelling.IMG_0330The weather was changing and I was quite worried that my fur could get a soaking so I had one last look at rather splendid Needles before we hurried off down the hill towards the car.IMG_0322I stopped briefly to admire the coloured sands of Alum Bay, which is situated next to The Needles.IMG_0341

All in all a great adventure – especially The Tunnel 🙂

Horace the Alresford Bear 27/4/17

For further information see:

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

PS:  I have now visited Le Mont St Michel

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