Frank's travels around Britain 2009.
Bluebell time around Kent.
Centred around Kent, I travelled across southern counties & bluebells where everywhere. Luckily I use a lot of side roads & country lanes and it was delightful to see these wild flowers on every bank & in every wooden glade. The other bit of luck that followed me ... I had good weather again. Those Gods have smiled down on many of my breaks!
For some reason I have taken an interest in windmills, probably realising how photogenic they are! Many are on private property & understandably, they have very limited access times. But as a piece of history, I am grateful to all those people who preserve them. The most complete & undeniably attractive was the Old mill at Outwood, reputed to be
The second one was at Lowfield Heath. Well that's what its called, but its says Charlwood & I reckon it's by Rush Hill village! It's in a truly isolated spot, all by itself. The time I visited, the sails were off but it still made an impressive sight.
it's here I'd like to give thanks to a friendly pair who gave me very good directions to the Lowfield Heath mill & helped me on my way. It was particularly notable that the man had a white stick and although his sight may be dimmed, his directions certainly weren't!Neither of the two I hunted down were in Kent, I started out early & worked my way back! Although
On the way back I called in at Emmetts Garden to see if I could get some colour into the photographs, as I was blessed with sunshine. What a good idea that was! Late spring is a wonderful time to see the trees full of green & all the early flowers out.
The next day I found Wakehurst Place. For some reason I can't define, this is laid out in such a way that you are constantly tempted to go round the next corner. I spent hours in this place. It is a real joy to just relax & absorb on a sunny day. Wakehurst Place is an adapted sixteenth century house with a mainly twentieth century garden. Advertised as 'Kew in the country' the garden belongs to the National Trust and is managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is such a credit to them. I am not surprised to see that in 2004/05 it was the Trust's most visited property for which admission was charged, over 420,000 visitors
At the top of the property is the most attractive of houses. Not outstandingly huge but quite satisfying from every angle. The top area past the house is a series of individual gardens like the bog area, or a waterfall to set off an iris garden. As you go from the house & its top lake, the water falls down to a large bottom lake via the most natural of woodland areas. Its laid out brilliantly & you find the map gives so much information & the trees are a sight to behold. Acres & acres of bluebells stretch in every direction. I walked the whole length because it tempts you to do it! If your 70 & don't take advantage of the many seats & viewing areas, you may have to call out a rescue helicopter with oxygen & a heart resuscitator near the end. Take your time, enjoy the peace & quiet (midweek is best) & absorb an English woodland in early May.