Friday, 16 March 2018

Young Farmers Straw Bale Competition

When we went round the country, we noticed these fancy bales. The Young Farmers run a competition and I thought that I would show you some of the Finalists as they are interesting :

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Winter 2018

This Winter has been colder and virtually the whole of the UK, especially the Eastern side, has been blanketed by snow. Red Alerts have been issued for Scottish Central Belt and Northern Ireland and one paper has described the snow as the worst in 30 years.Luckily, we can just sit it out and keep warm! Road, rail and air traffic has dried up and the roads around us are eerily empty.

Here are some pictures taken around our property. The Snow is beautiful :

 Our new pond - frozen

Part of Paula's herbaceous border!

The horses 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Touring Scottish Western Coast, Lake District and North Yorkshire

The West Coast and Isles of Scotland have a rugged beauty. The Lochs are a strong feature. The West Coast is renowned for rain. They say it is about to rain, is raining or has rained.
Loch Awe

Loch Fyne

Loch Lomond

This is Oban. A beautiful town.

The Ferry services Skye and the Hebrides
A magical sunset in Oban

Castle Stalker in Appin is much photographed

A picture postcard view of Castle Stalker.

The Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus connected the River Ness to Loch Ness and the waterways are still used for smaller craft today.

Argyll Castle is home to the Dukes of Argyll and the Chief of one of the Campbell Clans.

Nearby to Argyll Castle is Crarae, a Himalayan glen garden with over 600 different Rhododendrons and other plants collected by avid Victorian collectors and is well suited to the microclimate of the West Coast

Still on the West Coast in Helensburgh, closer to Glasgow, Hill House was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1902 and furnished by him and his wife, Margaret MacDonald. It is pure Mackintosh

This room positively shrieks Charles Rennie MacIntosh and looks so modern!

Crossing over into Cumbria in England on the way to the Lake District one comes across this amazing vista

The town of Keswick, shown in the 2 photos above lies along Lake Windermere and is heaving with tourists!

Nearby Kendal is also very pretty and this view of the old mill is much photographed

Our overriding impression of the Lake District is summed up in this picture - wet, green with lovely rolling hills

Beatrix Potter, the inventor of Peter Rabbit, Jemina Puddleduck etc lived in the Lake District (as did Wordsworth) and she was not only a successful author (still is), but was a canny farmer, buying up 15 small farms around her.
This is her farmhouse. There was no electricity and incredibly basic
Beatrix Potter and dog
This property impressed us enormously, it is called Acorn Bank near Sowerby, Penrith and is owned by the National Trust. It has been used as a Care Home for many decades and the Trust is now busy with the refurbishing. It will take many years, and millions of Pounds, to bring it back to it's former glory, but it has a touch of magic. I hope that some pictures below convey something of the feel of the place.

This pear tree was positively full of pears and is massive. Paula hates being photographed, but I got her to stand next to the tree so you could get an idea of it's size.

Dalemain House is about 10 miles South of Penrith and is still privately owned.

Here is a view of the side of the house

We could not take pictures, but the Chinese hand painted wall paper was absolutely exquisite. I found this photo, but it does not do the wallpaper justice.

I thought you might like the 'monster' shaped out of Yew in the garden!
A large part of North Yorkshire is covered by Dales and much of the dales and moors is conserved from development

Bolton Priory is world famous and a site of Christian devotion since 1154 when it was settled by Augustinian monks. Parts of the Priory survived the destruction which King Henry VIII wrought on a Abbeys around 1539.

The entrance to the nave is a masterpiece of 13th Century architecture

Part of the priory was rescued and serves as the Priory Church of St Mary and St Cuthbert.

Castle Howard is absolutely huge, designed to impress - this picture shows the front door.
This shows the back door!
and the fountain in the back yard
and the lake on the side
and the bridge and folly

The entrance is not small either!

James Herriot, the Vet practised in Thirsk, a thriving Yorkshire town, and here is a picture of the town square
This was the home and practice of James Herriot (aka Alfred Wright) in Thirsk. His books are world famous and much loved. The Veterinary Practice still exists.

York is a walled city. This house was built c1534

York Minster is truly massive, but we found it very "commercial"

The Shambles is the best Medievel Street left in the world and is a remnant of old York. It is mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086. The problem is  ..
it is heaving with tourists and one cannot take a picture without people!

The fishing Town of Whitby (famous for Whitby Jet) on the North Yorkshire coast is charming 

Whitby street (with Paula)
Whitby Steam train is still going and is an important tourist attraction

Smuggling was always rife in most of the seaside ports and Whitby was no exception. This building dates to the 16th Century and has surely seen a few smugglers in it day

Returning to Scotland, we dropped in to Dunkeld - it was founded around 800AD by Caustantin son of Fergus, King of the Picts

The present Church dates to the 13th and 14th Century

The cathedral lies next to the River Tay and was the site of the Battle of Dunkeld in 1689 between the Jacobites and James VII of Scotland

I am sorry for so many pictures, but Thank You for looking.