Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Catching up weekend

We've been without internet service for the last couple of weeks & I've really missed it - it's different when it's an inforced thing rather than going on holiday and I'm so pleased to say that today it's finally resolved, hurrah.

Anyhoo, a couple weeks ago we visited my parents while they stayed in Rutland for the week.  Rutland is a beautiful county, and the smallest county in England.  It has a huge manmade reservoir, Rutland Water, which is hugely popular to cycle round (it has a 23 mile track) and fish in.

We took Dusty with us and went out with them for a lovely lunch at Barnsdale Lodge, who welcome pooches (hooray).  We sat in the beautiful courtyard gardens




The food was delicious!

bread plate
Hubby had slow cooked lamb, fondant potato, broad bean puree, roasted garlic & vine cherry tomatoes ...

Mum's salmon came with the lemon wedge wrapped in muslin to keep all those bits away - very clever

Dusty enjoyed it too, having some of Mum's salmon when we'd finished :)

please save me some
after lunch we took a trip into Oakham, which is a lovely market town, and I bought some fab vintage cutlery, a set of fish knives & forks (about 1950s)

and some truly gorgeous dessert spoons and forks in their original box, they're just lovely & what I remember using growing up at Grandma's

It was a lovely sunny day, the last hurrah of Summer it appears. x

Friday, 14 September 2012

Tour of Britain - cycling

Our last day in Suffolk coincided with the Tour of Britain starting, and it was to pass through Aldeburgh itself!  Hubby's sister had popped down to join us and she really wanted to try to catch a glimpse of Bradley Wiggins (Tour de France 2012 winner) and Mark Cavendish who are both taking part.

Having checked the route, we walked down to the front and positioned ourselves on the grass verge between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness on the coast road.  Within about 30 minutes the first vehicles started to come through, the loudspeaker telling us that the lead group of 4 were about 6 minutes ahead of the pack of cyclists.

After another wait with lots of Police vehicles clearing the way, the leaders came by

then a short while later, the pack came past.  We'd bet on how long they'd take to go past - I said about 5 seconds, and that was about right, but it was fun to see them all go flying past

and to also see all the accompanying vehicles carrying the backup bikes and spare tyres

the sky team - Bradley Wiggins & Mark Cavendish's team
I'm pleased I got to see it! x

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Suffolk Dog Walks - part 3

Our final dog walk/hike was taken from a leaflet that I found in The Ship Inn, giving you a walk from their pub to the Westleton Crown and vice versa.  We decided we'd start once again from Dunwich, head to Westleton and then back again.  It was approximately 8-10 miles (hard to be specific), and in total (including a short break at the Crown) we walked for about 5 hours, again on a lovely sunny day.  Thankfully each walk had plenty of shady patches so Dusty never overheated, and of course we carried a bottle of water for him.

The walk started off on the same footpath we'd ended our previous walk on, in reverse.  We passed underneath a huge bee colony of ivy which completely arced over the pathway

and once more, past the cornfields

We entered Dunwich forest, another lovely place, though we only skirted the edges

and kept to the pathway, because these signs were all over the place, eek!

On exiting the forest we were once again on the heath, this time the Westleton Heath, and another rather worrying sign...
After following the heath down to the road, we crossed over and continued onwards through more beautiful paths, past an old chalk quarry - the terrain looked like something out of Star Trek


A purple-tinged field

The heath came out near some houses on the edge of Westleton village

We stopped at the Westleton Crown for a drink and short rest, it's a gorgeous pub and restaurant, and they also have 34 accommodation rooms (!) - all of which looked lovely from what we could see.  Their garden is terraced and we found a nice quiet area for Dusty to rest...

then we set off again, through the village

it was hard going in some places :)

and after crossing Westleton Common and following the footpath we entered the most beautiful forest I think I've ever seen.  It was full of silver birch trees and felt so peaceful

We eventually came out onto the road towards the Minsmere Bird Reserve (where dogs aren't allowed), but our footpath took us along the edge of the Reserve and another beautiful area

The reserve's forest opens out onto a huge area of open grassland

next to which were a family of red deer

 Dusty was enjoying himself too

hurry up you two!
 then once more we were on Dunwich Heath, but a different area to our second walk

we finally got back onto familiar ground and re-entered the Friary forest in reverse order

That day, our actual anniversary day, I had two bumble bees land on me and spend about 5 minutes licking me!

That was one amazing walk, and along with the others, Hubby and I had a thoroughly amazing time hiking.  Sadly it's coming to the end of the season for our trips to Suffolk, but I can't wait until next year to try out some of the other amazing walks. x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Suffolk Dog Walks - part 2

Our second walk (details HERE) again started off in the Dunwich beach car park.  This one was 4 or so miles and took us about 3 hours with a stop off and plenty of photo ops.  Once again, it was a scorching hot day!

We started off by skirting the ruins of Greyfriars Friary, which is currently having some restoration work carried out

We then entered a small forest, which was full of interesting-looking log piles (& very Blair Witch)

Once again, the forest held some beautiful properties amongst and around it; these gates are fantastic, I love that they echo the Friary with the Friars themselves incorporated into the gates

Once out of the forest we had a walk down the Minsmere Road which takes you to Dunwich Heath,  National Trust land, and truly a beautiful sight, this is what met us...

The heath is made up of beautiful purple heather, with yellow gorse interspersed

Dunwich itself has been slowly disappearing into the sea for years, receeding on average a metre a year!  As such, you can't go anywhere near to the edge (not that you'd want to!)

At the top of the heath we reached the Tea Rooms, what a welcome sight they were!  We stopped for a rest and refreshments...

Chocolate cake (soooo good) and apple juice for me, and a cream tea for Hubby

Isn't the illustration on the cream pot gorgeous! I had to take a photo :)

Refreshed somewhat we continued onwards this time crossing the heath

the path we needed to take hadn't been pruned in some time, and in some places it was hard going, the gorse and briars being naturally very sharp, but I never knew how scratchy heather could be!

trying not to get ripped to shreds, ha ha
We finally made it out of the heath and joined the footpath along a farm track where there were plenty of blackberries in the hedgerows

Our footpath took us alongside fields of golden corn ready for harvesting

And finally back into Dunwich village, past more beautiful houses

and to the pub, The Ship Inn, for a refreshing drink!

I think that, overall, this walk was my favourite, it being the right length and full of varied landscapes to keep our interest.  One more to come x