Friday, 30 July 2021



Thanks for visiting.

 With all the restrictions of the last couple of Covid years, as soon as vaccinations were done, rain had stopped, the next dry day would be the day to try a couple of days away to make a change and recharge our batteries.  Dry would have done, 30°C is what we got and 77,000 steps over the 4 days of exploration were thoroughly enjoyed!

Lewes in East Sussex has all the prerequisites of an interesting town - a beautiful location within the Sussex Downs, plenty of history to unravel,  picturesque buildings and excellent options for local trips by train.  We'll start in the town itself, which is really hilly - it's quite a steep climb up Station Street to the main High Street.  Many pretty, independent shops line the High Street, which can also boast a castle.   There's a striking War Memorial, by Vernon March, on the brow of the hill before the road flows down the hill to another pedestrianised shopping area at Cliffe High Street, full of the more usual shops and cafés.

Let's have a look at the buildings.

Look at all those flowers in the front garden!

A chocolate shop down one of the tiny side streets, St Martins Lane, below, - closed when we visited

Another of the ancient,  parallel, narrow streets which drop steeply from the higher High Street to Southover Road.

Fitzroy House arts hub

Town Hall

Look at the variety of shapes of shop!

Even the back of the buildings are interesting!

St Michael's Church

To the left is Rotten Row, the Georgian Old Toll House in the middle of the roads.

The Fifteenth Century Bookshop

A row of houses near St Anne's Church, the oldest in Lewes

The house below was granted to Anne of Cleves by Henry VIII as part of her divorce settlement.  Currently there are problems with funding and the property and café, usually open to the public, have to remain closed for the moment.

There are plenty of antique shops to explore, including the large Flea Market

Needlemakers, which also has some craft shops and café, used to be the site of Broad's candle factory from 1820-1908, it then became a surgical needle factory, a potter's store and builders' merchants.  It was saved from demolition, with many of its original features retained including a deep well, which provided the steam to power the factory machinery.

Down at the pedestrianised shopping area, a quick stop at Bill's for some refreshments in all the heat was very welcome.  This chain of restaurants actually began life in Lewes.

The Flint Owl Bakery is another nice place for refreshments.

As is the  modern Depot, a cinema/restaurant/gallery complex.

So many photos!

There's more to come!


Monday, 19 July 2021

Making the Most of It


Thanks for popping in.

Every time I walk along the path, I feel the need to take another photo before the flowers fade, each time they are a little better and brighter at the moment.

Visiting the Ticket Office at Wokingham Station, their newly restored Grade II footbridge, caught my eye.  The 19th Century bridge was originally made from iron from recycled rails and sleepers and is the only one of this construction still in use.  It's been closed and covered up for several months whilst consultations took place but has just opened much to the delight of enthusiasts and pedestrians alike as a sensitive restoration has taken place using like for like materials costing £300,000.

Walking up the hill to the town centre, at this time of year you can bet it's hollyhock time again.  How the year has flown.

Proper thistles are flowering in the meadow.

Birdseed sunflowers at home.  Phew! Hasn't it been hot!


Saturday, 17 July 2021

Chalk Wildflowers in Netley Park


Thanks for visiting.

We're on the Gomshall trail but have paused in Netley Park to have a look at the wonderful wildflowers growing on the chalk of the North Downs.  They are quite different from those in my local meadow and I've had a struggle a) getting good photos and b) finding out their names!  The camera is really insistent on focusing on green things despite an enormous colourful flower, it's been quite annoying!

It's such a wonderful place to explore at this time of year, the butterflies love it but wouldn't keep still for any snaps.  Let's have a look at what's  there.

Pyramidal orchid

Common agrimony - Church steeples - sticklewort - medicinal

Wild mignonette (weld) - makes a yellow dye

Hedge woundwort - used to be used in dressing wounds

Wild thyme

Common spotted orchid

White - hedge bedstraw - can be roasted as a coffee substitute

Common centaury - medicinal benefits

Look how densely packed this section is.

Field bindweed, convolvulus with a thick-legged flower beetle

Wild marjoram 


Marbled white, ringlets, meadow browns and gatekeepers on the go.

This looks a bit like a balsam flower but very small.

I hope I've managed to get a few names correct!  It's a wonderful place for discovery.