The reason for the D-Day remembrance

The reasons for continuing to remember those who gave their lives for freedom never rang so vividly true for me than with this single snapshot taken yesterday near Southsea Common, Portsmouth. An elderly man was photographed looking for his friend’s names on the cenotaph by the seafront by a young journalist.  The hack then shook…

KP is Kensington Gardens most precious gem

KP or Kensington Palace, situated within Kensington Gardens, is one of its most precious gems.  It is restrained yet exuberant and well worth visiting if you are addicted, like I am, to Lucy Worsley’s BBC4 series on The First Georgians – all geared to celebrate 300 years since the Hanoverians were invited to take over…

A Regal Day Out

This summer why not head on over to Arundel Castle for a truly regal experience. A Castle has stood guard over the people of Arundel since 1067, when on Christmas day William the Conqueror’s most loyal baron, Roger de Montgomery was awarded a third of Sussex. One of the longest inhabited country homes in England – the seat to the Dukes of Norfolk – there are a…

Five of the Best: Southern England’s Country Estates

Having been a recent convert to the National Trust and English Heritage, I find myself seeking out places to visit during the weekend and here are some of my favourites.  My enthusiasm, as you will see, has even led me to visit independently owned properties too!  Little gems all. If you visit Goodwood House for the…

Singular statues: Flying into Neverland with Peter Pan

My photo-walk around Kensington Gardens led me to a statue I had wanted to see since childhood – Peter Pan.  It was commissioned by the author Sir James Barrie from artist Gerge Frampton RA so surely, this depiction must be an accurate representation of Peter himself. Part of me still believes in Peter Pan, he…

Amazing Grace: Henry Moore’s Arch, Kensington Gardens

During a photo walk of Kensington Gardens, London, I chanced upon a stunningly positioned sculpture by Henry Moore hewn from Roman Travertine Marble.  It is located at the end of one of the longest uninterrupted avenue vistas in London. The Arch was inspired by life – in this instance, a fragment of bone – and…

The beauty of architecture: The Grange at Northington

There is something very appealing about a partially derelict building – and something very sad about its abandonment too.  My visit to The Grange at Northington evoked both of these emotions but principally, the great pity of an unloved but beautiful house. The track leading up to the mansion is basic, to say the least, but…

Pawprint series: Hatchlands Park Bluebell Walk

There is nothing so quintessentially English as a Bluebell Wood so it was with great anticipation that I visited the Surrey Hills and Hatchlands Park to view their Bluebell Walk accompanied by The Hound. A carpet of intense blue velvet met the eye, a blanket coverage of blues of every hue greeted us for this 20…

The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower is one of the city’s most noticeable landmarks.  A Millennium project which finally opened in October 2005, The Spinnaker Tower has since attracted over two million visitors. With views stretching over 23 miles, there are three viewing decks – the first at altitude 100m (328 feet), the second at altitude 105m (344 feet)…