Pawprint Series: Park Wood

It might come as no particular surprise to discover that Park Wood on the old London Road in Waterlooville was once part of the ancient Forest of Bere that covered most of southern England. Nurtured today by a group of friendly and committed volunteers under the overall purview of The Woodlands Trust, Park Wood is a small…

Pawprint series: West Walk

As anyone will know if you live on the South Coast – most of the open spaces and wooded parts we have left today to explore were once part of the ancient Forest of Bere.  In fact I think everywhere I have recently walked with The Hound has been a part of it – even…

Another day, another Castle!

I have visited Southsea Castle, Portsmouth, on more occasions than I care to remember but I have to say, on this last and most recent visit, the old girl is looking better than ever! Located on Southsea Beach, between the common and South Parade Pier, you can easily understand its strategic importance and why Henry VIII…

The Mary Rose Museum has landed …

From certain angles, the award-winning Mary Rose Museum has the look of a flying saucer, landing right next to Nelson’s historic flagship, HMS Victory in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.  When you step inside however, that is where the similarity ends – even though the technology that has brought us to this point in Mary Rose’s history is…

The last line of defence: Hurst Castle

None of my friends seem to have heard of Hurst Castle – at least the one here in the UK.  So, just to be crystal clear, I am referring to Henry VIII’s English castle rather than Randolph Hearst’s Californian home! Hurst Castle at the tip of the Solent is a pristine example of Henry VIII’s policy of…

Let’s go fly a kite …

I have always loved kites – seeing their colourful shapes, soaring around the air, dancing in the wind, is a happy reminder of childhood (even if in most cases, our kites seemed to dive-bomb the ground!). So it was with great anticipation that I visited my second Portsmouth International Kite Festival at Southsea Common. There were…

Country Pub Series: Horse & Jockey

When I take a few days holiday, there is nothing nicer than visiting a local pub for lunch which has been recommended by a friend. This is how we came, one sunny day, to visit the Horse & Jockey in Hipley, Hambledon, Hampshire, sitting in their flower-laden beer garden.  Even better, it has a story to…

The Ragged School

My accountant, Chris Stolborg, told me about John Pounds and said his story was inspirational.  So, one fine day, I ventured out to the High Street in Old Portsmouth to the Unitarian Chapel named in his honour to find out more. Walking down the side of the church, I caught sight of a memorial to John Pounds…

The last days of Nelson …

As a proud Portsmuthian, you can’t live in this naval city without knowing a little bit about Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson – it would be unthinkable.  We have his flagship HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, his memorial atop Portsdown Hill and even Fort Nelson, one of Palmeston’s Follies – a brilliant museum to visit….

All aboard The Watercress Line

As soon as I heard about The Watercress Line, Hampshire’s Heritage Steam Railway, I knew a train trip would be imminent.  And so it came to pass, this last weekend, that The Hound and I arrived at Alresford Station to travel to Alton in style … even better, The Hound travelled free! It’s nick-named The…