A rare gem: Ham House

Why oh why did I not visit Ham House when I lived in London? This is an historic jewel of a property run now by the National Trust, situated just outside Richmond in South West London, close to the River Thames. We had the good fortune to be shown around the property by one of…

Another look at Runnymede …

Driving along the Windsor Road one day, my eye was caught by a collection of chairs, placed in an oblong, close to where the Runnymede memorial is located.  Ah, I thought, that’s where King John sat with his Barons and signed Magna Carta.  But no, dear reader, I was wrong. It is in fact an…

Petworth – an unexpected art treasure trove

I don’t know why I haven’t visited Petworth House before because this is one incredible stately home, housing an unexpected art treasure trove like no other.  Indeed a former house guest of George, 3rd Earl of Egremont – one John Constable – called Petworth “the house of art”. There’s Van Dycks, Reynolds, carvings by the…

Hinton Ampner Bluebell Walk

As the recent and very sad fire damage of Clandon House has shown, the treasures protected for us by the National Trust are not here forever and we should take advantage of them when we can. It was with this in mind that I re-visited Hinton Ampner in Bramdean, Hampshire – one of my very favourite Trust properties…

Quintessentially English – it’s Bluebell time!

Nothing shouts Englishness as much as a bluebell does – a sentiment outlined in today’s Daily Telegraph. They are early, they are bright as a button and it is said that half of the world’s population of bluebells are based right here on our soil. So where can we spot them? Probably in your nearest…

Surrey’s Secret Beach: Frensham Great Pond

The Hound can hardly believe it – we are at Frensham Great Pond and there’s sand and water – a sight he’d only previously associated with West Wittering Beach.  Yes, he was in his element for in the summer months I am told, Frensham Great Pond offers a beach environment for the people of landlocked…

Pawprint Series: Little Frensham Pond

I came across Frensham Little Pond when I was visiting Watts Gallery recently in Surrey.  I mentioned it in passing to The Hound and of course, he immediately wanted to visit – well water, trees, undergrowth, other dogs – what’s not to love for a friendly doggie? Both Frensham Little Pond and its sister, Frensham Great…

Taking inspiration from the world around you …

Although I reference my clients occasionally, I don’t normally talk about my “day job” within this, my personal travel blog.  For this week however, with no apologies, I am focussing on my newest client – the newly reopened Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel.  The reason?  I admire what the owners, Mercure and Trevillion Interiors…

The Hill Top Stroll – Box Hill

In this second post on the National Trust’s beautiful estate of Box Hill let’s take another look at Box Hill and look at what else there is to do, if you can bear to drag yourself away from those amazing views over rolling countryside. If you take the Hill Top Stroll from the summit you will come…

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…