London’s largest Royal Park

It’s taken me half of my life to finally visit Richmond Park, London’s largest Royal Park in fact. Perhaps its only now that I tend to go for long walks with faithful Hound in tow that I have come to appreciate the beauty of nature – and it doesn’t come better than this beautiful park….

Portsdown Hill – best viewpoint over Portsmouth

When you visit a new city, don’t you wish you could see its situation and understand it from the air?  You can do so when travelling to Belfast of course but it is quite rare. In Hampshire, it’s uniquely possible, thanks to the long chalk ridge of Portsdown Hill.  The highest point lies within Fort…

Pawprint Series: Wimbledon Common

Every time I come up to town, with my faithful four legged friend in tow, we make a point of visiting Wimbledon Common – it is quite simply the most beautiful oasis of calm in the bustle of South London life.  When I lived in London, this was my safety valve and I value it enormously –…

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…

Remember remember the fifth of November …

For me, Cowdray House in Midhurst, West Sussex, is one of this country’s most beautiful and desolate ruins.  It seems such a elegant facade and from a distance, appears almost perfect, that it seems positively sinful to have let it go to rack and ruin.  I guess, however, when you have a number of country estates…

Glorious Shanklin Chine

I’m focussing on the Isle of Wight at the moment and another magical childhood memory – visiting the mysterious and exotic Shanklin Chime! The formation of the Chine (a local word of Saxon origin for a deep narrow ravine), has taken place over 10,000 years and the stream running through it would originally have flowed into…

The best view of The Solent: Portsdown Hill

I would suggest to any Portsmouth visitor that they should first drive up to Portsdown Hill to gain an unbeatable vista over the city and the Solent.  Obviously it’s best when the weather is clement but that view is intriguing for me (and most locals) in any weather system. To orientate you, on the left hand…

Pawprint Series: A pooch’s view of Creech Wood, Denmead

When I first moved back to this part of the world, one of my biggest joys was discovering new woods and forests suitable for walking with The Hound.  One of the first I discovered has now become a perennial favourite – Creech Wood – and “he himself” has nominated it a four paw print walk!…

Pawprint Series: Portsmouth to Arundel Canal

Having a dog is a great way to investigate a city you thought you knew well. Looking for new and interesting walks for The Hound has certainly lead me to discover parts of Portsmouth which I didn’t know existed. Having driven past it on the Eastern Road when travelling into Portsmouth, I decided to park…

Pawprint Series: Hindhead Commons, Surrey

It’s a particular pleasure for me to return to Hindhead at least once a season.  For years, I suffered in wearisome traffic jams on the A3 motorway at Hindhead’s crossroads – a notorious traffic congestion spot now thankfully bypassed by the Hindhead Tunnel.  So I love the fact that the region has returned to an…