Country Pub Series: The Bird in Hand, Lovedean

I first wrote about my local – The Bird in Hand – a while ago now but am reprising the post as it has just enjoyed a rather viscious battering from food critic, Tom Parker Bowles in Event Magazine – Mail on Sunday.  I admit, I don’t really go out to Sunday lunch but on every…

Take three castles …

Over the last 12 months, I have had the good fortune to visit three castles – all with The Hound in tow – and they couldn’t have been more different. Take Southsea Castle, where in my mind’s eye, I can visualise a stressed and desolate King Henry VIII, standing proudly whilst watching his tried and tested flagship,…

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…

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…

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…

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….

The Victorian Bathing Machine

Being interested in all thing seaside, I have long wanted to see an actual Victorian Bathing Machine in person.  So it was with great anticipation that I saw the most exclusive bathing machine of them all this past week – Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s own bathing machine on her very own private beach at the…

A ticket to Ryde

I first heard about the Grade II listed Ryde Pier when I listened to the well known Beatles song of a similar name if not spelling.  Apparently John Lennon and Paul McCartney visited the island in the ’60’s to visit Paul’s cousin and inspired this well known ditty.  It wasn’t until recently however – and funnily enough,…