Trentham Estate

The Trentham Estate is a great place to visit all year round, especially the gardens. The new-look gardens have matured into some of the finest in Britain according to Alan Titchmarsh, where he is quoted as saying “one of the UK’s must-see gardens”.

There has been a contemporary revival of the famous Italian Gardens which was led by renowned designer and multi-Chelsea gold-medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith.

To the east of the Italian Gardens are the Rivers of Grass and the adjacent Floral Labyrinth. Both these schemes were designed by eminent Dutch plantsman, and Chelsea gold-medal winner, Piet Oudolf.

At the centre of Trentham Gardens is the mile long, Capability Brown designed, Trentham Lake. There is a circular lakeside walk all the way round as it takes you aside the River Trent.

Trentham Gardens is a photographers dream, with lots to photograph.

 

trentham

© Google Maps 2016

 

Walk around the lake

 

 

Flowers

 

 

Dandelions by Amy Wight

 

 

 

References

Trentham Estate. (2016). Trentham Estate – Home. [online] Available at: http://www.trentham.co.uk [Accessed 12 Sep. 2016].

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Brittany & Pays de la Loire

10 years after my last visit to Brittany, I felt it was time to visit this beautiful part of France again. My first visit to Brittany was rather different, staying in a cheap hotel and eating fast food but my second visit was much more pleasant, this time staying with family in the comfort of their home and being treated to home cooked meals…what could be better? With a hire car I explored what the Côtes-d’Armor had to offer.

 

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Château de la Roche-Jagu

 

Pontrieux

 

Binic

 

Île-de-Bréhat

Bréhat is an archipelago composed of two main islands, separated only at high tide and many smaller ones. It is well known for its pink granite rocks, very mild micro-climate and Mediterranean vegetation, due to the warm Gulf Stream coming from across the Atlantic.

Visitors come to Brehat every day by the ferry service (les Vedettes de Bréhat) to visit the main tourist attractions which include the Paon & Rosedo lighthouses, the St-Michel chapel, the Guerzido beach, the Birlot water-mill and the Verrerie of Bréhat.

I took a trip to the island and was not disappointed. It is great for walks and escaping from it all.

 

 

Fort-la-Latte

 

Cap Fréhel

 

Nantes, Pays de la Loire

Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River. The city is the sixth largest in France, with a metropolitan area of about 900,000 inhabitants.

Nantes is the capital city of the Pays de la Loire region and the Loire-Atlantique département, and it is the largest city in traditional Brittany and in the whole Grand-Ouest (northwestern France). Together with Vannes, Rennes and Carhaix, it was one of the major cities of the historic province of Brittany and the ancient Duchy of Brittany. Nantes is still widely regarded as its capital city.

 

Nantes & Brittany

The city of Nantes and the Loire-Atlantique département, were formerly part of the historic province of Brittany. Nantes was one of its traditional capitals, along with Rennes. Depending on who you talk to, Nantes is still considered to be a part of Brittany and there is still much debate on this topic. Despite this, Nantes is a fantastic place to visit with beautiful architecture and many sites to observe.

 

 

After visiting Nantes, it was nice to head back to the Côtes-d’Armor where the pace of life was less hectic. Brittany is a great region of France to visit, no matter what your interests are. For me personally, I love the countryside and the small quaint towns and villages. I look forward to returning in the not to distant future, as there are more places that I would like to visit.

 

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Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Espérance

 

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Saint-Quay-Portrieux

 

References

Castle la Latte. (2016). Fort la Latte – Monument historique classé. [online] Available at: https://www.castlelalatte.com [Accessed 6 Sep. 2016].

Vedettes de Bréhat. (2016). Vedettes de Bréhat. [online] Available at: http://www.vedettesdebrehat.com [Accessed 6 Sep. 2016].

Wikipedia. (2016). Île-de-Bréhat. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Île-de-Bréhat [Accessed 6 Sep. 2016].

Wikipedia. (2016). Nantes. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nantes [Accessed 6 Sep. 2016].

 

 

Waddesdon Manor

A great place to visit which is surrounded by views of Oxfordshire, the Chilterns Hills & the Vale of Aylesbury. An ideal place for relaxing with family and friends.

Waddesdon Manor is a French Renaissance-style château built 1874, which is host to Victorian style gardens, a parterre, ornate fountains and statuary. There is also an Aviary with rare and exotic birds which can be found in the heart of the gardens.There are also plenty of woodland walks for guests to enjoy.

Here I spent a whole day and enjoyed the sunshine and taking photos. Enjoy!

 

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Aviary

 

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References

National Trust. (2016). Waddesdon Manor. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/waddesdon-manor [Accessed 15 Aug. 2016].

Bourne Mill, Essex

Not wanting to waste an opportunity of soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the great outdoors during this glorious spell of weather that we have at present, I decided to visit Bourne Mill in Colchester. A quaint water mill with a history dating back over 1000 years. A great retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the historic town of Colchester.

 

Bourne Mill

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Inside the Mill

 

Outside

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Then a quick drive to Copt Hall Marshes…

 

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References

National Trust. (2016). Bourne Mill. [online] Available at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bourne-mill [Accessed 20 Jul. 2016].

National Trust. (2016). Copt Hall Marshes. [online] Available at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/copt-hall-marshes [Accessed 20 Jul. 2016].

Iceland

Last week I visited Iceland for the very first time and I was not disappointed, it was everything I wished it would be and more.

With a population of around 332,529 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe which makes it a pleasure to drive around. Compared to the U.K, the roads seemed empty and it was a delight to take in the surroundings, from the sand, lava fields, mountains and glaciers.

My camera went into overdrive during my 1 week visit and I have decided to put a selection of the images onto this blog.

The Blue Lagoon was my first port of call, great for relaxation and unwinding after a flight.

 

“The Blue Lagoon was formed in 1976 during operation at the nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to their skin. Those with psoriasis noticed an incredible improvement in their condition. Over the years, Blue Lagoon has been innovative in harnessing this gift of nature to develop different spa services and products. Today, Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world.” 

(Blue Lagoon, 2016)

 

Reykjavík

 

Geysir

 

Gullfoss

 

Þingvellir National Park

 

Kerið

 

Seljalandsfoss

 

Eyjafjallajökull

 

Skógafoss

 

Reynisfjara

 

One of my favourite parts of the trip to Iceland was visiting Jökulsárlón where I took a boat tour onto the glacier, it is an experience I shall remember for a very long time.

 

Jökulsárlón

 

Glacier Lagoon in Iceland | icelagoon.is

Pit stop on the way back from Jökulsárlón. A field full of Lupin(e)s and a stream. Great place for a picnic!

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Valley of Reykjadalur

 

It was a great experience visiting Iceland and I am looking forward to returning in the near future…maybe in the winter months so that I can try and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Rutland Water

For the last few days I have taken advantage of the splendid weather that we have been experiencing by partaking in scenic rural walks, before heading off to a cooler climate in Iceland.

 

Here are some images that I took…Enjoy!

 

 

Manchester

Recently my work took me up to Manchester, where I stayed for a couple of nights. It seemed that I had made the right decision to travel north. As the south suffered with the cold, wind and rain, I sat on the Salford Quays enjoying the sunshine and a nice cold pint. As always, I brought along my travel companion…my trusty Nikon!

 

The Victoria Warehouse

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Some of the sites I encountered on my way to the Salford Quays.

 

 

I just couldn’t resist visiting the new “Coronation Street” Studios along Trafford Wharf Road.

 

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BBC Manchester, ITV and MediaCityUK

Houghton Mill

Houghton Mill was almost demolished, then saved by the local villagers and restored to working order to carry on the tradition of milling on the site for over 1,000 years. The mill is set in an idyllic village location on an island on the Great Ouse River. A great place to visit and experience the sound and atmosphere of a traditional working mill. The Waterclose Meadows are a delight to take a leisurely stroll in, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

 

Alpacas

 

Walk along the River Ouse

 

Swans

 

Time to relax!

 

 

References

National Trust. (2016). Houghton Mill and Waterclose Meadows. [online] Available at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/houghton-mill-and-waterclose-meadows [Accessed 8 Jun. 2016].

Nymans

Last weekend we had such beautiful weather that it would have been a shame not to make the most of it, so I headed down south and visited the wonderful and peaceful gardens at Nymans, Handcross, nr Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

 

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Imagery © 2016 Bluesky, DigitalGlobe, Getmapping plc, Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky, Landsat, Map Data © 2016 Google

 

The gardens are a treat for the eye and contain mixed borders of perennials and annuals. The garden is also house to romantic ruins, intimate gardens, and internationally recognised plant collections against a backdrop of Wealden woodland. Great for those who like to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and recharge the batteries.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous or energetic, your visit can be complemented by a walk around the surrounding estate, an area of the High Weald, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1983.

 

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© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Entrance to Nymans

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Entrance to Nymans

 

The Gardens

 

 

The Woods

 

 

 

References

National Trust. (2016). Nymans. [online] Available at: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans [Accessed 11 May 2016].

Banham Zoo

There’s nothing more I enjoy than photographing animals, so this Easter I took a trip to Banham Zoo in Norfolk. An enjoyable day out, if a little windy!

Banham Zoo is around 50-acres and is home to over 2,000 animals. Its doors opened to the public in 1968 and has since been awarded the prize of Norfolk’s Top Attraction, by numerous different organisations. It is part of the Zoological Society of East Anglia, a registered charity which also owns Africa Alive! near Lowestoft, Suffolk.

 

 

References

Banham Zoo. (2016). Banham Zoo. [online] Available at: http://www.banhamzoo.co.uk [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016].