Category Archives: The Great British Countryside

Places to Visit Spring/Summer 2012 – Stratford-Upon-Avon

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Well, I hope you all enjoyed the Tim Flach Photography series which has now ended – Boohoo! (Thank you Sarah from Modern Country Style for your kind words)

HOWEVER, good news on the series front. As you can tell by the title of this post, I want to give you all some good, nay, Brilliant ideas of where to go this summer! And I’m so excited I’m posting this one a day early!

Me and my husband realised we probably can’t afford a real holiday this year so we may plan day trips instead throughout the spring and summer so we get to do something together and it’s away from the norm.

These are just suggestions and I have to be honest they’ll come a lot from where I’ve been or want to go!

First up – Stratford-Upon-Avon

Yes, I have been here before, the wee town where Shakespeare lived, but I SOOOO want to go back again because it was fabulous…..

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Yes it really looks like this...not kidding!

The house where Shakespeare was born

The house where Shakespeare was born

Stratford-Upon-Avon Attractions

Stratford-Upon-Avon Attractions

Now this town has so much to offer with it’s obvious historical interests, very beautiful setting, array of shops and markets (which sell very nice silver rings if I remember correctly), theatre and of course rowing a little boat down the Avon which I did with my family taking a picnic and eating on the river – So idyllic!

Boating in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Boating in Stratford-Upon-Avon

And if you venture just outside Stratford then you can visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage – where the young Shakespeare courted his future wife Anne Hathaway. It’s a beautiful cottage filled with history where Shakespeare himself actually stood and breathed and outside are the most beautiful gardens with traditional shrubs and beautiful flowers!

Anne Hathaways Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - Stratford-Upon-Avon

Have you been here before? Would you like to go?

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Petworth House

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Now, I don’t know about you but I get very passionate about things and recently I have been wanting to write ALOT but unfortunately am suffering from writer’s block (ironic as I can outpour it here by writing on my blog – haha). So, anyway, I tend to think of things to do for lovely days out to keep myself busy instead and I just want to tell you all about Petworth House as it is stunning and I need to share it!

Petworth House

I went there earlier in the year, right when all the flowers were out and the gardens were basking in the sun, resplendent in their beauty, (ah, the writings coming back you see :-). It really is a treasure to go and see and if, like me, you are a member of the National Trust, it’s free to go in and spend all day in the house and grounds. If not, it’s well worth it – that I can tell you!

The house contains the largest collection of paintings in the National Trust‘s many houses, including an original of Anne Boleyn. So, if paintings are your thing, you can spend literally hours in the house, gazing at the portaits and landsapes including some by Gainsborough, and reading about the paintings.

Anne Boleyn - Petworth House

However, as much as I like paintings and history I can only look at so many before I find myself not bored but lacking interest. So, that’s when Petworth can offer you either the servants quarters to look through, a beautiful little Cafe, a second hand unmanned bookstore in the middle of the corridor, or, even better, rural grounds landscaped by Capability Brown himself.

Petworth House

They even have a ‘ha-ha‘ which is a ditch around the formal grounds separating them from the rural outlook of Petworth House and the idea of this was to make sure the deer and wildlife couldn’t come into the formal gardens but the ditch was hidden so to the unsuspecting eye it gave a look of unbroken landscape running on one from the other – INGENIUS!

Petworth House

So if your bored, go and get cultured and visit Petworth House in West Sussex!

Until next time,

Lizzy x

p.s. They also have a whole entire herd of deer running around free in the grounds!

Autumn – Countryside, Clothing, Nature and the Excitement of Winter

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So, I have been thinking about autumn a bit, if I said a lot I would be lying. Though, it is quite hard to think about autumn a lot when the British weather is so easily tricking us into believing it is still summer – or rather, the summer which we never had!

There are several things I love about autumn, firstly the colours. It may sound odd, or you may completely understand what I mean. Let me put it this way, I have brownish green eyes and muddy coloured hair, so, naturally, I am drawn to those kind of dark autumnal colours and so when that particular season eventually does decide to roll around, I find myself loving the colours of the leaves changing.

Autumn Leaves Turning

Autumn Leaves Turning

There are always so many different shades of flame-like orange, blood-red crimson and indecisive browns. They are, I guess, the colours of warmth and fire and as such, only serve to remind us of snuggly log fires which make your clothes smell delightfully olden-times-ish.

Cosy Log Fire

Cosy Log Fire

As the weather turns colder, you get to see the first frost in the early morning. It looks like a pixy has come around with a large frosting gun in the night and shot at everything, even the deserted spider webs. Best of all is those glorious sunsets. It’s almost like the sky got lazy over the summer because everything else looked pretty in bloom and now it’s autumn turning to winter it decides to spurt out all of it’s colours and put the rest of the hibernating landscape to shame!

Frosty Morning

Frosty Morning

However, at the moment I have only just traded by flip-flops for converse this morning, meaning that we obviously have a long way to go….

Old Converse

Old Converse

Still, when that season comes I will enjoy it as I always do, beginning to think of the excitement and food of Christmas, the long woolly socks I will purchase to wear with my leather country boots on cold walks, and the creative inspiration I will get from the beauty of the nature surrounding me… I hope you can capture a little of my excitement about this season and that the links in this post will help you on your way to enjoying a great autumnal season – Thanks for reading and see you next time!

p.s. Things to do in autumn:

Try some Autumn Recipes

Starting an Autumn Scrapbook

Making a Fall Wreath

And enjoy yourself!

Autumn Stumbles In – Country Clothing is Essential

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Below is a picture of classic British weather…This is something we’re all familiar with and which none of us like! But I have recently found out the key for the weather. That key is the wearing of proper clothing.

British Weather - Country Clothing

I once heard such a great quote –

“There is no such thing as inclement weather — Just improper clothing”

I think this is so true. I love the British Countryside and all that it entails but it has the uncanny habit of getting itself drenched regularly! With this in mind, I decided to research a little into country clothing, both for myself and for those of you blog readers out there who are interested in quality Countrywear.

So, let’s start with the head – I’m wondering what your thinking – Maybe a flat-cap for a man and a stylish waxed hat for a lady? Here are some examples –

Flat-Cap - Country ClothingWaxed Hat - Country ClothingWaxed Trapper Hat - Country Clothing

Of course the flat cap is more of a style thing, but the waxed, wide-brimmed hat is great for when it’s bucketing it down with rain. The rain simply runs off the front and back of the rim keeping your face and neck dry. Finally, the fur trapper hat is great for winter when it’s freezing cold. It keeps your ears warm, which for those of us who’ve worked outside in the winter will know is one of the body’s extremities it’s particularly hard to keep warm!

Secondly, and importantly, we’ll do coats. So, it’s not just enough to have some random rain-mac which is about a hundred years old but you found it at the bottom of your under-stairs cupboard and, ‘it’ll do’. No, if you want to take on the elements that Britain will throw at you, you need a proper Country Coat.

Now, you can go with the classic waxed jacket from Barbour, or for the technical tweeds or even for a three-in-1 coat which will serve you as a heavy weight winter coat, a lightweight rain jacket and as a fleece. Here are some examples of the coats you’ll want to go for –

3-in-1 Jacket - Country ClothingBarbour Waxed Jacket - Country Clothing

Tweed Jacket - Country ClothingThirdly, and finally, my favourite, feet. Now I absolutely love country footwear. I love big old leather boots that you can have for years and the more you bash them around the better they look! And wellies! Don’t get me started on wellies! I think they are such a fabulous creation. Though I have to say I do draw the line at the psycadelic wellingtons you can get now. I’m much more an old fashioned, greens and browns girl. Plus, the great makers of wellingtons don’t usually make the ridiculous looking wellies that you see on the high street and think a few minutes later – ‘they’ll have a hole in soon!’.

So, wellies to promote — Well Hunters are the obvious choice but I am an Aigle fan currently thanks to the fantastic pair of Aigle wellies I wear which have a neoprene lining to keep me warm in deep winter. Le Chameau are also a good make and for the cheaper wellies when you just need a pair, Dunlop are alright. Here are some examples –

Dunlop Wellies - Country ClothingHunter Wellies - Country Clothing

Le Chameau Wellies - Country ClothingAigle Wellies - Country Clothing

I hope that you, my blog readers, find this post helpful as, when I worked outside, no one told me what was quality and what was not. I think it is essential to understand what is good and what is not good country clothing, how much is too much to spend but how much you have to spend to get something decent that’ll last. With this in mind, my category for country blogs is aimed at those working or enjoying the countryside who need tips and help with all things country-esque!

Happy reading and please ask any questions you need to!