#Weekendwanderings – Bushy Park, Surrey #photos #britishwildlife

Over the summer we visited Bushy Park in Surrey and had the pleasure of meeting a couple of very friendly squirrels and their jackdaw pals. One cheeky squirrel actually took food from my hand and almost climbed onto my daughter’s lap.

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Over the years we’ve visited Bushy Park dozens of times, in all seasons. I have wonderful memories of family picnics and stalking wildlife with my camera. Today is more of a wander through my photo archive. I could fill this post with hundreds of pics of landscapes and flora and fauna, but instead I’ve picked a couple of my favourite wildlife shots (even if the quality is not perfect).

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And lastly, when I was certain the kids would join me in my love of photography…

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my wildlife photos. Look out for more pictures in the future, where I hope to focus more on the seasons at Bushy Park.

Next week I may return to another favourite pastime of mine, visiting old castles. Ludlow Castle here we come…

 

 

#Weekendwanderings Llama Park – East Sussex #Llama #photos

For my first weekend wander in a long time, I’d like to show off a few photos from our family visit to The Llama Park in East Sussex. It’s a great place to spend a couple of hours in some very beautiful English countryside.

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This Llama is very tame and friendly, and wanders loose around the grounds. There are lots of Llamas and you can even take part in a Llama walk.

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I love the cheeky little Alpacas.

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But my highlight of the day was seeing this peacock admiring his reflection, or perhaps sussing out a rival.

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Feeding time was my daughter’s highlight.

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If you are looking for a few hours of fun with some very friendly animals, check out the Llama Park.

Next week I hope to share some pictures of the historic ships at Portsmouth’s Dockyard.

#weekendwanderings – The Bishops Garden in Chichester #photos #flowers #cathedral

You may have seen my post yesterday with a wander around the cathedral of Chichester. Today I wanted to shared some pictures of the Bishops Garden, which also has some beautiful views of the cathedral. Again this is open to the public to enjoy and makes a lovely base for a picnic or just to enjoy the summer sun.

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My favourite flower here has to be the Bearded Iris.

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There is also a lot of history in Chichester. I wish we’d had time to do more, especially the 1.5 mile circular walk tracing the old wall around the city – details in the pictures below.

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I hope I’ve inspired you to visit this beautiful city, I would certainly love to go back.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

#Weekendwanderings around Chichester Cathedral #photos

A few weeks ago we paid a brief visit to Chichester and spend a lovely afternoon wandering around the city centre and its beautiful cathedral. It’s wonderful that this building’s grounds are free for the public to walk through and explore.

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A day at Falco West Sussex Falconry #photos #birdsofprey

On a beautiful, sunny Saturday a few weeks ago, I spent the morning at Falco West Sussex Falconry. It was a mother’s day / birthday treat, a chance to research for a character in one of my future books, but mainly I went because I love birds of prey!

This is Phoenix, probably my favourite bird of the day.

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I have plenty of shots of this Harris Hawk, but here are just a couple. The first is a view of it sitting on my arm.

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We also got to fly Crystal (Chrissy) the Barn Owl. She’s tiny and weighs nothing, but is a real stunner to watch fly.

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The above picture is Chrissy sitting on my hand (such a privilege).

There were lots of other owls at Falco, which were brilliant to see but unfortunately my photos aren’t good enough to share.

I love this next falcon, but admittedly can’t remember which type it is. I think it is a Saker Falcon.

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This next bird is a Hybrid bird, clearly part peregrine falcon.

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Finally, I’ve already shared a few photos of this young Buzzard on a Wordlesswednesday post. But I had to show off this photo again because it still makes me smile!

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I really recommend a falconry day if you like birds of prey. Nothing beats having one fly onto your hand and being so close to these majestic creatures.

Tomorrow’s stop on the blog tour is a guest post about ‘How writing has turned me into an obsessive learner’. I mention this experience in the post, so it seems a perfect day to share this with you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them.

#Weekendwanderings around Arundel #photo #Arundelcastle

Last week we paid a flying visit to the beautiful town of Arundel. It is now officially my favourite place! I can’t wait to go back for a proper visit. Here are a couple of photos I’d like to share.

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By the bridge is this wonderful tile map of the river system. I’ve not seen anything like it before.

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I love the ship drawings too (I’m a bit obsessed with ships having featured them in my new book). I can see Farrell and his crew of pirate hunters at the docks trading supplies for the pirates they’ve captured.

There is so much history here, and a museum that definitely needs a visit. Below is a ruin of a Dominican Priory which sits by the River Arun.

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A couple of examples of the Tudor style buildings that are dotted around the town.

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The castle was something special and could be seen from pretty much any location in Arundel that we passed through. We didn’t get to go inside the castle this visit, but next time…

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I will do a proper feature on Arundel Castle in the autumn.

Over the next few weeks I have some more photo posts planned. Look out for Chichester and its magnificent cathedral, Bognor beach, and some more shots of my falconry day. I hope you can join me again.

Cheddar Gorge, Gough’s Cave and #Somerset #landscape #photography

With the last of my birthday’s celebrations over (almost I still have a falconry day to look forward to!) I thought it was a good time to share some of my pictures of Cheddar Gorge. This is a spectacular place to visit. Let me show you why…

Firstly there’s Gough’s cave;

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Cheddar has some brilliant stalactites (grow down from the ceiling) and stalagmites (grow up from the ground).

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Of course there has to be a picture of its famous cheese stored in the caves;

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It was amazing to see the pockets of life flourishing underground;

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The light show in the Dream Hunters cave made the day even more memorable. I would say it was even better than Gough’s cave and it’s something we hope to take the children to see very soon.

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Cheddar Gorge is a photograph’s dream. The views of Somerset are spectacular. The 3 mile (felt like 10 miles) cliff top walk is hard going but worth it.

A couple of photos from my Sony Xperia camera phone.

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The rest were taken on my old Lumix camera

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It is a wonderful place to visit and has given me plenty of inspiration for my book series – Silent Sea Chronicles, which features plenty of caves, caverns and mountain passes.

Next weekend I hope to share some pictures of Bath and its Roman Baths.

#Weekendwanderings Bedfont Lakes, Surrey #wildlife #photo #nature

We are lucky to live a short drive away from this beautiful country park in Bedfont. It has interest all year round, but I especially love to visit on cold and frosty mornings.

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Sometimes the lakes freeze over.

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I like how the sun creates long shadows at this time of year.

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A few wildlife shots.

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Swans are always so graceful and easy to capture in photographs. Whereas this little tufted duck kept diving and disappearing out of view.

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I enjoyed the challenge of trying for an underwater shot.

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Finally here are a couple of my favourite shots from a few years ago.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the little wander around Bedfont Lakes. There is much more to see, including a nature reserve area and several really good play areas and for the kids. I highly recommend a visit any time of year. Here’s a link if you want to find out more Bedfont Lakes Country Park.

Weekend wanderings – Hawkstone Park Follies Shropshire

Last month we returned the wonderful Hawkstone Park Follies in Shropshire. It’s an inspiring place to walk around, with caves, ravines and a tower to explore. I would like to share a few of my photos from the day. First the views…

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The Monument – a very steep climb with a perfect viewing platform at the top if you’re not scared of heights. I didn’t take up the challenge.

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The caves – the first one was pitch black, thank goodness for the torch app on my phone.

I used this shots for one of my blog tour picture quotes.

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The ravine (the squeeze) was by far the best place to visit, but my photos just don’t do it justice.

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Who doesn’t love a tree sculpture?

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Finally, I’d also like to share some close ups.

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If you’re ever in Shropshire, take a few hours out to visit this beautiful historic park.

Weekend Wanderings – Along the River Thames #photo #nature

Last week we took a family stroll along the river on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I haven’t really seen this hidden part of Staines-Upon-Thames before, and it was only spoilt by the occasional dumped rubbish or poo tied up in a bag (why do dog walkers do that?). Plus I got a gnat bite which has been driving me crazy, but it was still a wonderful hour on an August afternoon.

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Some interesting angles.

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And my favourite, a couple of macro shots to finish off.

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