Last week by invitation of my friend Barbara from Bern I visited Tenerife. This was the first time I’d travelled so far south – to the largest of the Canary Islands 62 miles west of Morocco. Barbara and her husband, Paul, own a beautiful house there on the edge of the small resort of Palm Mar in the very south of the island. This year Barbara and I met with our two other friends from the Cambridge days to celebrate 40 years of friendship.
Tenerife has a distinctive, but not particularly attractive, volcanic landscape so I was interested to see all the unusual native plants and trees. Despite what appears to be unrestricted building development in some areas much of the island’s nature is protected by law. There are also many huge scale banana plantations protected from the strong winds by miles of hessian.
Barbara’s house backs onto the Special Nature Reserve Malpais de la Rasca. Sandy footpaths cross the reserve and on Sunday afternoon we stepped out to cross the scrub landscape, keeping parallel with the sea, to the Lighthouse Faro de Rasca, at the southernmost tip of Tenerife. Shortly after passing the lighthouse the Reserve finished and banana plantations appeared. After a couple of miles further on foot we finally arrived at the little town of Las Galletas where we dined at a restaurant on the promenade, watched the sun go down and hailed a taxi to take us back to Palm Mar.
Palm Mar and the island of La Gomera the roof terrace
Typical Rocky Inlet along our Route
Typical Sandy Path and Banana Plantation
Leaving the Nature Reserve
Path Continues Past the Banana Plantation
Hippie Beach Bar near Las Galletas
Marina Las Galletas
Las Galletas Sunset
The weekend before last I spent three nights staying near Bury St Edmunds at a National Trust cottage on the Ickworth Estate. A friend and I stopped to visit Ely Cathedral on our journey down from Yorkshire on Friday; we visited Bury St Edmunds Cathedral and The Moyses Hall Museum on Saturday and our plan for Sunday was to walk The Ickworth Grand Tour Walk. The IGTW is a seven mile walk that begins at the NT car park. In our case, we could begin it from our Horringer Park Gates front door.
Horringer Park Gates at Ickworth Main Entrance
Wishing all Miladys Readers a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year!
Very much closer to home than Fountains Abbey is the Harewood Estate. Just a few miles north of Leeds off the A61, Harrogate Road. I often take a circular walk around the wider estate but not within the immediate site of the House and Gardens which are currently closed until late March 2017.
Last weekend I rounded off my two-and-a-half weeks in the Southwest in Bath. This was to share further birthday celebrations with my friend, Ann, and the combination of Bath and a Landmark Trust property is an excellent way to do this. Ten years ago I helped my mum celebrate her eightieth birthday in another Bath Landmark.
On Friday I’ll have been in the southwest for two weeks enjoying stays in favourite places : Lyme Regis, Ashburton and now Chagford. One of Sir Edwin Lutyens‘s masterpieces Castle Drogo is just a few miles away from our cottage and I decided to revisit on this glorious autumn dayVisitor Centre at Castle Drogo
Nourishing soup to set me up for the afternoon’s walk
Lovely Winkworth Arboretum is very near Godalming and I’ve visited lots of times this year. It’s one of Oliver (pug)’s favourite places and we both enjoy our walks there. There’s something for both of us. My attention was drawn to two other nearby sites – a walk and a house to visit. In fact it is possible to walk from Winkworth Arboretum to Oakhurst Cottage and include part of the Octavia Hill Trail en route. On my last Saturday in Surrey I decided to visit both but after a fortifying lunch at Winkworth I drove to Hydon’s Heath for the trail and then on to Oakhurst Cottage for a guided tour.
Where once the busy, congested A3 once ran is now a haven for nature and for peace and tranquility and a walker’s and naturalist’s paradise. These days the A3 is a major dual carriageway route between London and Portsmouth and the beautiful landscapes of the Devils’ Punchbowl and Hindhead Common have been preserved and enhanced since the A3 is now diverted into a tunnel below this section of the Surrey countryside.