I'm sure it hasn't escaped the notice of all the overseas visitors to 'Annie's Place' that the UK has been basking in sunshine this past few weeks. Being of the fair & freckly persuasion I have to be ultra careful not to get sun burnt, so I inevitably gravitate toward the shade of the nearest tree, with my trusty bottle of Evian by my side. I love the sun, but sadly the sun doesn't love me. With an Irish mother and Scottish father, I suppose I was genetically predisposed.
I'm really enjoying this prolonged spell of hot weather, and have managed to steal a few moments here and there to do some public hooking. That sounds a bit dodgy doesn't it? It really isn't you know!? I filled a bag with yarn, and headed for the park ready to crochet up some more Happy Flower Blocks. I almost had the whole park to myself, just a few dog walkers and me. The colours of the blocks really came to life under the dappled light of the trees. It was pure pleasure to be outside, in the sun, surrounded by yarn, trees and birdsong. Bliss.
The forecasters are saying this dry spell could last for a number of weeks yet, so I plan on making the most of it. One place that definitely warrants a visit is Rushmere Country Park. It really was by pure accident that I came across this place, and I'm so glad I did.
Set high on a hill in the village of Heath & Reach is this wonderful woodland paradise. It's a really magical place, where you can escape for hours under the enormous canopy of trees. I'm almost reluctant to share it with the world, as it's really unspoilt and relatively quiet. Considering the blistering heat we've been afforded, I would've thought it would've been over run with people. The only indicator to those that had found this secret spot was the visitors book, that had been signed by people from all over the place, from Europe and beyond. So why oh why didn't I know about this place?!
Truth be told, one of the volunteer guides whom I spoke to said that very few locals even know of it's existence, as this part of the Stockgrove Estate has only been open to the public since 2011. There is a thriving heronry there also, and I had the privilege of viewing them nesting with their young through the telescope, positioned on the decking at the visitor's centre.
A cafe has recently been opened, with seating inside and out, serving an array of refreshments. It overlooks the most spectacular vista. The staff are super friendly, and I was happy to support their fledgling venture by purchasing some tea and cake (*cough cough* like I need an excuse). It's only £2 to park for the whole day, and with hundreds of acres to explore it's a great place for picnicing, or a nature ramble with the kids. I think you can tell I'm pretty enamoured by this place!
One last thing I must mention. I was so tempted to have a sneaky go on that slide you can see pictured above. It looked like so much fun, but was strictly prohibited to big kids like me. How very boring I say!!
Well, I'll stop jabbering and
thank you for reading.
I'm really glad you stopped by.....
x x x x x