Canal boats, Basingstoke canal, Odiham

Odiham and the Basingstoke Canal

The Basingstoke Canal was built in 1794 to connect Basingstoke with the River Thames at Weybridge.  Its intended purpose was to allow boats to travel between the docks in East London and Basingstoke allowing goods such as flour, timber and coal to be transported.  It was never a commercial success and from the 1950's due …

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Corfe Castle, Dorset

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Corfe Castle is a small village on the Isle of Purbeck located midway between Wareham to the north and Swanage to the south in the picturesque county of Dorset.  Wandering around the village with its charming buildings constructed from the local Purbeck stone we soon arrived in the village square.  Here we found a cluster …

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The Pheasant Inn, Highclere, Hampshire

Hotel Review Location This picturesque 17th century inn is located in the village of Highclere, Hampshire close to the Berkshire border. Highclere Castle, where most of the filming for Downton Abbey took place, is just up the road and the attractive market town of Newbury a fifteen minute drive away. The Pheasant has ample parking …

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River Frome, Wareham

Wareham, Dorset

On arrival in the town we were following car park signs but managed to park on the road which was fortunate.  Leaving the car, we walked past the Town Hall and popped into the Town Museum for a little look.  Admission is free and its small galleries depict the town's history and display historic artefacts. …

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Blandford Forum, Dorset

Blandford Forum, Dorset

Blandford Forum is a market town in Dorset, 15 miles north of Poole.  I'd read the town was noted for its Georgian architecture so I was keen to take a look.  Approaching Blandford Forum we passed through pretty villages with quaint names such as Sturminster Marshall and Charlton Marshall.  Arriving in the town, we parked …

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River Thames, Abingdon

A day in Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Abingdon is a market town in Oxfordshire nestled on the banks of the River Thames.  I was long overdue a return visit as the previous occasion was more than 25 years ago when I attended a wedding in the town.  Although Abingdon does not have a railway station the nearest one is located only three …

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Mottisfont Rose Garden arch

Andover and the Mottisfont Rose Garden

I'd seen an article in a magazine about the Mottisfont Rose Garden and how beautiful it was in mid-summer so one sunny day we decided to visit.  The garden is in Hampshire and on our way we stopped in Andover for an early lunch and a little look around the market town. Andover is located …

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Canal boats on the Kennet and Avon canal, Newbury

A walk along the Kennet & Avon canal in Newbury

What could be nicer on a warm, sunny spring day than to enjoy a leisurely wander along a canal towpath. With this in mind, we jumped in the car and drove to Newbury, a market town in West Berkshire. The town is approximately 30 minutes drive from Oxford and about an hour by train from …

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West Gate and The Pig in the Wall hotel, Southampton

A day in Southampton

I decided to visit Southampton to explore its rich, maritime history.  It's a port city in Hampshire located on the south coast of England and is now known as the cruise capital of Europe.  The Pilgrim Fathers sailed the Mayflower from Southampton in 1620 taking settlers to the new world of America.  More recently, in …

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Coloured houses, Bristol waterfront

Day 1. Bristol city break

After enjoying city breaks in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham we decided to head to the south west of England for our next weekend away.  My journey on board a CrossCountry train was pleasant, having an interesting conversation with an Edinburgh green keeper, learning about life on one of Scotland's premier golf courses as we journeyed …

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