Portsmouth U.K.May 8 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C
Today our unplanned visit to Portsmouth. Bucketing down this morning ,berthed right in the Naval Base, alongside the Cross Channel Ferries, Brittany, Cherburgh and even Spain..So exciting to drive on here, sail to another country, then drive off into your adventure, that must be so great, lots of Motorhomes going on ,with many trucks, cars, motorbikes and bikes. Naval ships of several kinds, some under construction.. So war is still a big thing…it seems.. Lots to see anyway.
Fortunately, our Excursion today ,was for this afternoon, when it cleared, the sun shone, but the wind still blew, it was really cold, a shock to our systems really. Arundel Castle was the choice, I remembered Christian going a long time ago, and had good photos. Like a Fairy-tale he said…
Oh to be in England.. I cannot help but think ,once we proceed into the countryside, glorious ,green ,huge trees, fields of rape, glowing yellow, the villages ,the swans ,just love it all. Through pretty places, like Chichester ,where we had a little look at the very tall spire on the Cathedral. So much history to learn, lost on the Americans, but our guide was a delight, so well spoken and interesting.
Arundel not so far away, set high up above the quaint old village with its cathedral beside..A little climb ,not suiting some, [lots are so unwell and very crochety] a very solid and huge Castle, an older part ,and then much more ,its surroundings simply beautiful.
So much to see, a very large place, so with advice of the highlights we were off at speed. Owned by the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk, they reside in a private part ,but use the Castle on occasions, recently a christening. There have been many over the years but it is managed well, the treasures well looked after ,and preserved. Nice looking people, as the aristocracy go. The portraits through the years ,numerous. A place of “weapons rooms”..like Windsor ,many swords and killing instruments ,suits of armour etc, and lots of hunting trophies, heads of all manner of animals , even Lions as mats, one hopes, from days well gone by.!
Dining room , gorgeous, all set up, and in the cabinet, the treasure of Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads, gold, that she took with her to her death…amongst other precious things. Very dark ,huge library ,of enormous proportions, everything behind glass, but two levels…
The Chapel ,large and apparently divided, as these Norfolk’s are Catholic, but there is a place for Anglicans ,beautiful mellow stone that had to be imported for this to be constructed, from the Isle of Wight.
Only flint here for building so walls of that, flint features on many older homes, looks like shells ,at a glance, but not so..Quite effective patterns. Beautiful views from the high windows ,to the courtyards below.. The kitchen wear, copper and skillets ,all displayed. Huge wide Hallways, and luckily it had copper radiators for heating, as it would be freezing, with little sun..
The bedrooms, as in other grand places I have found ,were not actually very nice, dark coloured and a bit dusty looking…
All manner of beautiful things throughout, but we had to speed onwards, as the Gardens were next…a good walk up, through the glorious spring green trees, all kinds of wonderful things, beeches ,oaks, jacaranda’s ,chestnuts in bloom.. Sadly the spring flowers were finished of course, had been miles of daffodil’s, everywhere ,and a tulip festival at Easter . Dashed into a walled part, and just simply stopped in my tracks, probably the best gardens I have ever seen, that just went on and on, with all kinds of precious views, of amazing things. In here many tulips still in bloom, in pots, the alliums always a favourite, hedges, driftwood forming one part ,Mum would love, it was actually very impressive, it just went on and on to the end where there was the Kitchen Garden, everything imaginable, all the berries, rhubarb, gooseberries ,raspberries, potatoes, silver beet, beans ..everything. Some devoted gardeners here.
The smaller chapel, had a completely white garden ,so much to enjoy…Some intricate garden structures ,many very old, but some looked more recent , will need to research more. Stunning in everyway, what a find…!
Seating in lovely places, unusual water features , just around every corner, sights to behold, felt so very grateful to experience such a wonder…Sam enjoyed it too, even at top speed ,I wasn’t going to miss anything. So back down the hill to the pretty village, adjacent, so old and special as well…
A Romanian , in his nice Ice Cream shop, of a kind ,with special home made cones ,and delectable treats of strawberries ,in first… One year in business, and doing well in his new country , said we are the friendliest people in the world, Brits sometimes are not, and that is true, still reserved to an extent, there are quite a few here . A nice wander in the Village ,for a short time, it has many, many “Tea and Scone” shops… never enough time..! But a wonderful day in Britain… and so much information as well…Hard for photos in the gale, but we will see…
The naming and pictures of the new Royal Baby, pleasing the Brits ,Archie indeed.!!! Looks a beautiful baby ,with very happy parents ,and will be an adored child.
On departure we sailed down the coast of the Isle of Wight ,it’s a very large Island, and relatively uninhabited, in places ,on this side, some smaller towns, Osborne House, of Queen Victoria fame ,in a beautiful spot ,ferries cross from Portsmouth ,so easy access. Large tracts of agriculture ,which I didn’t imagine. It was getting dark by time we reached the white chalk cliffs of The Needles, at the end of the Island, dramatic in the dusk… Now we proceed at about 2knts ,to wait for our entry into the Thames ,in the early hours of the 10th.
All our goodbyes today ,[so many people are sick, it’s really bad, everything crossed we can escape, but thinking that could be a miracle…!]..home beckons ,and we will be pleased to be back ,on the 19th,, after our stopover in Hong Kong, 3 nights in Tonbridge Wells, to see Molly and Peter. A lovely part of the world, so I will have pictures to share..
Bye from us cruising ,very slowly, in the English Channel…Read more