Monday 28 November 2016

Beautiful Britain - Beaulieu & Hythe, The New Forest

Early on in our holiday in The New Forest we had been on a rainy day drive, working out which places we would like to visit properly when the weather picked up.  Beaulieu and Hythe were both on the agenda.

We decided to make the most of a bright sunny day and we started out in Beaulieu. Of course, the big draw for Beaulieu for most would be the National Motor Museum, Abbey and Palace House. We had already decided that this wasn't for us and were happy to have a wander around the village, which looked really pretty.

Parking in the village is very limited, with just one small car park, and it took several drives around before we managed to find a parking space.
These absolute cuties were pretty much one of the first things we saw on our visit, as they were hanging around on the car park. It certainly wasn't the last that we saw of them.

From the car park we followed our new found friends back to the main road, where there were plenty of tantalising glimpses of the Palace to be seen across the lake.
We headed right and made our way along the road, walking through the village, past the back entrance to the museum, and up to the church, where we could catch more sneaky peaks of what lie just the other side of the hedge.
Opposite the church is another beautiful expanse of water and. apart from the sound of the traffic on the road, it felt really peaceful.
We were enjoying the view before being joined by our old friends again,
 This was clearly a favourite lunch spot for them ...
Making our way back along the main road, which can get quite busy, we took a left up the Main Street where we did a bit of mooching about in the few small gift shops that are there.
We spent a lovely hour exploring the village. Aside from the obvious attractions, Beaulieu is a lovely little village. It is full of pretty buildings and cottages, very picturesque and was a really delight. Definitely worth parking up and having a wander if you're in the area.

Just up the road from the village is the Beaulieu Road Sales Yard, which we were also looking forward to having a wander round. It is a sale yard used primarily by 'Commoners', owners of the ponies on The New Forest, to sell their ponies by auction.
Sales are held four times a year and between 150 and 350 New Forest Ponies are up for auction.

The yard was built on the site just after the Second World War and was rebuilt in 2002. It is recognised as one of the safest and most efficient sales yards of its type in the country.

It was fascinating, very quiet today, but it was easy to imagine it bustling with people and ponies on a sale day.
The best views to be had were from the railway bridge back on the road, where there were more donkeys, showing no road sense whatsoever in their quest to find the tastiest treats.
Our last stop for the day was Hythe, a small town near Southampton, along the opposite shore of Southampton Water.

We parked up at the Marina, which is very nice indeed and had a very bracing walk along the coast, with amazing views across the Water to Southampton, where there was one heck of a cruise ship docked.
There were some really good views looking back across to the Hythe Pier and ferry too.
Even on a bright day, the spot is very exposed and it was pretty cold and windy when we visited. Definitely worth a look though.

It's quite close to the town, which is fairly small, with just a few shops and the very unusual pier, where you can catch a train out to the ferry which runs regularly across to Southampton. 
We didn't spend that long in Hythe, but we did manage to find a nice spot for lunch, which is always a winner in my book.
We had a lovely day exploring Beaulieu and a bit farther afield. Highlight of the day had to be the baby donkeys though, they were just too cute.

Monday 21 November 2016

Beautiful Britain - Staying Local - The New Forest

On the second Tuesday of our two week stay in The New Forest, it was finally time to get the bikes out and see how we got on.

We had a short circular route planned, with an option of extending it to take in The Old Station Tea Rooms at Holmsley if we felt up to it.

It was a nice bright day, but not too warm, so we headed out. No more than 100 yards down the road and my chain fell off. Not the best start, but we were soon back on our way.

Within a couple of minutes of leaving Border Cottage we were off the beaten track and in the heart of the Wilverley Plain and Enclosure.
We haven't really been out on our bikes since our trip along The Cinder Track in Yorkshire, back in May, and it wasn't long before we were having to resort to getting off an pushing as it was a pretty hilly start.
Before long we hit the disused railway line where we met with some horse riders, who told us that the trail was blocked by a fallen tree, but we should be able to get under it on our bikes.As you can see we did manage this and before long we met up with another blockage, this time more of the locals, who weren't moving an inch. Fortunately they seemed friendly enough and we managed to get by pretty uneventfully.
It wasn't long before we came to decision point and we both opted to keep going with the promise of a tea room treat on the cards. This bit of the ride was on a fairly busy main road, downhill all the way, which was great for now, but we would definitely looking for a different way back.

Before we knew it, we had hit the tea rooms and were soon making the most of the Station Master's Croque Monsieur, followed by a fab lemon meringue pie for me, with no soggy bottom in site and no blow torched meringue either, Mary Berry would be impressed. Definitely worth a stop here if you are passing.
A good look at the map and the GPS led us to opt for a different way back, missing out the main road and the long uphill slog. We both greed we'd rather do any hill biking off he beaten track, then at least if we had to resort to walking, we wouldn't be in fear of our lives from the traffic whizzing past.

As it happened, we found a lovely trail back and only a tiny bit of walking was required, with some really pretty spots along the way.
We were soon back on the old railway line and retracing our way, not helping but to wonder where all the intriguing paths off the beaten track would lead.
We passed this humongous caterpillar on our way back and just had to stop for a photo.

Before long we were back at Border Cottage, feeling just a little be achy in the leg department but pretty pleased with our efforts.

Monday 14 November 2016

Beautiful Britain - Mottistone, Isle of Wight

Whilst on our recent holiday in The New Forest, we had the most lovely day over on the Isle of Wight.  The majority of our time was spent exploring The Needles Batteries, but we just had time for a very quick visit to another National Trust property not that far away ... Mottistone Gardens.
We only had time to spend about half an hour exploring, so there was just the chance for a very swift walk around, but we did manage to capture a fair few photos of the gardens, which were still looking lovely. It would be great to be able to go back at the height of Summer to take in the borders in their full glory.

Compared to a lot of National Trust properties, the gardens are contained in a fairly small area and, for us, an hour would probably have been the idea amount of time to have been able to spend there.

Whilst the gardens are fairly small they are still a real treat and there are quite a few different areas to explore which lead you on through hedges and round corners to new surprises.

Stone steps lead you up into the rose garden and the double herbaceous borders.
Even though it was the end of the season, there was still lots of colour to be seen and some beautiful views looking back at the old stone house.

From the back of the herbaceous border we found our way into the kitchen garden where, again, there was still plenty of colour to be found, particularly amongst the chard and the pumpkin patches.
There was no time for us to partake of the usual National Trust flapjack today, but there was a lovely tea garden in sight of 'The Shack'.
From here we had a quick look at the garden at the front of the house, which was just as lovely.
All too soon it was time for us to head off to catch our ferry back to Lymington. If we'd had a little longer I think we would have explored a little further beyond the formal gardens and had a walk up to the viewpoint.

I am sure a stop in the tea garden would also have been very welcome.

I think this is one place that we will definitely be putting on the list for a re-visit at some time in the future.

Monday 7 November 2016

HM@No27 - My October Makes

Hi there everyone

It's time for me to share what I made in October with you all.

I think the most exciting thing, though I didn't actually make it myself, has to be the introduction of my new Hand Made at Number 27 logo. I just love it and can't wait to start using it on stickers, business cards, my craft stall and anywhere else I can think of.

A massive thank you to Michelle at Heartfelt Illustrations for coming up with it for me and being so very patient whilst I deliberated on colours and where I wanted my butterflies. I would definitely be happy to recommend this company, the whole process was brilliant.

So, what did I get up to in October? Well, the month started with us on holiday but this did not stop the crafting process ...

Christmas Gift Tags
Martin and I spent two wet and grey days at the kitchen table in our holiday cottage in The New Forest making lots and lots of Christmas gift tags, to stock up our supply for a couple of craft fairs we have coming up in November.  We made plenty of old favourite designs and tried a few new ones too.

As you can see we were very productive ...

Crocheted Snowflake Christmas Tree Decorations
It wasn't just gift tags that we made whilst we were away, I also had time for a bit of 'hooky' and had a go at making some crocheted snowflakes, which have actually come out quite well. I will be offering them for sale on my craft stall so it will be interesting to see what people think of them.

Simple Baby Blanket
Another thing I've been meaning to make for absolutely is ages is this baby blanket. I bought the woodland themed fabric and fleecy backing absolutely ages ago, but had just not actually got round to putting it together. Well, my new niece or nephew is actually now a week overdue, so I just about got it made in time. I'm hoping to have a go at some 'taggy blankets' next, so I may have one of these ready in time for Christmas!!

Dog Bandanas
Yes, there have been plenty more of these, with the first 50 of my big Christmas ordered finished off and delivered and time for a few in a non-Christmas fabric too ...

The Winter Collection
I've also found time to use some lovely snowflake charms in my Winter jewellery collection, which again I will be showing on my craft table in November ...

Christmas Bunting
There has been plenty more Christmas bunting in the making, lots of mini-bunting, which is really popular and a length of full size bunting, incorporating some Christmas stockings too, in a gorgeous combination of Christmas fabrics ...

Christmas Stocking
I was really pleased to finish my first personalised Christmas stocking for this year, having had the order since very early in the year.

Hanging Christmas Star
I've made another one of these Christmas stars. This time with a nice long hanging loop for hanging on a newel post at the bottom of the stairs. This hallway is going to look very festive with both this and the flag and stocking bunting draped along the stairway.

So that's what I got up in the craft room during October. There's still plenty going on for November and I will have lots more makes to show you next month. I'll also be able to let you know how we got on at our first 'commercial' craft fairs.

See you next time.