Sunday, 30 June 2013

An Interetsing Family Weekend at Dorking, Surrey

When our daughter invited us to their 10th Wedding Anniversary and Husband Matts 40th Birthday Celebration Party we excitingly booked room at the lovely Burford Bridge Hotel. 

You may well remember the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Well, there is a clue in the photo above. 
This strip of road was used by both the Men's and Women's Cycling Road Races as the riders swept towards the Village of Mickleham and the turn right to begin their first climb up Box Hill. (currently featured on TV in Halfords Cycle Shop Ads). 

If one cyclist passed the Hotel this morning over a thousand passed by. They included a Charity London to Brighton Rally in one direction and a Road Race in the other. Add to these a continuous flow of weekenders, mostly on expensive racing bikes.

Those of you who may know the area will also know of the Car Park on this junction which is taken over on Weekend Mornings by the Motor Cycle fraternity who gather there and breakfast at the large cafe. As we checked in on Saturday, a massive group of Harley Davidson bikes complete with Outriding Marshalls were just leaving. My young grandson is showing a strong interest so we made a visit. Here are some images.


Even this lovely Lotus Super 7 was lurking among the bikes. 

Meanwhile, back at the hotel some more images taken there.

The Hotel Garden 

The Lido Style Heated Swimming Pool 

More Rooms in the Annex 

A Local Wedding Breakfast and Party 

The Wedding Party Room

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Sun Came Out and so did the Wild Deer

At the weekend, while out dog walking in a local meadow, we were privileged to be in close proximity to a young stag who was more interested in his feeding on the lush grass than running away from us or our dog.

 Spotted in the distance as we approach.

 Are they looking at Me!

 I'll just carry on eating and maybe they will go away.

 Oh Dear! They are getting closer.

 I'll just stand here and watch where they are going.

He keeps taking photos. I had better smile and polish my new antlers for this one

The wild flowers are in abundance

If you squint for the next few snaps you can just about see a Roe Deer in the centre with her young fawn. It cannot have been more than a few days old and just stood there with Mum who was feeding in the meadow.  Oh for having a decent camera with me rather than just my mobile phone.

Now they have spotted us and slowly walk away towards the cover of the woodland

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Dog in the Mog Visiting our Morgan Supplier and 'Lady Astor's Gardens at Cliveden.

Mogged Out as we arrived home.

With this fabulous weather, I would rather be somewhere on Holiday, but instead I was able to take a short run in the Morgan with Digby our Dog.

He is not that keen on motoring in any shape or form but has become quite a fan of the Morgan with the roof down and lots of fresh air, if warm air today.

So  the Mog was ignominiously 'Dragged' from the garage, 'de hooded' and Digby was shackled in his car harness and his water bottle and collapsible dish in my cool bag, loaded into the car. we set off for SGT.   

As is often the case, parking is difficult at this busy dealership with their multiple brands on offer.

 Looking much more 'Well Organsied and User Friendly' is the SGT Morgan Showroom.

I was only just in time to catch Julian Cutts,  SGTs Morgan Specialist and Dedicated Owner / Driver. Julian is a veritable mine of Morgan news and information about the latest models & developments at the Morgan Factory. Great Stuff worth of a visit for an update. 

It was Julian who named our Mog 'The Green Goddess'

I had already met Selwyn Harris (Taff) the Morgan Engineer to say hello but Taff was as always busy and needed to get on with his work.

Lady 'Nancy' Astor's initials on one of the Cliveden Internal Gates

Then it was Off to Cliveden, the old home of Lord and Lady Astor and the infamous 'Profumo Affair'

Arrival Point, about a half mile from the Car Parks, where you are guaranteed to get a warm welcome from the Volunteers there. 

The Cliveden Estate Map looking north from the River Thames

The Green Goddess parked in the shade at Cliveden - Hood Up and Locked for security as we would be gone for a good while.

 One of the NT Landrovers. I was able to have a conversation with its driver about the Clunky Gear changes with the new 6 speed gearbox which seems to be a feature. They Rattle and Roll a lot as well.

Setting Off on our walk with Digby making the way.

Here we are setting off down one of the many woodland paths. This one leads to the Riverside, but we are not going that far today as it is so warm. 

The Statue of George, The 2nd Duke of Sutherland who had Cliveden built. Lord Astor had him moved to this remote location here miles from the house, but at least he is looking back at it?

 Another of the Estate Route Guides.

 The view to the south towards Maidenhead and west towards Marlow across the River Thames from one of the high Riverside Viewpoints

The Ornate Log Seat opposite the Viewpoint where the weary walker can rest the old legs.

In its Shelter below the statute, is this enormous slice of Sequioa (Giant Redwood) which Lord Astor shipped from America as a bet. It took 16 Horses to pull the wagon through the estate to get it to here. Sadly, there is always some idiot visitor who cannot resist defacing these old objects.

Another view north along the river using zoom which just caught the cruiser going out of shot by the time I found the river in the distance.

Heading back along another avenue of young trees.

Looking to the South and then the North along the Green Drive which was a old carriage drive from Cliveden towards the Bath Road at Taplow. 

One of Cliveden's latest projects is the revival of The Round Garden which is an old Orchard stll containing some of the original trees.

Another of the Log Seats which made a welcome seat for us to take a break

The path back to the Car Parking area passes through the dividing gate between the Formal Areas and the Woodland Walk. Then it passes the lovely Japanese Water Garden.

This little Rockery and Bridge forms the overflow outlet to the Water Garden Lake.

 The Fountain in the large lake.

One view of the ornate Gazebo and a low lying Wisteria plant

Another view across the Lake to the Gazebo showing on of the three stepping stone bridges.  

 A View of the entrance to the new Maze.

 The Walled Garden Car Park is just ahead.

 Just had to take this beautiful Azalea 

We with a dog are not allowed into the formal gardens or the area around the house so this is a zoom shot of the famous fountain installed by Lord Astor after moving the statue of George into the woods.

 Here we are heading home after a lovely afternoon and walk at Cliveden. The only downside to the afternoon was me leaving Digby's black retractable lead, where I hooked the handle over a metal bar while I sorted out the car's hood.

P.S By Way of an Update - We Visited the Cliveden Shop today on another matter and on leaving, we  spotted the Retractable Lead on the Metal Bar just where I left it. So all is well in the 'Dog House'