Sunday, 15 May 2022



This week's walk took me through Water Wood near Kemsing in Kent. It really was bluebells as far as the eye could see.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

RSPB Titchwell

Whilst in Norfolk I visited the RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve. This reserve by the sea has both a freshwater lagoon and a salt marsh habitat. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours watching the birds feeding in a variety of habitats. I recognised a few of them but my camera is not good enough to take decent close ups of them. I would love to have been able to photograph a marsh harrier that was flying over the reserve to the trees beyond. Anyway here's a few photos just to give you an idea of the area and the different habitats.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Dollis Hill - A rewritten post

 You may remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned how I accidently deleted a post before it was published. I never managed to retrieve it and it has taken me this long to rewrite it. I was tempted not to bother but as it is part of my 'Above the Underground' series I knew it would annoy me that one station was missing so if you want to read about Dollis Hill on the Jubilee Line the link is  here

Tuesday, 3 May 2022


Being in Norfolk I decided to visit Sandringham. Sandringham House is one of two private residences owned by the Queen, the other one being Balmoral in Scotland. Other Royal palaces are owned by the Crown. 

In 1862 the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII)  bought the property as a country retreat. The Queen inherited the property from her father (King George VI) in 1952 and always spends Christmas here surrounded by other members of the Royal family. The house stands in a 20,000 acre estate. Other than Sandringham House there are properties on the estate that are used by the Royal family at other times of the year as well as Christmas. This April the Queen celebrated her 96th birthday on the Sandringham Estate staying at Wood Farm a more secluded and much smaller property where the Duke of Edinburgh spent the last few years of his life after retiring from public commitments.  In 1968,  350 acres of the Queen's private estate was designated as a country park and is open to the public all year round. 

In 1977, to mark her Silver Jubilee, the Queen opened the house and gardens to the public for the first time. They are  open to the public from the end of March to the end of October. I enjoyed visiting the house where you can see the main rooms on the ground floor including the dining room and sitting room. No photography is allowed so I can't share that experience with you but I found it very interesting.
In front of the house is a sculpture of one of the Queen's horses,  'Estimate', a very successful race horse. The Royal Stud is situated on the Sandringham Estate.

I loved the natural lay out of the gardens surrounding the house and wandered through them almost on my own. I obviously picked a good day to visit as it was so quiet and peaceful.


In the garden is the courtyard which now houses a cafe and museum. The museum usually has a number of carriages and cars owned by the Royal Family but as this is the Queen's Platinum Jubilee many vehicles and items have been sent to other museums and exhibitions throughout the country. Just a few remained.

The State Landau used on State occasions such as the opening of Parliament.

A wagonette pulled by a single horse used until 2006.

This Daimler was given to George V in 1914

1939 Merryweather Fire engine that King George VI had  installed at Sandringham

The Sandringham Fire Brigade was a fully fledged fire brigade from 1885 until 1968 when it was amalgamated into the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

The gardens at the back of the house include a large lake and various water features

This is the medieval church of St Mary Magdalene, the parish church of Sandringham which the Royal family use regularly. The church dates back to the 16th century.

The decorated chancel frames the silver altar which was a gift to Queen Alexandra from the American Rodman Wanamaker as a tribute to King Edward VII.

He also presented her with the silver pulpit.

Before leaving the estate I had a light lunch in the restaurant which used to be the orangery, I think. I am pleased to say tea was served from a bone china tea pot and was made from leaves and not tea bags with a tea strainer. Ahh a bit of class at last!