Weather wise it was a week of two halves. The first being very warm, sunny and not a cloud in the sky. The second, a 10 degree drop in temperature, cloudy, heavy rain showers and strong winds. We planned our week accordingly and had some lovely days out, and the relaxation we both craved.
We arrived on Monday at lunch time, and after a catch-up and food, got out as soon as possible to enjoy the sun. We were taken to Hayling Island for a lovely beach walk.
We stopped off at the Mad Hatters Tea Party cafe, which in the write up sounded like a fun, themed drinking spot, it didn't quite live up to its name though!
It was warm, with a slight sea breeze, and so lovely to be out enjoying the fresh air, instead of being stuck indoors as we usually are.
Tuesday was a glorious day. Hot and sunny. We chose to go to Exbury Gardens. These are known for their amazing blooms of Rhodedendrons and Azaleas. With the bad, long winter, the flowers were a little late in developing, but it still was a beautiful sight. I can imagine if you get the timing right, and visit at its peak it would be an amazing mass of colour.
We went on the little steam train, which took us around the north ends of the garden.
Stopped for a picnic in the lovely grounds.
And strolled around looking at the beautiful blooms...
An enjoyable, relaxing day, surrounded by beauty and nature, well worth a visit.
Wednesday we wanted an easier day after our previous days walking, so we took a trip to Wickham, unfortunately I forgot to photograph anything on this day, obviously relaxing too much! But it is a quaint village which has lots of lovely little gift shops, a great place to idle around, browsing the nic-nacs and goodies. We stopped for coffee, plus I managed to pick up a couple of books in the charity store, before heading back for lunch. In the afternoon, to avoid the bad weather we went for a game of bowling. Surprisingly I managed to win both games, I can get the odd strike, but usually i'm inconsistant!
Thursdays weather didn't look too bad so we risked the outdoors, with a visit to Amberley Working museum. This holds historical pieces from the industrial heritage.There was another little trip on a steam train, plus old busses to save our legs, to get around the estate.
There was the telecommunications building.
There were 'Trades and Tools', a 'printing workshop' a 'pottery', a 'wireless exhibition' and a 'railway exhibition' and many more sections.
We then went to find the actual village of Amberley, which was the most idylic, 'chocolate box' village, which was full of thatched cottages.
Friday morning was another leisure day, and the morning I spent reading, something I really enjoy, and was a complete novelty, once I get my head stuck in a book it's hard to get me to put it down!
In the afternoon, we took a trip to Rowlands castle to see Handmade Studios. This is a delightful studio with a collection of little rooms, filled with delightful handmade goodies.
This also includes my little crocheted birdies, which were in the window, peeking out at the sunshine.
The intention was to meet with the owner Linda, unfortunately she couldnt get back in time, but I did have a lovely chat with Beverley Harris, who has her own studio in one of the rooms. It was a lovely visit and to be able to see the contemporary collection of textiles.
We stopped off on the way back to visit my great aunt who lived close by.
On our final day, we wanted a last trip to see the sea. We went to nearby Lee-On-Solent. The sun stayed out for awhile, but boy was it windy.
There were plenty of people out and about enjoying the choppy seas. Wind-surfers, sail boats, kite surfers, gliders and jet skiers.
We had to stop off for refreshments of course, just to get a break from the relentless winds.
After a browse in a couple of gift stores, we made our way back to the car, via the beach, racing to stay ahead of the looming black clouds, and thankfully we beat the impending rain.
It was an extremely enjoyable week, just what we needed, but it just went too quickly as holidays do...