Gardens in the south west
by Steve Crane

There are lots of different activities such as farming and hunting available in the southwest of England, that’s why puppies are seen as valued members of the family and have been an important element of life. This makes the south-west an ideal spot to find dog rests – lodging and places where  our four-legged friends are welcome.

Heading on vacation without your family dog often means additional expense with boarding kennel costs or organizing to get a close friend or relative to take care of your dog while you are away. Additionally, it may be disturbing, particularly for younger members of your family to get to abandon their favorite buddy behind, even to get several days. So locating lodging that welcomes canines can get the worry and anxiety from the beginning of the vacation as well as help you save cash.

dog-friendly lodging is now a lot popular recently, with way more sellers welcoming dogs. There’s normally a modest added fee, but this may not be much more expensive than boarding prices. Self catering lodging particularly is extremely dog-friendly, for all these rests usually have gardens that could provide your dog the opportunity to extend his legs without becoming lost, as well as the bungalows or homes allow. Please remember to clean-up following your pet from courtesy to the person who owns the lodging.

Some lodging providers even offer additional bedding or blankets for the furry friend to rest on, however do check together with the seller first, in the event you should package your pet ‘s favourite blanket or basket prior to going. Remember to consider food dish and a water dish, as these aren’t necessarily provided.

Some shores in the southwest are dog-friendly while the others do not permit dogs in any way or during specific times. It might be a good idea to check on through the Net if the local shores welcome any limitations which will apply and puppies before you trigger. Do consider that the south-west is a neighborhood with a lot of farm animal, so be sure you take your pet ‘s lead in the event you are using your puppy for a walk-in the countryside.

plenty of pubs, especially in the more distant regions of the southwest such as Exmoor and Dartmoor, welcome (well-behaved!) dogs in in public places pubs. Yet, in more developed places this is probably so again possess a fast test before you arrive your pet is not going to invest the evening tied-up outside or waiting in the vehicle for you and townships

The modest fee made by most lodging suppliers will be to cover additional cleaning expenses entailed. It’s generally a nominal charge, but it might be worth looking around for deals, particularly when you’ve got greater than one dog, if you’re taking your pet on vacation with you. Many resorts are nevertheless maybe not dog-friendly, but more are coming around to the fact folks do need to to create their dogs with them when they journey south west, therefore a fast call to the resort of your selection can quickly verify when they do take dogs or maybe not.

There are sites available that list dog-friendly lodging suppliers, helping one to hunt in your community you are thinking about seeing to locate a suitable place. So with a lot of dog rests available in the southwest, there’s not a reason a family vacation should not contain your favorite four-legged pal as nicely as the remainder of the fam.


I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of the most beautiful and well-preserved estates in the UK. Buckland Abbey, a 700 year old estate in Devon, England, weaves a spell as you stroll through the halls and across the gardens. Currently under the ownership of the UK’s National Trust, Buckland Abbey was once owned by the legendary Sir Frances Drake.

Historic Roots

The Abbey was built in 1278, and served as an abbey until 1541, when it was sold to Sir Richard Grenville. He and later, his son, converted the property from an abbey into a home, using the church itself as the house and demolishing the rest. This increased the historic value of the property, because most abbey churches were destroyed during that time.

The Grenville family owned the estate for 40 years, before his son sold it to Sir Francis Drake. Sir Drake lived there for 15 years, and various descendants lived there until it was sold in 1946. The new owner, Arthur Rodd, gave the property to the National Trust two years later.

Public Access


The National Trust opened the property to the public in 1951. The City of Plymouth Museum keeps some of its collection there, and we got to see historic items that fed the imagination. There, we saw Drake’s Drum. Sir Drake took this snare drum with him when he sailed around the world. Before his death, he had the drum taken to Buckland Abbey. With it came instructions that if England were ever in danger, someone should beat the drum. He promised to return to defend his homeland.

The public also has access to the ox sheds, where various craftsmen demonstrate authentic crafts and skills. The wooden joinery is fascinating, and truly puts to shame some of the self-assemble stuff we find these days.



Sir Drake is a legend, himself, having sailed around the world during the years 1577 to 1580, when he was about 35 years old. He is one of the most famous seamen from that era. Unfortunately, he started a successful slave trade. After being nearly killed by the Spanish, Drake developed a hatred of that nation that eventually lead to his defeat of the Spanish Armada. He spent much of his career plundering Spanish settlements in South America for the valuable silver and gold for Queen Elizabeth I.


The National Trust Costume Group has its headquarters at Buckland Abbey. They are focused on the creation of authentic clothing pieces patterned after the Elizabethan era.


There is even a self portrait of Rembrandt at the Abbey. It was only recently authenticated, and is a wonderful representation of the creative genius himself.

The Gardens

The gardens at Buckland Abbey are beautiful, with breathtaking arrays of woods and farms, and a peak at wildlife at times. There are 4 different paths you can walk o and we tried all of them. The shortest walk was one mile, and the longest was three miles.

It was a beautiful place to visit, and I highly recommend it.

Cedar timber cladding is as ubiquitous as stone in the UK. Used in the earliest structures across the area, cedar is one of the most beautiful and durable timbers available. Cedar cladding is resistant to moisture, so is less likely to rot. This makes it invaluable in the high humidity of parts of the UK, and one of the reasons that many ancient buildings stand to this day.

Historic Structures With Cedar Timber Cladding


You can see historic structures that still have their centuries-old cladding in such places as the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Not only will you see reenactments of activities from the history of the area, you will see authentic architecture and equipment used over time. They hold a food and folk festival as well as a wood show during which the artisans and craftsmen show how cedar cladding was once made by hand.

Structures in this property are great examples of beautiful wooden countryside buildings, with the hip roofs and Tudor styling. These buildings have been recognized by the government as being of national and/or international importance. They were carefully taken apart and moved to this site, to be carefully reconstructed by hand. Over 50 buildings, from worker’s huts to farmhouses and barns, give you a good feel for over 600 years of heritage, with different uses of cedar cladding used effectively and beautifully.

Bell Frame From St. Mary’s Church

From Stoughton, West Sussex, you will see the bell frame from St. Mary’s Church. This structure is covered with hand-cleft oak shingle cladding. The original structure was built around 1350. The second phase of building for this structure was around 1470. The spire itself is new, and was placed on the site of the museum in 2009. However, the structure and building was designed to be authentic, giving participants experience in ancient arts and construction techniques.

Upper Hall From Crawley

Crawley, Sussex, was home of the Upper Hall. Scheduled for demolition, it was discovered to be a more historic building that should be preserved. It was dismantled in 1972 and rebuilt on the site of the museum 6 years later. The long history of the building took it from being a town hall to an inn to a barn and storage shed. The construction of this building is a combination of cedar timber cladding and oak cladding, sandstone shingles, brick, and stucco, along with solid oak timbers.

Wollaton Hall


Wollaton Hall, built in the late 1400s, is another great example of craftsmanship and design. This beautiful estate features stone structures, along with artistic and skillful use of oak and cedar cladding. All structures have undergone extensive remodeling and additions, but the basic structures are the same. Gardens and avenues were added, along with parks. However, lavish improvements during the 1800s failed to dim the beauty of the ancient building practices and materials that serve as the core of this striking estate.

Cedar cladding continues to be one of the most popular building materials in today’s structures. Small wonder. It is easy to work, and beautiful.

The UK is the gold standard across the world when it comes to lawns. What is golf, other than a great sport performed on the finest lawns in the world – and golf originated in Scotland. The grand tradition of gardening is maintained today in hundreds of incredible, picture-perfect lawns. From manors to cottages, the English lawn is iconic and ever popular. Even environmentalists, who have frowned upon lawns in the past because of the water consumption, are coming around to realize that lawns give back far more than they take. Grass roots often extend deep into the soil, breaking it up and keeping it from packing down. The thick turf shades the ground beneath, not only preserving moisture in the grass and soil, but creating a mini-ecosystem for all kinds of natural inhabitants. Lawns cool the atmosphere significantly, creating “green spots” that can be measured through infrared photography from the air. Skyscrapers, apartment complexes, shopping malls, and other urban structures are actually building their roofs so that they can support lawns to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Lawns also absorb off-gasses from nearby construction, converting it to oxygen and purifying the air. In fact, there are over 15 million lawns in England. With some of these benefits in mind, let’s take a tour of some of the most well kept lawns in the South West of England.



A combination of two English icons – the lawn and the maze – can be found in the turf labyrinths of England. They were once much more common than they are today, but these artistic additions to the garden are still beautiful sites. The one in Winchester, Hampshire is one of the larger ones at 27.4 by 26.2 m. This maze may date back to the 1600s. cut into a hill, traveling the maze also will take you uphill on a fairly strenuous climb. The lawn of the maze is beautifully maintained, although you may encounter a sheep or two.


The Tewkesbury Abbey is a striking relic dating back to 1102. The lawns surrounding the Abbey and all across the rest of the grounds are have really had some great lawn maintanence, in some cases stretching all the way to the river.

The Davies


Beautiful lawns are not the domain of only ancient properties and public lands. The Davies family has one of the most strikingly beautiful lawns in the South West of England. This 1.3 acre spot of Heaven was once a tangled mass of strawberries, weeds, and discarded farm equipment.

Chatsworth House


At the Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, you’ll find a huge lawn that was established in the 1760s. This type of lawn actually has a name. It’s called a Salisbury Lawn, because it appears to be as large as the Salisbury Plain.

In many cases, lawns are kept private by the use of hedgerows. This privacy is valued in England, and creates a series of pleasant surprises as you wander the grounds of your destination.

The South West of England is incredibly beautiful, with just about every kind of terrain for the rural photographer. Weather plays a part, too, in the photographer’s work, with bright sun, mists, fog, and diffused light at different times of the day. The shadows of rugged cliffs and the sparkle of surf on the beach all provide the photographer with a plethora of subject matter. The people of the areas have vigorous lifestyles, and the rural life always offers fantastic opportunities to feature nature and working people. Here are some pointers for succeeding in rural photography in the Southwest.

Sheep Shearing


The South West part of England is sheep country. Any photographic opportunity involving animals and the people who work with them is golden, and sheep shearing season is a flurry of activity. The working dogs stalk the flocks, moving them into the pens, and hard working people go about their amazing jobs with casual expertise. Every step of the process provides opportunities for still-life shots, action shots, and studies.

In fact, the shearing is only a part of the season. Lambing season is another excellent opportunity to get some great photos. The animals, farm structures, machinery, and farmers all are terrific subjects.



What photographer can resist Stonehenge? This World Heritage Site is as important to the world as it is to the UK. Located in Wiltshire, it is thought to have been built as far back as 3000 BC. Photographing the mortise and tenon joinery, or wide shots of the entire area at sunrise, can be the crowning glory to your portfolio. Built by a culture that left no written record, you can create a pictorial record of your own.

The Jurassic Coast

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Another World Heritage Site in the South West of England is the Jurassic Coast. Set up at Old Harry Rocks and catch the shadows throughout the day as they evolve with changes in sunlight. Cliffs from the Triassic and Jurassic eras, as well as the Cretaceous era, provide dramatic scenery for photographers. Storm Beach offers amazing shots of weather at its worst. The Durdle Door Arch is another striking geological feature, offering unique photo opportunities.

Glastonbury Festival


The Glastonbury Festival is one of the biggest festivals in the UK, providing excellent photographic opportunities . Observe the cabaret, theatre, period costumes and contemporary musicians. Over a 175,000 people attend the festival, held on a farm in Somerset.



Follow the steps of the Anglo-Saxons at the Bokerley Dyke at the Cranborne Chase. Photograph the fields where the famous battles of England were fought. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought here, as were battles against the Vikings.

The Corfe Castle

Who wouldn’t like to have a series of shots with an authentic castle? There are many castles throughout the UK, whether you’re looking for an intact castle with well kept garden and garden plants, or an amazing ruin where you can use your imagination of the past. The Corfe Castle is one of many in the South West region, and a great destination for the photographer.


Visit the Southwest for a holiday taking beautiful photographs. Whether you prefer portraits or landscapes, your journey will be rich and rewarding.

Yoga is a physical and mental discipline that is adaptable to any surrounding. It is also wonderfully adaptable to each person’s physical abilities. As you plan a holiday, consider selecting destinations for the appeal they can offer as you do your yoga routines. There are many beautiful settings in the south west of England that can add richness and purity to your yoga workout. You may find a whole new level of consciousness in this picturesque setting.

Natural Settings

South Devon offers nearly 340 square kilometers of incredibly beautiful countryside, which is perfect for a yoga location. The coastline is a mixture of rugged landings and beautiful beaches, and has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This helps to preserve the natural surroundings. Imagine a yoga retreat in this lovely area as you enjoy ocean breezes and the input of nature. This coastline, from Elberry Cove to Jennycliff, has estuaries and tranquil settings for your yoga routines and rituals.
The entire South Devon area is rich in ancient farmland and pristine coasts, totally undeveloped by commercial interests. You can truly expand your consciousness to fit the panorama before you, as you overlook meadows, beaches, and ocean surf.
The highest point, here, is the Blackdown Camp. At nearly 200 meters above sea level, you can see almost all the way back into history!

Town Convenience

Even if the great outdoors do not appeal to you, there are opportunities to join yoga groups in the many hamlets that populate South Devon. Comfortable villages provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy your yoga activities in pleasant surroundings. There are even detox retreats in Devon, Yeotown being a good recommendation.
When you stay in the towns, you can have quick access to the lovely countryside any time you want, while resting comfortably in your hotel room, inn, or bed and breakfast. These villages offer locally grown produce and fresh fare from the ocean at every meal.
In the smaller towns, you can enjoy boutique shopping. In larger cities, department stores make you feel right at home. There is always the fresh sea breeze to freshen the air, no matter where you are.


Dorset and Cornwall offer some of the best surfing in the UK. You’ll also find the north coast with breakers coursing in from the Atlantic Ocean.
In addition, you can go coasteering and kayaking, as well as hiking and swimming. South West England has some of the most varied outdoor activities and sports. Mix these activities in with your yoga, and you have a well-rounded holiday.


If your tastes run more toward horticultural interests, visit the Cornwall sub-tropical gardens. These carefully tended gardens are loaded with fragrant, delicate specimens that will delight you.
In Devon, you’ll find rich grass-covered lanes that are lined with primrose and wild bluebells. Strolling through these lovely areas will reinvigorate you and send you home feeling refreshed.
Are you looking for a change in routine, or a special location for your yoga retreat? Consider South West England.

Your well-deserved holiday is still in the planning stages, and you still have a decision to make: do you go urban or rural? Maybe your significant other likes the bright lights and activity of the city, while you like the simplicity of camping out. You can find a happy compromise, however, with a nice stay in the countryside.

Not Necessarily Rural

Quite often, the person who loves city lights may consider anything less than Broadway to be rural and isolated. However, there are plenty of smaller towns and communities that will offer not only quality accommodations, they may actually top the big names in the city.


The big city hotels certainly offer quick access to the activities downtown, but you have to share the space with countless other people. And, you usually have to pay exorbitant prices for the convenience. However, a stay in the countryside near a big city will give you quick access to the activities you crave, and allow you privacy and a good sleep-in, if you want. The smaller hotels, bed and breakfasts, and inns in the surrounding areas are usually less expensive, and offer the same amenities, if not more than their flashier competition a few minutes away.

Change of Venue

A holiday in the countryside can also give you an entire new outlook. An inn overlooking a lovely lake, or a B&B located on a shady, curving cobbled street can provide you with a serene venue that calms your mind and restores your soul. Don’t worry, the city is just a few minutes away. In the meantime, take a stroll on the heaths, or add a rock to a retaining wall around a sheep pasture.

Plenty to Do

There is certainly plenty to do when you venture to the countryside. Bistros, cafes, B&Bs, and local dining establishments often set records for their specialized cuisine. There are small museums and art galleries that showcase artists and artifacts you’ve never seen, and it’s all within walking distance of your hotel. You can enjoy almost private showings, at times.
Most smaller towns have bands, choirs, or orchestras. Sure, you may not hear expert performances equal to the London Philharmonic, but, as American composer Charles Ives said, “True music comes from the heart of the participants.”

Access to Nature

You would be surprised to find out how many wildlife preserves are in any given area. Nature walks, historic trails, and ancient ruins are fascinating, carrying their own aura and stimulating the senses. The sound of wind coursing across a meadow, the scent of salt in the air, and the clear sunlight on bright green pastures and the beautiful large planters create their own place in your niche in your spirit. And, that’s something you don’t get in the city.


Besides saving money on your country stay, you can find yourself with better accommodations. While a hotel may offer a NEW 2015 Intex PureSpa Octagonal Jet & Bubble Therapy Spa
in the swimming area, you can quite often find a whirlpool tub in your bath at the B&B. So, give the countryside a try. You’ll find a new holiday destination.

A Nice Stay In The Countryside

Surfing in the UK has long been a great holiday, and finding a surfing school is easy at each of the surfing locations. Wide, sandy beaches give way to ample surf in many areas, and surfers find plenty to challenge them. Most people agree that autumn is the best time to surf in the UK, and no matter what your skills level is, you can find the perfect wave. In fact, the prime surfing weather is approaching, being mid-November. The moderate air and water temperatures are comfortable, and the ocean swells are perfect for surfing. In addition, the beaches are usually not as crowded in November.


In Cornwall, you will find Watergate Bay. At low tide, this bay has over 2 miles of beach. Extreme Academy is a surfing school at Watergate Bay, and they will handle lessons for anyone from beginners to experts. They also offer extreme sports such as rock climbing, cliff diving, and other activities. You can participate in beginner surf lessons, or take on multiple activities of extreme sports. This surfing destination is especially suited for beginners.


Bude, in North Cornwall, England, is known for its fine beaches and excellent surfing. While most people consider surfing to be a sport limited to Caribbean climes or other, more distant shores, the shores of Bude provide a great holiday and excellent activities.

There are several surfing schools in Bude, because of the great location. In fact, there are around 11 schools for surfing the Bude waves. In this location, you will find surfer-friendly accommodations, where you can camp on the beach and never be far from the surf – which is perfect for night surfing. You can also find excellent inns, hotels, and bed and breakfast facilities in Bude, all of which will cater to the surfer trade. Restaurants are handy, as well.

The Bude surfing school will provide an instructor, a surf board that matches your abilities, and all the gear you need to learn this sport.


Located in Northeast England, Saltburn is one of the oldest surfing sites in the UK. It has excellent beginner waves, and the surf shop there will outfit you with gear and a board. They hire out for lessons and offer advice for surfers of all levels. Plus, when you need warming up after playing in the North Sea, the local pubs, coffee shops, and restaurants offer hot meals.

Pease Bay

Scotland is making its mark on the surfing world. Pease Bay, located in Southeast Scotland, is attracting surfers as never before, and there are plenty of local surf schools that supply gear and instruction. There is also plenty of accommodations for surfers.

Sennen Cove

Sennen Cove in Cornwall is home to some excellent waves, and is often the only place to find good surfing, when other places have gone flat. There is a great surf school located there, with gear and board rental. Sennen Cove also has hotels and restaurants for your convenience and comfort.


Lawn services are the best money you ever spend, if it means that you have a healthy, beautiful lawn as a result. But, which lawn services should you use? It seems like every kid in the neighbourhood sells his or her services as soon as they are big enough to push a lawn mower. Is that all your lawn needs? Here are some things to look for when choosing a lawn service.


Companies like sell many services that are necessary for a beautiful, healthy lawn. Aeration is one of the services you need to accomplish this. Your lawn and garden soil can become compacted, making it difficult for plant and grass roots to penetrate the soil. Not only that, well aerated soil will hold more water, and the oxygen content of the soil is increased. Nutrients will be more easily absorbed. A lawn service that offers aeration will improve your lawn’s health.


Fertiliser gets a very undeserved bad reputation. The key to eco-friendly fertilizer application is expert application. The right amount of fertilizer, applied correctly and watered in with the right amount of water, will be absorbed by the lawn grasses. It will never have a chance to run off into the gutter, or pollute groundwater, because it will all be used to make your grass beautiful and healthy. However, the kid down the block will not know how to apply fertiliser correctly. A lawn service, however, will.

Soil Improver

Soil improver is something else that the kid down the street will not know anything about. In many cases, a lawn will not thrive simply because the soil is defective. It may need certain chemical treatments, or simply amending so that it is more likely to sustain plant life. Soils that have a heavy clay content, for example, can be amended with the addition of an additive that works its way down into the soil and keeps it “broken up” and aerated. Lawn services can run a chemical test on your soil to see what kind of improvements it may need to optimum growth.

Pest Control

Pest control is another lawn service that often gets a bad reputation. Sometimes, it is necessary to kill bugs. If they are not killed, they will kill grass and beneficial plants, causing soils to dry out, growing only weeds. Grub worms, for example, can kill an entire lawn, yet leave noxious weeds intact to spread their pollen and seeds everywhere.

Ants are another problem that can affect your garden and lawn, and make your pets miserable. Pest control can eliminate ants without bothering butterflies and ladybugs.

Lawn service companies can apply the right amount of Plant Protection & Pest Control to control the infestation without damaging beneficial bugs.

Over Seeding

Lawn services often will over seed a lawn area that has been unhealthy. Areas previously affected by grub worms, for instance, no longer have any grass roots to regenerate the grass. Over seeding, however, will get grass growing quickly in those spots quickly. Pet trails also may require soil amendment and over seeding.