Igtham Mote is a moated manor house. Built nearly 700 years ago, this house has been owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians. It is now managed by the National Trust. The house is surrounded by gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks. Dogs are not allowed in the main property but there are three estate walks. You get a good view over Kent on the longer walk. The loo is accessible from the car park and the café might be as well.
We visited Standen today. It is a National Trust property, a family house built in the 1890s for the Beale family by architect Philip Webb, a close friend of William Morris. The Arts and Crafts Movement is obvious throughout the house. The gardens are open to dogs, except the kitchen garden as they use the produce in the cafe/restaurant. There is a woodland walk as well as those around the gardens.
We ventured into South London to visit Nunhead Cemetery, where we met a number of other dog walkers. The Friends of the Cemetery say this about it:
Perhaps the least known, but most attractive, of the great Victorian Cemeteries of London. Consecrated in 1840, it is one of the seven great Victorian cemeteries established in a ring around the outskirts of London. It contains examples of the magnificent monuments erected in memory of the most eminent citizens of the day, which contrast sharply with the small, simple headstones marking common, or public, burials. It’s formal avenue of towering limes and the Gothic gloom of the original Victorian planting gives way to paths which recall the country lanes of a bygone era.
“Cliffe Pools nature reserve offers a spectacular landscape of open water and big skies. The reserve is one of the most important places for wildlife in the UK with huge flocks of wading birds and waterfowl. A number of nature trails cross the reserve, affording great views of the pools, wildlife and the River Thames which runs alongside.”
Another gem not far from Gravesend. This is a RSPB reserve and we saw a few different birds (but we weren’t there for that long), a rabbit and what may have been a fox cub. The paths are pretty good, and we came a day after a huge storm. I couldn’t believe the blackberries! They lined all the paths we took, often on both sides. I ate a couple but it will be a couple of weeks before they are ripe. Must go back. Couscous loved the puddles and the mud.
Researchers in the US studied 36 dogs and found that most were indifferent when their owners ignored them and read aloud from a children’s pop-up book. But when the owners showered their attention on a stuffed dog – or even played with a bucket with a face painted on the side – the dogs’ behaviour changed dramatically…
Sometimes I wonder that when we go out Couscous gets bored or lonely, but then when Matt got home the other night this is how he found her… so maybe she’s OK after all.
The weather has been fabulous this week so I took CC off to Whitstable yesterday morning. Note to self: get there before midday or there’ll be no parking, even during the week.
The National Pinetum is a botanical garden/collection of conifers and sits on the largest site in the world for such a collection. There are over 12,000 trees and shrubs (including 1,800 different species) from across five continents, many of them rare and endangered. It is very popular with cyclists but the Pinetum path does not allow bikes so is good for dogs, although as usual some families think their kids are excluded from such rules! There are grassy hilly areas where we let CC off the lead and she bounced around in the grass. You don’t have to walk up the hills as the main path is generally flat and wide to allow wheelchairs. It was a beautiful day when we went and lots of shady areas and places to have a picnic. The parking fee is a little steep for only a couple of people so we won’t visit to often but I’d like to see it in winter.