Encounters with Otters

The first time I saw an otter in the wild was on a walk. I couldn’t believe seeing this beautiful creature on a path and was mesmerised by its appearance. So, when I saw a sign to the Otters and Butterflies in Buckfastleigh, Devon, I couldn’t resist a visit. Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies is…

The Perfect Gin and Tonic

It was William of Orange who introduced gin to England when he came to the throne in 1688. Overnight the nation turned into a country of gin drinkers as it grew in popularity. In 1793 the Blackfriars Distillery started making gin for the Royal Navy. In those days gin was served for officers and was…

Visiting SeaCity

When I was small I remember visiting Southampton to meet my grandparents after their many cruise holidays. Their tales of adventure in far away countries had me reaching for the atlas and planning my journeys. In short, it inspired a lifetime of travel. I noticed Sea City as I walked through Southampton and couldn’t resist…

Spring Walks and Longer Days

Each year I try to discover something new within a few miles of home. Sometimes the most beautiful places are literally on our doorsteps and are there waiting to be explored. Local footpaths in England are a joy and a wonderful way to see nature at its best. I just had to walk out of…

The Sound of the Bells at Cullompton

I had just finished a meeting with colleagues in the Devon town of Cullompton and was preparing to drive away when the clock tower chimed 12. I stood and listened as the most uplifting tune rang out across the town- and I knew I just had to take a look inside the church. St Andrew’s…

Discovering the Charterhouse

Smithfield is an area of London that is full of history. There’s the fabulous church at St Bartholomew the Great, the plaque dedicated to the execution of William Wallace, pubs tucked away in back streets, and now The Charterhouse has opened its doors to the public. I love walking round this area, partly because I…

A Night at the Opera

Each year I always try to treat myself to a night at the opera. One of my particular favourites is the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. And so it was that I found myself with a ticket for Verdi’s Il Trovatore last week. The Royal Opera House is one of the finest theatres in…

The Great Bells of Bow

London’s Bow Bells are among the most famous in the world. These are the legendary bells that called Dick Whittington back into London to become Lord Mayor in 1392. People born within the sound of Bow Bells are considered true Londoners of Cockneys. And in the famous nursery rhyme, “Oranges and Lemons,” it is the…

The Metal Soldier

Made from scrap metal, The Haunting is a tribute to soldiers killed in World War One.