A Return to Mottisfont


IMG_0965IMG_0924  In a previous post; Endings and Beginnings, I wrote of a rather chilly visit to Mottisfont last December.  It was lovely, even in the depths of winter, and my family were eager to return in the summer, and yesterday, we did just that.

We arrived just before the gardens were due to open as it gets very busy.  Walking boots on, we had a chat with the friendly staff at the entrance before heading straight for the Coach House Cafe for tea and a scone, which set us up nicely for a few enjoyable hours of exploration.


The flowers had taken a bit of a battering the night before in a thunderstorm but the colours were still strong and the smell of lavender added to overall calm sensation of the gardens.  It was hard to know what not to photograph there was so much to see!  My mum impressed me with her plant knowledge and my brother took inspiration for his patch of garden back home.  I don’t have a garden so it was lovely to wander among the foliage and listen to the birds flitting back and forth overhead; so healing and inspiring.

After the walled garden, we made our way into the house itself, which my brother and I had only seen part of at Christmas.  You could easily spend a good hour or more exploring each of the rooms, which have so much detail; I loved the old wireless radios and cameras.  Returning to the garden we made our way along the river bank and marvelled at the salmon jumping upstream.  It was so peaceful; just the sound of water and the trees, with the occasional splash from the fish.  The route back to the house cuts across some fields which were knee high with grasses either side of the path, and ended up at the circle of trees which I had photographed back in December on a sunny winter’s day.  Unfortunately, although much warmer yesterday, it wasn’t sunny, so I couldn’t re-create the shot.  However, I tried to do so with as many as possible.


It was lovey to see the gardens in their summer greenery and we’re planning to go back in October in order to see the trees in all their autumnal glory.

If you’d like to visit Mottisfont, here’s a link for more information:


I visited at my own expense.  All photographs are ©VCUzzell2017





May Day Visit to Kingston Maurward


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As a Dorset native, I like to think I have visited most places of interest in the lovely county I am fortunate enough to live in, but I had never visited Kingston Maurward House and Gardens until yesterday. Despite it being May Day, spring wasn’t much in evidence as the sky remained cloudy and grey throughout most of the couple of hours my family and I spent there.  However, it was still a pleasant stroll around the 35 acre gardens, which form part of the 750 acre estate and also contain a land-based college, working farm and dairy, equestrian centre and animal park.

As we walked beside the lake and through the many different types of garden; including Japanese, secret, terraced and Elizabethan walled gardens among many others, the sound which could be heard above all others was that of birdsong and running water from the stream. As it was quite a dull day, I don’t think we saw the gardens at their best, so a return journey is definitely on the cards.  We didn’t walk round the animal park but many people, families especially, were doing so.  There’s a shop and café at the entrance, but they are very small, so I recommend taking a packed lunch.  There is a second café, which looked bigger, but is closed at the weekends.

If you’re in Dorset on a sunny day, pack a sandwich and go!

There’s a rich history to the estate, which you can read more of below: