Murray & Christine's record of their journey.
"A day in a car in an English county is a trip to a fairy museum where all the exhibits are live and real." Rudyard Kipling
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Watercress Line 21 May 2011
The super warm and dry spring has fooled all the plants, and gardens are well ahead of usual. Clara was out of storage, and we left London for a weekend away in Alton. It's not possible to cover long distances with Clara, so this was a perfect distance to travel.
Our lunch stop was at West Green Gardens. This was looking picture perfect, roses blooming, the flower colour scheme of white, lilac and purple was wonderful, and clearly showing how summer-like it had become in just a week. These gardens combine all the best elements of an English garden. Water gardens, a lake, formal box hedges, vege garden that looks as good as a flower garden, as well as colourful flower borders.
A short distance away is Oldiham, an attractive market town when driven through, but behind the main street is Old Oldiham, which is a really lovely old town. The village stocks are still on display outside the church. From Oldiham we did a walk to the Basingstock Canal and along this as far as King John's Castle. This wonderful scenic picnic spot, was the marvellous fortified castle lived in by King John in the 13th century.
England is full of short-run railway lines, keeping a host of steam-train enthusiasts off the streets and out of the house. Last weekend we watched the steam trains running along the Spa Valley Line. From Alton we boarded the Watercress Line. Sadly, as it was the last run of the day, the train was not scheduled to return, so we did a short trip, to the first stop, crossed the tracks and caught the return train on the opposite side.