Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Field of Dreams – 9,10 July 2011

The Metro this week had a photo of a beautiful wildflower meadow in Somerset, and as we have a weakness for wildflowers, we decided to base our weekend in the area.

Only two hours from London, is the old-time seaside town of Clevedon. Unlike the beach-hut/amusement arcade style seaside town, Clevedon is delightful. With a maximum tide range of 47 feet at the Listed Pier, and an abundance of great cafes, this is an interesting place for a lunch stop.

From Clevedon we started a circular drive, through a series of small towns, which 500 years ago, were trying to outdo each other in building bigger and more ambitious churches. We inspected them all, and the monuments to the “worthies” buried in each.

On Sunday we headed south to the flower meadow, passing through the wonderful town of Wells. The town developed around the freshwater wells over 1000 years ago, and was obviously very prosperous, from the wealth of wonderful old buildings.

The wildflowers lived up to our expectations, and from the number of cameras in evidence, everyone else thought so too. There were two acres of flowers, 57 different types of seeds used, on a piece of what was waste land.

We have never really seen a display of natural wildflowers to match what others rave about, the best so far being the Alpe de Suisse. Although this field was stunning it was also unnatural as the seeds had come from various parts of the world and were planted here to create a sight that would not ever occur naturally.

Near here is Lytes Carey Manor, a restored 15th century house, where we enjoyed a different type of beautiful garden,.

Not far from here we drove past Haynes Motor Museum, and decided to include this in our day. The cars were a lifetime collection, and were a stunning visual display, especially the 'red room'. Here all the cars were red, regardless of what make or age.

We followed a circular drive back to Wells, stopping at the lovely small town of Nunney, which is dominated by the ruins if a 14th century castle.

Not far from here, but which proved difficult to find, is a Victorian Abbey, part of a school. Downside Abbey is definitely worth a detour. It is massive, yet crisp and still looks new.

The final stop of the day was another garden – Milton Lodge on a hillside above Wells. The garden was stunning as was the view, with Wells Cathedral in the sunlight dead centre of the vista, the perfect way to end the weekend.

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