The Waldhalle and Ancient Beech Forests

It’s interesting that just as I was about to write this post I read an article in the Weekend Financial Times entitled “Golden Sylva“. Basically, it’s about an architect in Germany using his own woodland to build his own low-energy house. The woodland has been owned by his family for centuries … “Frey is not alone in Germany with his love of woods. The citizens of Europe’s leading industrial economy are deeply attached to their trees. About 2 million people in a population of 80 million possess at least a patch of woodland, often no larger than a copse but nonetheless a personal treasure … in German culture, the tree is uniquely significant. As Hans-Peter Friedrich, a former agriculture minister, says : “You find woods in every German story”.”

The article goes on to explain what Mr Frey is doing and how he is going about the construction etc. but later it reverts back to the tree-related roots of Germany’s founding myth and the importance of woods in German art, music and literature.

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A Walk Through Huntingdonshire : Villages, Riverside Scenery and Historical Interest

There’s a walk that I’ve been looking forward to doing for several years. I found it when searching for more information about The Manor House, Hemingford Grey the location of Lucy Boston’s book “The Children of Green Knowe”. More recently, I read about Lynne’s visit to The Manor House on her blog The Dovegreyreader Scribbles. The walk appeared to have all the ingredients of a pleasant morning out in the Huntingdonshire countryside. So, as I happened to find myself here in Huntingdon this morning, I decided to try it out.

The 5 mile walk starts from the National Trust car park at Houghton Mill where there’s a Tea Shop and it’s possible to borrow a copy of the walk.

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Wherryman’s Way Circular Walks : Berney Arms

What is the Wherryman’s Way?

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The Wherryman’s Way is in the Broads – Britain’s largest protected wetland. This installation is one of a number along this 35-mile recreational route following the course of the River Yare between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. The route takes its name from the wherry – a large cargo-carrying barge whose elegant black sails were a once common sight on these waters.

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Compton Village Circular Walk

Last August I visited Surrey on an Art Fund tour – Surrey Arts and Crafts. I only managed to write here about the afternoon we spent at the Landmark Trust property Goddards. But we did spend a whole day at Watts Gallery in Compton. The Artists’ Village is fascinating and includes an amazing amount of G F Watts and his wife Mary’s work.

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Germany, Bornholm and Sweden : a quick resumé of a three week tour

Where to begin? Where to begin? I arrived home on Wednesday after my wonderful visit to Germany and Scandinavia and now comes the hardest part – sifting through photographs and deciding which to include and which to discard.

Here is just a taster selection and I hope to expand on some of the visits and walks during the next couple of weeks.

At Buddenbrooks House, Lübeck

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The Adventures of Milady in Rügen with Elizabeth von Arnim

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On Wednesday I start this summer’s “Big Adventure”. In 2013 I spent a month working at a B&B in Switzerland and last year and the year before I took myself off to Ireland for 4 weeks and 3 weeks successively. This year I’ll be travelling in Germany, Denmark and Sweden visiting Lübeck, the Baltic islands of Rügen and Bornholm, walking the Osterlen Way before finally spending two nights in the Swedish university city of Lund. Originally I had hoped to travel quite independently by ferry and car but there are no longer passenger car ferry services between the north of England and northern Germany or Scandinavia. I think there is still a service to Amsterdam but that is as far north in Europe as you can get these days. So, to save precious time, I’m flying to Hamburg and back from Copenhagen.

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The Singing Ringing Tree

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Yesterday I met my friend Ann at The Singing Ringing Tree. I had read about this sculpture or Panopticon, just over the border in Lancashire, in one of those magazines that you find in the pocket of your airline seat. It sounded fascinating. And indeed I can now say that it sounds fascinating too. The wind blows through the open pipes and amazingly creates music when you get close up to it (it’s a few 100 metres from the blustery car park).

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