Its been a busy week since getting back from my holiday on Monday night, and I’m only now catching up with blogging and other incidentals.
The weather could not have been more perfect – in the ten days my fella and I were away we had half a day when it was cloudy, and about ten minutes of light drizzle on another day, the rest of the time was spent with full hot bright dazzling Â sunshine, going out for the day in shorts and tee shirts and not having to think of the usual paraphernalia that accompanies English holidays – shall we take a change of clothing incase it rains? a fleece? a rain coat? a sun hat? suncream? ……Â umbrella?
And England in full sunshine is staggeringly beautiful. Its just that we don’t often see the sun (the last two summers have been abysmally wet and miserable) so as a photographer I was electrified with what I saw and captured.
On one day my fella was driving as we headed towards Tenterden which the guide books referred to as “one of the quaintest towns in Kent” (I beg to differ on that one for what we saw of it) but on the way there I suddenly called out “Stop the car, I want to take some photos!” in a village called Biddenden, the five minute stop soon becoming a two hour lunch sitting in a restaurant courtyard garden and mesmerised by the tiny diamond glass window panes – each one catching the light in a slightly different way and reflecting back a myriad diffferent tiny reflections.
And from there we headed on to the coast to Hastings (as in Battle of, in 1066, although just to confuse people, the battle was at Battle, and not at Hastings, which is what I was taught at school. So it should be the *Battle of Battle* rather than the *Battle of Hastings* reeeeealllly). And I did something there I haven’t done since the 1980’s – I swam, in the English Channel !
Another day we went to my currently favourite place in Kent – Faversham, which was briefly the capital of England long before London, and where Shakespeare stayed and possibly wrote one of his plays. FavershamÂ has 500 listed buildings – and is one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever been to, with pastel colours and ancient gables, its an artists delight.
But as well as the more obvious towns we came across little villages I’d never heard of, with the ancient pictorial signs that are particular to only Kent depicting the village’s name and the reason it isÂ well known – Biddenden has two con-joined sistersÂ Â who were joined at the hip and left money for the poor of the village after they died a few hundred years ago. So we had a pleasant day (and delicious lunch!) in the previously unknown village of Goudhurst which is set high on a sandstone buff with terrific views over the surrounding flat lands. And there I bought a punnet of cherries which were so deliciously sweet and luscious that I could see why Henry the Eighth decreed that more cherry trees should be grown in Kent so he could have more of that scrumptious fruit. Hence the reason it is known as the Garden of England.
Another gem of a place that we just happened to pass through was Shoreham, with its mill stream running the length of the village, and ancient houses lining the streets giving another half day of happy exploration taking photos and loving the sights.
Â On another day we headed to Seven Oaks and amused ourselves by looking in the Estate Agents windows, some stunning properties there, but with matching price tags attached to them, I knew it was an expensive area before I went, and we certainly saw some gorgeous houses as we drove through that area.
Another delight was Tunbridge Wells and in particular “The Pantiles”Â area which the guide book said was definitely worth a visit, but didn’t actually say WHAT they were! We followed the signs through the town and found that it was actually small boutiques and upmarket cafes, set around the spa that gives the town its fame – and the Royal connection.
Relaxed, suntanned, too 🙂