Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our Parish Walk in England, 2014

"Over hill, over dale, we will hit the [muddy] trail...."  And we did!

The day before our Sunday Shutterchance meet-up, there were 6 of us Shutterchancers who went on a parish walk through the streets and fields around Bradford on Avon.  Don't you just love the English names of places!

We rendezvoused right outside the Cross Guns pub where we later ate lunch.
It's situated just off the Avoncliffe Aqueduct on the Kennet and Avon canal.

Within minutes of our rendezvous, we were traipsing across the fields.
The fun thing is that we weren't trespassing!  There are even maps for these public walks.

 As in the Netherlands, the war bunkers are still visible, especially along the waterways.
The English call them pillboxes!

 At different points we left the fields and crossed streets, going into small villages.
Here, for instance is the village parish of Freshford, Somerset, about 6 miles SE of Bath.
Population is circa 550, which tells you everything.

And in the true sense of parish, we stopped at the Freshford parish church, St. Peter's.
These wee churches have become my favorites, in spite of the grandeur of the huge cathedrals.
Parts of this church date back to the 15th century.

Before going inside, we walked all around it, while sheep and goats kept watch..

We didn't stay long inside, but at least got an appetizer for the next church on the list....

 ...which was St. Mary the Virgin in nearby Limpley Stoke, Wiltshire, built in 1001.

The Saxon stone archway inside the church was worth the entire visit.

Then we went back into the fields after St. Mary's and played.  That's Lisl, my designated Big Sister 
on Shutterchance, who also hosted us at the beginning and end of our trip, along with her husband Michael
 (who was not on the walk with us).

Chris is Astrid's designated Big Brother on Shutterchance, joining her in the big chair.
He's the one who has hosted us in years past at his partner's farm in the Bath area.
Chad and Ray had their try on the climbing wall...while Ginnie took the pictures.
What can I say:  we're all little kids at heart, brothers and sisters!

 As we walked from here to there, look at what we saw.
How can you not fall in love with the English countryside!

Then, suddenly, we were at the Iford Manor from the 15th century, known for its gardens.
It sits on the River Frome.

From the bridge, I captured this Grey Wagtail tweetie-pie with my magic camera, 1000+ mm away.
Thanks to Lisl who knew what it was.  We don't have them in America, I don't think!

On that note, it was time to eat lunch back at the Cross Guns pub where we had started our day.
Were we ever hungry! A perfect place for a typical English lunch with a local hard cider.
Astrid and I were in heaven.

Look at all the wild flowers we saw on our walk.

And the weathervanes!

And all the sweet impressions throughout the day.

Lisl and Chris had been planning this parish walk for weeks, if not months.
Do they know their little sisters or what?!?


  1. If ever there is made a photo-book about Parish-walks, I think your pictures will be chosen.
    What a fabulous documentary this is. A great reminder of a wonderful day.
    Are we lucky or are we lucky with friend likes these????
    Great pictures and a memory added.

    1. Well, you're my photo-hunt friend and I "pay you well" to say such nice things. HA! Hartstikke bedankt, MLMA!

  2. …and you were there in the season of, “dark brown gardens and peeping flowers.” What a wonderful walk. Did you bump into Mr. Coleridge and Mr. Wordsworth? I’m in love with that English canal boat. That looks like the way to go. Is there a tiny lock to get past the dam? My favorite things was that pheasant wind vane at the end. Alas, my experience of the “typical English lunch,” does not make it a thing to look forward to, and my experience of English breakfast was worse, but I’ll take your word for it.

    1. I love these English walks, Ted. Nothing like the flat polders where we live here in Dutchland (though beautiful in their own way!). England may be my next best favorite country. I can't get enough of it!

      I've had English breakfasts, lunches and dinners to die for!!!

  3. A fantastic collection of images that truly reflect a fabulous day. Great company, great scenery and great food with plenty of good walking. Thank you Ginnie.

    1. Thank you, dear Chad. We'll never forget it! (I can hardly wait till I get to The Cottage part of our trip, with you and Norma!!!)

  4. Well you need to keep Lisl and Chris around for more future parish walks! This grouping is so delightful and this part of England just moved up higher on the list! Can you believe I haven't made it to England YET?

    1. No, dear Robin. I can't believe you've not made it to England yet! But you HAVE made it to Ireland, which is a close second. :) And we've both been there together. What a happy memory.

  5. What a delightful post, Ginnie. I really got a flavor of the day and it looks like it was a wonderful one that you will never forget. If you do you will have this reminder.

    1. You've just nailed why I do these posts, Mary...so we won't forget! Can you imagine how all of this would be running together after awhile??!! Thank you.

  6. i don't know how to tell you how much i enjoy your posts and your photos. they just make me so happy and dream to maybe someday find my way to that place.

    1. You sure know how to make my day, Maria. Thank you. I have a feeling one day our paths will cross. Won't that be the day! I wonder where it will be? :)

  7. oh I love the names, gardens, history and all about England but have never been there...another spot I must visit....very jealous of this walk!!!

    1. You'd love every bit of this, Donna! I have really grown in love with England and her people. I could spend several lifetimes walking all over the country!

  8. A brilliant collection of pictures Ginnie. You do this sort of stuff so well!

    1. Thank you, kind sir. This is "my job," as I often tell people. It's what I spend most of my time working on because I really do want to keep a pictorial record of what Astrid and I do and see.