Safari of a different kind

if you get a chance, go


Last weekend we released our inner child, and went to Twycross Zoo for the Lego Safari.

There were over 70 Lego models scattered through the zoo, each had a sign saying how many bricks they took, and how much time. I need more bricks!

As you would expect, there were real animals too.

and lots for Lego – this safari is travelling round the country, so if you get a chance, go to visit it.

And still more

Upnor Castle

Quirky windows and doors caught my attention

While in Kent, we took a short trip up the Medway to visit Upton Castle.

This is an Elizabethan Artillery fort, to protect the Navy docks further up river.

Between the car park and the castle is the delightful village of Upnor, which demanded I take photos. I hope the residents don’t mind.


We then entered the castle, which the Dutch Navy raided in 1667, as Rochester and the Medway became the main harbour for Royal Navy ships during Henry VIII’s reign..

It overlooks the Medway and is solidly built.

There is the usual tourist paraphanalia, and you can even get married in the Arsenal.

As usual, old and quirky windows and doors caught my attention, plus the spiral staircase from one of the towers

Lots of views from the ramparts. Those wooden spikes look pretty fierce.

Quaint Canterbury

totally enchanted

During our visit to Kent, we had a day visit into Canterbury, where neither of us had ever visited, and were totally enchanted.

The city is full of interesting old buildings and castles, and of course the cathedral.

We started off near the castle, which is now a ruin.

and then walked past the Anglo-Saxon stone St Mildred’s Church

and on into the city centre.

Everywhere you look there are lovely buildings, sometimes marred by the modern signs that are hard to avoid.

We had lunch in wonderful Alice and the Hatter cafe, where even the plates had an Alice in Wonderland theme, and you could have you Un-birthday party here.


There were towers and arches all around.

and old churches and official buildings galore

This window display caught my eye


and after we had found a wonderful board game shop in the King’s Mile, we saw this incredible wonky bookshop (shame about all of the notices in the windows).


We decided not to enter the cathedral, but were disappointed that you couldn’t even enter the grounds, or barely see the Cathedral without paying a rather high fee, so my only photos are taken from a distance, and carefully taken to avoid the scaffolding everywhere.


We carried on walking where our feet took us and came to the river, and a serene walk along it through a park.

In the park was the tree with the widest girth I have ever seen, and a cute little cottage

and I will finish off with some more lovely buildings, a couple of huge lanterns, and an old sign about a bridge.

If you are ever down in Kent, make the time to visit Canterbury, you wont regret it.

Beauty in Bleakness

I love the contrast of nature with industry

In October, in total contrast to our safari, we also spent a family week in a static caravan at Allhallows, on the south side of the River Thames estuary.


This would not win any awards for being picturesque, but the industrial and muddy views proved photogenic.

The holiday was for family to walk the dogs, and relax and play board games together, and this venue fitted the bill nicely, even if we had to shower the dogs several times from the Thames mud.

We saw many sea birds including white herons, and managed to capture a sky lark in flight after listening to its beautiful song from up high.

One of our walks took us along the Medway estuary, with views of the oil refinery beyond. I love the contrast of nature with industry.

Of course, the 3 dogs enjoyed the walks – standing guard maybe?


And it got a bit windy – here is Reggie styling a side parting.IMG_3300Much of the landscape here was created as part of the Thames flood management program, but from the state of the memorial raised to celebrate that, I’m not sure how much I trust them to work, as it is now at a jaunty angle.

DSC_0569 We also came across some old concrete bunkers from the wars, that once served to keep the Thames safe from invasion.

Ian didn’t help me in getting some moody shots of the angular structure, but I won eventually.

I realised after that I could have had more fun with next these shots, but this was the best I managed.

One benefit of being next to the Thames was that the long but narrow pebbly beach was littered with sea glass, so I just had to employ the family to assist in the collection.


We didn’t make much use of the facilities of the camp site, and no-one would join Rita for a funny family photo


While in Kent. we also visited Upton Castle and Canterbury, so keep watching