Sunday, 28 August 2011

Travels of a Fickle Woman (Part One)

Might I suggest you fetch yourself a nice cup of tea (or something similar) and sit down somewhere nice and comfortable, for today's post is quite a long one!  

You may remember last week I showed you this house...

..and told you that I was in love with it and looking forward to moving in (when I've saved up my pennies - at which time the current owners will of course decide to move out) and sorting out the shutters...

Well today, Mr U-t-B and I went on a little jaunt.  And, although I have been in love with Ayling House (that's the one up there) for several years, it turns out that I'm not a very faithful sort of gal, for today my head was turned again, and again, and again...

Our jaunt took us from our corner of Hampshire (north-east, close to the Surrey border) over to the north-western reaches of our home county, close to the Berkshire and Wiltshire borders.  I'd more or less stuck a pin in the map and decided that we were going to Hurstbourne Tarrant for our first stop of the day.  It sounded kind of pretty and I was not disappointed...

Interesting gateways abounded...

...and the houses that lay behind were dreamy!  I was half expecting Elizabeth Bennett to appear...

There were so many pretty cottages it was impossible not to snap away at them like some fevered tourist...

This one is for sale!  Evans &Partridge or RightMove have the details!
Hey, Mr U-t-B - it's my birthday on Wednesday!
This one is also for sale, and a little more affordable.  The back garden was beautiful (you could see it from the side of the property) but the location wasn't quite right for me.
Even the workshops and garages of Hurstbourne Tarrrant look like desirable residences...

From this chocolate box village, we travelled on to Netherton and Coombe, through some spectacular rolling countryside, eventually ending up near the top of Walbury Hill, which is the highest point in south-east England.

My photos failed to do justice to the fabulous views, so here's one from Wikipedia...

We then headed downhill, to the lovely village of Inkpen, where we found 'The Swan Inn' and decided to stop for lunch.  We both chose to have braised beef in a giant Yorkshire pudding and it was truly delicious - organic beef produced right there in Inkpen!  Neither of us are likely to need to eat again this evening!

Next stop was Ham, where we took another stroll to ease the weight of the food we'd just taken on board!

If I ever get to move to the countryside, one of my wishes is that it is to the sort of place that has proper finger post road signs.  Ham is fitting the bill nicely on that front. 

Centred round the village green, Ham did not have a single unattractive building!

Everything was beautifully maintained...

Here's the churchyard, with the manor house beyond...

More enticing entrances (I'm developing a bit of a thing for gates and gateways!)...

Yet more cottages...

And beyond this gate...

...and a most imposing rectory...

Well, I think that's enough of my version of 'Escape to the Country' for today - hope you enjoyed it!


  1. Picture postcard beautiful photographs. Looks like you had a super day out, you found so many beautiful houses! Lunch sounds delicious too.

    So what plans do you have for tomorrow?!


  2. Pretty, pretty , pretty x Such gorgous houses/cottages.


  3. So Alix...when are you moving and into which one??? Don't pick the one with the wrought irons gates on the 2nd photo as I plan to steal those gates. I have a thing for gates and could never steal them if they belonged to

    Hugs from Holland ~

  4. Hi Alix

    A wonderful post and so many beautiful houses to choose from. My favourite is the thatched house with the blue doors My late sister lived in Sherfield-on-Lodden and had an incredible cottage, it's address was No. 1 Lillishall Cottage - I have fond memories. I often wonder if it still exists (she had an amazing garden too)

  5. glad to see someone else with my obession with houses. but yours are so dreamy, sounds like the perfect day out. there is one i will be dreaming of tonight. x

  6. so so many beautiful cottages and houses I couldn't choose a favourite one!

  7. Buy them all - they are all gorgeous :-) x

  8. Lovely pictures...all those thatched roofs...what I would give to live in one of those cottages....sigh:)

  9. When I came across your blog, I thought I was in for a long read, but no just a delightful romp through southern England. It reminds you how much beautiful architecture we have here, and you know what? it is my birthday too this coming Wednesday, so hope you have a lovely day.

  10. Wonderful! Which one shall I have??
    Happy belated Birthday to you!
    Gill xx