Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Bank Holiday Exploring

We went to two new places today. Both quite nearby. The first is Bluebell Hill-specifically the picnic area and viewpoint. (We had planned to go to Kits Coty but it was shut.) We drove down a fairly ordinary road, and turned into the carpark to be confronted by this view. The land just drops away and you can see for miles. It was windy but that kind of mild wind that is pleasant instead of exhausting. We ate our picnic in the car then drove on to Aylesford which is just down the road. 

 We were planning to stop in the village and have a wander around, but there was nowhere to park. We drove through and passed a sign for 'The Friars' or Aylesford Priory. It was founded in 1242 by Carmelites from the Holy Land. In 1538 (dissolution of the monasteries) The Friars passed to Sir Thomas Wyatt, and from then until 1949 it was owned by a number of people. In 1949 the Carmelites were able to buy back the priory. It is a peaceful place-although full of visitors-lots of coachloads of kids and adults, football, picnics and summer relaxing going on. There is a pottery, and lots of 1930s looking huts, one of which holds an upholstery workshop. The cake in the teashop was lovely!

It looks very French to me. I think these are original buildings but I am not entirely sure. 
It reminds me of of Avignon.
There were lots of these plants growing on the lawn and in the trees at the edge of the river. I thought they were called Monkshood (which would have been perfect!) but they are called Lords and Ladies. In the autumn they have a stick of red berries.
All around the walls in this part of the grounds were these little pottery religious scenes.
This is holy water not drinking water!
I love the 'please wipe our feet' on this sign, although it may be that the 'y' has rubbed out. 
The river was very still and muddy looking. This stick of plant is pretty big-like on of those giant hogweed plants that are banned. It may even be one. 
The lawns were beautifully covered in daisies. 
Last of all we popped into the Wellhall Pleasaunce as I wanted to see if the wisteria had bloomed. It had!
I love the green of the euphorbia with the pale mauve of the wisteria. 

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