Hidden away, the Salt Cafe

Portchester, on the outskirts of Portsmouth is famed for its English Heritage castle, but it is also home to a little-known café, hidden away at the Wicor Marina Yacht Haven. It’s definitely one to hunt out if you’re a fan of sourdough toast, good coffee and amazing cakes – all served up with a coastal view. There’s an outdoor balcony where dog-walkers with their mutts, … Continue reading Hidden away, the Salt Cafe

A canvas of sand and sea

The unique quality of early morning light, a canvas of sand and sea and two horses leaving a sun-crested wake as they move through the shallows. It’s undeniable that we live in a stunning part of the British Isles. These images are of West Beachlands at Hayling Island near Portsmouth, a sheltered stretch of the south coast with direct beach access from the car park which … Continue reading A canvas of sand and sea

A quintessentially Cornish break

Porthcothan is a little-known village with a stunning, quintessentially Cornish Bay with grassy dunes, a huge swathe of sand and fantastic rock-pooling at low tide. Despite being close to the tourist draw of Padstow, it has a ‘step back in time’ quality reminiscent of the beach holidays we had as children. Ruddy cheeks, flip flops and sandy picnics. It’s idyllic for body boarding and water … Continue reading A quintessentially Cornish break

A long leisurely pint with a changing harbour view

There’s something about water, especially when there’s lots happening on it, that is both therapeutic and time-wasting.  So, if you’ve got a couple of hours to spare and fancy a pint of real ale or a speciality gin, whatever the weather, then head to the Still & West at Old Portsmouth. This is a very old Grade II listed pub which sits right on the … Continue reading A long leisurely pint with a changing harbour view

Quaint harbour, nature reserve and pub with a view

On the South coast, between Southampton and Portsmouth, is a short stretch of beach which is perfect for walking, bird watching or just feeding the ducks. Hill Head is a harbour dotted with small yachts by the Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve, a twitchers’ paradise covering more than 350 acres of the Meon Valley. Walks around the reserve are perfect for nature lovers and children who can be tempted to … Continue reading Quaint harbour, nature reserve and pub with a view

Penguins and tigers at Marwell

My other half knows I have a passion for both pandas and penguins, so this year’s Valentine’s treat was a trip to Marwell Zoo in Hampshire. Marwell Wildlife is an awesome charity, world renowned for its conservation programmes in the UK and Africa. The 140-acre Marwell Zoo is a showcase of that work with more than 1200 animals and 135 species. It’s also a genuinely … Continue reading Penguins and tigers at Marwell

Mother and son trip to Monkey World

There are few days outs that have mass appeal to all age groups, but Monkey World sits in that category. Where else can you get within feet of our closest living relatives? There’s no experience with primates in the south of England that has quite this kind of ambiance, where great apes almost feel within touching distance. My mum and I have been venturing to … Continue reading Mother and son trip to Monkey World

Saturday market spree at Lymington

One of the many beauties of The New Forest is its accessibility. On the train it’s just 90 minutes from London and in the car,  just a few minutes after you leave the motorway  you cross a cattle grid and enter another world. That makes it a perfect spot for a short break, but equally great for a Saturday spree. Why not Sunday?  Well because … Continue reading Saturday market spree at Lymington