Travels of an Eccentric Englishman https://eccentricenglishman.com Travel Wine and Photography Wed, 08 Jan 2020 20:15:23 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://i1.wp.com/eccentricenglishman.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-me.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Travels of an Eccentric Englishman https://eccentricenglishman.com 32 32 Sicily Gallery https://eccentricenglishman.com/sicily-gallery/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/sicily-gallery/#respond Wed, 08 Jan 2020 20:13:53 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10548 Sicily Gallery   A few photos from Sicily including Catania, Taormina and Mt Etna     Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These [...]

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Sicily Gallery

 

A few photos from Sicily including Catania, Taormina and Mt Etna

[See image gallery at eccentricenglishman.com]

sicily gallery

 

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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Father Teds’s House https://eccentricenglishman.com/father-tedss-house/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/father-tedss-house/#respond Sun, 22 Dec 2019 13:13:04 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10700 Father Teds’s House Ah, craggy island! But actually Father Teds’s House is not on an island, it’s on mainland Ireland. The Island of Ireland. When I first saw it thought [...]

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Father Teds’s House

Ah, craggy island! But actually Father Teds’s House is not on an island, it’s on mainland Ireland. The Island of Ireland. When I first saw it thought it was quite small. But then I realised it was actually quite far away…

Father Teds's House

Father Teds’s House Ireland

Father Teds’s House is actually a private dwelling but is open, by appointment for tea. Because you’ll have a cup of tea, won’t you? However, it is only open during the season. We were there at the end of October, and it was the last open day.

Inside Father Teds’s House

Of course, the people who run it are a great bunch of lads. The lady of the house showed us into the front room where there are groups of people all huddled around drinking their tea. it did feel a bit of an odd atmosphere. That was until a group of Irish lads turned up and the atmosphere lifted. Ha. Indeed they were a great bunch of lads! Of course, it doesn’t look like it does on the telly because the interiors were filmed in a studio. But there is more than a passing nod to its history.

Inside Father Teds's House

Inside Father Teds’s House

On the mantlepiece are a few bits of memorabilia. Including the hat of a bishop. And if it is conjuring images of Bishop Brennan we were informed that ‘that bit of skirting board’ is actually in that room. However, the house was mainly used for window shots, things like the ‘Chinese episode’ and even the black mark on the window has been faithfully reproduced.

tea at Father Teds's House

tea at Father Teds’s House

The house is owned by the same family as it was during the time the show was filmed. To be sure, the ladies daughter is actually in one episode as a baby

In the hallway, it has a few bits and pieces for sale. I bought a ‘tunnel of goats’ badge. I could also have had an ‘I love my brick’ badge. it was a tough choice, as Father Jack is the character I most identify with!

i love my brick

So if you are looking for a fun hour in the Galway area do make an appointment to have a cup of tea. Go on, go on, go on, go on!

How to get to Father Teds’s House

Unless you have an appointment, you can’t enter the grounds of the house, but that didn’t stop hordes of visitors from stopping in the lane outside and taking pictures of the house. Also, I’ll include a map below which is clickable for google directions.

Glenquin House Glenquin Kilnaboy, Ennis, Co. Clare, V95 VY2F, Ireland

Website: http://www.fathertedshouse.com/

Father Teds House map

Father Teds House map

Father Teds's House

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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Mexico Gallery https://eccentricenglishman.com/mexico-gallery/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/mexico-gallery/#respond Wed, 27 Nov 2019 20:34:46 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10550 Mexico Gallery A few of my favourite photos from the Tulum Mexico trip. below the gallery are specific posts featuring the images, Just click on the links to visit the [...]

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Mexico Gallery

A few of my favourite photos from the Tulum Mexico trip. below the gallery are specific posts featuring the images, Just click on the links to visit the page

[See image gallery at eccentricenglishman.com]

More from the Mexico Adventures!

 

Check out more destinations in my Travel Gallery

Mexico Gallery

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Things to see in Coventry https://eccentricenglishman.com/things-to-see-in-coventry/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/things-to-see-in-coventry/#respond Sun, 17 Nov 2019 12:16:40 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10437 Things to see in Coventry Okay, to be honest, wasn’t massively thrilled with the idea of going to Coventry. I didn’t think there would be that many things to see [...]

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Things to see in Coventry

Okay, to be honest, wasn’t massively thrilled with the idea of going to Coventry. I didn’t think there would be that many things to see in Coventry. I only knew two things about Coventry having never been there before.

  1. Number one the fact the lady Godiva rode through it
  2.  the cathedral got bombed out during World War II

So that’s why wasn’t keen on visiting. As I said I knew been bombed heavily during World War II so I just imagine it was full of 50s 60s newbuilds and no history.

Well, to a certain extent that’s true, but there are some really old buildings if you fancy having a look! Turns out it’s just my ignorance! It is actually a pretty nice place to spend a day. The bits that interested me I have listed below may can all be found in an around the Cathedral area. See the Google Map at the bottom of the page.

Lady Godiva

The first thing I knew about Coventry was lady Godiva now, is a bit of a legend in the first known reference to her ride through the town was in the 13th century. And this is where, at least we think, the name ‘Peeping Tom’ for a voyeur originates. In the later versions of this legend and man named Thomas watched her ride through the town and was struck blind or possibly dead.

Lady Godiva Statue - Things to see in Coventry

Lady Godiva Statue – Things to see in Coventry

Thing is, lady Godiva is said to have taken pity on people Coventry due to a husband’s oppressive taxation. She appealed to her husband who just kept refusing to lower the taxes. She kept banging on about it and in the end, he said he would grant her request to lower the taxes if she was stripped naked ride on a horse through the streets of the town. At this, Lady Godiva said right you are and issued a proclamation all persons should stay indoors and shut their windows then she rode through town, in the nip. Also, this is where Tom legend comes in as he’s said to be the only person who looked.

Now, this tale does not stand up to much scrutiny in my opinion. As a student of people, and I don’t think I’m being duly unfair but if it did happen I’m guessing a lot of teenage boys would have been looking out the windows as a woman rode by in the nuddy. Hey, I may be being unkind or at least judging by my own standards but just one person in the whole town had a look? Not a chance.

Coventry Cathedral

Or should I say Coventry Cathedrals? Because, the shell of the old one stands next to the new one. A lot has been written about that night in 1940 so I’ll only touch on the basics that I learnt from the signage in the roofless cathedral. It happened on November 14, 1940. 

Coventry Cathedral Old and New

Coventry Cathedral Old and New

A massive bombing raid by the German forces on the City of Coventry actually gave the Nazi propagandists a new word. Coventrieren, which meant to raise the city to the ground. Indeed, the raid lasted for 11 hours involved nearly 500 bombers.

Coventry Cathedral ruins

Coventry Cathedral Ruins – Things to see in Coventry

Coventry was targetted because the factories of Coventry were very important to the war effort. It was also said that Hitler ordered the raid as a revenge attack for the RAF bombing of Munich. The Luftwaffe dropped 500 tons of high explosives and over 30,000 incendiaries. Interestingly, in the spirit of reconciliation Coventry was twinned with Dresden in 1956.

Coventry Cathedral Tomb

Coventry Cathedral Tomb

As I said there is so much available to read on the Coventry bombing raid but I just mention the highlights here. But as you can see below, just the walls stand. It has benches inside it now an offers an open contemplative space.

Inside Coventry Cathedral

Inside Coventry Cathedral

Guildhall

Next to the cathedral is the Guildhall in Bayley Lane. It is said to be one of the finest surviving mediaeval guildhalls in England built in the 1340s has great mediaeval interiors. Or at least this is what I read. On account of it being closed for the winter when I was there! It is apparently free when it is open, and certainly, the outside of it looked impressive.

Coventry Cathedral and Guildhall

Coventry Cathedral and Guildhall

According to the plaque outside the building is scheduled as an ancient monument. If ever back again looking for things to see in Coventry, I shall definitely check it out.

Lychgate Cottages

Next on the list are the Lychgate cottages. They named after the Lychgate, which is where funerals once entered the Holy Trinity graveyard, the church, next to the cottages the building has been tree ring dated to 1414 and is the only surviving priory building today.

Lychgate cottages coventry Rear

Lychgate cottages Coventry Rear

Also, the Priory remains can be seen next to it. The building was restored and extended in 1856. Indeed, they are really good examples of the old timber frame buildings. Unsurprisingly the cottages escaped unscathed during the 1940 bombing raid. Cottages were originally all one building but they’ve been divided into three separate cottages since.

Lychgate cottages coventry

Lychgate cottages coventry

Next of the cottages are the Priory Gardens

Priory Gardens

These are the remains of the Priory that stood here until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in the early 16th century. Its origins date back to 1016 when King Canute, him holding back the tide fame, rocked up to Coventry and destroyed the Saxon Nunnery among many other things.

Priory Gardens

Priory Gardens

The Earl of Murcia and his wife Lady Godiva rebuilt on the remains of the Nunnery to found a Benedictine monastery in 1043. 1102 Papal authorisation turn the monastery into Priory and the Cathedral subsequent rebuilding and expansion of some areas was completed about 125 years later.

Priory Gardens

Priory Gardens

Things to see in Coventry – Map

Coventry Map

Coventry Map – Things to see in Coventry

As you can see from the map above, everything mentioned is pretty close together. Also, you can click on the map to open it in Google maps to find out more.

 

Things to see in Coventry

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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Hotel Trieste Catania https://eccentricenglishman.com/hotel-trieste-catania/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/hotel-trieste-catania/#respond Sun, 03 Nov 2019 20:53:43 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=9527 Hotel Trieste Catania Ahhh, the Hotel Trieste Catania. I was trying to do my Sicily trip as cheap as possible. It was sort of a nostalgia-themed trip! Not that I [...]

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Hotel Trieste Catania

Ahhh, the Hotel Trieste Catania. I was trying to do my Sicily trip as cheap as possible. It was sort of a nostalgia-themed trip! Not that I had been to Catania before, it was the feeling of travelling cheaply like I used to do, that type of nostalgia. Yes, in those days! I’m mid 40’s now but I’m talking 20 years ago when money was tighter. And I was a hell of a lot fitter!

So, I wanted a hotel with a cheap and good location. The rest of it didn’t matter so much, for city breaks I only use a hotel as somewhere to bang my ear, even now. And the Hotel Trieste Catania fit the bill. It was clean simple with comfortable beds, in fact, all you could need as a base for exploring Catania. Also, did I mention it was cheap!!!

‘As usual, on these reviews, I was not paid to do it. I paid for the accommodation out of my own pocket and the staff had no idea I was reviewing! Therefore, I feel the review is exactly as you would experience when visiting the Hotel.’

How to get there

From the airport, it’s a short taxi ride away and that’s exactly what I did. After the flight, I just want to get to the hotel so I coughed up for a taxi which took me straight there. As an aside, I have a problem with flying. I’m a lot better than I was. But, I still am not a happy bunny in the air. Check out my Overcome your fear of flying article. But this trip, as we were coming into land at Catania, we had to do a ‘go around’. That’s not quite an aborted landing but close to it! As your coming in, all of a sudden the plane’s engines wind up and the attitude of the plane changes to climb. Scary stuff if you don’t like flying. But enough of that, let’s get on to the Hotel Trieste Catania.

Hotel Trieste Catania Outside
Hotel Trieste Catania outside 3
Hotel Trieste Catania outside 2

The Hotel and Check-In

Initial entrance when checking in is a buzzer arrangement, so press the button, talk to reception and the buzz you in. Of course, once you’ve checked in, you have a key to come and go as you please. But it’s nice to know that not just anybody can wander into the hotel. Also, Check-in was a simple affair with names addresses and a copy of the passport taken and then you are good to go.

Room

The rooms at the Hotel Trieste Catania are not amazingly special but at this price, they are brilliant! And I mean that, for what you get! A clean and tidy room, all the amenities you require and a surprising amount of space. What more do you need? As I often say, I’m just ‘banging my ear’ in a hotel. Meaning I just use my hotel for sleeping on a city break. Indeed, I don’t spend massive amounts of time in the room as I want to be out seeing the sights.

Hotel Trieste Catania Bed

As you can see from the photos, plenty of space in the room. There was also a bit of a balcony on the room which overlooked the street. To be sure, for the price it was a very good hotel with a few thoughtful touches that you would expect at a slightly higher price.

Hotel Trieste Catania bedroom

The keen-eyed amongst you may notice the air conditioning. It’s a useful addition in the summer. Please do ignore my rubbish all over the spare bed in the room. But it is worth mentioning the spare bed. The room I had made for a good family room. Also, I even used the little table a chair as a desk to write the beginnings of this review.

As can be seen below, the bathroom is fine, and the bidet is always a welcome extra.

Hotel Trieste Catania Bathroom1
Hotel Trieste Catania Bathroom

Ok, not the most modern facilities you’ll see but more than happy with them for the price. I know I keep mentioning the price but it is relevant here in accordance with your expectations. For the price, I paid I was happy with what I got. If I was paying £150 per night, this, and you can trust me on this, would be a very different review.

Surrounding Area

The surrounding area can be a bit noisy but I didn’t really have a problem when the windows were closed. This is to be expected in a busy town, it’s the joy of having something so close to the centre of town. 

Catania, I found to be a slightly strange and weirdly brilliant place. See here for things to see in Catania and check out the video below. Also, the transport links and exact details on how to use the buses to get to Etna the bus to Taormina can be found at the bottom of the article.

 

Conclusions

The Hotel Trieste Catania is a basic hotel that is cheap, central and easy to get to. I think this sort of place is ideal for a city break if you are like me. And by that, I mean out exploring and only using the hotel as a base. Also, the staff were very pleasant and helpful! I spent a total of 3 nights, 4 days at the hotel. It proved a great base for seeing Catania as well as Taormina and Etna. Handy for local transport and close to all that mattered, you could do a lot worse than Hotel Trieste Catania.

Location and Website

Hotel Trieste Catania

Hotel Trieste Catania

Address – Via Leonardi, 24, 95131 Catania CT

website – Hotel Trieste

For my full adventures in Catania, see below

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

Hotel Trieste Catania

 

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The Mill at Elstead https://eccentricenglishman.com/the-mill-at-elstead/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/the-mill-at-elstead/#respond Sat, 26 Oct 2019 11:30:38 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10367 The Mill at Elstead Surrey The Mill at Elstead is a 16th Century building with a charming pub inside. Set on the River Wey near Elstead the mill is only [...]

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The Mill at Elstead Surrey

The Mill at Elstead is a 16th Century building with a charming pub inside. Set on the River Wey near Elstead the mill is only one of two pubs I know with a watermill inside it, the other one being the Gomshall Mill. This is my honest review of the Mill at Elstead with all its good and bad points!

The Mill at Elstead Surrey

The Mill at Elstead Surrey

Key Info

📍 Click on the Map link for GoogleMaps directions
💲Good Lower Priced Traditional Pub Food
🕘Mon-Sat 12 – 9pm, Sun 12 – 8pm 🔗Website

As usual on these reviews, we were not paid to do it, we paid for our own food and drink out of our own pockets and the staff had no idea we were reviewing! Therefore, I feel our review is exactly as you would experience when visiting the pub.

The Mill at Elstead Upstairs bar

The Mill at Elstead Upstairs bar

 
First off, booking is important! Indeed, we were there on a Sunday afternoon and it was heaving! We had booked the day before but could only get a lunch table at 3 pm. So, book early!
 
Just inside the door as we entered was a Maitre d’ / receptionist. The backdrop here is of the turning waterwheel. Also, it’s a striking reminder of the history of the building! See the video further on for the waterwheel. We found the staff to be very friendly and attentive when they were at the table but there was quite a waiting time between visits to said table. But, more on the service later.
 
Below is a video of the inside and outside of the Mill at Elstead.
 
 

Building

The building is a squarish brick construction that puts you in mind of the weaving and cloth mills. Inside the decor is fairly contemporary but always with a nod at the past.

 
The layout inside is quite open plan, echoing the roots of the building. However, the downside of this is it can be quite noisy as there is no sound baffling on the floor we were on. However, there were big tables allowing for big groups at it would be an excellent place to hold a birthday party.
 

History

There has been a Mill at this location for years. It was occupied by the Roundheads in 1647 and alas burnt down. A new mill for grinding corn was built the next year in 1648 and milled until the late 18th Century.

In the 19th century, it moved into haberdashery, making braid for military uniform. Over 100 people worked on-site and a bell tower was installed to call all the workers to the mill.

The Mill at Elstead History

The Mill at Elstead History

 
As you can see by the photos, the Mill at Elstead reflects its history in every room. 
 

Food

The price of food was about average for Surrey. The Sunday roasts were between £14 to £17 with other mains on the menu at about £12.

Now, here comes the tricky bit. I found the service to be unbelievably slow! Now, this may be a case of the fact that when we booked we were given a two-hour slot at the table and they fit the meal to that time. That is one possible reason. Or, they may just have been slow. I think I’ll err on the former rather than the latter.

Also, we were on the first floor, not the ground floor. The ground floor did seem to be a bit more intimate. However, back to the times, it did take 40 minutes for our dessert to arrive.

The Mill at Elstead Roast and Burger
The Mill at Elstead Burger and Roast

The other problem was I couldn’t get Rioja by the glass so I had to go for the Malbec instead, which, by the way, was perfectly acceptable. But as long-time readers will know, Rioja is my tipple of choice.

But now, the good! We found tasty food, standard pub fare but homemade in parts, like the burger pictured below. Indeed, I say homemade in parts because you can mostly tell when a burger or other food is homemade or has come from a catering company.

So, after all that, my thoughts are to go for the food and just accept it may be slow. Honestly, it’s worth it for the food.

 

Pub Garden

The garden and seating area outside is big. With the mill race and stream running through the pub, there is a lot of water to sit round in the summer. As you can see in the photo below, it was autumn when we visited but I will definitely be back at The Mill at Elstead in the Summer!
 
The Mill at Elstead Mill Pond

The Mill at Elstead Mill Pond

The Mill at Elstead – Conclusions

We visited on a Sunday lunchtime and it does seem to cater for families well. We ended up moving tables as three couples and what sounded like 200 children arrived but were in fact only 6 children who proceeded to run around screaming like lunatics as children do. The staff were very apologetic.  Apparently one of the mothers apologised too but still, we could hear the screaming and running about once we’d moved.
 
So if you have kids it’s a great place weekend daytime. But, if you prefer a quieter environment make it weekdays or evenings. That way everyone is happy.
 
But, that being said, it’s well worth a visit. The history and the building are a joy.
 
All prices correct at time of writing.
 

Where

The Mill at Elstead map

The Mill at Elstead map

The Mill at Elstead
Farnham Road
Elstead
Surrey
GU8 6LE

Tel:01252 703333

themill.elstead@fullers.co.uk

The Mill at Elstead

The Mill at Elstead

 To reiterate, I don’t do paid reviews and I only include pubs that have something notable about them. However, If you know a pub that you think would make a good addition to this list, for historical or quirky reasons, leave a comment below!

More in my Historic Pubs in Surrey series

The Mill at Elstead

Gomshall Mill – Gomshall

The Plough – Coldharbour

The Crown Inn – Chiddingfold

Stephan Langton – Friday Street

The Grantley Arms Wonersh

The Red Lion – Betchworth

The White Horse – Shere

Dog and Pheasant – Brook

White Hart – Whitley

Surrey Hills Pub Drive

If you are looking for some Sussex pubs, click the link if you are looking for some Historic Pubs of Sussex

All prices correct at time of publishing.

The Mill at Elstead

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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Black Horse Nuthurst https://eccentricenglishman.com/black-horse-nuthurst/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/black-horse-nuthurst/#respond Fri, 18 Oct 2019 19:32:51 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10287 Black Horse Nuthurst The Black Horse Nuthurst is a village in West Sussex and is one of those delightful hidden places you can find scattered through Sussex. The village itself [...]

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Black Horse Nuthurst

The Black Horse Nuthurst is a village in West Sussex and is one of those delightful hidden places you can find scattered through Sussex. The village itself feels quite well to do which made the extremely reasonable prices in the Black Horse even more surprising! Ordinarily, a pub like this would stick an extra £5 on the prices, just because they could! 

Key Info

📍How to get there – Click on the Map link for GoogleMaps direction
💲Good Lower Priced Traditional Pub Food
🕘Mon-Fri 12 – 2.30pm & 6 – 11pm, Sat 12 – 11pm, Sun 12 – 10.30pm 🔗Website
Black Horse Nuthurst

Black Horse Nuthurst

As usual on these reviews, we were not paid to do it, we paid for our own food and drink out of our own pockets and the staff had no idea we were reviewing! Therefore, I feel our review is exactly as you would experience when visiting the pub.

The food at The Black Horse Nuthurst

The food is not cordon bleu but what I would describe as just good old ‘pub food’. I went for the Steak and Ale suet pudding and Tam went for the fish platter. Lunch here will certainly not break the bank. We had two main meals and soft drinks for about £30.
 
Steak and Ale Pudding - Black Horse Nuthurst
Fish Platter - Black Horse Nuthurst
 
(Long term readers at this point may be flabbergasted about soft drinks!  In my defence, I visited in October or Stoptober.  Yes, it’s one of those hideous portmanteau words but it essentially means I’m having a dry October!)

Building

Bar - Black Horse Nuthurst

Bar – Black Horse Nuthurst

The building decor is a good compromise between contemporary and showing it’s old roots. In one section, they show a part of the exposed wall and the wattle inside. I tried to find a little of the history of the place but there was not a lot to discover. It’s either 16th or 17th century depending on the sources read!
 
Original Wall - Black Horse Nuthurst

Original Wall – Black Horse Nuthurst

It has a cosy feel to it with its fireplaces and low ceilings. The bar staff advised us to duck our heads on the way to the table. I found the bar and waiting staff to be friendly, efficient and helpful.
 
Fire Place - Black Horse Nuthurst

Fire Place – Black Horse Nuthurst

It is certainly worth booking a table. We reserved one with a phonecall. This, I think, proved to be a good idea, as on a Sunday lunchtime most of the tables had a reserved sign on them.

Black Horse Interior

Black Horse Interior

Overall, it has all the charm and character of a lovely country pub. At the back, it has that appealing moss on the roof look when looking at the building from the garden.

Back Garden - Black Horse Nuthurst

Back Garden – Black Horse Nuthurst

Pub Garden

Summer in the black horse Nuthurst garden would be bliss, I imagine. (I was there in October) There is a little stream/brook that runs through the garden, so just keep an eye on the kids when they are playing. There is a little bridge across the stream.
 
Garden - Black Horse Nuthurst

Garden – Black Horse Nuthurst

Where

Nuthurst is just south of Horsham to the north of Cowfold. Click on the map for directions from Google Maps.
 
 
The Black Horse Inn
Nuthurst Street
Nuthurst
West Sussex
RH13 6LH
 
Stream - Black Horse Nuthurst

 To reiterate, I don’t do paid reviews and I only include pubs that have something notable about them. However, If you know a pub that you think would make a good addition to this list, for historical or quirky reasons, leave a comment below in the ‘Post a Comment‘ section right at the bottom of the page. If it looks interesting, I will do one of my stealth visits and the review will be posted here. Not every pub makes the cut – perhaps three quarters do for various reasons. And the various reasons for a pub not making the cut are; bad service, bad food, bad experience and just plain boring..!

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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Leith Hill Place https://eccentricenglishman.com/leith-hill-place/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/leith-hill-place/#respond Fri, 11 Oct 2019 12:38:23 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10216 Leith Hill Place Owned by the National Trust, and very much a work in progress, Leith Hill Place is a large house on the south slopes of Leith Hill just [...]

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Leith Hill Place

Owned by the National Trust, and very much a work in progress, Leith Hill Place is a large house on the south slopes of Leith Hill just above Ockley. Although I have to confess a personal interest here, I have childhood memories in the ’70s of my Grandfather making homebrew in the cellar! However, it’s a long story which I won’t go into now. Buy me a glass of wine next time you see me and I’ll tell you.

Leith Hill Place

Leith Hill Place

Leith Hill Place has been about from at least the 16th century. The earliest reference to the house was in 1628. Surprisingly, it’s not considered a Manor house despite its enormous size! But it was classed as a gentleman’s residence.

Cafe - Leith Hill Place
Leith Hill Place Music

One of the owners of the place was a gentleman named Richard Hull it was a merchant of Bristol and he was the chap who built the tower on top of Leith Hill. Holly that she buried under the tower but after his death, it fell into disuse. However, during the Napoleonic wars, it was used as a lookout tower to warn of impending French invasion.

Leith Hill Place

Leith Hill Place

Darwin Connection

The house passed through a number of owners before being acquired by Josiah Wedgwood in 1847. He was the grandson of the Wedgwood that founded the pottery business. Indeed, as was the fashion he married his cousin, Caroline Darwin. And yes, Caroline Darwin was the brother of Charles Darwin, author of the controversial, at the time, ‘On the origin of species’. Also, Darwin and his wife were frequent visitors to Leith Hill Place.

Art Room - Leith Hill Place
Piano - Leith Hill Place

Leith Hill Place was also the childhood home of Ralph Vaughan Williams. And this seems to be the main focus of the house now, from the National Trust. His piano from his studies on display here. While quite unassuming, the upright piano was Ralph Vaughan Williams daily tool for trying out new musical ideas while composing.

Music Room Leith Hill Place

Music Room Leith Hill Place

The house itself has good internal signage with many interesting information boards including some about the rhododendron wood which is where you have to park when visiting the house. I’ve included instructions and maps at the bottom of where to park.

Grounds

The grounds and especially the views from the house are stunning! On a sunny day, it is absolutely gorgeous. Spring with the rhododendron gardens is a good time too. Also, let’s not forget Autumn for a visit! I sound like I’m being paid for this but, honestly, I’m not! It’s just that the surrey hills are one of my favourite places. Check out my Surrey Hills post for more information.

Panorama - Leith Hill Place

Panorama – Leith Hill Place

There is also a pleasant courtyard area to sit in and have a cup of tea. There is also a tea area inside if the weather is inclement out. Of course, there is a tea room! No National Trust property would be complete without one… It seems to be a British compulsion, there must be tea available! And I for one am happy for it.

Courtyard - Leith Hill Place

Where – Leith Hill Place

Leith Hill Place is on Leith hill, unsurprisingly, on the North Downs in Surrey. Parking for the house is at the Rhododendron Wood just up the road unless you are registered disabled. See the map below for the parking location.

Rhododendron Gardens Leith Hill map

The address is 

Leith Hill Place,

Leith Hill Ln,

Dorking RH5 6LY

View to the South - Leith Hill Place

View to the South – Leith Hill Place

Parking is at Rhododendron Wood just up the hill slightly, as I mentioned earlier. If you time your visit with the Rhododendron flowering in late spring, it makes for a beautiful walk to Leith Hill Place through heavily scented and colourful wood.

Click on the map for directions
Leith Hill Place - Map

Leith Hill Place – Map

Also if you fancy a spot of lunch when you are in the area, see my Historic Pubs of Surrey List

More from the Surrey Hills

Leith Hill Place

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia https://eccentricenglishman.com/royal-victoria-hotel-snowdonia/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/royal-victoria-hotel-snowdonia/#respond Wed, 02 Oct 2019 12:00:40 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10184 Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia The Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia was in a brilliant location for exploring Snowdonia National Park. It literally is the base of Mount Snowdon in the village [...]

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Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

The Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia was in a brilliant location for exploring Snowdonia National Park. It literally is the base of Mount Snowdon in the village of Llanberis and the views are spectacular! The photo below was taken on my phone from our window on the evening of our arrival. With that kind of welcome, I felt we would do well here!

sunset from Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

Sunset from Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

We were looking for a hotel is close to Snowdon as possible as we wanted to be as right on top of the impressive scenery but still have some semblance of civilisation. This Hotel really really fit the bill, it’s within a hundred yards of the Snowdon Mountain Railway and you can’t get much closer than that! 

Outside Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

Outside – Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

The Hotel and Check-In

Parking and check-in was a breeze. Arriving at dusk on a summers evening, warm welcoming lights and helpful staff made it really easy. Using the lifts, we were soon in our room. We were quite far away from reception which was a good thing. Depending on the time of year it costs between £80-100 per night and that’s with breakfast included. We used our go-to booking site, Booking.com to book this Hotel.

Room

The rooms were warm and comfortable but possibly slightly dated. But hey as I’ve said before in these hotel reviews for me its location not what the inside of the room looks like because even though I’m spending eight hours a day inside the room it’s usually with my eyes closed when I’m asleep! And don’t get me wrong, just because the wallpaper wasn’t the latest shade and trend it doesn’t mean it’s a bad place! In fact, to me, it gave it a timeless atmosphere.

Bed Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia
Room Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

There was a good-sized bed and a desk for writing at. Also, the bathroom facilities were more than adequate for our needs. We found a bath/shower which had good pressure and all we could need.

Bathroom Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia
bathroom

Hotel Grounds 

The Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia is set in 30 acres of grounds. In those grounds is the 13th century Doldadarn Castle. The hotel has some good history which you can read about in the welcome pack in the room. It has had some distinguished guests over the years including Gladstone and the Duchess of Kent.

Food and Drink

The breakfast was a buffet-style hot breakfast where you just help yourself to as much as you wanted. Of course, evenings were different and it was waiter service. Below is the bar area where you could relax with a drink before dinner.

Bar Area – Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

The food was pleasant enough and presented well. I went for the herb-crusted lamb and Tam went to the fish. 

I also found a Rioja Gran Reserva on the wine menu so I was happy as Larry. Of course, I have no idea who Larry is, I guess he was just a happy person!

Wine

A rather respectable Rioja – Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

Surrounding Area

The surrounding areas have some great sights to see. Of special note is the Ceunant Mawr Waterfall which is well worth a visit. Click on the link for all the info, maps and directions.

Ceunant Mawr Waterfall Lower Route

Ceunant Mawr Waterfall Lower Route

As well as Mount Snowdon, there are some great sights and walks to be had in the local area.

Surrounding Area - Llanberis

Surrounding Area – Llanberis

The Hotel has great parking facilities, with ample parking for hotel guests although the car park does get busy at wedding times.

Conclusions

When we were there there was a wedding going on and I can imagine this is a big money-spinner for the hotel itself. The only problem we found with the wedding on the premises was that when the restaurant opened for the evening serving, they were still tidying up after the wedding. Because of how large the Hotel is and how far away we were from reception, we had a lovely quiet stay but if you are near reception it may not be the case. Maybe at the time of booking, ask for a room further away if you think this may be a problem.

How to get there

Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia Map

Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia Map

The Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia is on A4086 on the east side of Llanberis. The full address is Llanberis, Gwynedd, Wales LL55 4TY.

The website can be found here

More from my Welsh Adventures

Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

Royal Victoria Hotel Snowdonia

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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Conwy Falls https://eccentricenglishman.com/conwy-falls/ https://eccentricenglishman.com/conwy-falls/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2019 20:08:26 +0000 https://eccentricenglishman.com/?p=10144 Conwy Falls Conwy Falls or Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd is a waterfall in Betws-y-Coed, North Wales. Well signposted by the side of the A5 south of the town, the falls [...]

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Conwy Falls

Conwy Falls or Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd is a waterfall in Betws-y-Coed, North Wales. Well signposted by the side of the A5 south of the town, the falls are a 10-minute walk from the car park.

Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd

Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd

The walk is through woodland on natural tracks some decent shoes/trainers/boots are advised. And, it is worth taking the longer route you are offered on the notice board as it is a pretty little stroll through the trees. Also, you are afforded some lovely views down to the river gorge through the trees. And the sounds are amazing!

Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd
Conwy Falls walking track

I love waterfalls. There is something relaxing about them. And this is the third of my North Wales waterfalls. The other two are Swallow Falls and Ceunant Mawr waterfall.

Conwy Falls

Downstream of the Conwy Falls

Cafe

As is usual in British Culture, wherever there are two or more people gathered there will be someone there to sell them a cup of tea and a bit of cake! Of course, Conwy Falls is no exception. There is a large cafe with all sorts of goodies on offer.

Cost of Conwy Falls

£1. Yes, that’s all and it’s money well-spent in my opinion. A lovely walk in the woods and a marvellous waterfall halfway round. Top tip, take a £1 coin for each person. It’s a turnstile gate used to gain entry. And if you already have the pound coin, it saves asking for change in the cafe.

Where

On the A5, just south of Betws-y-Coed. The postcode for satnav is LL24 0PN.

Conwy Falls Map

Conwy Falls Map

Conwy Falls Car Park and Cafe

The photography in this article and the blurring of the water in the photos here is done with a slow shutter speed and a tripod. To see how to do this yourself, click on How to Blur Water to read more. Also, if you’re looking for more general and specific photography tips, see my Photography Tutorials.

Conwy Falls

Conwy Falls – Below the falls

More from my Welsh Adventures

Conwy Falls Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd

Conwy Falls Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd

Disclaimer: In short, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. These means that if you click on the link and buy the item, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The money helps go towards the upkeep of the site – so it’s a win-win for both of us! Any videos used on this site if not my own, are, of course, used within Youtube’s sharing guidelines.

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