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Archive for the ‘Day Trips from London’ Category

Following the Sculpture Park, and the deluge, we popped up the road to Waverley Abbey where the sun had come out again.  It is small ruin but the setting, near a river with willow trees, is beautiful.  Short walk from a car park alongside takes you into what remains of the first Cistercian abbey in England.  Sir Walter Scott took is inspiration for the novel “Waverley” from it and Disney used it in “Into the Woods”.  Free and open during daylight hours.

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Visited The Sculpture Park in Farnham on Saturday.  Great experience – around 800 sculptures dotted around the woods.  Walked about with a big smile on my face all afternoon.  We saw around 700 and took hundreds of photos and then there was a deluge – but at that point we had been there over 3 hours.  We also went into a pitch black maze which was a bit disorienting but fun.  Cannot recommend this enough.  Find it very difficult to pick which images to put up on the blog so rather a lot.  Big fan of the skeletons but the bear and the bishop won out for me.

 

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We Broke Out!

I was very reluctant to get involved in this with family members; had visions of cryptic IMG_2634[1]clues and no enjoyment at all.  Loved it!  Totally clueless for a few minutes (or to be honest I was for about 50% of the time!).  Thought we’d got out in 20 minutes but no, we’d made it to just the 2nd room.  Three rooms and blood splattered walls; the mystery of the abandoned motel room in Vacancy.  Got out and wanted to try another room.  Really recommend it – we were a group of 4 with a 10-year-old in the group and she got stuck in as well.  The Facility looks pretty scary.  Our Escape Room was in Liverpool.  Same company in Chester and Manchester.  Don’t know the London ones.

 

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We had a quick stop last weekend on way home from St Helens, stopping to see family around Sheffield.  We met at YSP as there is a memorial plaque on a tree in the park to a family member.  Pretty special place to have one.  As time was limited, this visit we stuck to seeing the newer sculptures.  Tony Cragg was great as were the 80 sculptures by Zak Ové, Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness.  Pretty impressive lined up as an army and great title for the sculptures. Ai Weiwei’s Ai’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (2010) is also on display.  We saw a much smaller version of this at Blenheim Palace back in 2014.  And there is a serene head of cast iron called Wilsis by Plensa; almost as good as The Dream by Plensa in St Helens!

 

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Visited Brighton very briefly at the end of a day out.  Wandered down Trafalgar Lane to look at some of the graffiti.  And ate a cherry and raspberry bakewell at the Little Bird Cafe in Kensington Gardens; seriously one of the best cakes I’ve had in ages.

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Visited the Ditchling Museum to see the Eric Gill exhibition curated by Cathie Pilkington.  I am an admirer of the latter’s work and intrigued by the premise of the Gill exhibition as I do find his sculptures technically brilliant; does knowing the biography of Gill affect how you view the works?

Ditchling was Gill’s home from 1906 to 1924, a place of great innovation and creativity for the artist but also the village in which he sexually abused two of his teenage daughters…..Within Gill’s work, the human body is of central importance; this major exhibition asks whether knowledge of Gill’s disturbing biography affects our enjoyment and appreciation of his depiction of the human figure.

The museum and village are rather lovely and it is always great so see Cathie’s work.  The Green Welly Cafe does a mean cheese and ham toastie on granary bread with ginger chutney too.  Does it affect how you view the work?  Go and see for yourself.

 

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Third time we’ve gone underground in 7 months.  First the Hellfire Caves, then Clapham South and now Chislehurst.  And what did 2 have in common?  Marvellous mannequins and ghost stories.  Chislehurst Caves have a history of chalk mining and went to on to store munitions in WWI, opened to tourism in the 30’s, acted as air raid shelters in WWII, became a mushroom farm and then a nightclub with skiffle bands in the 50s and rock in the late 60s/70s – some of biggest names played down there: Bowie, Hendrix, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, T-Rex and many more.  We experienced the darkest dark ever where you could not even see your hand in front of your face and were told stories of spooky happenings down there.  Great guide – just us and our trusty Victorian lamps – and some rather special mannequins.  Could have sworn one of them moved!

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