24 September 2011

Into the English Countryside

Civilization = Tea at Avington Park
    I admit that I have a romantic view of England and, in particular, of the English Countryside. I grew up guided in my tastes by my mother, who is a devoted Anglophile and who taught me to love my English heritage.

When I think of England, it's often the landscapes I'm dreaming of. The cloud-filled skies that painter John Constable so loved.

On my most recent trip to England, my husband and I spent a lot of our time out in nature and surrounded by gorgeous scenery.

What follows is a photo-documentary of sorts. A sequential view of one late summer day spent walking out from King Alfred's glorious town of Winchester, and roaming into the rolling pastures along River Itchen. To my creative eye, the views of Hampshire that day represent the England of my dreams.

The entrance to Winnall Moors from Winchester

Our plan for the day was to follow the old pilgrimage trail, St. Swithun's Way, out of Winchester on the public footpaths. The Way goes north and east out of the town and heads first along Winnall Moors to the valley of the River Itchen.

It might as well be the country where in a distant fairy tale, The Wind and Willows takes place . . .

Setting out on the public footpath
The River Itchen
August = Ripe Berry Season
Following St. Swithun's Way

Bovine luncheon

St. Swithun's Church, Martyr Worthy

Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have you any wool?

An old mill

The mill race
Avington Park
Edwardian Day at Avington. Observe the vintage bicycles.
The conservatory, where tea is served.
Walking back up the long avenue.
St. Mary's Church, Kings Worthy
Still on the right path . . .
A long dark tunnel of trees

A lone swan on the Itchen

Back in King Alfred's capital city.

Hail, King Alfred, First of His Name