London’s Festive Lights

London has been looking very Christmassy these couple of months, and on my recent walks around the city here’s some of what I’ve come across.

Covent Garden has lots of decorations up.

I really liked the lights on Oxford Street, especially the glittery, golden waterfall inside one of the department stores.

My favourites was the trees made up of fluorescent coloured lights at Liverpool Street, in Shoreditch.

It’s really lovely to see all the effort that has gone in to making London festive and bright for this time of year.

Impromptu visit to Kew

One of my favourite places in London is Kew Gardens, so when my sister and her husband invited me for an impromptu trip recently I couldn’t say no. Kew is known for having plants, trees and flowers from around the world, there’s so much to see and it’s a great place to get lost in for the day.

First stop was the Hive which is a large structure made of metal and has lights that blink according to bee activity in a real beehive at Kew.

You can’t go to Kew and not visit the Palm House, which holds tropical plants from around the world. It’s usually really hot in here and as usual I had to wait for my camera to de-fog before I could take some photos. One plant we were pleased to find was the Sensitive plant. When you touch the open leaves they react immediately and close together.

From there we went to the Waterlily House hoping to find the giant lily pads that I remember from my childhood but have missed on my previous visits. Unfortunately they’d been moved, so I’ll have to try again another time. I did, however see some pretty waterlily flowers though.

Next we went to the Woodland area, and with it being late summer and the weather unsettled we got caught in a heavy downpour, thankfully though we were able to shelter under a giant Elm tree until the rain stopped. The Woodland area had a great number of trees of all types, my favourite though were the Redwood trees. These giants have a reddish, rough grain trunk and can grow to a phenomenal size.

Walking further along came across a huge wooden table, which seems like it would be perfect for all my family when they come to dinner! And hidden nearby was a log trail that you could walk across, made up of different types of trees, so educational as well as fun. There was also a badger set and tunnels you could go into.

By the time we reached the log trail we’d made it to the far end of the grounds and it was getting late so we started heading back towards the gates. I had a relaxing, fun day out and it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to see the beautiful plants, trees and flowers that can be found around the world so close to where I live.

Hewitts Farm

As we head into late summer here in the UK my family and I went down to Hewitts ‘pick your own’ farm in Kent. I haven’t been for a number of years but its a trip we made every summer when my siblings and I were kids. There are rows and rows of apple and plum trees, and acres of various vegetables. Back then there was also a tractor with haybales to tow you around from one end of the farm to the other.

Hewitts Farm

This time there were several vegetables and fruits ripe and ready to be picked.

A trip to the farm usually means lots of walking, bending and stretching which can be exhausting but taking in the view and clean air as you go is just what you need. Also what could be more rewarding than being able to sample what you picked yourself, which we did and really enjoyed.

Autumn has arrived

Summer has come to an end and Autumn has now arrived, here in England. Autumn is probably my favourite time of year, as the days are cool but still bright and there are less bugs around too which in my opinion is always good! The other things I love about Autumn are the beautiful displays of newly changed leaves, from luscious greens to fiery reds, yellows and oranges.

On one such bright a day, I decided to take a walk in one of the several parks near where I live. This particular park is lovely; it has a nice lake, a grand looking mansion with a pretty flower garden, and a boating and play area. Armed with my camera, I kept my eyes open for any new autumnal displays, and it wasn’t long before I came across lots.

The highlight of my walk was coming across some cute, late summer ducklings (I didn’t get too close in case their protective mother came after me) and several curious, cheeky squirrels who were very interested in my camera. I also loved seeing freshly fallen conkers reminding me of childhood fun-filled contests.

I really enjoyed my walk and as we go deeper into the season I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more interesting developments.

Pink buds and blossoms

pink buds
I love seeing blossoms and buds emerging on trees to signal that Spring has arrived and nature has started afresh. I especially like this combination of colours; pink, white and green with the blue sky as a backdrop which makes for a pretty picture