Welcome back to the last installment of our Valentine's weekend away. If you missed it prior, check out our visit to Bath and stay at The Beckford Arms.

I've done a lot of posts recently on recommended 'venues' to visit. Whilst I love writing about these and I promise I have more to come over the next few weeks, I wanted to reign it back in just a tad.

I am totally about nature and the 'FREE' things in life. I love a good walk and fresh air to clear my head - regardless of weather, season and state of the muddy paths that lead me! (SPOILER for things ahead :P) In fact the only thing that tends to stop me is how much food I've eaten prior - it will never happen on an empty stomach.

I promise to bring you more walks and free things as Spring gets into full swing.

The Beckford Pub Walk

We woke up pretty early - not sure if we were more excited about food AGAIN or to head out exploring. Bedsheets dishevelled, Sunday light pouring in and with a rather large growl from our tummies, we hopped out of bed and got ready for the day.

Today we'd planned to do The Beckford Arms Pub Walk around The Fonthill Estate, and the hotel had kindly supplied us with a little map to help us on our way.

But first stop, FOOD! We headed downstairs to breakfast and both opted for The Beckford Fry Up - it had our name on it ;) Breakfast for me was delicious! On the small side for Mr B as he is a fussy buggar and doesn't eat most of the items. It's the same story wherever we are:

Mr B: 'Can I have the fry up please, but no eggs, no mushrooms, no tomato, no black pudding - maybe an extra sausage if you can manage?'

Waitress/Waiter: 'So you just want sausage, bacon and beans right?'

Me: *Rolls eyes*

I am sure eventually he will just ask for sausage, bacon and beans and keep it simple haha. But unfortunately, this time round he didn't get any extra. (Beckford Arms, A tip if you read this - add some substitute items in there next time please). Thankfully there was also a buffet of fresh breads, fruit, cereal and yummy, yummy, YUMMY pastries to help ourselves to.

On the menu, we could choose from Eggs Benedict, Pancakes, Avocado on toast and more... It was great. Hard to choose actually. I would have loved to have the pancakes too and possibly could have made room if forced :P

Filled to the brim with carbs and caffeine, we headed back to the room to get our last bits and bobs. With a last second check to ensure that I was dressed just like our teapot - outfit goals for sure - we headed out into the cool Sunday air, ready for another adventure.

The gardens of the hotel are lovely with views of a pretty church and lots of wild flowers. I bet it's fab in Summer. We spied a pizza oven in the corner and promised to each other we would definitely return for another stay one day.

We clambered through the first gate on our map and our journey began.

I thought I'd let Mr B navigate this one. Of the two of us, he is definatly not the best map reader. SUPER smart, but give him a map and directions and we always spend the first 10 minutes going in the wrong direction. But still, map reading, fire building, heavy bag carrying - it makes them feel like a God. So on this occasion, I allowed for a few extra steps to let him feel macho :P and sure enough, 5 minutes in we were already turning back to walk an alternative route!

Boy scout, my arse-nic!

We crossed a little bridge and overlooked a lovely little weir.

The walk leads you around a beautiful lake, almost turquoise in colour though the photographs do not do it justice at all. It was a very grey day, warm but threatening.

I love a stream. There is something relaxing about standing on the bank and watching the water pass you by. Heading somewhere - who knows where? - wouldn't it be great to follow it?!

Our inner children did not hesitate to hop on a rope swing we found. I think I went in circles just a little longer than is acceptable for a grown adult. Notice I say grown, not grown up. Peter Pan rock on!

We continued on our way once we'd finally pulled ourselves away from intense immaturity and immense fun.

The Fonthill Estate offers hundreds of acres of parkland and rolling hills. Everywhere you look there is something beautiful. It's very quiet, with the odd passer by to wish you 'Good Morning'. Walks like this restore my faith in humanity. Knowing there are other like minded people out there with manners enough to wish you good day and dogs cute enough to melt your heart.

"Oh look, a fence, let me sit on it for no reason."

Past the lake, along the stream, beyond the rolling hills, we reached a beautiful woodland. This walk offers so much diversity and ever changing scenery that can keep you interested for hours.

It's a pretty long walk (around 5 Miles), maybe intermediate due to ground conditions and hills. I recommend comfy shoes! If it's winter, make 'em waterproof. These wellibobs are some of my favourite ever shoes. Pretty, girly, comfy and super durable. If you get the sheepskin insoles too, they are ridiculously warm, unlike a lot of wellies I've worn previously. They're from Joules if you're interested. One of my favourite shops for cute but outdoorsy clothes.

Beyond the woodlands, we were greeted with little lanes and heavenly picket fences. Garden Goals!

And what greeted us next stunned me. Peering over a bush I saw a mound of gingery fluff and some little pointy ears. I heard a little gruff and all of a sudden the bush turned into a little face atop a very long neck.

An Alpaca! Well, didn't we laugh. We watched for quite a while, Mr B googling facts about these funny, fluffy creatures. There was a whole field of them! Inquisitive buggars. It was hard to tear ourselves away, the little girl in me wanted to pet one but unfortunately, I didn't get the chance. 

Being in 'the country', I am often greeted with scenes that I can't help but 'Ooohhh' and 'Ahhhh' at. The next shot really did that for me. There is something cool about being in the sticks but seeing the bright red flash of a post box or telephone box to remind you of civilisation. Like a little scene from the film 'The Holiday'.

Charming lanes lined with tractor tracks...

...and funny little signs will keep you occupied as you go.

We were warned that parts of the route may be treacherous and muddy due to the time of year. We didn't quite anticipate what welcomed us. About 10 minutes of the walk can only be described as swamp. Having planned ahead and wearing the best footwear we had, we ploughed on through, giggling as we went. Every now and then I'd let out a little squeal as I slipped and Mr B came charging to my rescue! We made it out unharmed and no where near as muddy as you might assume.

Once out of the squish, we were greeted by yet another scene. Cornfields! It really does show you just how vast this land is by the differences you can experience in just one walk.

As we turned back through the cornfields, we could spy in the distance views of the turquoise lake once again. The sky was getting more grey, threatening a downpour so great we were definitely not equipped for it.

As we passed the lake I could see the bums of lots of lovely little swans floating about - icebergs as I call them. 

We stopped for a quick Geocache find (I've mentioned these in a previous post).

As the sky grew dark and the lake grew still, we wandered back up the lane towards The Beckford Arms hoping to make it back indoors before the sky opened up. And we made it just in time!

Only one way to celebrate a great walk and a dry coat...

There's something I quite like about a bar that caters for man's best friend too. My perfect kind of place. One day I'll get a doggy, not just yet though.

On a roll, it felt rude not to sample the Mandarin Mule whilst I was there. I recommend this if it's available, should you visit.

Incredibly merry, with the prospect of work in the morning, we headed home from a great weekend - a location we'll no doubt return to. But next time we'll use the toilet before we leave the pub and avoid service stations on our way home. But that's another story.

A Quick Thanks

I just wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you. I've received some really kind messages and words from people recently about starting the blog and It means alot. If I am honest, apart from family members (by obligation!), I didn't think anyone would be that interested. Since starting it, I've received words of kindness, support, enjoyment and even suggestions of places people would like to see me write about. Sharing experiences makes the world a little richer, sharing kindness makes the world a lot better. Thank you.

I didn't start the blog for acknowledgement or readers or whatever it is people will choose to assume. I really like photographing things and I really enjoy writing about it. I like sharing positivity with people who care to read about it and for those who don't, I genuinely don't mind.

The internet and often in particular Facebook, are filled with a lot of negativity and I just want to add a little something pretty, maybe occasionally inspiring and I hope to some of you - motivational, enough to get you out there and see what this beautiful life has to offer. Something I read recently said that there is room for everyone online, that's part of it's charm. We don't all have to agree and get along but we can all allow each other a little room for expression and this is my little corner.

"Our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart, rather than a piece of our mind" - These words, the photographs, our memories - They're a piece of my heart. I hope you continue to enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.

Have a lovely week ahead everyone, Spring really is on it's way <3

- MTWP xxx

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