During May we went for a short break to Lisbon in Portugal. I’d been there once before for work and had really wanted to go back to explore it further. We stayed in a lovely boutique hotel with views from our balcony overlooking the river.
And as the hotel was high up, the views extended over the surrounding rooftops.
Walking around the streets I was amazed by the beauty of the many tiled buildings and the variety of patterns…
Even the streets were paved in pattern…
Built on seven hills the streets of Lisbon can be extremely steep. Trams are a great way to get around the city (if you can manage to squeeze in!)
And a visit to Lisbon is not complete (in my opinion) without a visit to Pasteis de Belem for their amazing custard tarts. The custard recipe is a well-kept secret and even the pastry makers don’t know it!
We spent a few days in the beautiful town of Dartmouth in Devon.
With lovely views across the harbour from our cottage window. The River Dart runs between Dartmouth and Kingswear and travels up the coast to Totnes and beyond.
You can get a steam train from Kingswear to Torquay and a paddle steamer back from Totnes to Dartmouth. The journey is called the Round Robin and it was a very pleasant way to spend the day.
Another nearby attraction is the National Trust property Coleton Fishacre. The home of Rupert D’Oyly Carte, owner of the Savoy Hotel in London. The house was built in the Arts and Crafts style, in 1926, by the architect Oswald Milne.
The beautiful gardens are set within 24 acres with areas of wild flowers…
…and the occasional garden sculpture.
Kingsmear lighthouse beach, now closed to the public.
View of the rocks below Dartmouth Castle.
Scotney Castle is a National Trust property in Kent, which I recently went to visit with my husband. As we became members of the National Trust last year we’ve been trying to visit places whenever we can and this one was a little gem. Scotney Castle is made up of a country house, moated castle and wooded gardens.
First we took a tour around the house. This was carved over the main entrance.
One of the decorative ceilings.
I loved the colours of these bottles.
We then wandered down to the old castle, which is now half in ruin although you can still walk inside part of the building.
The old castle was built in 1387 by Roger D. Ashburnham and was lived in for the next 450 years by three different families. In 1836 the new house was built by the Hussey family and the old castle was deliberately ruined to create a picturesque folly in the grounds.
The grounds and gardens were lovely, and so peaceful (if a little on the chilly side)…
…with an old boat house in the moat…
…a beautiful pheasant, that ran off as soon as I took the photo (camera shy)…
…and a brilliant cat and fish feature in the fountain by the house.