Ding Ding – All aboard!! We’re off to the park and maybe the pub…….

We’ve had a virtual wander around and chatted to my allotment neighbours, oohed and ahhed (hopefully), taken in the views, wondered why the hell we all do it and are secretly thankful you are not as nutty as we are to garden the way we do, and maybe picked up some hints and tips.

Fear not, you have had a cuppa and piece of cake, I know a few of you were asking about that – I appreciate your focus on the important things in life my friends. But now it’s time for the return journey, a different route so we take in a park and views, wander through streets that have their own tales to be told, and yes past a couple of pubs – whether we choose to go in is entirely up to you.

You are all with me on this walk. I have a wonderful image in my mind, of all of my blogging buddies wandering along with me – I can hear the accents and languages spoken; I can hear the laughs, imagine the stories being shared, the sheer noise of the babble of chatter as we walk along together.  We are a merry eclectic bunch of writers, photographers, farmers, philosophers, artists, foodies, gardeners, travellers, poets and yogis – full of interest and curiosity in our world and our fellow friends. Welcome aboard the Promenade Walking Bus, to all my old friends – old and new, so many of you subscribe to my blog and you are all special and oh so welcome company on my walk.

We walk back up the lane and onto the road, we retrace some of our steps past ivy covered walls and wrought iron gates, peering through to homes and gardens. Now we head downhill to a specially picturesque part of town, (remember this is a real living place full of quirks, positives and negatives, a mish-mash of urban seaside dwellers), this is a part of town with grand buildings and a leafy park. We have our smattering of famous residents – Britain has a Blue Plaque Scheme to note famous residents and where they lived, and here’s Alan Turing – the founder of computer science, without him I wouldn’t be able to chat to you like this.

Down the hill we go, there are benches along the way, I can see some of you dawdling along, we can take a breather in a minute after we pass through the arch. Can you imagine living and sleeping in a building that has an arch – I still wonder what that must be like, being suspended by physics and stone.

We have reached the park, St Leonards Gardens originally a private park for the Burton family but later purchased by the Council in 1880 for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. There are trees to shade us in summer, a pond to gaze at, spring bulbs to enjoy, benches to take a rest and lawns to lounge on in summer and if we are quiet …. sshhhh at the back there, we might hear a woodpecker at work in the trees. The views are a favourite of mine, maybe we should go back there properly another day, but for now we will keep walking along the road – don’t you love walking in the middle of the road. I do and we can do just that on this stretch!

And here we are passing along viewing the fun and the folly of British building, a house with a clock tower, and more views down to the sea and the Royal Victoria Hotel.

But we don’t head to the sea we turn left to wander past splendid houses with pretty balconies, tall terraced houses, on past the old school and now a mosque and onto Mercatoria, so named as this is where business was transacted – remember St Leonards was a place that was planned. Here we will find St Leonards oldest pub – a fine watering hole and regularly mentioned in best pub and CAMRA guides for its British beer.

But I’m going to drag you along and finish our walk, you can always go to the pub later. We walk down a bit and on the left a group of houses known as Lavatoria – you see they are all set back off the road, with long drives – that was for the washing to be hung out. Remember St Leonards was built for pleasure and at a time when services like these both needed and provided. I love this view down the hill and then back up again over the rooftops and the steeple of the church and on towards the Castle (a ruin). You can see there are plenty of smart windows and shops selling all kinds of antiques – no stopping no shopping today my friends!

Round the corner we go, to more humble streets, the grand architecture of the smart villas and houses are behind us now, these are streets built for the workers of the new seaside resort – two and three storey terraced houses, packed in check by jowl, some with teeny backyards others with small walled gardens. Imagine these streets in years gone by, picture the hustle and bustle in your mind,  with the clatter and clang of work; there were coal merchants, dairies, bakers, small home industry, haberdashers and hatters. An industrious place, all on a small scale.

Home, a reviving cup of tea or coffee? Or are you all making a mad dash for the antique shops and the pub?!

Thank you for joining me, thank you for sharing my world. It’s a wonderful world isn’t it.

_____________

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62 comments

  • I was exactly there with you 🙂 This is amazing post, I loved so much. Thank you dear Claire, have a nice day, love, nia

    • Hello Nia, lovely to hear from you and know that you were with me on my walk – I can only imagine your photographs and what you would see

  • And now home by a different route…just as pleasurable, with lots to learn and lots to see. Thank you for the walking tour, Claire, what fun!

  • Just love walking with you … and the pub sounds good to me. That last photo is so likeness Kemp Town in Brighton. Love walk … and stunning sites you have taken me too. Now two G&T .. one for you and one for me.

  • Great post. Love this walk 🙂 Still undecided if my favourite bit is walking under the arch or the park… Will try it again a few more times and I may decide or more likely keep changing my mind 🙂 Why did I not know that about the Lavatoria houses or about Alan Turing: shame on me!.

    • 🙂 Good choice Glenda! But you do know they are a bit different from pilsner types of beer don’t you – kind of dark, warm and flat !! Not everyone’s cup of tea, mind you, pubs do sell other liquids!

  • Oh, thank you for these charming walking posts! I’d love to get over your way someday,
    (I’d have to visit Liverpool (where my grandpa was born) and Ireland too – more family roots.
    I was right there with your bunch!

    • Lovely to have you along Margaret, we’re a mixed bunch and you would no doubt find many interesting people to chat to on the way! I’d love to revisit Oreland, its such a beautiful country.

  • Thank you, Claire! And thanks to St. Leonard’s Alan Turing for having made it all possible. I was reminded me of a lovely book I read once by John Hillaby, A Walk through Britain. I checked & its still in its resting place on my Nature Shelf. Took it out to revisit. All this before breakfast in the Blue Ridge Mtns of North Carolina! I am inspired to take a little stroll myself after some toast & jam. Thank you again for this special treat.

    • Hi Judith, thanks for joining me on my walking tour. Your book sounds delightful, and it reminds me I have a couple of books, not dissimilar on the shelves that I should dig out! I find it so funny that here we all our in our different time zones, different lives and countries and yet all reading the same thing – crazy and beautiful is how I’d describe it!
      And thanks again for joining in and commenting 🙂

  • What a wonderful tour–thank you! So picturesque and historic–compelling. I will just sit on a bench a while longer.

  • Great post and great pictures! I’m now enjoying a cup of tea (raspberry black tea) at the end of the journey. I love this: “I have a wonderful image in my mind, of all of my blogging buddies wandering along with me – I can hear the accents and languages spoken…”

  • I’m here by way of Connecticut in the U.S., so after a long and lovely walk way over there, I think I’m heading to the pub! The first round is on me as a thank you for the fun post!

  • Truly, a creative post. You can take me on one of your walking tours whenever you’d like. I’d be happy to make the journey. 🙂

    • Morning Kevin, good to see you! I think I might have to take you on another trip soon …… which will of course involve plenty of pit stops at pubs and cafes 🙂

  • What a varied walk Claire – and the tea was lovely. Off to the antique shops now 🙂

    • Oh you’ll have fun in the antique shops – every type of shop and every type of item – from modern to old, funky to classical. You’ll be there for hours 🙂

  • We really did share a walk today, didn’t we, Claire. We both must have been in a mood to get out and explore. I love seeing your town and really sense the history, along with admiring such beauty! I would definitely enjoy both the pub and the antique stores! But more than both, the beauty of the open blue sky and lovely green spaces. The history told in architecture would be a real instruction to me. This was a lovely walk. Let’s do it more often! 🙂

    • I thought you would enjoy my “field trip” 🙂 I tried to look at things through other peoples eyes and wonder what they would see, and I’m wondering what details you would notice ! Hope you have a super week

  • Wonderful to take this walk with you – and what a great thought, us all walking, chatting and laughing together. 😀 Such great photos – I felt I was there with you and all our blogging friends. That door in Stanhope Place intrigued me. And the park is lovely too. Thanks for this special treat! (And the cake and cuppa!) 😉

    • Thank you Cathy, it was a fun side trip wasn’t it, us all yapping and chatting together as we walked.
      I love doorways and entrances, there is always something to note and wonder about.

  • So much history and beauty there where you are. I loved the tour, and thank you for sharing it, Claire!

  • I’m still waiting for you at the pub, Claire. Take your time. I’ve entered a darts tournament.
    This is such a nice community to call home, Claire. The location, the village’s design, and it’s history, all add up to equal a very special place. Easy to see why you like it here.

    • You just crack me up John, you really do! I mean joining the darts team, only you could come up with that one! And yes on sunny days when life is good it’s easy to enjoy where I live, thanks for joining in on the tour and mines a G&T 🙂

  • A shame we can’t step into the antique stores for a browse. And we definitely need to visit the pub next time. You could teach me to play darts.

    Turing … another brilliant and unconventional man who was persecuted for his sexual preferences and died before his possible genius reached its zenith.

    • So pleased you liked the return trip! I would be absolutely useless at teaching anyone darts – total hit and miss, probably more miss which would be a bit too “exciting” for anyone standing too close to the board 🙂
      I’m so pleased you picked up on Turing, he was treated shamefully, truly badly – but the positives are there, look at where we are now and the progress that has been made both culturally and in terms of computing.

      • As long as no one gets in our way we can throw our darts and miss by a mile together. 🙂 Computers have really made amazing process especially with miniaturization. I’m just waiting for the nanobots which can be implanted so we’re are all connected to the world wide web through them (NOT!!! … shades of every scary sci-fi book/movie you’ve ever run across).

        I’d love to find a replacement for the antique silver pin that I bought years ago at an antique show and lost almost immediately. It was circular, and had thistles all around the edge with a emerald cut green paste stone in the middle. Funny how you remember those things and get obsessed, isn’t it?

  • How lovely to go for a walk with you in the sun when it’s raining cats and dogs and any number of other domesticated animals outside my window.

    These pictures remind me why I love Britain; it’s really a sin that I haven’t been there for over a year (and the last time it was “just” London). I should go again soon, but I guess for now I’ll be happy with a virtual walk with you – and a visit from an English friend towards the end of May.

    • “and any number of other domesticated animals outside my window” :)thank you for joining the tour group! After the visit to the pub we might be needing the Danish hangover cures of eggs and pickled beetroot 🙂

  • It is indeed a wonderful world Claire! I was the one at the back chatting, walking in the middle of the road, nipping into the antique shops at the end and now I’m off to the pub for a quick reviver! What fun, great idea 🙂

        • Ahh now Venice, so much to see and capture, I seem to remember taking a lot of people photos, you know the kind – people on holiday….. I love watching people !

  • Every step a pleasure , although i have to admit i was one of the dawdlers at the back! such a beautiful ordered town, even the change of scene for the workers is still harmonious, i guess being built at the same time … now please excuse me while I retrace my steps to sit on a bench and gaze 🙂

    • Morning Christine, I think the group at the back is sizeable and you are with great company 🙂
      Plenty of benches for gazing around here, especially if you wander down to the coast, happy gazing

  • It was a great pleasure to see more of your town. It looks like a very pleasant place in which to live… and the street lined with houses was quite beautiful to my mind; very comfortable. The arched passage through the building reminded me of a few buildings here in Jerusalem. I couldn’t help wondering if the clock on the clock tower still keeps time… thanks for a beautiful walk.

    • You’ve got me wondering Shimon, I really can’t remember if that clock works or not, I know the church one keeps good time, I seem to remember it being stuck on a time for years, but am wondering if it was repaired. ‘ll have to go and find out!

  • Sorry to keep everyone waiting – I am a bit of a dawdler and stop to take photos of just about everything en route plus I have to in and out of every antique store! Think I shall pop in for a quick cuppa (and to use the bathroom if you don’t mind) before heading out to just one or two more stores and then to meet up with everybody in a pub. 😀
    Have a beautiful weekend Claire and thank you again for taking us on this wonderful walk about.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • A pleasure to have your company Mandy, I’m wondering what you picked up in the antique shops, and whether it will fit in your suitcase 🙂

  • I was confused at first thinking I had already taken this tour with you. I was wrong! These are fun Claire.

    • Lovely to have your company for the return journey Tammy, mind you, you could have stayed up at the allotment and done some watering for me 🙂

  • Yes, my darling, yet another fabulous stroll with you. Thanks for the adventures! You’ll be happy to know that I was able to take a *real* stroll again today, having practiced my old DIY miracle cure for blisters successfully and recovered my happy feet. 🙂 But I still treasure your guided tours both for their beautiful photography of wonderful places and for the way you make us all feel we’re right there with you. xo

    • Phew for old style miracle cures Kathryn, the trip wouldn’t have been the same without you. And I can’t help but wonder what you saw en route, and how you captured it – be it poetry or painting…..

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