A Walk With My Friend Oscar

Sometimes there is nothing better than a walk by the sea along a coastal path soaking up the spectacular views, especially when there is a comfortable bench on which to sit for a breather, while admiring said views.

West Bay Coastal Walk.  Memorial benches overlooking the sea April 2015 (c) Sherri Matthews

West Bay Coastal Walk. Memorial benches overlooking the sea April 2015
(c) Sherri Matthews

Speaking of views, some of you may recognise the house in the top right of the above photograph as the home where Charlotte Rampling’s character – Jocelyn Knight – lived during the second series of Broadchurch which aired on British TV in January.  Here’s a close up:

What a view!  West Bay Coastal Walk, Dorset, England A;pril 2015 (c) Sherri Matthews

What a view! West Bay Coastal Walk, Dorset, England April 2015
(c) Sherri Matthews

But other times, you may just prefer to take your walk further inland around the magnificent grounds of a beautiful manor house; somewhere like Ston Easton Park for instance, which is exactly where hubby and I walked in March.

Ston Easton Manor House and Gardens Somerset, England March, 2015 (c) Sherri Matthews

Ston Easton Manor House and Gardens Somerset, England
March, 2015
(c) Sherri Matthews

Ston Easton Park Hotel is situated in the Mendip area of Somerset,  not many miles south of Bristol and Bath. The Palladian Mansion itself rises up majestically from beautiful parklands which were designed by the celebrated 18th century landscape designer, Humphry Repton.  Once the home of the Hippisley family for centuries, Ston Easton is now a highly revered hotel and restaurant.

On the day of our walk, we had an unexpected walking buddy who, knowing the best places to walk like the back of his hand paw, happily led the way.

Meet Oscar, the hotel’s live-in Cocker Spaniel ~

Oscar (c) Sherri Matthews

Oscar. (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Isn’t he a beaut?

He knows the grounds inside and out and was more than a little keen to take us along a few of his favourite trails.

Just outside this greenhouse, Oscar’s ears pricked up upon hearing a rustle and he shot inside.

We followed, only to find these huge onions ~

Prize winners? (c) Sherri Matthews

Prize winners?
(c) Sherri Matthews

A brief flurry of activity inside, and out shot a cat right in front of us, racing up the tree behind the greenhouse. Oscar gave fast chase, but was outrun and left to jump up at the tree while barking at the cat, who, of course, was not going anywhere by that point.

Naughty Oscar (c) Sherri Matthews

Naughty Oscar
(c) Sherri Matthews

After that excitement, Oscar led us along a path giving us this wonderful view of the greenhouses and the kitchen gardens  ~

(c) Sherri Matthews

(c) Sherri Matthews

Ston Easton is a gourmet restaurant and grows all its own herbs and vegetables.  In March, there wasn’t much to see, but I hope to go back in the summer and see how different these kitchen gardens look.

Oscar continued to lead us down some interesting paths, stopping here and there to sniff for anything and everything ~

Including this bee hive which looked to need a little straightening ~

Crooked Bee Hive (c) Sherri Matthews

Crooked Bee Hive
(c) Sherri Matthews

He was particularly excited to show us the palm tree (albeit a short one in a pot) and the flowering hellibors and daffodils in the early spring sunshine ~

He was very keen to show us this pretty llittle bridge leading to a separate cottage where guests can stay if they wish to be away from the main house.  For a price, of course ~

On the way back, Oscar took us along the back of the house, past another small bridge across the river and showed us the open fields ~

Towards the end of the walk, Oscar disappeared, but it turned out he had already beaten us home and was waiting for us by the front entrance as if to say, “What took you so long?”

Ston Easton March 2015 Anniversary (53)Walking is a wonderfully healthy activity for mind, body and soul, but it’s important to bear in mind that no matter where we walk, we must always pay heed to this cardinal rule:

Minterne Magna April 2015 (14)

Minterne Magna, Dorset, England (c) Sherri Matthews

Litter or glitter, it’s never a good idea to leave it behind.

Thank you for joining me in this walk today, and thank you Oscar for leading the way.  You were the perfect host ~

For more walks, be sure to check out Jo’s weekly Monday Walk series (today she takes us for an envigorating walk to see the daffodils in Farndale, Yorkshire) and for a unique and beautiful selection of bench photos, check out Jude’s Bench Series, which for this month is benches with a view.  But hurry, it changes at the end of the month!

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
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139 Responses to A Walk With My Friend Oscar

  1. How did I miss this wonderful post?! Oscar is such a beauty and not like any cocker or springer spaniel I’ve ever seen here in the States. I love his rich brown coat! He seems more strudy than his American cousins. Thoroughly enjoyed this walk with you and hubby through the most beautiful grounds. Honestly when I see your posts I wonder how you stood being here in arid California. I just love the English countryside although I have never been there. Thanks to you my friend, I almost feel that I have! 🙂 Bravo on another beautiful piece! ❤ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, dearest friend, I know how much you love Oscar, darling Shiloh’s cousin 🙂 Yes, I looked up on their website to see if he was a Cocker or Springer and they call him a Cocker, although we weren’t sure at first!! His coat is gorgeous, so thick and a beautiful, rich chocolate. Oh, I want to go back and get him even more now 😀 Hubby and I loved taking this walk with you through this beautiful parkland, and one day, you just might get to walk with us for real…until then, I am thrilled that you enjoyed the photos and thank you so much as always for reading and sharing…means a great deal to me that 🙂 ❤ xoxo


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