It’s no secret that in recent months I have been indulging in many day trips across the English countryside. My desire to travel has grown enormously over the past few years, especially after leaving a full-time job where I was on my feet all day (to now working mainly from my home studio), I seem to constantly crave the wilds of the outdoors. In part, this is why James and I invested in a joint National Trust membership for our second consecutive year. Since joining, we have made a point of visiting at least one National Trust property every weekend – be that locally or further afield. We love travelling and it has really motivated us to visit parts of the country that would otherwise have gone unexplored by us. So if you are currently undecided on whether to sign up I would absolutely encourage you to give it a try!
A long walk in the countryside, wandering through fields, meadows, forests or mountains has become the very best kind of tonic for me. It’s the perfect place to nurture my creative soul as it never fails to put my mind completely at ease; I can breathe deeper and discover endless inspiration from those natural surroundings.
With lighter, drier days becoming a more regular occurrence and the feeling of Spring in the air, I felt that it would be a great time to plan a little adventure. Sheringham Park in Norfolk was at the top of my to-visit list in our region; a place with such a variety of beautiful areas to explore, from a landscape park and woodland gardens to beach walks and spectacular coastal views stretching for miles, I knew that James and I could easily spend an entire day walking there and really make the most of all the sights it has to offer.
We began our wanders through the woodlands, where the soft spring light flitted through the empty branches of the trees as we walked over the crisp carpet of fallen leaves beneath. The birds were rejoicing in the arrival of a new season and singing alongside the various musical sounds of nature, all carried gently along in the spring breeze… I have always found the woodlands to be incredibly enchanting and mysterious. The seclusion created by the towering mass of trees seems to attract everything that I love about nature, and with those quiet moments to contemplate, it is one of my favourite places to find peace and inspiration, effortlessly.
I have been making a habit of carrying two scarves with me – one woollen and one lighter scarf – on most of our recent journeys simply because the weather has been at that in-between stage of wintery cold and spring fresh. I tend to get cold easily and find it really comforting to be able to wrap a scarf around my neck to keep any chills away. I couldn’t be more thrilled with my new scarf from Nihao Planet and the wonderful thing about this beautiful cashmere scarf is that it’s seasonless, so wonderfully soft, lightweight and cosy. Having kept me surprisingly snug during some very cold days out photographing during our early spring adventures, it’s now the only one I try to carry with me for the vast majority of my trips. It has without doubt become a staple item in my wardrobe, one that I know will even work perfectly as an additional light layer or cover-up during the warmer spring days or summer evenings, and accompany me on many future adventures.
We stopped for lunch at the edge of the woodlands, where just beyond we could see the coastal views stretching for miles. Feeling re-energised, we climbed to the top of the gazebo above the oak canopy and I cannot tell you just how breathtaking the landscape is from that height. We timed our ascent perfectly with the passing of an old steam engine in the distance, between the coast and the woodlands – it was a moment of pure novelty.
Towards the end of a beautiful day exploring, we stumbled across a glorious avenue of Rhododendrons that were just beginning to burst into life. The small amounts that had already flowered were a vibrant shade of pink and utterly stunning amongst the predominantly green and brown of the woodlands. It was just before sunset, but James and I lingered for a while longer to enjoy these unexpected spring delights.
This place exceeded my expectations and I left (as usual) wishing we could stay for longer. I plan to revisit Sheringham Park in early June to complete another walking trail and hope to capture more varieties of those beautiful Rhododendron flowers in their peak. The collection at the park is nationally imported and provide an abundance of colour in the garden throughout the year. During May into early June the National Trust even hold and event named the ‘Rhododendron Festival’, and personally, I couldn’t think of anything more magical to aid in my countryside tonic.
Thank you Nihao Planet for kindly sending me this beautiful cashmere scarf to wear on my countryside wanders.