A Sussex Sunday
Last weekend, I headed down to verdant (occasionally) Sunny Sussex, the green rolling coastal county of my birth. Sussex, for its occasional dated coastal town and abundance of retirement homes, is a county rich in lush green landscapes, large country houses, expansive farmland extending across the rolling chalky Downs, and fine coastal views. And these attractions are no better appreciated than when a now accustomed Londoner like myself gets to reacquaint himself with the fresh air and vibrant green landscapes of the county on a brief respite from city life.
So last Sunday, once my requisite visits to family were completed, purchases made at pet shops for my nephew’s birthday, and a grand familial dinner consumed, I was insistent that I get out into the countryside to sample Sussex at its best. And to do this, my Mother chose well, guiding us into the small town of Pulborough where, on the outskirts, our first visit was to the ancient medieval Stopham Bridge (built 1423) which spans across the river Arun. There in the shadow of this charming, sturdy looking construction, we had lunch at the White Hart, a pub so quaint and old that the plates themselves were probably the straightest surfaces in the place, but whose food was presented with surprising elegance for somewhere so evidently steeped in tradition.
That afternoon, the highpoint of this Sussex sojourn was to visit Parham House, a large country estate and Tudor Palace which had once received the patronage and visitations of Queen Elizabeth I and today, after extensive renovations undertaken in the 1920s, now boasts some exquisite Elizabethan detailing, as well as a comprehensive collection of regal portraits and grand landscapes collected by the various inhabitants across the centuries.
But for me, the best part of Parham is undoubtedly its walled garden, which at this time of year was abundant with colourful tulips, cherry blossom bursting into flower, and rich green foliage unfurling in the warmer Spring-like air. Armed with my new Sony Cybershot HX20V, I was snapping away like crazy, the results of which are here, as promised, for the sharing.
Details of Parham House and Gardens can be found here.
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