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Monday, 6 May 2013

Bike Ride to Upton Country Park

It seems that most of my friends have gone bike mad!  Every time I check my facebook feed I learn of a new bike ride, or see some beautiful photographs witnessed during a bicycle jaunt.  Never being able to resist a trend, I dusted off my bike and set to work restoring it to full working capacity.

£13.00 and a lot of elbow grease later, I had this;

My bike may not look very special, but it has led a very interesting life.  In the Summer of 2011 it suffered a flat tyre and was relegated to my parking spot, here it languished unused until a Saturday in October of that year.  I had planned to replace the inner tube and went down to it's usual spot to check the tyre - it had gone.  Our building had suffered a spate of bike thefts and after searching our parking garage from top to bottom I feared my bike had suffered the same fate.  Just over a year later, I was parking my car and saw a flash of metal from the corner of my eye.  On closer inspection it was my bike!  Covered in filth and dust, with the same flat tyre, but my bike nonetheless!  I have no idea where my bike went to, or the adventures it may have encountered, but I am so glad it is finally home :)

I have used my bike twice since fixing it, both times to cycle into town.  Today I decide I would actually go on a bike ride!  The Sun was shining, I had a free bike ride app downloaded to my phone (measures distance, calories, speed etc) and I was raring to go!  I decided to ride to Upton Country Park, a local parkland of over 100 acres, it features a grand house, gardens, gallery and tea room.  This place holds many fine memories for me, and it's free!

I decided to check the new lifting bridge - an amalgamation of design and engineering called The Twin Sails Bridge.  There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this piece, but I can honestly say that after seeing it in action (it was in the up position on my way back) I think it is beautiful :)

Upton Country Park has always been special to me as I spent a lot of my middle school years there with my best friend Sarah.  It was very close to our school and so it was a regular occurrence for all students to be dragged there :)  I can vividly remember members of the class (including me) getting into trouble for jumping down onto the lower gardens from this wall - I double checked it again today and the drop is fairly pronounced ;)

The gardens are filled with beautiful plants and some lovely little seating areas to relax and enjoy

The walled garden is beautiful!  It is a large rectangle with stone paths, bordered with plants and a huge green area in the middle - perfect for sunbathing ;)

In the middle of the green is a large paved area, lots of children seemed to be enjoying games on this

This is the back of the grand house.  Inside is off limits unless there is an event taking place, I have been dragged round the library by many a teacher! 

I love sun dials, such an ingenious invention - just not sure how much use they get with the terrible UK sunshine

I love this tree!  Many a child has tried to fit inside, to my recollection I don't think I've ever managed, but I certainly enjoyed trying :)

This is the large open gree in front of the house.  It is perfect for football and dog walks!

On my way back through the cycle path, I just happened to catch a glimpse of this view back across the bay - beautiful!

During my Twin Sail wait, I managed to get some lovely bay views.  You can just see my first flat on the left, I will miss living in Poole when we move :(

I also enjoyed the free gallery that is housed above the Tea Rooms.  Some pieces were amazing, whilst others were so simplistic and crude I couldn't help but wonder if I was missing some arty hidden meaning.  One thing is for sure, I don't think I will question my prices being too high again!

According to my app Cyclist I covered just under 12.5kms and burnt 224 calories - plus I got to see some beautiful things and enjoy some time in the sun - perfection :)


  1. Funny you should post about Upton house, I was only thinking about that place the other day :) Remember Lady always running into the stinky lake thing & all the mud hehe!

    So they finally have that bridge up! It looks much better than I expect.

    Where & when are you moving? miss you xxxx

    1. I was surprised at how lovely it looked :)

      We're hoping to move April next year and at the moment looking in the more rural parts of Dorset :)

      Miss you too! x