If I am honest one of the reasons for returning to Paxton House was that I was eager to re-visit the Chain Bridge Honey Farm it was one of the most memorable parts of the 2014 tour. I do love Heather Honey, but have avoided saying this too much in Lynnie’s company because she might become jealous!
My knees have suffered a setback after yesterday’s trip over Hedgehope Hill and they are in need of a rest. My morning walk with the dogs around the grounds of Paxton House was tortuous so any long distance walking is off the itinerary for the next few days.
I have previously written about Chain Bridge Honey Farm. They make special honey, but they also have an amazing collection of old machinery and other items of interest. Amazingly it is free to wander around and you could easily spend a day here and still want to come back and see more.
After purchasing our supply of honey we amble around the sheds. I like old farm machinery and there are plenty of fine old machines here to admire.
I am also drawn to the collection of old oil cans. I suddenly realise that some in this collection are cans of oil that I used when I first started driving. It is worrying to think if I had kept hold of them that they would form part of an exhibition. It is moments like this that I start to feel my age.
What I like about this place is the seemingly haphazard way that the collections have been put together, there is an old shop counter in one corner, then a collection of radios and close by pots and pans.
The old woodworking tools are interesting. I know that Dad has still got all his tools and many of the exhibits could be found in his garage.
Outside we look at an early horse drawn caravan built for a lady in Shropshire to take her family on holiday to the Welsh coast. My paternal grandfather, “Chinky”, (gaining this nickname because he always chinked the coins in his pocket) spent a period of his life living in a shepherd’s hut similar to this. I would like to think it was as well equipped as this, but somehow doubt it.
On leaving the honey farm we stop to look at the stunning view of the Union Bridge. This place really is a must visit spot for anyone close to this area.
As evening starts to draw in we decide to have a stroll with the dogs around the grounds of Paxton House. Going through the woods we spot a Red Squirrel. I have not seen one of these delightful creatures since I was a nipper. Although it was only a brief sighting it was a real treat.
We continue our amble to the banks of the River Tweed. In the water swimming towards us is an Otter with his supper in his mouth. I saw my first Otter last year when we were in North Wales, but that was only a quick glimpse compared to this chap.
We watch as he makes his way to his holt. As he frequently dives to swim under water we see why Gavin Maxwell’s 1960’s book about an Otter was called Ring of Bright Water. That is exactly what this fellow produces with each dive. What a treat this place is!
19th May 2016
[To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 346 – Berwick-upon-Tweed]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2016)