The grounds of the Andalusia Contemporary Art Centre

The Andalusia Contemporary Art Centre in Seville can be found on a fascinating site: originally a 15th century monastery, it was acquired by an English merchant in the 19th century and became a ceramics factory. Remnants of both these incarnations can be found all over the grounds, which are enormous.

The art centre is on the ‘other’ side of the river from the city centre, but we were able to walk from our hotel on the Alameda.  Highlights were the inaccessible courtyards, seen from inside the gallery, containing beautiful trees losing their leaves; the orange grove and the small tree house sculptures dotted around.

Orange Grove

Pink trumpet vine found hanging in a courtyard.

Treehouse!

Ceramics factory remnants

Walcot Hall – amazing holiday accommodation

What a lovely winter getaway this beautiful old chapel would make.  It can be found at Walcot Hall in Shropshire, where it was lovingly restored and is now rented as accommodation.

walcot hall chapel

walcot hall bed

walcot hall accommodation

Walcot Hall looks to be an amazing place, offering a huge variety of holiday accommodation, from lovely apartments, to camping and gipsy caravans in their arboretum.

Coleton Fishacre: A Coastal Devon Garden

A visit to Coleton Fishacre felt like a proper summer holiday escape (you know, after all that rain).  We had day tripped from Chard, in Somerset, slowly down the east Devon coast. We stopped off in Dawlish, but so deeply unimpressed by the beach we didn’t bother to stop in at Torquay or Teignmouth, expecting much of the same.  Thank god for Coleton Fishacre, what a absolutely beautiful spot.

It is a National Trust property near Dartmouth, with gardens that meander their way down a valley towards the coast.  The house is fascinating and not your usual National Trust fodder: it was built by Rupert D’Oyly Carte, of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, which performed and promoted Gilbert and Sullivan’s works for over a century.  The house is built in an Arts & Crafts style, with amazing art deco furnishings (which I love) but unfortunately no photos are allowed in the house so you will just have to go and see for yourself!  The gardens were lovely of course, and the views out to sea were so beautiful on a sunny day.

If you are going I would definitely recommend some sensible walking shoes as there looks to be a really good track which we couldn’t really explore as I was wearing simple flats and it was quite muddy from all the rain. The garden itself is paved so no issues there, however the walk does look good if you don’t mind steep hills!