Puppies, Parks and Princess Victoria

After such a wet and soggy winter, here in the UK we’ve been enjoying some lovely bright days. It’s been getting the Joneses into a holiday mood and sent us scurrying for the brochures and checking out online deals. While it’s exciting planning trips to pastures new, recently I was reminded how easy it is to overlook the treasures to be found on our own doorstep.

Ushi lying March 2014Between our holiday planning we’ve had our favourite little lodger back to stay. Guide dog puppy Ushi, is a gorgeous flat coat retriever and is now just one year old. We’ve been boarding her on and off since she was six months old, which has been plenty of time to fall head over heels for she of the bewitching eyes and mischievous ways.

On Ushi’s last visit she’d just been spayed, which meant no free runs and only short lead walks. But after a few days she was raring to go, so on a particularly gorgeous day we took her out in the car to give her a change of scene. A short drive away from us is the Georgian City of Bath and its Royal Victoria Park. RVP 1The Park has been around since the early nineteenth century when, in 1830, it was officially opened by the young Princess Victoria. Apparently, Bath’s Royal Victoria Park was the very first to carry her name. (As a side note, the future Queen of England wasn’t a particular admirer of Bath and used to have the curtains of her train carriage closed when passing through the city. It is said she came to dislike the city after a Bath writer insulted her.)

The Park has beautiful botanical gardens which, shame on us, we rarely visit. They were formed in 1887 and are said to contain one of the finest collections of plants on limestone in the West of England. We thought it would be a nice place for Ushi as she’d enjoy all the different scents and smells. Once inside the gate, the scenery took my breath away. Cherry blossom all over the place. RVP March 2014I love trees and find something really fascinating in their shape and texture. Every tree in the gardens was as if someone had shaped them carefully to enhance their surroundings.

RVP 2

Near one of the entrances is a replica of a Roman Temple, the Temple of Minerva was constructed at Wembley in 1924 for the British Empire Exhibition, and rebuilt in the Botanic Gardens in 1926.

RVP WI 2The local Women’s Institute have a community garden within the Park which is made entirely of edible plants and flowers, the idea being to inspire people to plant edibles that are not only useful but also beautiful. The lady in the bath is a pretty fun exhibit and is based on the Bath WI logo.

RVP AJ and UshiHappily, all three of us enjoyed our outing and shortly after this photo was taken (and a cream tea for us and chewy bone for Ushi, plus a lot of attention from fellow cafe patrons), we headed back home with a very contented and, sleepy, pup. Happy Days!

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8 responses to “Puppies, Parks and Princess Victoria

  1. Ahhh, Ushi is so adorable. 🙂 And I love the park. The flowers around the base of that tree are amazing. Since we’re mired in another rainy pattern here, I’m grateful for another glimpse of Spring. Thanks, Tricia! Enjoy that pup!

  2. I love your posts about where you live. So much history. And of course puppy stories. This one has both a great way to wake up with morning coffee.
    Oh and send some that weather our way we could use it.

    • It’s easy to take for granted the history surrounding our own neighbourhoods, isn’t it? We’ve had a lovely weekend here, so hope it finds its way across the pond to you 🙂

  3. Valerie J. Patterson

    Enjoyed your post, Tricia! The park looks absolutely lovely. I think I could sit there and write and write and write because the beauty is so inspiring. Ushi is such a cutie. I’m glad she has you and AJ to board with when she needs a place to stay. 😛

    • Yes, it’s a very inspirational place to write, Valerie, although it could be a little distracting as it gets quite a lot of foot traffic at times. But it’s certainly beautiful.

  4. Ushi is adorable and hope her visits continue for you. I visited the Victoria Park many years ago and enjoyed it. I must make the time to pay another visit as it certainly a beautiful place. Fancy Queen Vic not liking Bath – what’s not to like!

  5. Thanks, Kit. I agree about Queen Vic, she missed out on a lot 🙂

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