Inspiration - Off the Beaten Track

This is the perfect time to visit one of Britain's bluebell woods. The flowers will be at their very best right now and the perfume is heavenly. There are more of these woods than you might imagine and a quick search around your local area will usually tell you where the best ones are. It worth travelling to see these, if they aren't within easy distance, as the experience of a bluebell wood in full flower is unforgetable.
During the Victorian period, many of London's rivers were put underground or used for the sewage network. Many of these rivers still exist but are now "lost" to view forever. One of these, the River Wandle was once a clean river that flowed from the chalk hills of the North Downs for about nine miles until it joined the River Thames. It was a big, crystal clear river, famous for the Brown Trout that could be caught by the Bishop's staff in his palace at Croydon. When London grew with the advent of the railway and the movement of people from the land to work in the city, the countryside all along the river was rapidly built over and it became a convenient sewer for all the human and industrial waste that resulted from this development. The result was that the river became a dirty and diseased waterway with no life in it and so it was mostly covered over and forgotten.

The New Forest covers parts of Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire and despite is name it has been around for a long time, since at least 1097. The New Forest covers 150 square miles of woodland and heathland and is part of the much gretaer New Forest National Park which covers 219 square miles. This is a wonderful place to visit and is one of the last remaining "wild" places in England. There are a large number of Bed and Breakfast properties in the New Forest so finding accommodation will not be a problem.

Headley Heat is an area of 500 acres of wood and heathhland that is located just outside South London in the Surrey Hills. It is an area of remarkable beauty and wildlife interest and is well worth a visit. Although the capital is close by, this area is truely off the beaten track and if you didn't know it was there it would be easy to miss.

Off the Beaten Track - Sheepsleas

Sheepsleas in Surrey is a fine example of what a chalkland flower meadow should look like. These meadows, once so common are now restricted to a handfull of examples and this unusual gem is well worth a visit.