Had a great bike ride in the forest with Popsie today, whilst the boys were racing on the Solent. We packed a picnic and stopped near Burley on the banks of Mill Lawn Brook, and were treated to a display of horse drawn stage coaches in spectacular finery. The horses, the passengers and the carriages were all dressed beautifully, and Popsie thought it was fantastic to watch. It was quite an insight into a by-gone era for me too.
The highlight of this was one of the most impressive carriages with the word "Carmarthen" prominently on the side, along with "Cardiff" and "Tristar". As I had a sandwich in my paws, and it all happened so quickly I didn't take a photo, but I am guessing it was a facsimile model that ran the route from Carmarthen, but certainly nothing I have ever seen before.
Having just googled I have come up with the following explanation. I think they were Tristar horseboxes from Llanwrda, or sponsored by them; hence the Carmarthen livery...!
Bike ride with Popsie started at Blackhamsley near Hincheslea, down to Wootton Bridge and into the Incvlosure through Brownhill and across to Holmsley Inclosure and then across the Ridge to Whitten Pond. I have to be honest I have never really looked here before but it was quite nice, and plan to ride over Dur Hill one day!!
We headed back towards Goatpen Plain, before heading north through Burley and picking up the track through Oakley Inclosure across to Bolderwood and Canadian Cross. We came back down Holmhill to Highland Water and stopped at the Portugese Kitchen and again at the Reptilery a little while later. Some spectacular sightings of Sand Lizard, a nest Adders and babies, a Black Adder and a Smooth snake both of which quite rare. We saw a slow worm, common lizards, and a green frog.
No photos of any of this either, I really have been very lazy!
Great day out though. We rode from 9am until 4pm, and the boys were on the water for the same length of time...