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...Caravanning To (R)ookesbury Park

  'ookesbury Park - didn't quite get the R in... Rookesbury Park is a private estate near Wickham in Hampshire, and on it, hidden away in the woods, is Rookesbury Park Caravan & Motorhome Club site, which is where I and Mrs GH spent a long weekend for our second trip out in 'Hector'... Hector with his top - popped ...our recently acquired Eriba Troll caravan. Technically owners of Eriba caravans don't go caravanning, they go 'Eriba-ing'.. It's a niche thing...  If you are compelled to know more about Eribas - this blog is a very informative and amusing read. Sunset over Rookesbury Park Rookesbury Park is a really nice woodland site with excellent facilities (toilest/showers etc) and the reception area sports a nice display of tyre planters... Hippie Minion?  ...and other garden art.... Not an Eriba   Even the dog walk area had some garden art... Brambil - sit!  Another nice little touch (attached to the front of the toilet/shower block), was a coll
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...To Roll Out The (Dusty) Barrel.

GH 'basking in the limelight of his dog' (BRAPA quote*) I sarted writing this post 10 months ago...'s had a long gestation period... ...I haven't blogged since before the pandemic... ...maybe I've just been useless at doing my blog... ...or it could even be 'bloggers block'. I've now decided to change the blog title, by removing the '...To The Pub' bit, just in case I go somewhere else worth blogging about other than a pub (you never know!).  I suppose the downside of this is that all my previous posts will also have the new heading, and look wrong (possibly). Anyway back to the post.  Consider it a compilation post as I've visited this place a number of times since it opened  a couple of years ago (warning...there may be some continuity issues with the photos). The Dusty Barrel, Pylewell Precinct, Hythe, Hants is the newest addition to Hythe's pub scene and the first real micropub.  When I say 'real micropub' I'm not a

Cast in Sway

  Here is an interesting map for you. The New Forest on the west (left) side, Portsmouth and Southampton conurbations, centre and right, and bottom right a small diamond shaped island, which, remains largely undiscovered by pub bloggers.  Though there was a brief expedition by the Famous Five (Four Old Farts and a Friend) in October 2018 ( )  this failed to make much progress beyond the landing point.  On a positive note however Retired Martin has discovered a new island in Sheffield ...     Today's expedition however, in pre-Lockdown2 August 2020, was along the blue line on the map from Hythe to the village of Sway in the New Forest.  Long before 'Concrete Bob' McAlpine got to grips with the stuff, and built the Glenfinnan Viaduct for the Harry Potter movies, Sway found its claim to fame with mass concrete.  The Sway Tower ( photo above from Wiki ) was built as a folly soon after the material was

A Window on Hythe History...

  Last August the second wave/lockdown of the pandemic and Retired Martin's move to Sheffield were still events that were unimaginable* when, with both excitement and apprehension,  I set off to visit one of the oldest pubs in Hythe, and amazingly one which has kept (more or less) the same name since first being opened in 1851. According to the authoritative source of Hythe history, Graham Parkes, in his book ‘Hythe A Waterside Village’, the site of the pub has been associated with beer and brewing for over 250 years, when a malthouse and possibly a brewery existed from around 1750.  The Malt , as it is now known, started out life in the 19th century as the Malt and Hops Tavern.  Though the brick building itself is not a historical attention grabber, it still sits on a street of pretty terraced cottages of similar vintage, though some shades of their exterior decor may be more modern.     Inside The Malt there is now little sense of the pub's history and it is laid out as a