If you get bored here over there on the right under pages there’s some more rubbish to read.




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Haden Hill

Haden Hill House, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath B64 7JU

The entrance to the site is via Barrs Rd

Admission Free

Haden Hill House Museum is a Victorian gentleman’s residence furnished in period style, surrounded by 55 acres of parkland/woodland. It also a pond, playground, outdoor gym ¬†a pet’s grave lies not to far from the house it reads Tip – 1877 Floss – 1898 Fluff – 1899. Oh and it as couple of ghosts.

The Old Hall is semi-detached to the Victorian house. It is thought the Hall was originally built around the late 1600s although there is a line of thought that it was early than that, and that it was later split into two farm dwellings. Mr Haden-Best inherited the hall in 1870s and built the House in 1878 as he did not wish to live in the Old Hall next door where he grew up with his sisters, aunt and uncle.

Following his death  in 1921 the Victorian building and estate, including 55 acres  of land, Haden Hill house and Haden Hall, was bought for £8,500 by public subscription for use as a park for the local community. The title deeds were handed to Rowley Regis Urban District Council on 14 October 1922, and the park was then open for public use.

Nursery Wood, the wooded area towards the lower of the park is associated with ¬†of the ghost of Eleanor, a beautiful young woman who lived at Hayseech Mill. The tragic story of Eleanor’s love for a monk from Hales Abbey is a sad one. Against her families wishes they would meet each other using underground passage that ran from Hales Abbey to the Cellars of the hall.

The parents of Eleanor and the Abbot of the abbey tried to prevent the lovers from being together by locking Eleanor  in the hall but they both escaped, using the secret passage.  Later they were caught, and following their capture the monk was  walled up alive in the passage.

Down the centuries the ghost of Eleanor has supposedly been seen gliding through the woods and around the house searching for her lost love.

Also believe to haunted at Haden Hill House is the ghost of Annie Eliza (1790-1876) who lived alone. Reports say she never married or had children. She turned out to be the last of the Hadens in the direct family line. Why she haunts the house is a unknown.

This is a nice park but not for the unfit, the hill are steep. That said if you use all the entrances so doing the park a bit at a time you could probably see most of the park. The pond is now overgrown so the beautiful bridge can no longer be seen.


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Shrewsbury is a lovely little market town almost surrounded by the River Severn with the feel of a village. ¬† Untouched by time it still retains it’s medieval street plan, with lots of small winding, narrow gullies ¬†linking the streets. It boasts more than 660 listed buildings and the architecture is wonderful. It’s easy to spend a day just wandering around looking at the outside of the buildings, which is what happen to us. It has several churches, a cathedral, the Abbey, museums and the Castle which houses the Regimental Museum.

The Quarry is a wonderful open park which the river runs alongside. The park has memorials and the Dingle which is a lovely garden complete with pool, memorials and the Goddess Sabrina, the flower beds are some of the best I have seen.

The town has lots of small independent shops and places to eat, so finding something to eat is not a problem.

There’s just too much to see and do in one day, so we have decided to take a weekend there later in the year, so that we can visit places in more depth.



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Halesowen Abbey

Halesowen Abbey
West Midlands, B62 8RJ

Admission Free

This is a strange one to visit, depending on what you google you get
opening times
Exterior open to view any reasonable time during daylight hours or 9th August 2017 to March 29 2018. Truth is there are no opening times because it’s not open to the public at all. The abbey is set in farm land and can only be seen from a pathway which is a right of way. The directions are not very clear either, stating that it is Off A456, 1‚ĀĄ2 mile west of J3, M5. The A456 is a duel carriageway, and the only parking is on the housing estate on the opposite side of this carriageway. Once parked you take your life in your hands crossing this very busy road, as there are no crossings. Then it’s a short walk through a corn field where you can see part of the ruin which is a fence and a field away from the path. I can’t see how they can stop you seeing this at any time as it is on a right of way path.

King John gave the manor of Hales, Shropshire, to Peter des Roches Bishop of Winchester in 1214 to build whatever house of religion he wanted, The Abbey at Halesowen was established four years later, dedicated to the Virgin and St John the Evangelist. The Abbey was colonised by canons from the existing Premonstratensian monastery at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire.

In 1538 William Taylor the last abbot surrendered the abbey and all its possessions to the Crown, two years later the monastic buildings were partly demolished. Henry VIII granted the abbey estate to Sir John Dudley who then passed it to his servant George Tuckey. Later some parts of the monastic buildings were incorporated into the north barn of Manor Farm.

In 1915 the abbey came into the guardianship of the state.

Would I visit again? No I don’t think so, I don’t think I could recommend it either.



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Dudley Zoo After Dark

Dudley Castle
Dudley Zoo
Dudley Hill

Admission £10/£8 includes parking

Following on from last years Bride of Frankenstein, Flatpack were back at Dudley zoo on the 5th August with another Horror film. This time America werewolf in London.

The zoo is easy to get to by bus or car, the car parking is on the zoo car park and is included in the ticket price and is only a 10/15 minute walk from the entrance to the back entrance into the zoo. Because the zoo is closed entrance is gained by¬†Fellows Pub car park. From the gates you climb a bit of a steep hill past the Meerkats and up to the castle grounds. ¬†Take your own chair or blanket and a picnic or if you prefer there is food and drink available in the Courtyard caf√©. It’s also a good idea to take a coat/blanket as it gets quite chilly as the evening goes on. Then all you have to do is find yourself a spot, sit back and enjoy.

The evening started with a DJ and moon and wolf related ¬†music, there’s far more of this than you think. This was followed by a couple of wolf related shorts, one a cartoon about a woman whose child was a wolf and that all time great THRILLER all together now

‚ô™ It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark ‚ô™‚ôę‚ÄĘ Under the moonlight¬†¬†you see a sight that almost stops your heart‚ô™‚ôę‚ÄĘ ‚ÄĘ‚ôę‚ô™‚ô™‚ôę‚ÄĘ You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before
You make it‚ô™‚ôę‚ÄĘ

Next up an introduction by John Landis followed by the film as the moon rose over the trees to our right,  all this and the wonderful light projections on the castle walls, dripping blood, a pentagram, burning torches, a travelling  moon on the castle tower, and a moon that became blood stained and red over the gate all for £10. A fantastic night.

The only thing that spoiled it was the same problem as last year, that being smokers who think the rules don’t apply to them, it states clearly that smoking is¬†¬†permitted in the designated smoking area by the Courtyard caf√© and yet there were still people smoking in the seating area Pot as well as tobacco.




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Leasowen Walled Garden

The Leasowes
Leasowes Lane
Mucklow Hill
West Midlands
B62 8DH

Admission free

This Walled Garden lies at the heart of The Leasowes  Park, it can be reached by taking the red walking route from the main car park.

The Walled Garden and the Slip Garden covers approximately 2 acres and has been in existence for more than 240 years, but it has remained a bit of an hidden gem. ¬†This is partly because ¬†most people who are aware of them think of them as the compound for the Council’s parks department and as an educational Horticultural College.

In November 2014 the Halesowen Abby Trust purchased the gardens and dedicated it for public benefit. The purchase was supported by donations from A J Mucklow PLC, Dudley Council, The  friends of Leasowes and other fund raising.

The garden is in the process of being restored to it former glory, be it slowly, as it is being done by volunteers and with donations.

The orchard is complete with it’s beehives and a wildlife pool in under construction, the old porter cabins are being pulled down as soon as the funds for an Eco loo have been found. The parts that have been completed are really pretty. It’s a big job they have on their hands.

There is no charge to enter, all they ask is for you too sign in and out, (Just your name, date, time in and out and a comment, so you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with mail etc.), this is because their funding is directly linked to how many people visited.



After this walk we went on a bear hunt and found another 3 bears, there should have been 6, but the others were locked away in Lightwoods house. I will do a post about Lightwoods when I can find the house open.

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Leasowes Park

Leasowes Park
B62 8DH


This park is truly an oasis of beauty and tranquility in a very built up area.

The park covers 141 acres and has many very pretty features with woodland, grassland, streams, waterfalls and large ponds which attract a variety of wildlife.  Dragonflies, toads, kingfisher and newts can be spotted  in the wetland areas and woodpeckers, tawny owls and badgers in the woodland.
The park was designed by the poet William Shenstone between 1743 and 1763. William inherited the land as a dairy farm and  remodel the estate on scenes inspired by pastoral poetry.

Now all that is left of the estate is this wonderful park/nature reserve. The house and grounds around the house are now golf course and club house.

The Leasowes is considered one of the most significant parks in the country because it to be thought to be one of the first natural landscape gardens in England.

In resent years the park as undergone a bit of a renovation to try to bring it back to the way it would have looked in Williams day, there are well marked walking routes some of which are steep. Fantastic views from the top of Clee Hills and Clent and a nice touch are the benches dotted around with parts of William’s poems etched into them.

There is also a gem within the gem ‘The Walled Garden’ few people know about this walled garden and it history. It can easily be found on the red route walk and is open to the public on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday Mornings. It’s run and maintained by volunteers. We walked to route on Sunday and were lucky enough to run into one of the volunteers as he was locking up. After asking the opening times he kindly offer to give us a quick look around, it is in the process of being renovated, but what has been done is beautifully and you can imagine what it will be like after completion. I don’t want to say too much about it in this post because we intend to go back when it is open to take advantage of time to really get the feel of the place, then I shall do a little blog for it all of it’s own. Trevor explained a lot of the garden to us and the fact that they rely on donations to keep the place going, so there is a donation box if you wish to donate. All they ask is for you to sign their book, just name, date, time you arrived and the time you left, and a comment. The amount of people they get through the gate is directly linked the amount of funding they get. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask people to do. I really hope this walled garden is kept going.

A big thank you to Trevor for taking time out for us.




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The Big Sleuth

The Big Sleuth

Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Sutton Coldfield (for 10 weeks)


The big sleuth is this years charity event run for the Birmingham Children’s hospital. (The last one was the Big Hoot, owl sculptures). Local companies and organisations sponsor the sculptures and local schools, artists and companies decorate them. 230 of them are ¬†dotted around the city, Solihull, Sandwell and Sutton Coldfield ¬†in shops/museums and parks all to be found. Great fun to be had by young and young at heart, and good exercise. After 10 weeks they are collected up and put on display in one place so that you can see them all for a small donation. They are then auctioned off for the hospital.

The big sleuth so called because a sleuth is the name for a group of bears, so you are sleuthing around while looking for the sleuth. Bears have also been picked this year to help raise awareness of the Sun Bear who’s numbers are sadly declining.

I found a few of the bears, my favorite had to be Ursa Minor The Little Bear. Hidden on the bear is a smaller bear, you need a magnifying glass to see it, I found it with the help of the security guard (it’s in the bears right ear, and it really is tiny). Some of the bears were not there, but they kindly left messages to say they were at the vets and would be back soon :), you have to love Birmingham.

I may go on a bear hunt and find some of the others, when I have time, and if I do I will do another blog post and photos.


Photos  of some of the bears.

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