Wendy Turner David Hunter

This England - - This England's Golden Anniversary -

Alit­tle girl looks down onto a busy road. If she looks past the yel­low trol­ley-buses and over the rooftops she can al­most see the sea.

That was me some 60 years ago look­ing out of Nana’s top-flat win­dow in Boscombe near Bournemouth on the south coast. Al­though we lived in the East End of Lon­don we spent our sum­mer hol­i­days in Boscombe with Nana and Un­cle Jim. Ev­ery day we packed peanut but­ter sand­wiches and swim things and headed off to the beach pass­ing grand ho­tels with great tubs of blue hy­drangeas. Then on through the pine trees of beau­ti­ful Shel­ley Park. A whiff of pine whisks me back there even to­day.

Then on to the cliff top with the sun sparkling like di­a­monds on the wa­ter. On clear days you can see the Nee­dles of the Isle of Wight. Boscombe has a de­light­ful zig-zag path that leads down to the sea, past cliffs alive with yel­low gorse and pur­ple heather. It al­ways seemed sunny and the wa­ter al­ways felt warm.

Such are the poignant mem­o­ries of my favourite place in the UK. I visit when­ever I can walk­ing bare­foot over the grass, strolling down the zig-zag path, look­ing across to the Isle of Wight and breath­ing in the salty sea air of the place I love best.

Ihave a cat­a­logue of mem­o­ries of favourite places across Eng­land, but one of the best has to be Sur­prise View. It is not so far from one of the most pho­tographed places in the Lake Dis­trict, Ash­ness Bridge. The view is found just off the nar­row road to the re­mote ham­let of Wa­tend­lath. Here, edged by trees, a high cliff of­fers a su­perb view along the length of Der­went­wa­ter. It is but three miles long and about a mile wide. Tidily com­pact in its fram­ing by the hills lit­tle is lost to the viewer who takes time to en­joy it to the full — but re­mem­bers he is at the edge of a very steep drop.

To the north the back­drop is of Skid­daw’s (nowa­days not so lonely) heights, one of the chain of bea­cons that warned of the com­ing of the Span­ish Ar­mada in 1588. Along the western edge is Cat­bells, long known as the chil­dren’s moun­tain, it is the start of many a good day’s walk and for some the in­tro­duc­tion to a life­time of hill walk­ing — and which alas I can no longer do — save through the pages of my cat­a­logue of mem­o­ries.

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