In 2007 The Potting Shed just outside Aviemore was selected by RSPB members as “Favourite Bird Feeding Station in Scotland”. In the same year they were nominated as one of Britain’s Top 10 cake shops by the Guardian. This is, in actual fact, a plant nursery but a cake shop has been set up in what looks like the potting shed. Outside the shop is a feeding station which attracts an array of birds. This is the perfect kind of animal viewing: sitting with a large slice of peanut cake and a cup of tea while staring out of the window watching Red Squirrels, Chaffinches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Robins, Crested Tits, Blue Tits and occasionally a Pine Marten.
The front of York Minster is always busy with tourists and groups alike but behind this is the Minster Gardens and it’s hard to believe that these gardens are in the centre of a busy town. It’s quiet and peaceful and a perfect place to look at the cherry blossoms in spring, have a picnic (no ball games, or cycling allowed) or to just sit and admire the grandeur of the Minster. On Tuesday evenings the bell ringers practice in the Minster and sitting in the gardens listening to this is magic.
Kirstenbosch Gardens, in Cape Town, lies at the foot of Table Mountain. Guinea fowl roam free, plants and trees are well labeled and there is a mix of ponds, streams, lawns and walkways. These walkways are paved so the walking is easy and there are free daily walking tours at 10am as well as two hikes up Table Mountain for the more serious walker.
In summer open air concerts take place on Sunday evenings (Nov – April). These are family friendly events with people getting there early with a picnic basket and blanket and making themselves comfortable on the grass. Few experiences can match sipping on good South African wine, listening to South African music and having Table Mountain as the backdrop for all of this.
Wynberg NU (2), Cape Town 7800, South Africa
+27 21 799 8783
Google map: bit.ly/jYHMd4
The Neighbourhood Goods Market is Cape Town’s answer to Borough Market. It is housed in an old Victorian Warehouse at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. This trendy, bustling market has over 100 speciality traders and one can find anything from cupcakes to chutneys, beers, organic local wine and beer, biltong, various mushroom varieties, pastries, meat, vegetables, bread (sold out of an open trailer) and, and, and ... Grab a coffee and sit on one of the long tables that are set up down the centre to soak up the atmosphere. It does get busy so best to get there early.
Saturdays 9am - 2pm.
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