August – Five days in Mortimer
This blog post was originally posted on the 29th December 2018.
Our next adventure took us to Mortimer, just south of Reading, for five days in a secluded house surrounded by seemingly endless fields and woodlands. Here we looked after Border Terrier Boris, English Springer Spaniel Megan, Bengal cat Oscar, and two coops of hens and cockerels!
As soon as the gates to the house opened, we were greeted by the whirlwind Boris, and sweet Megan! Our hosts showed us around their home while Boris ran excitable circles around us. We then went through into the large garden and were introduced to the two coops of chickens, and were shown around the bountiful garden with its raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, grapes and more! Once our hosts had left for their trip we decided to explore the one of the walks running from the house, through the woodlands and circling back through fields. The path began right outside the front gates to the house, and Boris and Megan showed us the way! We passed lots of wild blackberry bushes which we stopped at to pick a few juicy berries, before following the dogs over a wide open field where they enjoyed running together and sniffing through the tall grass. Towards the end of the walk, rain set in for the afternoon and we retreated to the house for a cosy evening of settling in.
We had much better weather the following day, and we spent some time being given the runaround by Boris in the spacious garden! His energy was endless and we enjoyed throwing sticks for him and chasing him around while Megan looked on, perfectly content to sit and watch. When she would sit at the edge of the pond in the garden to watch the fish, Boris would get excited on sight of them and jump right in – it took us a couple of days to figure out why he’d come back into the house with soggy feet! Oscar would prowl quietly around the garden, stalking birds and exploring the woodland surrounding the house. When we left the house for walks he would follow us to the gates, as if he didn’t want us to leave! The hens gave us plenty of eggs over our stay which we enjoyed, and we tried a few of the raspberries and strawberries in the veg patch – delicious!
On another fine day we travelled to the Silchester Roman walls and ruins for a gentle stroll with the dogs. It’s a wide open and peaceful space with a long, circular walk running along the edge of the ruined walls, and a very well preserved amphitheatre which was amazing to walk through. We were greeted by baby alpacas in a nearby field which neither Boris or Megan seemed to mind, and we were rewarded for our long walk in the sun when the path took us through shady woodland on our way back to the carpark. Everyone slept well that night!
Over our last couple of days in Mortimer the weather was so hot that we chose to play in the garden with the dogs or opt for shorter walks through the fields. On our last day we played with Boris and Megan in the tall grass two fields over from the house, and while Suze tried to get a photo of Chris with the dogs, Boris was convinced there were treats to be had and sat closer to the camera! Overall we enjoyed our short stay here – getting in some down time in a secluded location – but at heart we love to walk and explore, and if we were to return to the area we’d like to be somewhere where we could get out and do some more adventuring!