George the Collie reviews National Trust Shugborough Hall

Some work to do but still a great visit.

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Set in mid-Staffordshire, Shugborough Hall is the ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earls_of_Lichfield?wprov=sfti1

The hall and grounds have recently been taken over by the National Trust as, as you might expect, things are not fully up to speed.

Being a dog, I’m not allowed in the house so just the grounds for me but I have to say they are some of the better one I have been around.

There are (partially) defined paths to follow around and areas where dogs can run free, thankfully. They were great.

There are some beautiful sights as you amble around but my folks got lost quite quickly due to poor path marking. We all muddled through okay though and made it back to the modern world.

There are a large number of ‘follys’ (follies?) around the grounds but there used to be a lot more, 11 in fact.

The gatehouse leads you along the road to the deer/cattle grazing areas which are vast.

There is an art ‘thing’ going on around the grounds as well where you can look into these viewers, below, and watch an art house piece relating to the history of the park and the two brother that brought ‘paradise’ to the grounds in the shape these follies. Inspiration taken from their travels the area was transformed.

Unfortunately, many of these were destroyed or neglected over time leaving only a few remaining which can be found about.

The arch of Hadrian, above, is the most visible one remaining but there are still the Doric Temple, The Tower of the Winds, The Shepherd’s Monument and more to see.

We did make use of the fabulous tea room though. That clotted cream was lovely.

A nice park and well worth a visit. Not seen the house yet but we’ll go back. The grounds still have some way to go but still a nice spot.

George is 9 (months).

The story so far….

George is 9 months now. He is in between dog courses, bronze – silver, and has been given a little time of training and lessons.

This worked alongside us going on holiday for a couple of weeks, leaving George with a dog sitter.

This was interesting to see how he handled being left.

Previously, the longest he’d been left was a weekend when he was about 5 months and he came back feral!

When we picked him back up he was very pleased. Very pleased.

I am guessing that remaining in a structured, dog-centric household had a positive impact on George and he came back a lot more under control.

He is still lovely and lively with it.

He’s 18kg so bang on target for age & weight.

He is being fed right at the top end of what a medium dog at his age should be having but he’s not got an ounce of fat on him – he’s in great condition.

We are looking to get him back to school over the next couple of weeks so, hopefully, some updates to follow.

George the Collie reviews National Trust Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton.

Another Wolverhampton historic gem.


https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wightwick-manor-and-gardens

Set in the outskirts of the city, Wightwick Manor is another 'blink and you miss it' National Trust site that has a lot going for it.

Ample parking leads you to the entrance where the staff are very welcoming and informative – handing out maps and details to assist your visit.

From here you head to the house itself which, probably by design, just pops out from behind beautifully manicured hedgerows.

Built in the Arts & Crafts style in 1887 by the local Mander industrialist family, Wightwick Manor is a relatively 'new' property compared to a lot of National Trust sites.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wightwick_Manor

The house itself was built in two main sections, the second finished in 1897, and was fully furnished and decorated in a style drawing heavily on the influence of William Morris

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris

There are formal gardens and orchards to amble around and a lovely, if short, woodland walk leading to some very picturesque seating areas overlooking duck ponds.

The 'Great Parlour' is a beautiful space with stunning glass and an interior that has to be seen to take it all in.

With the standard coffee shop and site shop, Wightwick Manir has everything you could want for a quick day out.
A lovely site in a lovely location and definitely worth the admission.

George the Collie on Dogs v Cats

A story of love, not hate.

Ever since books have been in print and images have been shown on screen there have been ‘Dog v Cat’ stories.

Natural enemies. Nature or Nurture?

Of the last three dogs we’ve had, none have been ‘taught’ that cats are the enemy and so, obviously, they do not see them as such.


Parents teach to their kids who pass it on and so it goes on, needlessly.

Cats, naturally being more safety conscious tend to shy away from dogs, especially if they’ve had a bad experience and this can set the dogs on edge. One feeds the other and so the problem persists.

But start them off on the right foot and make it a good, friendly experience and you get a different outcome.

Spread love, not hate.

George the Collie reviews National Trust Long Mynd.

Natural Glory……


Long Mynd is a geological beauty.

Carved out (probably) by glacial activity thousands of years ago, we’re left with the wreckage – and it’s stunning.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Mynd


We parked up at Cardingmill Valley where the National Trust site is. 

There is plenty of parking, an information centre and tea room which is very well equipped.

From here you can make use of the readily available information sheets for easy, medium and hard walks in the area or you can strike out in your own – which is what we did. 


An hour and a half later, three tough miles and one picnic consumed, we returned to the centre for an ice cream.

We were blessed with beautiful weather today but I honestly think you’d love this place regardless.

Even with the car park full once we were off walking, there was hardly anyone else around.

Amazing views, routes and great facilities make this a must visit. 

George the Collie Vs Training Pt.8

Personality crisis….

So, Gentle George is now 6 months old and progressing nicely towards becoming a lovely dog.


After flying through house training and basic puppy commands, he started puppy school a few weeks ago.

Now, George is doing well but there seems to be a little creeping trait coming in.

Going through some basic commands recently, I noticed a little reluctance to do as asked. Nothing major but it did require a firmer tone to get compliance.

It is likely nothing to be concerned about and chatting to my wife about it we wonder if it is just him growing up. Getting a little more confident and his personality showing through.

We certainly wouldn’t be looking to stamp out personally traits in the lad but it’s interesting to see him develop.

We’ll keep an eye on him and ensure  he knows where he stands but he does need to know his place in the pecking order.


George the Collie reviews – National Trust Moseley Old Hall

A local National Trust site, small but friendly.


Situated just outside Wolverhampton, Moseley Old Hall is somewhere I have been past many times but never got around to visiting.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moseley_Old_Hall

Described as ‘An atmospheric Elizabethan farmhouse that saved a King’ I did a bit of digging before visiting finding that it had been used as a hiding place for the retreating King at the end of the English Civil War and includes a ‘Priest Hole’ actually used by the King to avoid his pursuers.

Being a dog, I’m not allowed in the house itself so have to be content with the outside and what an outside to enjoy! 

The (recreated) 17th century gardens are quite small but in keeping with the house itself, extending around three sides to include a seating area for picnics.

There are facilities on site, a souvenir ship, second hand book shop, plant sale area and a little tea room (which boasts the best scones in the world), but we just brought our own little picnic and coffee.

As you wander around the grounds there is a ‘Kings Walk’ through the tree to a tree house and pond.


It is a lot smaller than some better know. National Trust sites but this is reflected in entry price for non-members being smaller.

All in all, a nice little venue which is easy to visit just off J2 M54 (it can be noisy in parts as it is next door)

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/moseley-old-hall/