Birch Street merges into Bear Street with the appropriately named house, Butchers, a fine fully timbered and jettied mid 16th C house – appropriately named because it was once the Butchers Arms until it closed in 1958.   I have lost count of the number of houses that were once pubs!  

Clare Cottage on the opposite side has an intruiging cartouche, dated 1690, offering a rare glimpse of the elaborate plasterwork, or pargetting, which would have adorned many local houses at this time.  





Bear House, with its distinctive viewing tower, conceals genuine mid-16th C timbers behind the false planks of its extensive Edwardian refurbishment. On the left is a passage leading to a wooden bridge over the mill stream and the Lock Keeper’s Cottage.  This was an ancient horse watering site, as the plaque in the featured image at the top shows.

More wonderful medieval houses line Bear Street: but by this time we were pretty much worn out – the sun had got extremely hot and the air was humid.  Before we walked back to Bessie, Peter spotted this wonderful old car by the roadside:





If anyone recognises the make we would love to hear from them.

Once back in Bessie (who was like an oven) we headed back the way we had come, very hot but thrilled with what we had seen in Nayland.  We made our way through the beautiful Dedham Vale to our next campsite, Little Sage Hill Hideaway (or Copenhagen Cottage) which turned out to be way down a long farm track, passing through fields of uncut corn.

We had the code for the gate and phoned Ben’s mobile as we had arranged.  Anne answered and told us to choose where we wanted to pitch and they would be back soon.

We are the only campers!

It is a new site and isn’t in the C & CC book as yet (although it is on the website of course) which would explain why it was so quiet.  It’s beautifully set out in a field with young trees. Fidgit the fluffy ginger cat soon made himself known to us and we tucked Bessie away by the trees.  It is idyllic! The loo and washing up area is in a sweetly painted wooden structure and there is also a little information centre with plenty of leaflets and even crossword pages.  I think we are about the seventh people to camp here and everything is spotless.

Anne and Ben soon turned up and proved to be a charming couple.  They showed us around.  They have a smallholding and she runs a yoga class in her studio which also houses a large shower room available to campers at certain times of the day.  Here you can also purchase fresh veggies and eggs – of all sizes!

Back to Bessie and with a glass of Pimms in hand we sat in the early evening sunshine, still very hot at 6 o’clock.  We are going to love it here.  And, one of the best things as far as I am concerned, is that there is a good 3g signal so I can really get going with this blog!


While we were eating our meal outside, Peter spotted something moving by some trees.  It was a hare.  Bliss.