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Published: January 15th 2017
Whilst browsing on Trip Advisor recently, looking for places to visit around the Bristol area, I found a tiny attraction called Blaise Hamlet. Located on the outskirts of town, on Hallen Road, Pet and Ben hadn't been there so we piled into the car and decided to track it down. It was a little hard to find, accessed via an iron gate directly off the footpath. If not for a sign next to the gate, we would have missed it completely.
Blaise Hamlet is a small village green surrounded by nine unique English cottages, complete with brick chimneys, dormer windows, and thatched roofs. Originally built around 1811 for the retired employees of John Harford, the owner of Blaise Castle Estate and Blaise House, these cottages are private homes today and not open to the public.
Owned by the National Trust since 1943, one of the cottages is rented, by them, as holiday accomodation.
As we were so close to Blaise Castle we decided to visit there as well. Of course, as soon as we arrived the sunshine disappeared, a few drops of rain fell, and we were in two minds about staying at all. Pet and Ben decided
the coffee shop was a good place to spend time, with the weather being unpredictable, so I set off alone to find the castle.
As I discovered, the castle isn't really a castle at all. It's actually a folly castle, constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through it's appearance to be built for some other purpose. But definately worth the trek over uneven muddy paths (of course, I went the wrong way) to find it.
The rain didn't eventuate and I was able to walk around the exterior of Blaise House and take some photos. Unfortunately the museum inside the house was closed over the winter months.
It was now past lunch time and everyone was cold and hungry. Petra was hoping to find an Inn with a fireplace where we could enjoy lunch, but no such luck. We ended up at Redwood Farm Pub where I enjoyed my new favourite meal - Hearty Beef & Ale Pie. It was delicious!
On the drive home Ben detoured into Clevedon so I could take some quick photos of the pier. It would have been nice to spend some more time here but the weather was freezing and
not good to have Sam out in. It was built during the 1860s to attract tourists and provide a ferry port for rail passengers to South Wales.
Opened in 1869, it served as an embarkation point for paddle steamer excursions for almost 100 years. Two of the spans collapsed during stress testing in 1970 and demolition was proposed, but local fund raising and heritage grants allowed the pier to be dismantled for restoration and reassembled. So the pier, once again, offers a landing stage for steamers and is a popular attraction for tourists and anglers.
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