Where To See Bluebells in Oxfordshire

Top spots for seeing Bluebells in Oxfordshire

Thinking of getting out and about to see some Bluebells this Bank Holiday? Carpets of Bluebells are one of England’s treasures, and I’ve got two top spots in Oxfordshire to share with you. They’re at opposite ends of the county so hopefully there’s one that will be in good reach for you.

Badbury Clumps

Officially named Badbury Hill, but the locals call it Badbury Clumps. It has an iron age hill fort hidden amongst beech tress, as well as beautiful views across the Thames basin. In late April and early May the beech trees contain a hidden treasure – a carpet of Bluebells. Click the image below to find out more about Badbury Clumps and how to get there.

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Greys Court

At the other end of the county, near Henley lies Greys Court. I’ve done a blog post about it’s wonderful gardens, click here to view. But it’s Bluebell wood deserves a post all of it’s own. Perhaps even more spectacular than Badbury Clumps, hidden below the carpark and accessed from a field with sweeping Oxfordshire views, these Bluebells are one of the county’s hidden gems.

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Click the image below to find out more about visiting Greys Court

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And don’t forget to find me on Instagram for regular country living Posts.

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Spring Makeup: Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Review – Would I Re-purchase?

As winter came to an end, I decided my makeup needed a Spring re-vamp. I simultaneously ran out of moisturiser, cleanser and foundation, so I decided I might as well take the plunge and spend some coin to re-stock. I wanted high quality makeup that would last, and I was seeing Charlotte Tilbury everywhere, all over my favourite Youtube channels and Instagram.

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I went to the Charlotte Tilbury stand in the Oxford John Lewis in the Westgate Shopping Centre. I usually absolutely hate going to stalls – the staff are so quick to jump on you ‘CAN I HELP?!’ – no, go away. But the staff here were really good, they left me to browse in peace, and only asked if they could help once I had the foundation I wanted in my hands.

And there it began – ‘do you already have makeup on’ she asked. I did. Before I knew it, I was on a stool having my makeup removed by their new cleanser. Next came moisturiser, then eye cream, primer, and foundation. Once on, it needed setting, of course, but not before a bit of concealer was added. I was sold, I confess I bought it all.  My skin had never looked better, and the lady who did my make up was professional and informative – she didn’t pressure me to buy the products, the makeup spoke for itself. It was a great experience – and this from someone who hates small talk so much they will even avoid even the hairdressers at all costs.

So lets get into the products – in total I spent £179 and I’ve been using them for over 3 months now; there are some which are now holy grail items to me, but others I would not re-purchase. So if you’re thinking of investing in some Charlotte Tilbury makeup, but want the low down before you splash the cash, here’s all you need to know about her face products.

Cleanser

I purchased the new Goddess Skin Cleansing Ritual Kit. I was really impressed with the price – at £32.50 you get a 2 step kit and muslin face cloth. Step one is the citrus oil radiance cleanse, and step 2 a purifying charcoal cleanse. The oil cleanse I used morning and night and lasted 3 months, the charcoal I’ve only been using in the evenings and still has loads left. They were really good for the price, however, I didn’t like the smell of either, and the charcoal facial cleanse was very drying and stings a little bit in application. I wouldn’t recommend for sensitive skin. I’ve not noticed any big difference to my skin. However, they, combined with the moisturiser, did completely get rid of the flaking skin I had above my eyebrows and on my cheeks.

For me personally, with sensitive, combination, acne prone skin: 3 stars.

Magic Cream Moisturiser

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This is held up as THE product, as you can tell by the name. At £49 for the smaller pot this stuff is expensive. I have to say I don’t like it at all. It’s very thick but takes loads of product to actually sink into the skin.I don’t like the smell either. It leaves a thick layer on the skin in a way that feels clogging. It has definitely helped my dry skin, all the flakiness which had developed over winter is now gone. But overall this isn’t for me at all.

I wonder if it might suit more mature skin, I feel like I need something lighter for now: 2 stars

Magic Eye Rescue

The eye cream cost £40 –  put on at night, or before makeup. I LOVE this! It sinks right into my skin and turns it soft and supple. If I put it on the night before I wake with a noticeably brighter eye area and a lovely dewy effect. I will definitely re-purchase when I run out, but I’m pleased to say this product is lasting a really long time.

Magic: 5 stars

Brightening Youth Glow Primer

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I’ve never really been one for primer, and I don’t use this one consistently. Costing £38.50 it has slight glitters in it which I don’t really like, but it has a good tackiness for holding foundation in place. Somehow it magically reduces redness, which I love. I find that the Magic Foundation doesn’t sink into the skin so naturally with the primer on underneath, but it does last longer. I have quite bad skin, but if my skin wasn’t prone to redness and blemishes I’d use this primer by itself just with some concealer.

Beautiful glowy effect and redness reducing, however the magic foundation will work beautifully without it too: 4 stars

Magic Foundation

LOVE LOVE LOVE – this is THE best foundation I’ve ever used. Firstly, it is actually my shade –  Hallelujah – I have very pale skin and finding a light shade with the right tones is a struggle. This foundation is full coverage but leaves a beautiful dewy finish – to the extent that I almost hate to set it. But I do tend to set it for work, when I want it to last all day. At £32 I also think the price is reasonable, there are plenty out there which cost more and this one is showing no signs or running out yet.

This foundation leaves my skin looking smooth and even: 5 stars

Retouch Concealer

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This is also fantastic – concealer is another thing I’ve struggled with in the past. Firstly getting a light enough shade, and secondly finding something that doesn’t break down and go all flaky looking. This concealer is excellent – at £25 it provides a good, brightening coverage, but without looking cakey – it’s very natural looking. Great for under eyes and also thick enough to cover blemishes.

Natural, with good coverage: 5 stars

Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

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This powder. It’s actually magical. It really does airbrush your skin. Pores just absolutely disappear. I’m really really impressed with this and will certainly be re-purchasing. It’s £34 and worth every penny. The only downside is that it’s completely matifying so it will undo all the dewiness of the Magic Foundation. A good way to use it is to just apply it to set particularly oily areas and under eyes. For me though it’s worth it – I need a product which will effectively set my makeup and have it last all day.

Holy Grail Powder: 5 stars

Conclusion: The make up products were really excellent and I will continue to re-purchase, but the skin care, on the whole did not do it for me. (I’m thinking of trying Drunk Elephant next – let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a review on that)

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Watch a video overview of this review on my Youtube Channel here

Where To Go To See Spring In Full Bloom

Greys Court – A Fairy Tale Garden.

Spring is my absolute favourite season. It’s the most joyful thing in the world to see blossoms and blooms after months of barren cold landscape. Seeing life come back to the countryside and hearing the birds sing again is an incredibly uplifting experience and one of the best places to experience this, is in an English country garden.

One of Oxfordshire’s gems is Greys Court. Greys combines the fairy tale ruins of a 14th Century medieval tower with a 16th century manor and walled gardens. The gardens are a series of compartmentalised sections, accessed through wooden gates, and secret archways each leading to a new and beautiful zone.

In April the trees are in blossom and the daffodils nod happily in the breeze, in the centre of the gardens is a small orchard and meadow with views back to the medieval tower. One of the most quintessentially English scenes you’ll ever see.

Most spectacular of all is the Bluebell display which bursts into life late April, early May. Its the most vivid display I’ve ever seen, and well worth an annual pilgrimage to revel in their beauty.

If you time it right, the 100+ year old Wisteria will have bloomed as well, making a canopy of lilac. Grey’s court is truly a location fit for a fairy tale.

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To find out more about Greys Court, click the image below. Have you been before? Share your experience in a comment.
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And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for regular country living posts

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Early Spring Flowers

What grows in early Spring?

It’s not too early to begin visiting England’s many Gardens, or indeed, making the most of your own. I think many people write off February as still being part of Winter, but there are actually many woodland flowers which will emerge in February, bringing colour and hope to any garden. Winter Aconites are among the first, and Snowdrops and Hellebore will soon follow along with cyclamen.

Hellebores are some of my favourite flowers, they come in a whole range of colours, but these below are by far the prettiest I’ve seen.

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And Cyclamen will add a splash of colour to carpet a shady area. They also come in delicate pinks and whites, but these ones really pack a punch.

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What do you have growing in your garden at this time of year?

Beautiful Burford

This morning I met a friend for brunch in Burford. It’s a beautiful medieval town which grew rich on the wool trade. It’s a superb example of a classic Cotswold Town with many thatched buildings and almost all built of Cotswold stone, of course.

By the church we found a blossoming tree brightening up this gloomy day.

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Back home, later the same afternoon I found myself making a coffee to counter-act how sleepy I felt. This weather is really taking its toll. When will the warm weather arrive!?

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