I’ve been meaning to see the heritage rose garden at Mottisfont Abbey for more than a year now. I missed the window for seeing them bloom last year, so I’ve had the excursion planned for the last weekend in June basically since then.

I decided to use the ancient royal city of Winchester as my starting point. I drove out late on Friday night and slept in a somewhat tired hotel adjacent to the thousand-year-old Norman cathedral, which was well worth visiting. The cool thing about Winchester is that it essentially peaked in the 12th-13th Centuries. A series of powerful English kings had their capitols here, including Alfred the Great, so it was a big deal back in the day — even though it’s a sleepy, small town nowadays. I liked imagining that grand past as I walked through the streets.

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