Tag Archives: national trust

Today

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It’s late, well past my bedtime, but today has been so special that I wanted to record it here. Nothing big happened but it was beautiful none the less.

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There was some unexpected sunshine as I enjoyed a cup of tea at an old barn (Bredon, in this case). Any meal tastes better with a healthy dose of fresh air!

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On arriving at our final destination we took a quick dip in the pool before donning the woollens once more for fish and chips on the beach. Eaten in the dark with the crashing ocean as background noise it was the perfect end to a lovely day. Here’s to a weekend of beachy fun and family time! I hope your day is beautiful too, x

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The Week In and Out

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Hello my dears, I hope I find you well. Thank you for your kind wishes for the Little Lady. Her spots are now clearing and normality has returned.

Do you like the yarn play that I enjoyed with my Little Man the other day? He is not the most enthusiastic artist/crafter but, with a bit of encouragement, we have some lovely sessions together. I am planning on creating a spider to live in his colourful web so it can hang in his bedroom.

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There are times when I get myself in a tizzy about this blog, planning posts, not writing them and then ending up stressing so I am hoping that this post clears a backlog. The last fortnight has been a busy mix of mundane, comfortable at home time (the in of the title) and merry outings here and there, picnicking with family and friends. Bits and pieces that make for messy posts but are a truthful reflection of everyday life. My latest obsession, Instagram, is a wonderful outlet for these moments but I still love writing my blog. If you’re on there please come and say hello @rosy_hill!

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On Bank Holiday Monday we had a magical day out at one of our favourite places, Shugborough. I have taken you there before here if you want to look around but on Monday it was a relaxed, family affair that centred around the little people and the picnic!

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It makes me so happy to see the joy my Little Man gets out of life’s simple pleasures. Chasing a ball around. Picking dandelion clocks.

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Bless him.

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Another wonderful moment from last weekend was creating these little beauties. So simple, so effective, so delicious and so much fun! I have never used YouTube videos to cook from before but these worked out really well. Check it out here.

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Served warm with a blob of ice-cream they made quite a spectacular dessert!

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Today we are down in Kent with family and we took a trip to Riverhill Himalayan Gardens. We timed the visit well with the woods being carpeted with bluebells. What a smell!

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The little people had a wonderful time and the weather was kind to us. It only rained a little bit and the sun even came out to say hello.

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The Little Man was here, there and everywhere…

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…even getting up close and personal with the sculptures! I took so many pictures of the flowers, the views, the art but mostly it was pretty overcast and they just don’t do justice to the beauty of nature. Trust me, we shall be visiting again!

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Finally, we have been busy setting up the garden for the summer. Seeds have been planted, bushes have been mulched and some dubious seed potatoes have been plunged into the ground with fingers crossed! I hope to have some more to show you soon when things get going.

Thank you so much if you have made it to the end of my musings. Flicking through it all looks pretty bright and colourful so I shall leave you with a reminder that we’ve had the rain and clouds too, we’ve just carried on regardless! 🙂

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Coughton Court

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Today saw us venture out to one of our regular haunts, Coughton Court in Warwickshire. This awe inspiring Tudor House is a fascinating place to visit but it is the gardens that are the real draw for us.

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Passing through the formal areas the landscape opens to reveal the beautiful Bog Garden. I love this quiet and peaceful oasis and could spend hours watching the reflections dance across the water.

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All around there was a promise of what is to come as the fresh green shoots were peeping out of the mud. Every so often my eye was caught by a clump of golden yellow in the form of pond lilies and primulas.

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Overall, this was the perfect habit for a curious toddler with a stick to explore.
imageThe only disappointment of the day was that we didn’t get to see any of these beauties.
imageimageThe photos above are actually from a visit we made to Coughton Court at the end of April last year. As you can see, the grounds were full of rows upon rows of gloriously technicoloured tulips. Unfortunately the walled garden was closed today but I am hoping that this is just a temporary arrangement and we shall soon be treated to such a visual treat again.
imageBack to this year and we all felt invigorated after our walk and ready for a sit down and a bit of sustenance. I shall therefore leave you with a cup of tea and a slice of Chocolate and Beetroot Cake served on my latest charity shop find. Wishing you all a lovely day, x

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Knole Park

Sweet Chestnut Shells

They say that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and I think that today’s image is proof of this. It makes my heart sing to look at it! It was taken whilst spending a happy few hours spent in Knole Park this morning.

Knole House

The park is part of the Knole estate, the centrepiece of which is the rather impressive Knole House. The oldest parts dating back to the 15th century, the house is famous for being one of the largest in England and housing the most remarkable collection of royal Stuart (17th century) furniture.

Knole Park

Like many National Trust properties, the house is closed during the Winter for maintenance but the grounds are open all year round so we were able to take advantage of the clear skies and take a stroll.

Wellies

Wellies were donned which allowed some happy splashing. Plenty of plane/helicopter spotting took place as well as some rather surprising bird watching.

Parakeets

Having just taken advantage of a handy bench we were surprised to notice that a nearby tree was illuminated by a flock of bright green parakeets. You can just see them dotted along the branches in the photo above. A rather surprising spot but apparently these birds have taken up residence in the area after escaping from captivity.

Croissant Thief

As this was a rather impromptu outing we had grabbed a picnic of croissant, a rather delicious orange drizzle cake and some grapes to make it ‘healthy’. As you can see, some people were getting impatient and so my attempt to photograph our offerings was interrupted by a croissant thief!

Woodland walk

We spent a bit of time exploring in the trees and getting close to nature (sometimes too close for the Little Man’s taste).

Stump

I loved the incredible shapes of the trees, especially this stump which seemed to have almost magical properties.

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Our outing ended with a rather close encounter with some of the deer that roam the estate.

Deer attack!

I think they must be used to people feeding them because this cheeky one was rather insistent about finding out what was in my pockets!

Twilight strolling

Finally, I just had to share this precious picture from a late evening stroll last night. So cute. I love my little family and the happy time that we have together.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday, x

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Magic Moments – 8/52

This week seems to have been full of light and colour, probably helped by plenty blue skies. As the germs were banished we grabbed the opportunity to get out there and make the most of the February sun. So here’s what I was enjoying last week:

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Ah, the sight of freshly laundered towels blowing on the line. Makes my heart sing! I told you before about my new toy, my tumble drier (here), but nothing beats hanging things outside to dry.

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Beautiful fabrics brightening my day. These were purchased to cover the cupboards in my new classroom and are now bringing a bit of colour into the room and making it feel more my own.

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A touch of decadence with a box of Indian sweets. I limited myself to two days in school over half-term to try and get my new classroom straight and my lovely mother came in to help. Afterwards we went to purchase the fabric above. Whilst there we popped into the shop next door and she treated us to a selection of barfi. Made from sugar and condensed milk these are pure indulgence!

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Finally, a chilly picnic on a family day out to Wightwick Manor. Choc full of exquisite Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Craft pieces this mock Tudor house was a fascinating place to visit. We shall definitely have to go again when the gardens are in full bloom and the light does the facade justice. Relaxing and enjoying each other’s company, we had a wonderful time.

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Galmpton and Greenway

See that cute, little hut above the garage in the picture? That is Rozel Apartment, our delightful home for the weekend. Only recently converted it was a modern, stylish place and a wonderful place to live for a few days.

Of course, we managed to give it a suitably ‘lived in’ look within five minutes of entering with the Little Man and all his paraphernalia. He did enjoy exploring his new surroundings, especially with the light streaming through the huge window.

Luckily, he has proved to be a relatively transportable baby, even if he does require a lot of stuff. He is an excellent eater so we can take him out and about and there’s always something that he can scoff but I did take the hand blender so I could make him some soup (his current food of choice) to balance the restaurant pickings that he devoured when given the opportunity.

The apartment was located in the charming little village of Galmpton near Brixham. This choice was not purely incidental. Firstly, it was near my lovely sister-in-law’s home in Chudleigh Knighton, secondly, it was near the coast (I was Desperate to visit the seaside) and, thirdly, Galmpton has an interesting literary connection.

Galmpton happens to be the location of Greenway Estate, the holiday home of the British crime writer Agatha Christie. As soon as I saw this I knew we Had to stay there and Had to visit her home.

As the National Trust has the annoying habit of closing its properties for the winter we were lucky that this Sunday was the final opening before the house was to be ‘put to bed’.

Originally Georgian (18 th century), the house is laid out as it would have been in the 1950s and is chock-a-block with items collected by the family since Christie bought it in the 1930s. Little Man was in the sling and slept through most of the visit indoors which meant that hubby and I could take our time really enjoy the artefacts. (Much as I love my Moby, I was glad to put him down after 90 minutes though – that boy is Heavy!).

Incidently, did you know that the Guinness Book of Records has Agatha Christie down as the best-selling novelist of all time, ranking her stories as the third most widely published books worldwide EVER! (Only the Bible and Shakespeare have been more widely distributed and they both have a few years on Christie).

The weather whilst we were away was somewhat ‘hit and miss’ but we certainly hit lucky here. As we explored the inside of Greenway, the rain beat down heavily on the glass panes and black clouds filled the sky. This was not the time to go walking, especially with a buggy. However, by the time we’d had a nosey around the gift shop the clouds had cleared and we were treated to dazzling sunshine as we navigated the winding paths through the gardens.

The estate is a mixture of cultivated gardens and woodland, full of trees gathered by the family over the years (these people were obsessive collectors!).

I adored these tiny archways. When I was younger I was always fascinated by the film ‘The Secret Garden’ and loved the idea of a garden hidden behind stone walls, shrouded with trailing plants. There is something so appealing about having a special area to hide in that is only yours.

Enclosed inside these walls were vegetable gardens with beautifully restored greenhouses.

The estate has grown figs and nectarines for many years and the tradition continues to this day. One of the things that hubby and I really enjoy about visiting National Trust properties is the carefully tended gardens, particularly the vegetable plots. I know he particularly dreams of owning an amazing garden overflowing with wild flowers and tasty produce. One day, maybe!

We continued walking along the path into the woods. I could not stop gazing up at the amazing canopy and the sapphire blue skies beyond. If there is one thing Greenway does properly it is trees.

Just look at the width of that trunk! Incredible.

I loved the lichen (?!) growing over this one. So delicate, I imagine that there are fairies dancing over the branches, springing over the soft, mossy covering.

The mystical atmosphere continued as we strolled through dappled shade encountering luscious, lily covered ponds…

…and enchanting hidey-holes with tinkling fountains and delicate ferns.

Eventually we reached the top of the path, turned a corner and this is what met our eyes:

Neither the camera I had nor my photography skills could do justice to this scene. The scale was breathtaking. The little white houses climbing up the hillside and the tall masts of the boats bobbing gracefully on the rippling water – I wanted to soak it up and fix it in my memory forever.

Such a wonderful visit.

Next time we shall have a change of scene and visit the seaside. xxxxx

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Shugborough

Greetings all! Hope you are all well. How is it Thursday already? This week has been one of those speedy ones where I find myself losing track of the days. However, I did say I would show you the second part our Sunday so here goes!

As hubby had a long weekend we decided to make the most of the return of warmth and sunshine by taking a day trip. As members of the National Trust we often find ourselves turning to their list of historic houses and estates when we fancy a change of scene. On Sunday we chose Shugborough Estate as our destination.

Actually run by Staffordshire County Council, Shugborough has come a long way since I visited it on a school trip over ten fifteen years ago and I can thoroughly recommend it as an enjoyable day out. It is split into two parts – the park farm, walled garden and craft workshops in one area then the house, gardens and arboretum in another.

As we had paid extra to visit the Georgian Park Farm we spent a lot of time around here. There are a whole host of friendly and knowledgable staff dressed in costume demonstrating traditional crafts including cheese making, spinning, cooking, crochet, woodwork, basket weaving gardening, glass blowing and ironmongery (does this sound better than blacksmithing?!).

There is also a working water mill, complete with miller and a rather bizarre and extensive museum about all aspects of historic country living. I loved their displays of Corn Dollys:

I thought I had taken loads of photos to accompany this account. I realise now that what I actually have is lots of photos of my gorgeous little man and a slightly strange, patchwork collection of snaps of the some items that I managed to focus on when I was not talking to/playing with/feeding/changing/wrestling with the baby!

Having him in tow does change day trips like this. It slows us down, means we cannot linger so long, cannot read all the signs, need to pause to deal with his needs. However for anything that is lost he adds ten times more enjoyment. He is so lovely, so cute, so much FUN! I am lucky to have such a wonderful husband who also feels like this and is besotted with him so, what used to be dates, are now fun filled family days out and all the more enjoyable they are for this.

Next it was picnic time. Hubby does love a rummage through the going off counter and so today’s fare was reduced price pizza (with extra cheese, peppers, anchovies and olives) and cookies. We have got into the habit of sharing a small bottle of bubbly on these outings. A very enjoyable touch of decadence, especially on a wonderfully sunny day like this was.

After a very long, lazy lunchtime we decided that it would be a shame to waste our last couple of hours in the house when the grounds were beckoning.

You all know how I feel now about leaves and water so this walk was the happiest time of the day for me. So peaceful, so beautiful, so happy.

We had a marvellous day and we shall be back soon to discover the delights of the house and servants’ quarters. For now though, this trip was pretty perfect. xxx

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