Raby Castle Revisited Again! – August 2019

The thing with some places, like Raby Castle, Alnwick Castle, and a few other sites not part of English Heritage or National Trust but run privately, is that you buy a ticket to get in to the place, which isn’t always cheap, but allows you to visit as many times as you like within a year of buying it. Raby Castle is well worth a few visits and though we’d been back in May, we wanted a return trip to do the butterflies in the beautiful gardens there, always a spectacle. This year was the year of the painted ladies…

Cragside – Rhododendrons June 2019

It’s cold here in the UK, the summer flowers have gone and the autumn leaves blown away, so let’s take a walk through the estate at Cragside and remember warmer times. “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” Rachel Carson   “Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature”. Steve Maraboli “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” Laura Ingalls Wilder “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”…

Raby Castle Revisited – May 2019

Back in August 2018 Sophie and I went off to visit Raby Castle and had a great time chasing deer around the place. When you buy a ticket to get in there, it lasts for a whole year, so we revisited in May when the spring flowers were popping up.  The castle itself is a grand castle, so much to see, so much history, and a deer park in the extensive grounds and I did a 7 part series on it last year.  The history of the castle, and the Neville and Vane families who held it, is quite fascinating,…

Wallington Walled Garden ~ February 2019

Regular readers might remember my posts of the wonderful interior at Wallington Hall back in October 2018, if not, check it out HERE if you like. In February Sophie and I revisited the walled gardens as we had heard about the field of crocuses/crocusi/croci (whatever plural you prefer) on display. On our way to the garden, we took in the view across the fields from Wallington Hall. There was a ‘plant some snowdrops’ thing going on where the public could help the gardeners populate areas with snowdrops, but there were quite a few parents and kids doing it, and we…

Shrewsbury~ Nov 2018 ~ part 3

The main recreational park in Shrewsbury is called The Quarry. Created in 1719 and encompassing 29 acres it’s in a location within easy walking distance of Shrewsbury town centre, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury School, it is the most heavily used public park within the county. Who knew that measuring park usage is a thing?? Is someone in every park in Shropshire sitting counting how many people are there all day, every day? Well anyway, the centrepiece of the Quarry is called The Dingle, a former stone quarry, but now a landscaped sunken garden.     I think only…

Cragside ~ Nov 2018 ~ part 3

Part 1 HERE.      Part 2 HERE We only had a couple of hours if that before darkness was due to descend, so we drove the 6 mile route around the estate, but stopped for a wander here and there when we came across something interesting. Our first stop was the quarry from whence the stones came to build Cragside. It’s full of rhododendrons in summer so we will be returning then. Next stop was a short walk up to a lake bed that was drained but still had its boathouse. On the way I spotted some weird lichen/fungi…

Cragside Nov 2018 ~ part 2

Part 1 HERE Although it was a bit nippy it was a blue sky day, so when we came out of the house we went for a wander around the estate. Straight out into the courtyard and then down a steep path to a bridge     Looking back at the side of the house   Over the bridge and to our left is another little bridge and a path through the grounds. It was lunchtime however so we turned left under the bridge   and off we went to lunch. We checked out the shop afterwards   and as…

Wallington Hall and Grounds ~ October 2018 ~part 1

Sophie and I had a lovely autumnal outing to Wallington Hall back in October, chilly, but with blue skies and autumn leaves and colours everywhere.  Of course the hall has a history, so that’s up first. The History Bit Wallington is a country house and gardens located about 12 miles west of Morpeth, Northumberland, England, near the village of Cambo. It has been owned by the National Trust since 1942 after it was donated complete with the estate and farms by Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan, the first donation of its kind. It is a Grade I listed building. The estate…

Raby Castle -August 2018 – Exterior ~part 1

Raby Castle was one of the highlights of Sophie & I’s outings with cameras. There’ll be a few posts as there’s lots to see, but first The History Bit ** LONG POST ALERT**. ** LONG ATTENTION SPAN REQUIRED ** ** GET A CUPPA FIRST ALERT** Raby castle has been around for about 1000 years, and to be honest, it’s history and that of the Nevill family who are integral to it is BLOODY HUGE quite daunting, though also quite fascinating. This then is a VERY skimmed potted version, which leaves out much and much more.  Any proper historians out there…