It seems like such a long time ago, nearly 4 weeks, that N started school. I’d taken his first day off work in the hope of meeting friends who were in the same boat, to celebrate and commiserate, but it didn’t work out. Friends were working, or had appointments booked in, or their children weren’t starting on the same day.
So I decided that I would go on a National Trust visit. Last year we really made the most of our membership and blitzed lots of places, but since renewing we’ve only been to a couple.
I decided that I’d visit Packwood House in Warwickshire. It’s only 30 minutes or so away, so I dropped N off at school, then headed north. If I’d had the whole day free I’d have done Packwood House in the morning and revisited Baddesley Clinton in the afternoon (it’s only round the corner), but I knew I had to be back for school pick up.
I arrived just before the house and gardens opened, so headed for the kitchen café, which is beautifully done out, and serves amazing huge slices of cake. It was packed with walkers, families and others, so I was straight out towards the house to try and avoid the rush for the house when it was open.
Oddly, the house is across the road, but it’s only a minute walk. We waiting for the gates and doors to be opened, then the few of us made our way inside.
It so noticeable how slow having a young child with you makes things….apart from him rushing through when he gets bored. I was able to look at what I wanted and take my time taking photos.
Children always have something to do at National Trust properties, and at Packwood House they have a tea cup search which several children were doing.
I loved the white and blue patterned tile theme that the house used, taken from those in the bathroom. As with many stately homes and mansions, Packwood has had royalty staying in the house, so there’s always interesting history to be heard. The owner even built a ‘tudor’ extension which is an interesting addition.
The house isn’t massive so it didn’t take long to walk round. It’s really the gardens that are the spectacular part.
It had been wet the night before, so the flowers were beautiful but coated in raindrops. I’d only had my new macro lens delivered the Saturday before, so I was in my element trying out the new lens and looking for gorgeous shots.
And of course, Packwood House is pretty famous for its yew trees, an reason that I really must take N to see some time.
I then headed down to the lake to see the folly art installations. Unfortunately the causeway footpath was closed for work being done, so I could only walk one way round, but walking through the orchards, by the lake and through the trees was still a nice walk.
The follies were a little odd, although they do look great in the setting. Fun for children, who were enjoying both of them.
Returning back towards the house, I decided against getting lunch at Packwood House. The café was packed out, so I chose to have a wander round the kitchen garden instead.
Gorgeous blooms, some interesting insect traps, and some children friendly displays and play areas. You can tell how much work the gardening teams must put into the National Trust gardens to make them so fun, colourful and productive.
I left having enjoyed Packwood House, and in particular the gardens, and made my way back to pick up N. It did feel very odd not having him with me, and made me think about the next place I want to go and take him to explore.