D and I popped to the caravan for 3 night two weeks ago just for another short break.
The Herefordshire Oak
Thursday was dry with some sunshine and not too hot. It was noticeable how much cooler and fresher it was in Herefordshire especially overnight.
We visited the gardens of Hampton Court Castle. I've been twice before but this was D's first visit.
The present gardens are located in two walled gardens designed by Simon Dorrell and David Wheeler from Chadburn Ltd of Bath in 1996/98.
The landscaped park was designed many years ago and Humphrey Repton was consulted in 1795 and 1810.
The Walled Gardens
One of the Water Pavilions
D and I decided that the sculptures scattered round the gardens and park are characters from fairy tales.
The Dutch Garden
Due to covid the maze had been closed on my last two visits but it is open now.
We found our way to the Gothic Tower at the centre which you can enter and climb the stairs to the top but this door was locked :( Try as we might we were stuck in this section of the maze and failed to find our way to the other three quarters and the open door. To be honest it was getting a bit hot by now and I think we had both had enough of constantly re-tracing our steps!
Fairy door in tree in the parkland
Croft Castle is a castellated country house and the older part which includes the chapel dates back to 1427. The castle has been altered since it was built and additions made. The most recent owner is Robert Van Kampen - an American billionnaire who bought the castle in the 1990's.
I think there are organised tours of the house interior on various days but I haven't yet been inside.
D and I did the riverside walk.
When I've done the walk before it was circular but this time part of the route was closed to access so we ended up re-tracing our steps.
Pleached limes back in the Walled Garden.
Rain was forecast on Friday although initially it was mainly dry with some drizzle. I suggested a visit to a village called Brampton Bryan which has a good second hand bookshop called Aardvark Books.
We spent quite a bit of time browsing and buying!
I planned to take a photo of the bookshop when we left and pay a quick visit to the church! (Always a church wherever I visit!) and see if we could see Brampton Bryan Castle from the churchyard but as we left it was tipping down with rain. We waited 20 minutes but it just got heavier and heavier and there was no sign of it stopping so we decided to leave. The roads especially the initial B roads were awful like rivers! A result of poor drainage and this huge deluge of biblical proportions! By the time we had got to Wigmore it had more or less stopped and when we arrived back in Leominster the pavements and roads were completely dry so we were just unlucky. Bookshops are not B's cup of tea so hopefully I can return with D and visit the church and see the castle. There is a legend attached to Brampton Bryan castle and Lady Brilliana Harley who lived there during the Civil War successfully, with just a handful of servants, kept the castle safe and secure when it was under siege from Royalist troops.
On Saturday we came home around lunchtime. Hopefully we will be going back fairly soon.
I hope everyone is staying safe and well.
All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera. (I don't particularly rate most of my photos but if anyone wishes to use one I would be grateful for an email first - thanks).