Continuing my trek through last years photos, I came across a rather cold day we spent at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, one of our favourite places as we used to live just over half an hour away. Despite the weather and the muddy wellies, it was still a great day.
Kenilworth began life as a Norman Keep in the time of Henry I (1120 or so) and became a royal castle under Henry II. Over time, it was built up into an island stronghold able to protect Henry III (though it is no longer surrounded by a mere or lake). With each monarch, it changed. This can be seen in the Tudor Stables (which now house a rather tasty tea room) and the Elizabethan Gatehouse. The Gatehouse was built by Robert Dudley as a place for Elizabeth I when she visited. Walking around, it’s interesting to see the changes and imagine what it was like during so many key periods in my country’s history. Continue reading
A few years ago, we joined English Heritage. It was one of the best things we could every have done. Every year, rain and shine, we find new places to visit and go back to ones we have had fun at before. Going through old photos recently, I was reminded of Brodsworth Hall & Gardens, which we visited last summer on a slightly grey day.
Brodsworth Hall is just outside Doncaster in North Yorkshire. It’s a Victorian country house built in the Italianate style and has barely changed since it was built the 1860s. When English Heritage took over the property in the late 80s, they decided to conserve rather than restore the furnishings, showing the house as it was, not what it had been. To see inside, you need to book a tour but it’s well worth it. To preserve the house, you can’t take photos but I can say it was fascinating to walk around, like going back in time.
After the tour, we spent the afternoon in the gardens, which have been fully restored as grand gardens in miniature and were full of colour.
Always one to ignore the weather when a trip out is planned, the recent half-term was no exception. I work on the philosophy that if it isn’t raining when you plan on leaving the house, you should just head out and see what happens. Which is why, with dark clouds covering most of the sky, last week we went to Beamish Living Museum just outside Stanley in County Durham – for about the 100th time (it’s one of my favourite places).
Just a few dark clouds…
We are big ones in our family for making the most of the holidays and, with half-term coming up next week, the discussions have already started about what we are going to do and where we are going to go (with my daughter pushing for the seaside, because who doesn’t want to paddle and eat ice-cream in the freezing cold?). It got me thinking about what we’d done last year, and how a lot of them are wonderful places that aren’t always first on a tourist to do list but are really worth a visit. So, starting today and periodically as I find the photos, I thought I would share them – starting with Middleham Castle in North Yorkshire, which we visited last summer. Continue reading