My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Thursday, 19 May 2011

A day out at Hatchlands Park

A friend of mine and I have been rather busy with not very exciting tasks recently so we decided it was time for a walk whilst having something to look at. We headed off for the National Trust House and Gardens - Hatchlands Park.
The National Trust describe it thus:
Hatchlands Park was built in the 1750s for Admiral Boscawen, hero of the Battle of Louisburg. Robert Adam ceilings decorate the house, featuring appropriately nautical motifs. Today the mansion is a family home, containing tenant Alec Cobbe's superb collection of paintings. Six rooms also display the Cobbe Collection, Europe's largest collection of keyboard instruments associated with famous composers such as J. C. Bach, Chopin and Elgar. The mansion is set in informal grounds, with one small parterre garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. The surrounding parkland provides a number of waymarked walks in a tranquil and beautiful setting.
The house (which I haven't seen the inside of before) and small garden weren't open until 2.00 pm so we decided to arrive in time to walk around the park itself (takes about 1.5 hours) and have a bite to eat then "do" the house.

This we did! The sun was shining and warm; the air fresh and cool - perfect weather for me!

The walk around the outer perimeter of the park itself is lovely. Very quiet (in terms of humans) but birdsong all along the route. We hardly met anyone during the time we walked.

The house itself is not large or particularly grand but "homely". The gardens are small but with a huge park around your home, who needs a large garden?

This seemed to be growing wild nearly every where.. I think it's a wisteria - but if anyone can confirm or otherwise, I would be pleased to know what it is!


Every which way you looked were beautiful and distant views.

Up in the tree a nest box. Kestrel or owl perhaps?




These seemed to be doing well and were abundant!

A great walk accompanied by lots of bird song and colourful plants along the way.
And now time for something to eat..

Given the weather we sat out side which was great. Asparagus Soup and chunky bread and I had Brie and Mango chutney Panini with salad - and Elderberry to drink.. very refreshing

This is the old stable block


After eating we went on a tour of the house. Mostly paintings and musical instruments but not one of the best houses in terms of decor. No photography was allowed anywhere in the house given that it was tenanted and housed private collections.


A view of the front of the house

and around to one side was the small parterre garden.







Throughout the estate the trees were magnificent - some enormous and must be very old.
This one completely dwarfs the house.



And a bit of colour in the garden.



We'd been there for most of the day but were reluctant to end it there.. so we headed off for Claremont Gardens on the way home for a cuppa and piece of cake - Banana and Date with a sticky toffee topping - absolutely wicked but really yummy!! :D

Wonderful weather, lovely walk and good company - thank you IHD. :)

3 comments:

ShySongbird said...

Most enjoyable post Tricia and lovely photos. It sounds like you had a lovely and well deserved time :)

Your mystery tree looked like a White Laburnum to me and looking it up I found it is known as that but more correctly is Robinia pseudoacacia or Black Locust.

Lunch sounded wonderful and so did that Banana and Date cake!!

Glo said...

What a lovely time you had, and wonderful to be able to share it with you. After 1.5 hr stroll around the park, I bet you were ready for that delicious meal, and your choice of dessert later was just what I would have chosen (both of them ;) Very interesting sounding home, not too overwhelming yet very interesting.

Frank said...

Lovely to take a stroll around the perimeter walk that I know so well without tiring out my legs .. lol.

The nest box was erected for the local Owls ( Little, Barn and Tawny) but has never been used by them so far as we expect they have plenty of natural habitats to choose from.

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