and needless to say, the light was dire!! dark grey skies for nearly all of the day.
Somewhere I hadn't been to before, (although Pete had many years ago.) We started off going north to English Heritage's Kirby Hall
This is a building that fell into disrepair but some of it has, and is being, restored to 17th and 18th century specifications.
There are resident peacocks at Kirby - and they've had 3 young... one of which was present and visible today..
It's quite incredible to look up and see evidence of all the floors complete with fireplaces..
One of the ceilings that has been restored..
and outside in the Parterre garden.
There were many Pied Wagtails about - a f lock of (roughly) 20 of them..
Many fungi.. in many different places..
OK - it was now getting towards lunchtime and we had a good motive for visiting our next venue.
The National Trust at Lyveden New Bield has just opened a new tea-room in the Cottage
This building is not a ruin - just one that was never finished being built.
A wood burning stove - so welcoming and cosy on a dull day.
We had Roast Carrot Soup with a roll.... probably some of the best soup I've had :D
and then for a wander around the grounds..
Just before we got into the orchard, several Redwings and Fieldfares flew out of the trees to find perches elsewhere... first this season..
and, we couldn't leave without cake and a cuppa
so, as usual, we shared two different cakes.. Apple & Cinammon and Victoria Sponge
both of which were excellent.