My first stop today was the local International Tyres (recommended by the lovely guy at the hotel who looked after me when I arrived and is on morning duties) ... where I received excellent service from Harry who investigated my problem, determined where it was and asked me to come back later for a check-up.. the car that is :D I'm back there again on Saturday but all's well at the mo..
So.. on to my place of choice for the day... and drove through wonderful Dorset countryside to get there...
"There" being Mapperton House and Gardens. I was a little early, so I had a wander first..
In the shop which is where you buy tickets or produce your HHA card..
"oooh" said the Yellow Duck.. "is that Ponders flying over?"
and then my walk around the gardens started..
OK .. past the house - which is great
Mapperton House is currently occupied by Luke Montague, Viscount Hinchingbrooke - The Early of Sandwich and his wife and four children. The Earl and his wife were seen wandering past a window when I was on a guided tour of their home...
Photography is not permitted inside the house, but this link (sorry about the adverts and some content is not relevant to this post) (CLICK HERE) will give you an insight into the house's history with some pictures of the rooms we visited.
Having walked passed the house into the Gardens. Today I had time only for the Italianate Garden.. which is stunning!!... There's a woodland walk which I didn't have time for (had to go back to the Garage) .. so opportunity on my next visit.
The Garden 'creators'
and my first English Bluebells !!
I'd booked a guided tour (there's no free flow... ) so went up to the house again
Tour over and many thanks to our lady guide who was knowledgeable, information and entertaining..
It was lovely sitting here..
The main cafe in the Orangery is undergoing a complete make-over but there was a little Tea Room to which I headed for some lunch. Having had a good breakfast I wasn't really hungry, so indulged in a piece of Coffee & Walnut cake with Apple Juice from Cornwall... very nice!!
Then on the way out... I said goodbye to these oddly assorted ducks
Having got back to where I was staying... I got some shots of Ewes and Lambs.. the view from my car park :D
A really great day and met some lovely people. Thank you to all concerned.