Thursday, 11 June 2020

A Big Day Out

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

Whilst we haven’t really missed anything at all being pretty much confined to barracks since March ... we were really pleased to be able to manage one of our big days out last week.

Having really enjoyed getting out to explore Elford Hall Walled Garden a week or so ago we thought it would be nice to try and find somewhere for a bit of a day out once a week ... assuming the weather is on our side.

We've decided that, when it comes to venturing back out and about we are going to be extremely cautious ... you will not be finding us amidst hoards of people crammed on beaches or squeezing past each other on popular narrow walking trails. We will be taking it very slowly ... very mindful of the possibility of a second surge.

Last week we stumbled across an opportunity that was just too good to miss ... in fact on first glance it seemed almost to good to be true ... but it was ...

We made our first visit to Felley Priory, which is a beautiful garden, during the summer last year and had intended to make a return visit this spring to see the daffodils and tulips ... sadly this was not to be as, like everywhere else, they had to close as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Along with a number of other venues of this type they have now tentatively reopened to the public, deciding to start with reduced hours during June. I found this out from their Facebook page, which I’ve been following as they’ve been publishing photos and virtual tours around the garden whilst they’ve been closed.

To us it did feel a bit early to be visiting a garden ... with no idea as to how busy it might be. However, I did notice they were offering private appointments for the periods that the garden was not going to be open to the public.

Well that seemed like an opportunity not to be missed and I booked us a slot. This was soon followed by a relaxing of our lockdown rules which meant I could invite some of our good friends to come with us ... they jumped at the chance and suggested we order an afternoon tea for delivery that we could take with us to have as a picnic.

So that was it ... big day out sorted.

There was a little bit of drama with our journey as the motorway was closed at the exact same time we needed to travel but the satnav did us proud and we arrived on the car park, pretty much the same time as our friends ready for our visit which was booked for 1.30pm.

Armed with a variety of cameras ... the Canon, the Lumix and a selection of smart phones ... as well as our 'glass ball' we were off ...

Well ... it was exactly as described ... there was not another soul visiting the gardens ... we did stumble across a number of gardeners who were very happy to chat for awhile, but we did literally have the place to ourselves ... a definite positive of our lockdown experience.

Martin was on the Canon, with the macro lens ... trying to be arty with his close ups and depth of field ...


I was on the Lumix mainly taking in the bigger picture ...



On this visit I was particularly taken with the white garden which was looking just lovely ...



It was lovely to be able to not only wander around not having to worry about keeping our distance from strangers but fabulous being able to take photos without having to wait for other visitors to move ... we loved it.

We found the perfect spot to pause for a while to have a play with the camera ball ... all having a go ... with mixed results. These are from Martin and the Canon ...

... Me and the Lumix ...

... me and my Huwawai Smart phone ...

Best shot of the day though had to go to Steve with his iPhone ...

There was the obligatory socially distanced selfie ... not the best, but a good memory of a lovely day spent with the best of friends ...

... and one for the family album ...
There were plenty of my favourites ...
 

Conscious of time we headed for the nursery for a look round before heading back to the car for our afternoon tea ... couldn't resist a few minutes with these guys though, who were certainly happy to have visitors ...
We also had a really good wander round the nursery where there were plenty of bargains to be had ... I only wish lupins would thrive in our garden as they had a fabulous display ...

We certainly didn't leave empty handed though ... we bought a basket full of plants from the rescue corner for £3 and 5 big galtonias for £5 ... and also picked up two tomato plants that we definitely didn’t need but were completely free, so we just couldn't leave them there.

There was a tantalising glimpse of the one place that we couldn't use on this visit ...
... but we had our afternoon tea picnic, which we ate in the shade of the woodland on the deserted car park ... and it was absolutely the business ... but sadly no decent photos to share.

At 3.58 we were all,packed up and ready for the off ... just before the gates were locked up at 4.00pm.

We’d had the loveliest of afternoons in what felt like a very safe environment ... thank you so much Felley Priory.

Now where to for our next outing ... I think we will be hard pressed to beat this one πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

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