Monday 13 March 2017

Beautiful Britain - Calke Abbey NT - Derbyshire & Family Fun in the Sun!

Sunday morning and the weather forecast was a bit rubbish, but we hoped for the best and chucked the waterproofs in the back of the car. We have long been of the opinion that it's no good waiting for guaranteed good weather is this county and we headed out regardless.

We were heading for Calke Abbey, described by the National Trust as being 'The un-stately home and country estate'. It's one of the closest NT properties to us and we were visiting with mum and dad.
We were promised the added delights of a Vintage and Handmade Fair and, even more excitingly, we were meeting up with my brother, his girlfriend and my absolutely adorable 4 month old nephew, Bobby, who really is the cutest.

As we arrived It seemed the forecasters may have got it completely wrong, as the skies were clearing and there was even a glimmer of warm spring sunshine. The car park was filling quickly and there was lots going on.

We parked up and headed over to the stable block to start our afternoon off with a wander round the vintage and craft fair, which was absolutely heaving. The first real sunshine of spring had done it's thing and brought everyone out.
We didn't buy anything at the fair but there was lots of lovely stuff to mooch through and some relaxing Sunday morning vintage singing going on in the background to get you in the zone.

We had a wander round the rest of the stable block, where we could catch the sense of days gone by, as we peeked through the doors and windows...
.. and had a quick peek at the deer park, before partaking of the BBQ, where local beef burgers went down an absolute treat.
From there we wandered down past the house.

Sadly, we did not have enough time for a visit today, but we carried on down to the flower garden. It was a bit early to see anything in flower other than Spring bulbs, but everywhere looked just lovely with a backdrop of blue sky and sunshine.
We were all intrigued with the Gardener's Tunnel, created so that the gardeners could arrive and depart from work without being seen by any members of the family taking a stroll in the garden.

And I was particularly taken with the auricula theatre ...
It was soon time to meet up with the rest of the family so we headed back to the courtyard for more refreshments and lots of selfies and very cute Bobby pictures in the sunshine, before running out of time and heading for home.

There is loads to do at Calke, we only scratched the surface today. We will definitely be back, on a nice quiet weekday, with a picnic and plenty of time.
We will also be trying to take in Staunton Harold reservoir and The Ferrers Craft Centre, which are both just down the road, so watch this space.

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