For our final day we headed to Castle Howard. It's somewhere I've always wanted to visit after seeing it in Brideshead Revisited. However, I only really made the decision to come here the day before we left. Originally I'd just booked the two days in Whitby but, the closer the holiday got, the more it didn't feel like enough time to be away. It's really not like me at all to book something on the last minute but I'm so glad I did.
I think I've said before that visiting historic houses is one of our favourite things to do. Usually we prefer smaller, older properties but it's always interesting to visit the grander ones once in a while.
Building work began on the house in c.1700 and took over 100 years to complete. After 300 years it is still lived in and owned by the Howard family
While we were there, some of the rooms were out of bounds or were in the process of being dismantled as the BBC is filming a new 3-part drama to be shown at Christmas. It's an adaptation of Death comes to Pemberley by PD James and continues the story of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy six years into their marriage. The crew were still setting up the rooms though so we didn't see any of the actors.
This is the Antique Passage which is lined with busts and statues.
Is this one of the original Flower Pot Men :) (There's a YouTube clip here if you've never heard of them or just want to reminisce).
And this is the Great Hall. 'Wow' is really the only word to describe it.
Amazingly this is a replica dome as the original was destroyed in a fire in 1940. A Canadian artist, Scott Medd, was commissioned to recreate the original.
Thankfully, the other 18th century murals by Antonio Pellegrini were saved. This one is Air.
These are the Music Room and the Turquoise Drawing Room. The latter has been redecorated fairly recently and I absolutely loved the colour.
The stained glass windows in the chapel were all designed by Burne-Jones and made by William Morris' company. Really beautiful.
Back outside and after a walk down to the boat house cafe for a toastie, we headed to the Temple of the Four Winds. Apparently it was used as a place for refreshment and reading - don't you just wish? There are lovely views over the Howardian Hills.
To the right you can also see the Mausoleum which was built in the 1700s and is still used as the burial place of the Howard family.
I loved this view of the Castle with the Atlas Fountain in the foreground.
One of these zodiac signs is mine.
Last but not least we made our way into the rose garden.
Lovely old-fashioned roses scenting the air.
As we turned to leave, the first drops of rain of our whole holiday started to fall. The skies had been kind to us - not the glorious sunshine we're having at the moment but the best you can usually hope for in an English summer.
And that concludes the four days of our summer holiday. Thank you to those who stayed with me and posted some lovely comments. For the second week of my break we stayed close to home, pottering about in the garden, crafting, baking and occasionally venturing out. I'll be telling you about our day trip another time but I have a couple of other things to share with you first.
This post also sees me reach another milestone as it's the one year anniversary of my blog today. For a while I'd kept gardening and holiday journals, scrapbooks of theatre/cinema tickets and leaflets, logs of my quilting and crafty makes. I'd also started a 'happiness' book to post photos, newspaper clippings and anything else which made me smile. Starting a blog seemed like a natural extension of all these things. My target was to keep the blog going for at least 12 months to record a year in our life with all of its seasonal cycles.
Having achieved that, will I continue? To be honest, if I'd known how time-consuming it can be, I'm not sure I would have started. Time can still be a real problem but I know that if I hadn't started blogging, I wouldn't have discovered how much I enjoy the photography side and I probably wouldn't have done quite so much crafting, baking, making, and visiting: it's been a real motivating factor. I also love being part of this community and sharing your highs and lows. So, yes, roll on another year! I hope you'll continue to visit and share it with me. x