Thank you for all your birthday wishes over the last couple of posts and I'm glad so many of you enjoyed the trip on the steam train. It's amazing how much more exciting afternoon tea is on a train!
Although the trip was my birthday treat, my birthday was actually at the beginning of the month so, today, I thought I'd show you what Chickpea and I did on the day itself.
With the promise of a dry day, we headed down to Cheshire to visit Arley Hall. It may look like an Elizabethan manor house but it was actually built in the 1800s. Although we did have a look around the house, we were mainly there to see the gardens.
Through the gates and a glance over to the clock tower which stands over the entrance.
This part is the Flag garden, presumably named after the flagstone paths.
Then into the herb and scented gardens, with a lovely wicker owl sculpture.
A brief visit to The Vinery.
Brief because I couldn't wait to wander around the kitchen garden, probably my favourite part.
A walled kitchen garden is definitely on my lottery wishlist.
On into another walled garden, the..er..Walled Garden...
...which is a more formal, open space.
Less to my taste, though I did like the waterlily fountain.
And through another gate to the herbaceous borders which were in their full summer glory.
Through an arch in the hedge to the tea cottage which was used by the family for afternoon team and garden parties.
And finally, the sundial and ilex avenue. This concluded our visit to the formal part of the gardens but there's another area, The Grove, which is a woodland area on the opposite side of the Hall.
As we walked along, we were delighted to come across Fairy Glen, a small area filled with willow sculptures, little objects and fairy doors.
Doesn't this turtle look like he's smiling? He also looks like he's doing one of the yoga poses we do in my class!
|The Stag - Juliette Hamilton|
There are other sculptures in The Grove which are part of an annual art exhibition. You can find out more about the artists on the Arley Hall web site.
|Bulb - Rachel Ramchurn|
|Forget-me-not - David Freedman|
This metal flower was part of the back of a wrought iron chair (see the chair here).
|My Girl - Angela Sidwell|
|Blue Sails - Bob Thacker|
We had a lovely day out: so much to see. Well worth a visit and there's a play area if you're bringing children. Stockley Farm is right next door too. We might visit there next time to cuddle some rabbits and ride on a tractor :)