This week was half term for the local schoolchildren. As often happens, the weather, which had been mild for February, decided to turn nasty, wet, windy, and very cold. Now I know from my daughter who is snowed up in Vermont that we have nothing to moan about in the Cotswolds, but I did feel sorry for the families who had planned to have days out during the holiday. As I take my grandmother duties very ‘seriously’, I had planned all sorts of exciting things to do with my own adorable grandchildren. There are lambs being born at the farm park, there is a baby rhino at the wildlife park, and the woods are full of snowdrops. Oh what fun we could have ~ if it would only stop raining! Undeterred we opted to go to Lydiard Park early to see if we could have some fun.
Having never been there before I decided to let the SatNav direct me. This caused great hilarity as I had set it to stay off the motorways and we ended up on some of the tiniest country lanes with the weirdest names. We made up a game of seeing who could find the funniest or strangest name. I kid you not we found a house called Tadpole cottage, at the end of Tadpole Mews, in Tadpole Lane in a place called Tadpole Garden Village! It is a new village built on the site of… you guessed it…. Tadpole Farm!
At last, and in a very cheerful mood, we reached our destination. Lydiard Park is a beautiful historic estate in Wiltshire. Back in medieval times, there was a deer park and manor house on the land as well as St Mary’s Church. The estate as we see it today dates back to Elizabethan times and was owned by the same family for over 500 years until 1943. There is a beautiful Palladian House, the medieval church and a restored walled garden, set in 260 acres of parkland. In the grounds there is a lake, woods, sweeping avenues which are great for walkers and cyclists, and a superb ice house.
Despite the rain we had a great time. The children braved the treetop adventure course which has over 50 hair-raising activities including zip wires, cargo nets, Tarzan swings, see-saws, rocket slides, wobbly logs, and tree trekking. We warmed up and drip-dried in the café drinking hot chocolate before setting off to take photos of the snowdrops and the ice house.
I wanted to use my photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge but I really am not sure that I have the skills. I could blame the weather, or my iphone camera but really I just haven’t understood the Rule of Thirds. I took some photos of my garden hellebores and tried to crop them to the rule of thirds. Did it work? Do let me know how I could improve.