Thursday, 19 August 2010

It went like this ...

It was one of those days that didn't seem to be going anywhere.. tired of staring at a pile of blank cards that had to be finished... turning a blind eye (yet again) to the growing pile of ironing which was taking root in the corner.. I had itchy feet and a weary mind..
It was not long before we found ourselves pootling along the road to a regular haunt of ours.. so regular that we should have realised that it was closed on Wednesdays..
So it was we found ourselves with a small crowd of assorted children, mothers and a single gent sporting a jolly umbrella.. stood outside the gates of The Courts in Holt.. a place to wander, play hide and seek behind the silly yew hedges and ponder over a cup of tea and a slice of high rise cake ..

A previous visit

The minutes ticked by and no-one came to welcome us.. the gate stayed firmly locked.
It was then we read the notice on the wall... opening times... excl. Wednesdays!!
Oh.. now what.. now where?
Much muttering amongst the mothers and scratching of head of the single gent with the jaunty umbrella..
A plan B soon hatched after the single gent took out his NT guidebook and spoke of another place on the map.. a hop and a skip (in Gulliver's steps) from where we were standing. Well..
feeling of good spirit towards our fellow traveller who had arrived at the locked gate from various train journeys and on foot.. we offered him a lift to plan B...
Some things are meant to be.. and this diversion was one of them..
We arrived here..

Great Chalfield Manor.. built in the 1400's and recorded in the Domesday Book...

A place of great history, great character.. beauty and peace..

Hide and seek was played amongst the Yew hedges..

The walled garden was admired and sniffed...

Eyes rested on water watching the shadowy trout beneath..

Frogs were spoken to .. not kissed..

Tea was sipped in an ancient barn..

Seats were earmarked for another day..
It was the best of all plan B's and we came away with happy thoughts..
So much so.. that we are returning .. without the single gentleman.. today.. to have a guided tour of the house!


Vintage from the Village said...

Hey great, every cloud has a silver lining ey !
Have a good day

Claire@AreWeNearlyThereYet said...

What a great day out I've just had...thank you...Gullivers steps and kissing frogs...I LOVE IT! Thank you. x

carol at home said...

Looks like a lovely place to visit hope the gentleman enjoyed it too!

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hi Michele!
Great Chalfield is so very beautiful and romantic, isn't it? I've only visited once, and enjoyed the tour of the house. But the gardens are just so lovely and I do very much fancy a house with a moat, don't you?
Isn't it fun when the unexpected happens and you explore a whole new place?
There's nothing quite like a national trust outing and I feel one coming on very soon!
Sorry we didn't get to see you at the Frome CB - we didn't go as there was a great deal of family stuff going on over the weekend,
wishing you happy days
D xx

kirsty said...

It looks beautiful..lovely photos x

Clare said...

We have been to The Courts but never got to Chalfield...we must make the effort it looks beautiful!

BusyLizzie said...

What a beautiful tranquil place to visit. So, were you at WOMAD last month? Why didn't we see you there!?
Lizzie x

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

Funnily enough, when we went to Chalfield, it was closed, and we just had to admire it from across the moat. I suspect it might have been the same day we visited The Courts, which is a sweet little garden as I recall.
You can't beat an NT day out, can you?

Lyn said...

Oh wow, what a great place, not bad for 2nd choice!

Louise said...

What a place! I could live there no problem. I have to visit. The house and garden reminds me a little of Great Dixter. I want to replicate that border in the walled garden. It has to be one of the best I've seen to date. I love the look of the purple amongst the silver foliage and orange flowers. We made the same mistake in Kent. Even though I'd made a note of opening times, we turned up at Sissinghurst when it was closed for the day! We went on to discover the Yalding Gardens. A good find. Your photos are so crisp and clear Michele. I've really enjoyed looking at them. x