Outside the boundary fence was not where I’d meant to be. For dozens more it was, however, so going with the flow was one way of ignoring what was not to be the last of the day’s errors.
Our plan had been to see the snowdrops but a misunderstanding at the outset meant not meeting to do that until too late. At least then we found two hellebores to buy, so making partial recompense.
Those dozens had at least good views as well as exercise in mind. Perhaps, too, like others glimpsed inside the grounds they included a visit to the gardens. I also managed that, at the end of my circuit, but only to verify its monochrome winter condition.
The views can be away from the grounds and house or to gain some interesting angles on them. There are the lake with waterfowl, matures trees on one side, meadows and more trees on the other. Lastly, so my walk was not entirely for its own sake, there were some snowdrops.
Buildings at the extreme edge of the estate include the temple and orangery, one for the sake of the picturesque, the other for utility as well as the exotic. Having seen both before it seemed no problem to pass by. The trees were another matter: very tall and in splendid contrast to the still expanse of lake. A few moorhen fled from the meadows to the water as I approached. They were not to know a fence separated us.
As with all National Trust properties, the shops and cafes are busy even when the house is closed. It seemed a pity that the RAF display above the shop could not have been kept open: it would have been no problem to have it attended, and the service memorabilia sales might have generated income. Even the plant sales were rather confusing, with two displays but no indication of a pay point.
Just a few niggles, mainly to make me feel better perhaps after being such a fool in getting lost. The walk was worthwhile and I agree with the dozens I passed on the way: plenty to see and enjoy all the way round.