I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with my daughter on Mothering Sunday so headed off to the National Trusts Blickling Hall, it is a place I have been too many times as it is only twenty minutes from home, but yesterday I saw parts of the estate I had never been to before.
Our visits normally consist of a bracing walk around the lake, or a stroll in the gardens where there are lots of places to sit and soak up the sun. Then there is an obligatory trip to the shop and who can resist tea and scones in the courtyard.
Yesterday morning however our visit started from Bucks Common car park, one of a few, dotted around the boundary of the estate. We set out along the edge of a small copse and then through a gate in the fence and off across open parkland following a smooth grassy path, it was beautiful even though there was a very chilly wind. We headed in the general direction of the hall, passing a smattering of people, enjoying the fresh air with family and dogs. On reaching the hall we just had to treat ourselves to coffee and cake, a very nice piece of millionaires shortbread actually, we enjoyed it in the Muddy Boots cafe which is by the main car park and is well worth a visit with lots of treats on offer.
It was then time for a brisk walk back along well marked tracks trying to burn off a few of the calories we had consumed. We had worked out a circular route which took us past the mausoleum, a pyramid hidden in the woods, an exciting find for children and adults alike. We had a super morning, walking across open parkland, dotted with mature trees, marvelling at the views over the surrounding countryside, a very welcoming tea room with scrummy cake, and on top of all this the sun came out. We thought we had seen it all and then as we walked through the woodland there in a pool of sunshine was a clump of mauve crocuses. How they came to be there I have no idea but they just topped our morning perfectly.
My visit yesterday proved that even in places you think you know well there is always something new and exciting to explore.
We still have availability for Easter, so why not treat yourself to a few days away and see what you can discover.
By Liz Goldby