Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Wellington Country Park

Following on from 'Waterloo 200' this year, we decided that a visit to Stratfield Saye would be a nice idea. This house and estate were given to Wellington in 1818 as a sort of national thank you for his efforts in the battle. The estate is only about 30 minutes away from us, although we have never visited anything other than the associated park before. The weather on Sunday being glorious, a picnic was assembled and off we set. Well, you know what they say about the plans of mice and men .......... research is a wonderful thing and whilst copying down the postcode for the satnav from the internet, it would have served me well to cast a glance at the opening times! Yes, dear reader, the house closed for the year a mere week before our visit! Were we downhearted? Well, a bit to be honest. Fortunately, the Wellington Country Park is just next door and with a picnic burning a hole in our basket we simply changed venue.
The girls and I had been once before many years ago but I had forgotten how lovely it is. It's rather pricey to get in but there are lots of activities for little ones and a beautiful lake to walk round. I took a few snaps en route:
The picnic before the wasps descended! 

 A grebe which entertained us with its diving skills:
 Numerous pond skaters:
 A small farm. The girls were debating whether or not they were too old for this but I had spotted a donkey and was through the gate before you could say 'second childhood'!

 There was an enchanted forest:
 An impressive collection of dinosaurs:
 ...... and a crazy golf course. R, E and I drew, with L coming a very close 4th!
Despite missing the house and the Wellington collection in the stables (apparently, his funeral carriage is there, made from 10 tonnes of bronze cannon captured at Waterloo), we had a fantastic afternoon and plan to make a return trip next April to see the rest.

Other happies this week:

 I was missing my lunchtime gazpacho that I enjoyed in Barcelona, so made some using this recipe from Jamie Oliver. It was delicious, although it tastes much better in the hot Spanish sunshine!
 My cheap supermarket flowers - enough for 2 vases downstairs and a small bedside posy:
Enjoying the September sunshine after a week of rain:
Still loving my breakfast smoothies, although I think I may want something a little warmer when the cold weather sets in - can you have a warm smoothie?!
You can tell it's autumn when the jigsaw puzzles come out:
The finished article. 1000 pieces in 3 days - we would have been quicker except Hamish kept sitting on it!
Well, that's all for this week. Term starts again on Thursday and, despite having 2 months off, E is doing the homework that she discovered in her bag a few days ago! Enjoy the rest of the week.
Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. I drive past Wellington Country Park all the time and often go to the farm shop which is nearby too! Rarely go in which is silly isn't it as it is only just down the road from us really. Glad you had a great time!!! xx

  2. Glad your day worked out well despite the shaky start! I am very impressed with your jigsaw puzzle speed! I need to get out the one we started last Christmas as it's been sat in the case on top of the wardrobe for some months!

  3. It looks like you had a good day out, despite the enforced change of plan. The lake looks very serene and I like the enchanted forest! I still haven't got myself organised enough to try a smoothie for breakfast ... one of these days I will :)
    Cathy x

  4. Oh no! That was a bit of a mistake! Looks like the day was rescued though, and that you had a lovely time. My boys are teenagers now but we still go and see the animals wherever there are any. Oh, and I often make gaspacho too - yum!

  5. Oh no, I am sorry you were too late for viewing the house but glad you enjoyed your picnic and the park. It is many years since I have been, I remember taking my godson there but that must be about 35 years ago. I am not sure why we never took our two boys when they were young - perhaps if they ever supply us with grandchildren we will have to revisit! xx

  6. What a lovely place. Who can resist an enchanted forest?