Long walks through field & forest, sweeping views & an old country manor! Wimpole hall offers all this & a few extra bits…
Wimpole hall is somewhere Patrick & I had heard tale of & with our national trust membership to take advantage of we thought it was a perfect place to spend a sunny Saturday.
We rocked up to loads of cars & as it was only just opening, thinking it was curious we headed in. Soon it was clear they have a weekly 5k & regular races of various lengths take place on the grounds. Yep, Patrick already planning how to take on a half marathon – he likes crazy races. But a 5 or 10km race seems like a good idea plenty of beautiful scenery to distract you as you run by!
On the day we were there, Wimpole was alive with the race, a food market & live music. This made it beautifully busy & buzzy. We perused the food first, of course, to give a bit of dinner inspo – cheese was bought from a fabulous lady in the courtyard a goats cheese similar in taste & texture to manchego – YUM!!!
After getting our fix of jams, chillies, learning all about honey bees, whilst bopping along to a strumming guitar we ditched the crowds and headed for the walled garden.
Think secret garden, though less overgrown, meticulously kept and bursting with colour… Okay, very little like the secret garden… other than it was walled.
Rows of gourds of all shapes, colours and sizes were overflowing on the creaky tables of the greenhouse. Humpty Dumpty sat proudly on a corner wall to ward off any pesky birds and capture passing children (& my) imagination.
We wandered through rows of flowers looking as though they were about to arupt into ” you can learn a lot of things from the flowers”.
The maps detailed a castle, well a folly of one!!!! But first we thought it was time to explore the manor before veering to the very edge of the property to find said ruins of a castle.
The manor is amazingly kept and continuously being restored by the national trust. A few of the rooms upstairs are used for housing the current staff, but more and more are being restored to their former glory.
Downstairs is a series of rooms for entertaining, libraries (seriously it’s every book lovers dream in there), dining rooms & living rooms for guests and your own time.
My favourite being the yellow room. A large oddly shaped room with a dome allowing copious streams of light and an incredibly ornate chandelier. Yep I could happily recline into those pile of pillows and chase clouds through the mahoosive sky light, thank you very much!
Elsie Bambridge (daughter of Rugyard Kipling), was the last owner of the grand house before leaving it to the trust. A keen art collector each room is decorated in fantastic and peculiar pieces from all over the world.
Her room upstairs is rather modest for the time, I mean it’s still crazy amazing compared to my own, with a double bed, plush arms chairs and plenty of art work. She would have us this after her husband died and even with a snazzy ensuite!
The master bedroom is a little more… let’s say decorated… You’ll see why we thought Elsie’s room looked moderate.
After having our fix of the luxurious lives of 19… Britain we scuttled down the spiral staircase. Taking a peak at the bathroom along the way… More like swimming room. But by the time that’s filled I bet it was awfully chilly!
At the bottom of the stairs we came to the chapel, which despite its stunning frescos, carvings and sculptures has never been used for an official service.
This finally brings us to the servants quarters. The best bit in my eyes. Downton brought to life!
I just love it. Snooping through the pantry, googling at the crazy kitchen utensils, admiring the bells lined up like Cinderella, looking like they’ll trill into action at any moment.
The rooms here are more cosy, snug, less imposing and daunting than that upstairs. Don’t get me wrong I’m fascinated by the grandeur, but it ain’t homely is it?!
We came out into the gardens and had built up quite the appetite so scuttled round to their restaurant filled with freshly prepared autumnal fare, cakes lining one wall & surprisingly good coffee!
After filling our tums my mind was set yet again to castle. Patrick found a route online (the maps provided don’t stretch to the ruins) to walk along, which we decided to do backwards, cause were not fun like that!
We walked through autumnal woods, cow filled fields & across a river before arriving at the Folly.
Yep, not originally a castle, but built as a ruin of a castle. I mean?! I didn’t even know people did that!
Turns out the whole estate had been landscaped, farrowed and shaped to give rolling views that seemed seemless, but haha? bridges ensured livestock didn’t enter the manors gardens without want for it.
Like seriously, how amazing, landscaping 3,000 acres of land, it’s just mind boggling!
We came back through the fields and worked to the courtyard to pick up the cheese and trundle home to enjoy a shakshuka of sorts with fresh bread and smothered in cheese!
Saturday well spent indeed!
You don’t need me to tell you that national trust have a number of properties spread out across the UK, however you may not have considered them for a day out. They’re seriously beaut, often have a fantastic tea room and more history than you can shake a stick at – all of which lead to dreamy seasonal scenery – just sayin’!