No snow? No potholes in the snow, or icy roads, or frozen fingertips, or shoveling? We found a place — England. Admittedly February this year wasn’t the best month to go, but our plans were made to visit our daughter and family. We did find flowers; rain; flooded rivers; green, green grass; and sheep. No snow.
This post will feature some of the gardens we found and London from the view of our 3 1/2-year-old grandson. Many gardens do not open until after Easter. Click on photos to enlarge. There are also some underlined links to more information.
Anglesy Abbey Estate, near Cambridge, is a National Trust property. We went on a Sunday when many families were there, bundled up for 40-degree temperatures, strolling through the gardens along the curving walk. The garden was striking, plants without leaves making colorful sculptures.
There were more than 150 varieties of snowdrops of various sizes and number of petals. When you tilt up the delicate heads, you see that some have ruffled green centers.
We went to London with our family and friends for a day and watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. The two little boys with us waited patiently, sitting on the shoulders of their fathers. We pointed out a black, boxy taxi cab like Paddington Bear rode in.
Everyone was tired on the return train to Cambridge.
A few days later we had fun on the Nene Valley steam engine ride into Peterbourgh.
Inside the train we felt like we were in an Agatha Christie book. Our compartment had striped upholstered seats and wooden paneling. The door slid open smoothly.
A surprise, especially for our 3 1/2-year-old grandson, was an engine painted to look like Thomas the Train. He went inside and examined the controls.
When we got off the train in Peterbourgh, we walked to the Cathedral and listened to the choir practicing. There has been a church here since 665 A.D. Information states that the central tower is from 1118 A.D. A panoramic tour is available. There are control buttons and a map to open and close.
The next day was sunny and perfect for our visit to to Kentwell Hall, also near Cambridge. Kentwell Hall is privately owned and is a working farm. It was built during the 1500s.
There is a maze at the house entrance made from large, different colored bricks. Directions told how to play the game; however we just ran freely around it, laughing and following our grandson. The house did not open until after Easter, but we enjoyed being outside very much.
Inside the walled garden it was 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the grounds. Thick grass provides a great place for chasing each other. Among the plots of herbs and vegetables there were espaliered fruit trees, some may be from the 17th century.
The woods were filled with snowdrops. Our little one led the way on paths through them, asking at each intersection, “Which way?” Later, when we asked him what his favorite part of the day was, he chose this part.
We found many snowdrops in England. No snow.
Photographs are by Evelyn and Del Weliver.
I will do some more posts from this trip in a few days. Cornwall and Bodmin Moor will probably be next.