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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Saturday Morning Outing to Castle Ashby

It's been an odd sort of couple of weeks on the weather front. Sunny one minute and then raining the next. Carol's health has been all over the place too. We wanted to get out of the house because 'Next Door' were threatening to assault our ears once more with a barrage of hammering and other assorted sounds. We wanted to take Alfie out as he loves going with us and, after going on-line and looking at there website, found that Castle Ashby allowed dogs on their estate. Something which many of the properties we visit don't allow. It's also a relatively short drive there, through Olney and between Bedford and Northampton. I've driven past on countless occasions but have never visited. Although I did work on a promotional video that was made there years ago but it wasn't a time to go exploring the gardens and surroundings.

The turning off the main A428 road leads towards Castle Ashby. Some really beautiful scenery as we drove along.  You have to drive over some cattle grids and the parkland through which you drive is dotted with sheep. Soon we reached the estate and parked near the Walled Garden. We payed for entry. We are members of the H.H.A. (Historic Houses Association) and would have got free entry but it would seem this property is no longer part of this scheme. The actual property might still be H.H.A. members, but may just not allow free entry. We got Alfie out of the car, with him making his customary loud barking, more likely for the exhilaration of being able to come with us. Usually we have to leave him behind at home, but since loosing our other dog, Poppy, it seems a bit unfair to leave him at home as he doesn't like being on his own. We encountered quite a few other people with their dogs as we walked around the gardens. All very friendly and it's good for Alfie to socialise with other dogs. At one point we were able to let him off his lead and he could run and explore.

Frontage of Castle Ashby House

We walked along beside the lake and admired the view. The gardens are beautifully kept and must take a lot of work from a very dedicated team of gardeners to keep it looking so amazing. 

Italianate Garden at Castle Ashby

We walked past the menagerie, but couldn't go in because we had Alfie with us, but will have to make a return visit at some stage in the near future when he's not with us, because there are some animals in there we'd like to see.

We got back to the walled garden area and had lattes and sandwiches from the café, all beautifully presented and delivered to our table outside. The weather didn't manage to stay dry because we had to endure a slight drizzle as we walked around the grounds. We will make a further visit at some stage in the future because it's not a long journey from Milton Keynes.
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