Wednesday 2 March 2011

Road Trip - Hedingham Castle

We recently bought a car. This is pure indulgent luxury, as you do not really need one to get around where we live. And it makes two things a lot easier: grocery shopping and going on outings.

We had already done a lot of the car-based grocery shopping, so this past Sunday we went on our first genuine road trip, to the alleged Snow Drop Festival at Hedingham Castle in Essex.

We left home around lunchtime, and after a whole morning of blue sky and fluffy clouds, the weather decided it did no longer want to play nice, so we drove into Essex in the rain. Listening to John Mellencamp and City And Colour helped us stay in a good mood.

There was a bit of a change of plans when we discovered that somebody (no names, but they’re married to me) had gotten the dates wrong and instead of displays of snow drops and offerings of mulled wine, there was a wedding fair taking place on the Sunday.

Still, we were there, and decided to check out what we might have missed out on when we celebrated our wedding last year and go for a peek. Which is when I noticed that I had forgotten my coat at home. I’m not used to this being-in-a-car business. It’s like being in a little house, right? Warm and cosy and you can sit in your t-shirt… I made a mental note to deposit a spare fleece in the trunk. At least I had remembered the umbrella…

Inside the manor house, we met a lovely lady from the estate who assured us that the snowdrops where still around and described how to find them in the grounds. She then pointed us towards the roaring open fire, which helped the forgetful one of us warm up. A waitress came around with sample canapés, so we both had a bite of quiche. I have resolved to move to a castle quite soon.

Walking down the path the helpful lady had pointed out to us, we saw a few tufts of snowdrops here and there, which were pretty and more plentiful than the 6 individuals that we have growing in our lawn. But nothing prepared us for turning a corner and seeing carpets of little white blossom heads spread over the slopes everywhere we looked. I forgot that I was cold, it was so pretty.

All was still around us (well, except for a faint trickle of music floating from the wedding fair) and you could here the drizzle dripping from the trees. The forest soil looked fertile and the tree trunks were green with moss, everything seemed ready for spring. And we had all this beauty to ourselves! I did not miss the mulled wine at all.

After we had admired nature enough, we went back to the car and started the way back home on the side roads.

With Marco driving, I had the chance to take in the views. It felt fantastic to be out of town. The sky is bigger and the grass is indeed greener in the countryside. I noticed a sign for Blake House Craft Centre, a name which enticed me. It could have been a completely tatty place, but turned out to be an assortment of small crafty shops and a restaurant. Unfortunately, it was not really our lucky day for timing, so I only got about 5 minutes to have a look around the And Sew On haberdashery store before the centre’s 4 PM closing time. Oh, woe! I shall be back before long...

Anyway, they had bathrooms there, which both Marco and I needed to go to. I was finishing my business when I heard my husband shout: “Hurry up! Come quick!” I though to myself: “Oh dear, we have been locked in the latrines.” They were closing up, after all.

But all he wanted was for me to come and see these guys. There were two peacocks prancing around. One of them even flew from the roof, and that’s the first time I’ve seen a peacock fly! They were gorgeous.

So, all in all, our day out could have been better organized, but it might not have been as special.

By the way, we discovered afterwards that you can actually pay to go in the actual 4-floor castle, not just the adjacent manor house. We will really have to repeat this excursion!

© Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated)


  1. Ich dachte schon, heute kommt nichts Neues, und nun sind doch wieder so schöne Fotos da. Schön, dass du deinen Blog so regelmäßig führst.Bei uns blühen auch schon ganz viele Schneeglöckchen.

  2. Yaya for cars! I have a car and have always had one since I live in the states, and not a place where I can just take the subway... We have to drive everywhere here. Which makes me sad because gas prices are now $3.49 per gallon....UGH!

    Aren't road trips fun? Sorry that the weekend was off, but glad you still enjoyed yourself AND found a fabric shop!!

    Looks like you guys had a lot of fun :)

  3. Just beautiful!
    Remind me why I love this country :)


I love reading what you think and comments make me happy. I usually reply by email, so look here if you need to know how to sneak me your address!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.