Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Farewell to the daffodils – 18 April 2010

Hatfirld House from the West Garden Shrubbery
Palace Knot GardenAfter a relaxed start to the day, we set off with a picnic lunch to enjoy a day our in our classic car, only to have it die on us, as seems to be the way with our particular historic car. But as it was such a lovely day, we still set out on our picnic after the AA got us going well enough to return home and swap cars.

'Sentinels of the Woods' - two 500 year old oaksOur destination, Hatfield House, was definitely worth driving to, even though we had a mid-afternoon picnic lunch. Only 30 minutes from home, it feels like a few centuries away. This house has seen so much history. Built in Tudor times by Lord Cecil, the Chancellor, it was home to Elizabeth I for much of her childhood. At the end of the afternoon, we did a walk through the 1,000 acre grounds, past the spot where, in 1558, Elizabeth was given the news that she was now the Queen.

The Old Palace from the West ParterreThe house still has an original feels inside, which doesn't mean it is run down in a 600 year old look, but rather that the Tudor interiors have been carefully preserved and it still looks magnificent today.

Broadwater in Hatfield ParkThe house is complimented on three sides by perfectly maintained formal gardens. Only the West Garden is open on weekends, but is a real treat to wander through this expansive garden. The woodland walks have been a mass of daffodils, now finished, but in the woodland beyond the West Gardens, the daffodils are still in perfect condition.

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