Thursday, 30 April 2015

bluebells at Blickling...

Blickling Hall is National Trust property near to us, famed for being the home of the Boleyn family and, according to popular legend, haunted by the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn, beheaded at the behest of Henry VIII.  As a child, I was always a bit daunted by Blickling - we were taken to lots of National Trust properties and Blickling always seemed to me a bit cold and impersonal; I could never quite imagine the people who had lived there.

But returning as an adult I am much more fascinated by it - both the grandeur of its architecture and the sense of history that oozes from its walls and gardens.

It is a beautiful building, with its imposing facade that faces towards the road...


You can just imagine horse drawn coaches sweeping up to the house to deposit grand guests at the imposing entrance...


I haven't been into the house for years and made a mental note to do that again sometime but our visit, this time, was all about the parks and gardens. I had never been here for bluebell season and had been told they were worth a visit so we parked up, decided to pay the NT fee to see the formal gardens too and headed off past the lake for the Mausoleum walk.

The track took us down between these two fields - one speckled with bright yellow dandelions, the other heady with the pungent scent of oil-seed rape...


Even on a fairly dull day, the vivid yellow of the rape is almost too much for the eyes to take in, stretching away into the distance...


Up close these flowers are rather pretty...


...but not the 'main attraction' so onwards to the woods where our first glimpse of a little hazy patch of blue had me ooing and aahing...


...even before we got to the main part of the woods where the ground is covered in bluebells...




Up close these are such delicate flowers but en masse they are stunning...


There are some lovely knarled old trees in the woodland here...


Getting a bit chilly by this point, we walked back towards the hall...


Love this little thatched cottage on the estate, much more homely!


Time for refreshments in the NT cafe - love the pretty ornaments on the windowsill...


...before moving on to the formal gardens.  I wonder if this moat had water in it in Anne Boleyn's day?


More bluebells, on the lake side of the gardens...


Then forget-me-nots on the way to the 'secret garden' behind the hedge...


Lovely views across the estate from the end of the formal gardens...


We came across a new venture - the 'sitooterie' project - a place to sit and think, with coloured glass, music and poetry (though if I'm honest I preferred the sounds of the garden - the recording was very loud and felt a bit intrusive to me, but perhaps aimed at those with poorer hearing) 



The azaleas are enormous and in full bloom...





Walking back down to the parterre, with its clipped hedges (how much work must these take?!)


...where the sun obligingly came out as we looked back towards the hall...


and the air was suddenly full of the scent of these stunning hyacynths...


Slightly hidden away, these beautiful tulips fill the double border, and for me the NT fee was suddenly completely worth it...









A riot of colour that lifted my spirits. Feel very tempted to renew my NT membership just so I can revisit the gardens more often through the year - there is the promise of so much more, great stretches of wisteria, the rose garden... should I?!

S x

4 comments:

  1. It looks a very beautiful place to visit. The bluebells have just started opening around here :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, that is a magnificent building. I can never image living in a place like that - way too big for me to feel at home there! The grounds are amazing and you've taken some wonderful photographs.

    I think you should renew your NT membership ... there must be lots more to see there, apart from exploring all the other NT properties in the area.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It looks a fascinating place to visit. Such beautiful gardens and stained glass, although, I agree, I think the thatched cottage is much more homely. Thank you for the pictures of the rape in flower - I whizzed past miles of them on the way to Oxford today. I adore the colour but the A34 isn't the best place to stop and take a photo! Have a good Bank Holiday. x

    ReplyDelete
  4. There's something very magical about bluebell woods, isn't there? Your photos are gorgeous and capture that blue carpet so well. It's fascinating to see Blickling Hll too - such a grand estate. We renewed our NT membership this year and have enjoyed revisiting old favourites so far - we'll have to try some new ones too :)
    Cathy x

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love to read your thoughts.