Yesterday I met my friend Ann at The Singing Ringing Tree. I had read about this sculpture or Panopticon, just over the border in Lancashire, in one of those magazines that you find in the pocket of your airline seat. It sounded fascinating. And indeed I can now say that it sounds fascinating too. The wind blows through the open pipes and amazingly creates music when you get close up to it (it’s a few 100 metres from the blustery car park).
The National Trust information board tells us
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as messing about in boats”*
One of the chief delights at Ferry Cottage, Cliveden was the proximity to the River Thames. There are rough footpaths along the banks. And, lucky for us, the river trips started for the 2017 season that very weekend.
Last August I attended a family wedding celebration at Cliveden. We all stayed for one night in beautiful Spring Cottage which is part of the Cliveden House Hotel that occupies the main building at Cliveden. The whole estate belongs to the National Trust. You can read all about the story of Cliveden and its occupants (and scandals) elsewhere.
Spring Cottage, Cliveden
The weekend before last I spent three nights staying near Bury St Edmunds at a National Trust cottage on the Ickworth Estate. A friend and I stopped to visit Ely Cathedral on our journey down from Yorkshire on Friday; we visited Bury St Edmunds Cathedral and The Moyses Hall Museum on Saturday and our plan for Sunday was to walk The Ickworth Grand Tour Walk. The IGTW is a seven mile walk that begins at the NT car park. In our case, we could begin it from our Horringer Park Gates front door.
Horringer Park Gates at Ickworth Main Entrance
Earlier in the week I decided that on Thursday I’d head off to Fountains Abbey and have a walk, a bite to eat and be home early afternoon. Thursday dawned very frosty but the roads were fine and the car park almost empty when I arrived. I’ve posted several times about my visits to Fountains including here, here and here. But I visit many more times than I have posted – it is just such a beautiful place to walk and think and enjoy the views and the Georgian landscape and its follies.
Last weekend I rounded off my two-and-a-half weeks in the Southwest in Bath. This was to share further birthday celebrations with my friend, Ann, and the combination of Bath and a Landmark Trust property is an excellent way to do this. Ten years ago I helped my mum celebrate her eightieth birthday in another Bath Landmark.