Category Archives: UK

Bank Holiday! A visit to Rievaulx Terrace

Hello lovely people!

It’s May! The sun is shining, the skies are the clearest blue and we have a three day weekend. What could be better? I hope you’re all soaking up the sunshine and enjoying this little break.

For me, I’m playing host to my lovely family who have come to stay. My parents are so important to me so I wanted to make sure they had a lovely time.

Yesterday, we had a little trip to Nunnington Hall which was just as beautiful as ever. I’ve visited here before – see here for more!

What came next was really rather special. We decided to continue driving for 8 miles to find Rievaulx Terrace. None of us had been before so we were really excited to be outside, exploring in the beautiful sunshine.

The Rievaulx Terrance was created by Thomas Duncombe II between 1749-57. It took one hundred men, eight years to finish. Incredible! He wanted it to be a place where he and his guests could see a distant view of the medieval abbey ruins in the valley below. He also placed two classical temples at either end of the terrace. This terrace was one of the earliest triumphs of the Picturesque movement for landscape gardening.

We walked through the woodland forest which was so tranquil. You could only hear the birds and the wind. There is something quite beautiful about that and the feeling it creates. Along the woodland are different sculptures as part of an exhibition. My favourites were the little owls in the tree and the hedgehogs.

When you come to the end of the woodland, you walk out onto a lush, green terrace. Just hiding at the bottom is the first of the classical temples: The Tuscan Temple.

The temple is closed to visitors, however the windows and mirrors provide you with view points. There is rich plasterwork inside, a painted roundel of a winged goddess. The tiles are 13th century from nearby Byland Abbey.

Arthur Young who visited in 1770 said: “Ruins generally appear best from a distance.” I have to say, I completely agree with him. I didn’t know what I expected from this place, but I was completely overwhelmed and in awe.

Every step you take reveals more of the ruins from below. It completely took my breath away. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen.

Photographs will never be able to do it justice. A photo can’t capture a feeling. Yet, I do hope it shows some sense of the wonder that this place creates and embodies.

Continuing the walk along the terrace brings you to the second temple: the Ionic Temple. Just when I thought this trip couldn’t get any better, we went inside.

Here the Duncombe family would have fed and entertained their guests. The interior is lavish and oozes elegance. I honestly have never seen anything like it in my life. I probably will never see anything like it again.

The frescoes show mythological scenes and are the creative work of Italian painter Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis, dated around 1753. The centre of the ceiling shows Aurora, Apollo and the Muses. It is beauty defined.

This day meant so much more than seeing beautiful places. It was time for my family and I to relax, breathe and restore and value our time together. The view and the temples were an added bonus. It was exceptional.

I wish you all a wonderful bank holiday. Enjoy the sunshine, you all deserve it!

Big love all xxx

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Filed under Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

York Minster

Hi Lovelies!

I do hope you’ve all had a peaceful week. As April draws to a close, I found myself needing a weekend to recover and relax. Sometimes we all need that time to just stop and reflect. After a very lazy morning on Saturday, I decided to pop to York. I absolutely love it there: the cobbled streets, the eclectic mix of different shops and the beautiful Minster. (I am ashamed to say I’ve probably walked past it, looking up, at least a handful of times!)

As you approach the Minster, it is clear to see that it’s a magnificent piece of architecture. I really do feel like it’s incredible that buildings have stood through momentous historical events. Of course things change them, people and weather mainly, but they still stand tall and strong.

The Minster was built over 250 years, starting in 1220 and finishing in 1472. The first thing that got me was the fact that generations of people worked on this building to never see the end product. This building was the centre of so many lives, just as it is today.

My absolute favourite aspects were the many medieval stained glass windows. The detail, the stories and the conservation are just mind blowing. I found myself completely taken with them as I looked around. I personally liked The Great East Window. This is the size of a tennis court so it really isn’t a surprise that it caught my eye. More than half of the England’s medieval stained glass is at York Minster.

From the outside the glass looks divine, but it is once you are inside the pictures come to life. When the sun shines in it must create a rainbow like reflection. I also loved the glass which shows the Tudor Roses. Again, massive in size and colour, it sits proud at the top of the Minster.

Along with the glass, the ceilings are also incredible in design and colour. It feels so grand, so impressive. It’s awe inspiring to be within there. As I was walking around there was music playing in preparation for the Evening Song service. It was like a heart beating.

I found myself feeling incredible moved as I walked around. I had tears in my eyes for so many reasons. The numbers of men and women who died to save us in many battles and conflicts. The beauty that building creates even after a fire threatened to destroy it. The moment of reflection to think about my own loved ones and put everyday trials into perspective.

York Minster is the beating heart of the city. It is astounding in so many ways and I feel truly grateful to have seen it. After all, I am a firm believer in it is how a place makes you feel that stays with you longer than the sights of that place. This place with certainly stay with me.

Here’s to May everyone! I can’t quite believe it.

Big love. Xx

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Filed under Days Out, Photography, Places, UK

Croft Castle and Parkland

Hey Everyone.

February is whizzing by and the snow drops tell me that spring is well on its way. Sometimes we all need a day of peace and tranquility to regroup and recharge. For my parents and I that was this weekend. We decided to visit Croft Castle and Parkland in Yarpole, Herefordshire.

From the outside you can see just how impressive it is. It’s quite a rarity to see a castle standing in its entirety, especially one as old as this. The castle dates back to before the Domesday Book, with the Crofts making a family home there.

Due to descendants of the Croft family, you are limited to what you can see within. However, I did really like beautiful rooms we could see. My favourite room had the most beautiful wallpaper. The gold really stood out; very grand.

One of the most fascinating items in this room was a grand clock. However, this one had eyes. I’ve never this before in my life.

For me, the parkland outside was more incredible than the castle itself. We decided to do the ancient tree walk. I was completely blown away. The suns came out (which always helps) but the trees were just amazing. The oak below is over 500 years old.

These trees create a beautiful landscape. To think they began as a small seed and now hundreds of years later they are these wondrous masterpieces. I just felt so overwhelmed.

I genuinely fell in love with the grounds here. Normally, I’m a property person. I appreciate the land but I adore the interior, the lives it represents and the time periods. Yet, I found myself more and more at peace and full of admiration for the land.

This window of family time was really quite lovely. It’s so easy sometimes for life and jobs to get in the way. It’s also really nice to have a change of pace sometimes. We live in a beautiful world. We need to treasure and nurture it for future generations.

Enjoy the rest of February, spring is nearly here!

Big love xx

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Filed under Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

A Wishing Tree

Hi guys!

November really is flying by and the festive season is fast approaching. This weekend I visited Nunnington Hall which is a stunning Yorkshire Manor House.

Whilst I loved the house with its stunning display of miniatures, my favourite part was The Wishing Tree. Call me naive, but I didn’t really know anything about wishing trees before now. However, I’ve learnt a little more and I’m really quite taken by it.

A wishing tree is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are believed to have religious or spiritual value. There are many all around the world but this was my first experience of seeing one. The colours of the ribbons were really lovely. It stood out, attractively, in the crisp autumn day.

With the Wishing Tree at Nunnington Hall, you attach a piece of ribbon and make a wish. Now, I can’t say what I wished for, but I really enjoyed taking part in this small aspect of culture and tradition. But above all, I hope all the wishes of my lovely followers come true.

I was also able to get super close to this handsome fellow! He was right by my car door!

Big love xxx

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Filed under Culture, Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

Berrington Hall 

Hey guys! 

Hope you’re well and are all prepared for the approach of November. Today was the start of my half term week off and I spent it with my lovely daddy. We visited Berrington Hall, just outside Leominster, Herefordshire. It’s such a rarity to be able to have a day out with just my dad so I was really excited. We have a mutual passion for history and gardens so this stately home was right up our street. It was a beautiful sunny day too. 


This mansion is really rather impressive. It’s Neo-Classical in design and sat amongst beautiful landscape grounds. This Georgian mansion boats of some incredible features, my favourite being the decorative ceilings (Biaggio Rebecca) and the use of marble. The interiors are the inspiration of Henry Holland yet the home belonged to the Harley, Rodney and Cawley families. 


The garden and landscape are the final design of Capability Brown. There’s a beautiful, tranquil lake at the end of the park too. We walked all the way round and tried to spot the otter that lives there (with no such luck!)


I feel like I use the same words to describe my thoughts, feelings and reactions. I fear I’m becoming repetitive but there really is something special about this place. The property and land were given to the trust in near perfect condition; a rarity for them! I found myself being quite quiet today, taking it all in, imagining the lives and experiences of those who have lived there. 


I’m sure you’ll agree that this place is just divine. It always amazes me what tests of time these places face. It’s been standing here since 1778. Imagine the comings and goings, the changes and challenges. Incredible. 


Happy Halloween and big love!

Xx 

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Filed under Autumn, Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

Tattershall Castle


Hi everyone! 

We are experiencing some excellent autumnal days and I have to say, I’m enjoying having my autumn scarves on! 

Last Saturday I went exploring, this time to a castle! Tattershall Castle, to be specific. It was awesome! It sits proudly in the Lincolnshire fens; a fabulous setting for a castle if I do say so myself. 


First of all it’s a magnificent 15th century red brick castle. It was the size and the colour that stood out to me as I was driving up. The dates of this castle show that it’s been standing for years and years. The sights that castle has seen and stood through. The people that have been there and the stories the walls could tell. 


On exploration of the castle, I learnt that it was built by Lord Ralph Cromwell, who was Treasurer of England. Like all good castles it was built to show off his wealth and power. 


Yet it wasn’t free from its own turmoil. In 1911, the castle was saved from exportation to America. As one of the earliest surviving examples of English medieval brickwork, it was crucial that it was saved. Thankfully, now in the hands of The National Trust, it will forever be safe. 


So this castle is grand on every levels. 149 stairs along the winding staircase take you to three levels. Each floor has the most incredible stained glass windows. I love a good stained glass window, the way the light hits the colours; just stunning. 


Another prominent feature was the gothic fireplaces. They are just fantastic on every level, with little pictures depicting various scenes. Again, showing wealth and power. You can hardly blame him really. 


At the top of the tower, the views of the Lincolnshire countryside were breathtaking. It was a bit breezy up there but it was a nice sunny day which meant I could see quite far. 


I highly recommend this castle. It’s just wonderful. The spiral staircase is magnificent (but did make me feel slightly queasy) and the large rooms create a feeling of wonder. I just wish I could have seen this castle in it’s prime. 


Have a fantastic autumn everyone! 

Big love xx

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Filed under Days Out, Exploring, National Trust, Photography, UK

The Shop That Must Not Be Named – York


Hi guys! 

It’s Saturday, Strictly is on and I’ve had another busy, up and down week. However, I decided (after some hauling out of bed) to visit The Shop That Must Not Be Named in York. 


The first thing I absolutely loved was the fact that lots of people in York were wearing something Harry Potter based (myself included – shoes!) Here are my feet in the shop!! 


The second most amazing thing was that the windows were dressed immaculately. I didn’t mind queuing because I got to see all the exciting things on offer. 


I was very good actually. It would have been easy for me to completely loose myself and buy everything there. I wanted everything I saw. However, I was reserved and treated myself to a couple of things only

The first thing I spotted and purchased was an awesome Platform 9 and 3/4s tote bag. Perfect for transporting my marking to and from school. That’s my justification anyway! 


My other purchase was a bit of a splurge I must admit. But, it’s really really beautiful. I treated myself to a journal. My only worry is that it’s too beautiful to use. 


The little shop brought to life my childhood. Those kind of memories are priceless. I really need to read the books again. I loved it. It really was pure magic


I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I would go back tomorrow. I might do! We all deserve a little magic in our lives. I’m so pleased I’ve seen this little wonder of a shop. 


Big love xx

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Filed under Days Out, Harry Potter, Photography, Places, UK