Day out: Lodge Park and Sherbourne Estate

19 Feb

The National Trust ‘s Lodge Park and Sherbourne Estate pinged the radar when we started looking for snowdrops.  The Lodge is a popular wedding venue and summertime destination.

IMG_3936In the sub-zero February air, from beyond the locked and pointed gates, it had more of a … Jane Eyre sort of look.  Well, really it had a sort of zombie apocalypse look, but not everyone’s mind goes in that direction …

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The promised ‘pleasure’ and ‘family’ walks are down this lane toward the village of Sherbourne — the house is locked December-February.

IMG_3949 Free parking (for National Trust members) here at the Ewe Pen Barn.  (And during winter months, honor-system parking, as there is no one here.)  The barn houses information panels and several laminated walking guides which one can borrow.20130207_095506

Possibly not the most sensible day to wander through the woods looking for snowdrops?20130207_100024

But helpful signage pointed the way.

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This way, apparently.  I was feeling thankful that the icy mud was not quite this icy on the day of my last muddy run.  But still so much fun to crackle the puddles with your (well-covered) feet.20130207_100840

A view back towards one of the entrances to the Lodge Park.IMG_3953

Sculpture dots the trail.  I was not much for trail walks back in the US, so I’m not aware — are sculpture trails a UK thing?  A European thing?  A new movement (or old movement) in drawing visitors to engage with public walks?  I don’t know.  It’s fun to turn a corner and look up to see a metal bat, though.
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The National Trust Trail wanders through private land.  I think this is reminder enough to be polite, be tidy, be respectful.20130207_102842

Ah, those snowdrops.  All my photos are terrible.  Such a sadness.  The snowdrops themselves were lovely.  You’ll just have to find some yourself to see what I mean.

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In person these are sweet clusters of delicate flowers.  In the photo, it’s just bracken and sticks.  Sigh.20130207_103749

No clue.  Would be a nice place to rest, or to read, on a summer day.20130207_104654

This is a family playground.  It’s … bare bones, let’s say.  Pretty much just logs and sticks.  But, I can see this being compelling for my kids for hours.  You won’t be able to see it for all the sticks and trees, but there’s a gentle rope swing towards the back as well, and a see-saw just out of frame.  I’m trying to imagine this on any kind of American family trail, and wondering if liability concerns would destroy all the natural fun of what is a very organic play area.20130207_110444

I don’t know if this is cool, or gross.  Both, I guess.  Which likely doubles the coolness.
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The trail walk wanders a bit through the village — here some plantings take revenge on an old greenhouse and escape.  20130207_111700

Sheep grazing near Sherbourne Brook — which becomes, eventually, part of the river Windrush.  (My Favorite River In England.)

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I had my eye on this grassed-over stony footbridge for quite a ways, but it is reserved for wildlife — no public entry.  Loved the massive swan guarding his watery retreat.
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Just a random house in the village.  This type of stony Cotswold house will stay tied up in my imagination and memory of England.  I know in the late spring, summer, and early fall, that stone will glow and be surrounded by nearly unbelievable greenery and flowers.  But right now it looks … cold.  A bit grim.  A little smoke coming from one of the chimneys might promise some coziness inside.  As it is … brrrrrr.

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The trail leaves the village and wanders back through a woody area.  With more metal animals.

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And wooden people.  This is “The Shepherd”.  He looks out over a sheep field, with his working dog at his feet.

It is — once again — remarkable to think about the history of random small villages and woods like Sherbourne.  A village has been in this spot since before the time of the Domesday book.  Edward I and Elizabeth I both visited Sherbourne, and there is a nearly thousand-year history of connection between the village and the Abbots of Winchcomb (and through them, the Kings of Mercia).  There’s no such thing as a undiscovered country here in England.  Every stick and stone has been a part of documented history.

So weird.

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After a four kilometer stroll over a muddy trail in freezing weather, what could be better than a quick drive to Burford and a warm pot of tea at Huffkins?  And if you’re staying for tea you might as well really stay for tea:20130207_124850

Mmmmmmmmm.

Here’s a nice write-up of the walk we ended up following, from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/may/12/sherborne-sculpture-trail-gloucestershire

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9 Responses to “Day out: Lodge Park and Sherbourne Estate”

  1. RMW February 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I enjoy all your postings… when I lived in England as a child my parents didn’t have any interest in traveling around the country… but as an adult when I go back (not often enough, I am sorry to say) I get out and about as much as possible… there is so much to see and you seem to be discovering it all!

    • Monique February 21, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      It’s overwhelming to look at any guide or history book and try to imagine seeing everything. I love getting out with the kids but have fun taking my own adventures, too. 🙂

  2. Jody February 21, 2013 at 1:55 am #

    What a wonderful day! Loved the tea. :-

  3. Aubrey Price Pettyjohn February 21, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Loved the mini history lesson about Sherbourne! I think we went to a wedding reception there once, but I’d love to poke around on my own…after it gets a bit warmer. 🙂

    • Monique February 21, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      I’ve got to agree with you there — it must be beautiful in the spring and summer.

  4. satnavandcider February 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    You’ve shared so much I didn’t know about Sherborne. Thanks! It was great taking a walk through Sherborne as seen through your eyes.

    • Monique March 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      Always more fun to share with a friend!

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