Saturday, April 18, 2015

Newby Hall Gardens

Since moving to England we've been adjusting to new rhythms of life and creating new routines.  School is a big definer of seasons and schedules, and with the school schedule here being completely different than in the U.S. we'll have some adjusting to do.  For instance, we've just started the Summer Term, which is a complete oxymoron to an American.  The kids' last day of school before the summer holidays will be July 17th.  Traditionally, this is about the time my kids have started to get bored with summer.  In fact, since we've been homeschooling we have a tradition of starting back to school on July 30, getting a running start on the American school year.  Though going to school in the summer will be an adjustment, we had no problem accepting the 2-week Easter holidays.

The first week was busy putting on Grace Church's Easter Holiday Bible Club, but the second week was really low-key, and Easter week brought the best weather we've ever had here.  KJ really wanted to take us to Newby Hall, which is just about 10 minutes up the road from us.  Downton Abbey fans might be interested in these tidbits about Newby Hall

Since it was such an amazingly warm day we decided not to go inside the house but to explore the gardens and playground for the kids.  But first, you know we saw some lambs going up the drive and had to stop and take a few pictures.  I was so afraid I was going to miss out on seeing the lambs, and within a space of a week I had a zillion opportunities.  It made me thankful.

As soon as I got out of the car the mamas started calling for their babies, and the babies answered, running to safety.

My own little lambs were pretty happy to find some sticks and to have a big place to run around.  We love that they have this opportunity to be outside and enjoy these beautiful places.

The ones who love maps found maps, and we were ready to go.

On this particular day I was loving seeing the willow trees come back to life.  They're some of the saddest looking trees in the winter with bare scraggly branches, but with new green life on them they create magical little hideaways. 

I think they definitely win for having the best play area for kids that we've seen yet.  You can paddle these little boats around the adventure playground (I don't know if that's the proper word, but what else would you call something with zip lines and rope swings?).  Ella struggled to go in the proper direction, so she got some help.

The rose garden is all thorns now, but I look forward to going back when everything is blooming.  I had fun trying out the macro feature on one of my lenses.  I had to work hard at it because those bees are fast movers.  And of course, the daffodils need no explanations.

We also discovered a fantastic rock garden with a waterfall and just had a really nice time wearing ourselves out.  As we walked back to the car we came upon a band of black lambs.

They were doing some serious scampering about, and we sat and watched them for several minutes before finally saying our goodbyes.  Apparently they like to play Follow the Leader.

"Now what, guys?"

"Let's just dance because it's spring."

They met up with these shaggy brown guys.

And then these adorable little fellas.

I learned that I was wrong about all sheep with horns being rams.

Apparently, that's a mama.

 Until next time, Newby Hall.


  1. Beautiful pictures! The Downton Abbey facts were quite interesting too :)

    1. You might be interested to know that the Grantham Arms is a pub in our town. :)