Monday, October 5, 2015

The Castle Howard Gardens

One of the fun things about living in England is having so many new and beautiful places to explore when we have visitors.  KJ always likes to plan one big day out when we have guests, and for our time with Billy it was a visit to Castle Howard, which like several places, is not really a castle but a great country house.  

We brought a picnic lunch and ate at the adventure playground before heading for the gardens.  As we've become accustomed to, there were great activities for the kids.


Every now and again we have these really lovely days out where we just find enjoyment in every little thing.  Castle Howard was one of those days.  The gardens were beautiful.  Flowers, vegetables and lovely walks abounded.


We stepped out of a side garden gate into this long lane of trees.  It was just gorgeous.


And the first views of the castle as you emerged from the lane were jaw-dropping.


I always marvel at the creativity of people and the way every view, hedge, and flower bed is so carefully thought out.


There were lots of statues depicting mythological scenes.  And this fountain with Atlas holding the earth on his shoulders is now at the top of the list of my favorite fountains...if such a list existed.


We went for a walk beside the lake, and ever since this moment we're always on the lookout for good "picture trees."


These were some really sweet moments between the kids.  James was feeling tired of walking, and Ella was in a very mothering mood that afternoon, taking such good care of him and encouraging him to keep going.


From the other side of the lake you can see the Mausoleum, which is still the private burial place of the Howard family.


Walking around the grounds was our favorite part, but the house was beautiful, too.  At this point in our day we were all desperate for refreshment, especially James.


We enjoyed a break outside of the cafe before taking a tour around the house.  Castle Howard is one of those wonderful places where you're allowed to take pictures inside, so I'll share those in another post.  This day was definitely a high point of the summer.

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