Bexhill & District Gardens & Allotments Society
Dick does it Again! When we started out on Friday morning, members were hopeful of good weather for their annual long weekend break and they were not disappointed.
As we travelled north, the sun slowly came out and that is how it continued for our stay at Castle Donnington.
Our first visit en route was to the Waterways Museum at Stoke Bruerne, where refreshments in the Boat Inn were most enjoyable as we could watch the canal boats passing.
On we went to Coton Manor Gardens - and what a garden! There are 15 different types of borders and gardens to suit every person's taste and the autumn flowers and tree colours were extra special.
On Saturday morning, we visited Crich Tramway Village at Matlock and had a vintage tram ride out into the open countryside for spectacular views and explored the exhibitions in the period street.
After lunch, we had an enjoyable ride around the Peak District National Park, passing Carsington Water and then on to Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood. This 17th century family home has exquisite and elaborate decorations and the museum traces the experiences of childhood over the past 200 years - from adventure to work and everything in between.
On Sunday morning, after a leisurely drive around the Buxton area, we had a morning break in the Cat and Fiddle (second highest Pub in England) with its wonderful views, before making our way to Haddon Hall. This medieval, greystone house is a jumble of battlemented walls, towers and chimneys and the garden is laid out in a series of terraces. Dotted around the rooms and courtyard were a re-enactment group demonstrating different craft skills from the past.
Then, all too soon, we were packing our cases and on our way home, although a drop into Barnsdale and the gardens that were featured in Geoff Hamilton's Gardeners' World television programme, really put the finishing touch to a great time.