Sunday, July 19, 2015

Holiday 2015: outside Worcester

As well as all the time we spent in Worcester itself, we did several days out into the surrounding area. One day we went to Hereford on the train. We had also intended to stop off at Great Malvern on the way back as the surroundings are gorgeous, but it was raining hard so we changed our minds!

Hereford Cathedral was, of course, an obligatory visit for us. Another beautiful cathedral, this one very quiet and not overly-touristy. I had visited last year for a conference so had a sneak preview. We also went in the Magna Carta exhibition, saw Mappa Mundi and the chained library. Hereford is quite small, but we enjoyed a cup of tea in a church café in the centre, and I also found a small yarn and fabric shop! I'm going to talk about holiday purchases in another post...

One day out was to a National Trust property, the Brockhampton estate. This includes a medieval (late 14th century) manor house, now with plenty of rooms open to see, plus acres of traditionally farmed land and woodland. The house itself is surrounded by a moat and beautiful gardens, and only survived because it is at the bottom of the hill, and the owners that wanted a bigger, more modern, house, decided to build it at the top!

Great Hall with huge fireplace. It was very quiet when we went round (the advantage of holidaying a week after half term), so we almost had the place to ourselves.

The rooms were dressed to represent different periods in the house's history. This was in the living room, and I liked the sewing machine and associated equipment around it.

In the grounds there is a ruined chapel, once used as the chapel for the house until a church was built.

Another day we went to a (very) different National Trust property, Croome, which was the first landscape garden designed by Capability Brown, and also a secret Second World War airbase. It was really interesting seeing what the NT had done there - the visitor centre by the car park, and café are housed in what was the hospital wing of the airbase, and there is an RAF Museum there too. A short walk up a track takes you into the Capability Brown landscape, now being restored. There are beautiful walks across the parkland, although it was almost too hot on the day we were there to do them.

The church (just visible in the distance) is now looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust.

The house itself is being restored, but you're allowed to wander around various bits of it, and see the work that is underway. You can also climb to the top of the scaffolding to the "Sky Café", but we decided against that as I'm not really into heights...

The borders are just being planted up, it's going to look fabulous in a year or two. This view of the church was on our walk back to the car park.

And, finally, we popped into Pershore to see what it was like. Pershore Abbey is quite fun. About two thirds of it was demolished at the Reformation (the building used to end where the iron gates are in the picture below), so all that is left is the quire, bought by the townspeople to be their church. They had to add some buttresses to it to stop it falling down after the nave was demolished.

It's still rather large and impressive looking inside!

Think that's all for now. I'll leave my update on craft purchases to another post!

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