Tuesday, February 21, 2012
My friend Ruth and I decided to go on an annual 'snowdrop walk' in the grounds of a nearby stately home.
It's Thorpe Hall, near the village of Rudston in East Yorkshire and is the home of Sir Ian MacDonald of Sleat and his family.
It isn't open to the public except for two week-ends in spring when they have their annual 'snowdrop' and 'daffodil' walks.
Only the woodland area is opened and all the proceeds go to Rudston village church so it's for a good cause too, not commercial like the other stately homes.
There's a newly refurbished tearoom, in the old laundry, run by the village ladies and well worth a visit as it sports mouth wateringly delicious home made tasties and a good cuppa.
They usually have snowdrops and aconites for sale too.
Anyway after the heavy snow we've had we were fearing the worst as last year they didn't do very well with visitors as the flowers were hidden under inches of snow. This year we were lucky, the snow having disappeared only days before the due week-end.
The forecast was decidely gloomy...for sleet and showers and it was very cold and windy so we were bundled up well.
We set off wearing, in my case walking boots and Ruth's case shocking pink wellies with the breast cancer awareness logo all over them, clomping through the rutted muddy track down to the pond which was completely dry, not even soft mud, after the lack of rain throughout the last year so we walked where we hadn't ever walked before.
I'm afraid we went 'off piste' so to speak as it wasn't part of the designated trail...but it was pretty!
The bare woodland plain trunked beech trees were carpeted underfoot with snowdrops and aconites. Intermingled gold, white and green amid the fallen ginger coloured beech masts and leaves.
It was stunning, they stretched out along the track sides and my pictures don't do them justice.
We rounded one bend and bumped into seven people we knew from our own village,there was lots of joking about how 'we should have got a bus up' before saying our goodbyes and we wandered on.
It was so peaceful in the Gypsy Valley, though the little stream wasn't running. The Gypsy Race is what's called ephemeral water as sometimes it disappears underground but it always comes back.
We ambled across an open field before the trees enfolded us and suddenly the sun came out, slanting through the bare branches making the dust motes dance before hiding back behind the clouds.
As we neared the end of the walk, by the lovely old octagonal dairy with it's stained glass windows, we bumped into the lady herself.
Lady Juliet was walking two of her prize winning dalmations. She was very chatty and remembered us as she'd had a cup of tea with us in the tearoom last year at the 'daffodil' walk.
It fair made our afternoon.
Of course, we finished off at the Old Laundry Tearoom for a piece of delicious homemade flapjack, a drink and a well deserved sit down.
We know all the ladies of the village and the seven friends from our own village were there too so we spent a pleasant half hour chatting with friends and catching up with the latest gossip from both villages.
We included some visitors who hadn't been to Thorpe before, they remarked how friendly everyone was and they'd definitely be coming again so we gave them details for the 'daffodil' walk and away they went ' Happy as Larry!
Who is Larry?
Here are a few pictures from the walk:
Sorry, I'm having trouble uploading, it says the file's too big even though it's the same as usual so will try later:
Still having trouble so trying the html instead, hopefully you can then view my flickr posts by clicking on the set Thorpe Hall then clicking on it again, then click on each photo in the set to view on large or you can just click on each of the small photos at the right hand side of the page...there are some of last years 'daffodil walk' in the set too.