Nestled at the heart of a 1,700 acre estate this picturesque medieval manor house is the ancient centre of the estate. Surrounded by a moat and borders of colourful flowers, tucked out of sight in the rolling Herefordshire landscape. The house is entered through the charming, unique 15th century timber framed gatehouse.
The manor house has been lived in for most of its history. The building has been adapted and shaped by the people who lived there and still speaks to us today of rural lives and the rich productivity of the Herefordshire landscape. *
*From Welcome to Brockhampton leaflet
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
…led to Mr C feeling wanderlust.
We abandoned our household duties and set of towards the Brockhampton Estate in time to enjoy lunch in the tea room. The sun shone as we traveled towards Brockhampton and we were treated to some spectacular countryside views, but as we neared the Brockhampton Estate a large dark cloud appeared overhead!
We arrived at the top car park and made our way to the tea room for lunch, just before the heavens opened. We enjoyed lunch and waited until the rain had stopped before making our way to the entrance Kiosk, where we were told that the best way to get to the house was to drive down to the bottom car park. We drove down and walked to the ‘Old House’ which is quite unexpected and stunning set in the surrounding countryside.We dodged the raindrops and enjoyed both the inside an outside of the property.
A special treat as we sheltered in an outbuilding to allow a shower to pass over was seeing two tiny frogs (a few millimeters in size), obviously newly born. Wow!! Then whilst we were in the house one of the room guides told us about the resident bats in the roof space and the need to cover up the furniture in some rooms overnight to stop it being fouled. This reminded me that couple of days ago I noticed that my bat is back, I hadn’t seen him since ‘my oak tree’ got trimmed. I was thrilled to see him in the twilight catching insects over my garden
We made our way home we calling into the Ludlow Food Centre to pick up something for our evening meal, we were not inspired… Leading me to have my own inspiration (chilli/white wine coated salmon), coriander potatoes and green veg), so we picked up the fresh ingredients in a local shop before we returned home.
The meal was delicious
The castle gates remain closed until 10 o’clock so after breakfast and checking out of the hotel we visited a small garden next to the lawns. By the time we had finished in the garden it was still to early for the gates to be open so we took the long way round to visit the Russian Doll shop and a second hand book shop, only to find that the shops didn’t open until 11 o’clock. I did however manage to replace the wash bag I had ruined due to leaving my shampoo bottle open on our journey to Lincoln.
We didn’t want to wait until 11 so we made our way back to the car, through the castle grounds. We then said goodbye to Lincoln and set off towards Newark to visit the National Civil War Museum, which we found very interesting. After visiting the museum Mr C set off into town in search of a cook shop which we failed to find. This left us with time to visit the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene which we found to be quite stunning inside. After the visit it was time to return home to unpack before getting ready to go out for an evening meal to celebrate our anniversary.
As it was a Monday night not many places were open so we went to a local pub carvery where I chose turkey which was delicious. After the meal we returned home to enjoy a glass of champagne on the patio in the warm evening air, watching the sun go down. A perfect end to a lovely weekend.
The hotel breakfast was nice, although it was served in an unusual way. The toast was served stacked on the plate with the breakfast rather than in a toast rack. After breakfast it wasn’t time for the castle gate to open so we walked around ‘The Lawns’ which was formerly a lunatic asylum.
When the gate was open we entered the castle to look at the Poppies Wave both from the ground and the wall walk. On my way to see the poppies at ground level I saw a mother duck and her cute ducklings sitting at eye level on a wall. By the time I got back from looking at the poppies the mother duck and some of the ducklings were on the ground below the wall. Four ducklings however were running frantically backwards and forwards on the top of the wall squeaking loudly whilst mum waited patiently. A Lincoln Castle grounds attendant gentle herded the ducklings along the wall towards mum, when all but one wildly jumped off the wall to join the others. The last one eventually launched itself off the wall landing on its back needing a little assistance to right itself. For a few moments it looked like it was wounded, but all of a sudden it joined the back of the line of ducklings following mum.
After this excitement we climbed the stairs to the castle walls where we enjoyed views of Lincoln and the Poppies Wave from above. When we had finished at the castle we walked to the nearby museum of Lincolnshire Life stopping for a cup of tea along the way. The museum had some interesting exhibits, including life size models of men fighting on top of WW1 trenches and a WW1 infantry tank Mark 4. When we had finished looking around the museum we made our way to the Cathedral Cloisters for lunch.
After lunch we ventured down to the low town area intending to find the arboretum but decided that it was to far in the time we had available. Instead we browsed around an arts and crafts shop where they had a large collection of colour art pencils. I was almost tempted but Mr C had bought me some for our anniversary so I thought I would wait until another occasion before getting any more. We walked back to the hotel through the Temple Gardens which were enjoyable in the sunshine.
For our evening meal we dined in the White Hart Hotel which we had enjoyed on our previous visit to Lincoln. The food was nice but the service was rather disappointing. Sherry was served in a tumbler and the wine list disappeared meaning the starter arrived before the wine was ordered. The wine list was requested for a second time and the head waitress quickly sorted out our requirement. The staff were not in a hurry to engage in conversation with us and we are not in a hurry to return which is a shame because we had excellent service on our previous visit. To finish the evening off we called in at the Wig and Mitre before returning to the hotel.
We set off on our journey a bit later than we intended but we still managed to arrive at the cafe we planned on visiting in time for lunch. There was a bit of a saga getting served, we were being ignored by the waitress. Eventually we got served and the food was as good as I remembered it from our last visit there.
After lunch we made our way to lower Lincoln which we did not explore when we were in Lincoln last year. We visited the waterside and viewed the Empowerment sculpture along with the high bridge. I popped into Bon Marche to see if they had a jacket that I had seen on their website. It was something I thought would be suitable for my brother’s wedding later in the year. They had the jacket, but not in the colour I was after. I tried it on but one of the assistants pounced and put me off exploring further. We visited a small indoor market which had an interesting second hand book shop which had a lot of military and religious/spiritual books although neither of us was tempted to buy anything.
There were some interesting and colourful characters wandering around this part of Lincoln. As we walked under a bridge we had to negotiate three rough sleepers, one of whom was high on drugs. I was left thinking that if I had stayed in that part of Lincoln last year I wouldn’t have wanted to return for a second visit. We returned to the car and made our way to the Charlotte House hotel where we checked in and took our bags up to the room which was in fact a suite. It was a fabulous room with his and hers tellies and his and hers shower and bath.
There was champagne waiting for us on arrival but we left this for later and made our way through the castle grounds to see the Poppy Wave which is currently being displayed there. After taking a few photographs we made our way into town for a drink and a slice of lemon cake before returning to the hotel to enjoy the champagne whilst we got ready to go out for our evening meal in The Old Bakery. The food was delicious and the service excellent. After dining we visited a pub called The Strugglers which was rather small with no seats available. Mr C asked if there was another room to sit in and we were advised that there was but the room was a snug with only two tables so we would have to share. We popped our heads through the door and a gentleman plumped up the cushions on the end of the bench next to him, inviting us in. After a while we got into conversation about the upcoming EU vote, Timothy Taylor beer and micro breweries in Lincoln.
After the conversation it was time to return to the hotel for a well earned sleep in the fourposter bed.