Trip Start Mar 27, 2010
63Trip End Aug 11, 2010
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This area consists of rolling hills of farmland - predominantly oil seed rape and winter barley. The house we are staying at is beautifully positioned at the end of a road with neighbours on one side only. Over the back garden wall there are deer running and the other side there are beautiful views over rolling countryside. Absolutely stunning! Two doors down there stands a 15th century church built in 1493 using existing foundations from a church originally built in the 12th century! I even discovered a building block with the year "1404" scratched into it!!! The church played a significant part in the Civil War in the 17th century when Oliver Cromwell captured the church and imprisoned the royalists inside (there are still bullet holes evident in the main church door from that battle!)
The current landowner of the Hillesden estate is a keen environmentalist so there are several small lakes constructed to encourage birdlife back into the area. We have had many walks, runs and bikerides out and around the farmland to look at the birdlife and in the evenings taken the opportunity to go out looking for badgers and foxes!
The spring flowers are gorgeous with daffodils growing everywhere. The weather for the last few days has been great, we even got out in shorts and had a BBQ in the garden. Kate planted sunflower seeds in the greenhouse so we are hoping they will sprout over the next couple of days.
We've had a couple of side day trips to Dry Drayton and Buntingford to visit relatives. We loved catching up with Bernard and Gina and Juliet and Ash and family and were treated like kings (as we have been everywhere - thanks everyone - the hostpitality has been truly appreciated!)
We decided to join the National Trust while in England and take the opportunity to visit some of the many historic buildings and gardens. The most impressive so far has been Stowe Landscape Gardens located adjacent to Stowe School. These gardens consist of approximately 40 monuments built over a very large area with walking tracks through gardens joining them. We also visited a lovely old manor (Claydon House) in which Florence Nightingale stayed many times as it belonged to her sister Margaret and her husband. The girls have loved explored these amazing buildings/houses and mostly there are fun worksheets worksheets with prizes to keep them busy!