While I still believe it’s admirable or one to stick their head in a book and get lost in the pages of a 19th Century gothic novel or 20th Century drama, but surely, nothing can beat getting out there and literally walking amongst history!?
It’s been a bit of an unofficial resolution of mine to reduce the amount of time spent watching documentaries on netflix and instead, get myself out of the house to look around the local history that’s available right here on our doorstep.
I was born in Northamptonshire, and there’s an abundance of stately homes surrounded by acres of greenery nearby, most of which, I haven’t visited once in my twenty-nine years on earth. Shocking, I know.
I’ve been slowly ticking things off the list: Triangular Lodge, Rockingham Castle, Boughton House, Lamport Hall, Bradgate Park (Leicestershire’s magical deer park), and even a quick gander at Northampton’s famous Shoe Collection, but there’s still so so so much to explore.
So, with fellow Northamptonshire-ite Yvonne in tow, at the end of last year, I jumped in to the car to spend a slow Sunday morning at Castle Ashby gardens. Upon arrival we found out that the main house was closed for Winter but my oh my, did the the rest of it make up for that minor inconvenience.
The Italian-style gardens were impressive enough, but my absolute favourite bit had to be the 19th Century Orangery, which was designed by architect Matthew Fidgby Wyatt (disappointly not related to Robert Wyatt – I checked), which was a Monet-esque DREAM. Just look at all that greenery.
It was absolutely freezing and despite discreetly layering up (nude-coloured tights + chunky socks hidden under boots), I did slightly regret wearing this outfit, but after dipping into Zara’s new season arrivals, I had already been waiting a while for a good excuse to stick on this frilled embroidered dress (now less than a tenner in their sale, fyi) and so, I battled on through the cold, taking full advantage of the bursts of Winter sun and warming my hands wih the help of the Turkish Delight flavoured hot-choc that was on offer.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day to visit and so was glad to have ticked it off the list. I have no doubt I’ll be back again. Next stop: 78 Derngate!
Outfit Shots by: Yvonne McKeown.