Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stourhead in October

We were last at Stourhead in May 2009. We agreed then that there was too much to explore in one day and vowed to return. What better than the first day after the clocks went back to redeem such an intention.

Photographing the Autumn

We started our leisurely day this morning with the sky blue and the air calm and warm. The 40 mile drive to Stourhead was accompanied by gathering cloud cover, however, and we thought we'd probably be the only ones there. Nothing could have been further from the truth, the place was crawling with the species National Trust humanity: stout shoes, corduroy trousers, Gore-Tex anoraks, beautifully-groomed but greying hair. The car park was full of meticulously clean four-by-fours.

Clare after a strenuous walk

We walked to Alfred's Tower, two miles through muddy woodland, mostly uphill. We reached the 150 foot tower at 11.50, ten minutes before it opened. The wait and additional height were too much for Clare, whose blood sugar level had plummeted to new depths. We did an immediate u-turn and made our weary way the two miles back to the main buildings and were revived at The Spread Eagle pub.

The view across the lake

We intend to spend a cosy afternoon reading The Sunday Times and catch the last episode of Emma this evening. Perhaps we were not so out of place at Stourhead as we sometimes imagine.