Posts Tagged lakes

Hestercombe

Sunday was a glorious sunny day and we visited Hestercombe House and Gardens, north of Taunton with Neil’s sister Carole and our friend Liz. The Hestercombe Gardens Trust was set up in 1997 to restore these world famous garden to their full glory.  The oldest part of the house dates back to 1280. It was owned by the family of Sir John de Warre for 500 years and went through quite a transformation in that time.  After Elizabeth Warre died the estate was bought by the 1st Viscount Portman and was later lived in by the Hon Teddy Portman, his grandson.  Teddy Portman died in 1911 but his wife continued to live in the house until her death in 1951 aged 96.

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In 1953 the newly formed Somerset Fire Brigade rented the house as its new headquarters and continued there until 2006.  In November 2013 the Hestercombe Gardens Trust acquired the freehold of the house and formal gardens and opened the house to the public in May 2014 for the first time in over 800 years.  The inside of the house has a contemporary art gallery and a 2nd hand bookshop.

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Outside the gardens are lovely with a number of lakes and a hydro electric plant. Over one of the lakes is a steep bridge which Neil posed on.

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With still water and beautiful sunshine the reflections in the lake were splendid.

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The Landscape Garden was built in the 18th century and throughout the garden are various seats, each with a view like a landscape painting.

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We stopped a fellow walker and asked them to take a picture of all 4 of us.

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This is the house from the garden.

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And I just loved this single water lily.

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The Portman family commissioned Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll to create the Edwardian Formal Garden in 1903 which took 5 years to complete.

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All in all it was a great visit, with a stop for tea and cake.  Easily reached from Lodge House B&B. If you fancy a visit, come and stay with us    www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

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Bluebell walk at Otterhead Lakes

Today, dodging the showers we went for a walk at Otterhead Lakes, one of my favourite places, to see all the bluebells.

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The map shows the path we take, from the car park following the red line down to the first lake and then along the path through the woods to the second lake.  Earlier in the year we came here to see the carpets of snowdrops, now it is the turn of the bluebells.

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When we got to the first lake one of swans came up to see if we had brought any bread, (but we had forgotten).

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It was closely followed by some ducks, who were equally disappointed by us.

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The swan upended itself to search for its own food.

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As we walked along the path by the river we could see the carpets of bluebells in between the trees.

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Neil posed on the little bridge across the stream.

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In an established woodland the bluebells are native English where the bells hang to one side as opposed to Spanish bluebells where the bells are all the way round.

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When we got the second lake there was a clump of yellow flowers that looked a bit like buttercups.

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The water was calm on the lake.

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Walking back we admired the bluebells in the woods along the bank.

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We are so lucky to live in this beautiful part of the country.  come and visit us

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Snowdrops at Otterford Lakes

As it was such a lovely sunny day today, when our B&B guests had gone and we had the first lot of washing on, we went for a walk to Otterford Lakes.  It’s not far from us, just up through Bishopswood a couple of miles.  We walked down to the first lake and the swans were just gliding over the still water.

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As we stood and watched them they came nearer to us and I was able to take this close up.

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We took the lower path past the waterfall.

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As we walked along the stream the sunlight was glinting on the water.

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We followed the path along the stream until we came to the second lake.

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As we walked back we were able to the see the snowdrops much better.  There were carpets of them in the woods.

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They looked so lovely in the sunshine, really made us feel like Spring is on its way.

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When we got home I noticed some of our Spring bulbs are bursting into life.  The crocus in the half moon baskets by the front door have come out.

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And the very first of the Tete a Tete daffs is out.

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We actually sat outside to have a cuppa after lunch the sun was so glorious.  I think the B&B guests who left today were jolly lucky to have this lovely sunshine and to see the view from Lodge House so clearly, even in February.

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