It is with enthusiasm I am typing this blog post, although it has been delayed I have set aside time today to share one of our favourite National Trust properties which has just opened several new trials for us to explore. We had to miss the opening day last week but made up for this by visiting over the weekend, not once but twice and we will be going back again and again! Our main visit was on Saturday a day we wouldn't forget as from the reception (a caravan) to our trekking along the trails Mount Stewart has added a new dimension to the stately home and grounds to another area were it is appropriate for our tag line 'two on the loose!'
Scene set with this wonderful reception area in keeping with the atmosphere or trails a much better way to greet guests, scan tickets and explain what we would see as we travelled the chosen route. There are three walks of different lengths although when we go on trails we can't estimate how long even the shortest one will take as we tend to stop and observe everything around us and this visit was no exception. We found treasures some of which were blowing in the wind so this will mean we have to go back and follow the trail again to take photos when the wind isn't so forceful. I may add here for anyone who might be like me and feel the cold, even if the sun is blazing in the grounds some parts of the trails are shaded and I would advise you don't leave your cardigan or fleece in the car! Cold or not I got there and back and this is why we have so many photos to share on our blog today.
We were well informed before we wandered about the areas to look out for the first of which shows the devastation which Mount Stewart are working hard to prevent further damage as the sea blasts the borders of this beautiful landscape. A landscape where red squirrels still inhabit. The guide told us about one he had seen just before we arrived and someday we might see one ourselves. We saw one before the trails but it scurried along so fast we missed a photo although we both would rather have the visual memory as we are loosing to many reds to the greys!
How low can I go? Imagine our delight to see a Porcelain mushroom lighting up the side of the path! I took the opportunity with my iPhone and my DSLR to capture the delight while dad took the opportunity to capture my plight!
We still haven't got too far along the trail, do you remember when we got locked into Rowallane because we forgot the time? I know it doesn't look like it but I really wasn't feeling good but when I see the beauty of nature I keep on going even though my fingers were white with the cold I found the power to click! The paths are created with branches at the side which lend themselves to the scene rather than fences to create a different atmosphere. We wandered along and had more to discover on our way to remains of the Folly, another tidbit we were informed about when we arrived that it was believed the family from the 'big house' would have had picnics here although there were no trees so the view would have been wide open. All I can say if they carried the stuff we carry they must have had horses and carriages to reach the Folly especially as they wouldn't be dressed in dungarees! We really did find the room and my creative mind has plans for this room with a view?
I hope you are still reading as this is a long blog which I will have to continue when we visit again as the area will provide a change of scene and finds dependtheing on the season. White butterflies danced in fields of wild flowers. Too far for my lens although I found one little friend who sat for a moment before the wind blew the grass in front of my lens.
Tattered and battered, yet beauty abounds. This little butterfly counts not the days but minutes yet still has time....think about this, I certainly did and feeling cold was nothing compared to this scene.
I best add a larger gallery to end our blog but as you can see I will have more stories to tell when I am back to form and can really enjoy the new trails. The gentleman at the caravan give us a big hint about some rabbits we might see if we took a turn on the path on our way down. Well the photos will show the sight we saw....there is another story to tell about the bunnies but thats for another blog. I will add the photos of the trees, roots and wood and let you imagine the story without my imagination escaping again.
This really is the end of the blog, well for this visit. One weary traveller on her way home but I left enough energy to type this blog. Thank you for reading and we would recommend a visit to the new trails at Mount Stewart, if you live here and if you don't we hope you will come back to read when we visit again and share our experience with you.
I am shivering!