Sunday, 9 September 2012

Lovely Lacock

Lacock, Wiltshire

It was such a lovely sunny day today, Mark and I decided not to catch up on things at home, but to make the most of the weather before the rain comes back. We went to Lacock, for a wander around the abbey gardens and the village.

The village, I believe, dates back to 1232 - although I think the oldest building there now is the 14th century tithe barn. It's a really pretty village owned almost entirely by the National Trust, but 'real' people rent and live in the houses.

It's the village where 'Cranford' was filmed, and you may well recognise it in many a film and tv series. There are a number of pub/restaurants, the very wonderful King John's Hunting Lodge tea rooms and garden, a few craft shops and a particularly good bakery. Whenever we visit the village there is a sign saying there is a craft market today - to the point we reckon it would be more useful to put up a sign if there is ever day when there is not a craft market!

Lacock Abbey

For us the biggest draw is Lacock Abbey. It is a National Trust property and the site of the Fox Talbot museum, which looks at Fox Talbot's life and his development of photography. There is usually an excellent exhibition of photography there too (currently Basil Pao photos taken on his travels with Michael Palin) - and the winners of the International garden Photographer of the Year competition are shown every year in the walled botanic garden. As we walked around the gardens today, there were a number of installations with a theme of light...I loved them and got a bit carried away with my camera.

Being creatures of habit, we started our wanderings in the walled botanic garden. They are carrying out some research on bees, and the planting certainly did seem to be attracting a great many:


inside the bee hive

Batik flags

We did not look inside the abbey today - it was English Heritage day and entry was free, so it was the busiest I have see in it in a long time. I did however enjoy the display of 80 brightly coloured silk banners fluttering in the breeze on the South lawn. They have been made by women's community groups from army bases and rural areas of Wiltshire.

I was pleased to see the banners included images of bees, teapots and cats...very me!  (Note to self, must blog about teapots...despite the chance it might send readers to sleep)

We continued past the cloisters (where some of 'Harry Potter and the Philosipher's Stone' and 'Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince' were filmed) and pottered...sorry...around the pond.


magnified leaf and twig
The grounds are full of woodland glades, and amongst the trees we saw some short wooden, carved posts and on closer inspection realised each one had a strong magnifying lens in the top so you could investigate leaves or twigs or...Mark's fingers!

Mark's fingers, magnified
There are living maze/teepee type things, you can walk through (if you crouch down a bit)

The optical tree

One of my favourite spots is the apple orchard.

On this visit, however there was an unusual sort of tree:

On each branch there were mirrors, prisms and glass globes to reflect the surroundings (upside down) - I loved it!!

 The negative window

In the middle of the woodland, we came across a strange window. It showed the negative of one of the trees nearby, and an info-board asked people to try to identify the tree.

Dragon flies

Just beyond the negative window, Mark exclaimed as a large dragonfly settled on my sun hat. Then we realised there were a number of them flying around and some had settled on the fence to warm themselves in the sun:

dragonfly soaking up the rays

dragonfly wing detail

dragonfly and sheep
Just as I was fascinated by the dragonflies, I realised I was creating a bit of a stir myself...I reckon the sheep saw the camera and wanted to get in shot!

curious sheep

 Light umbrella

Heading back out we found the light umbrella in a peaceful glade. The huge aluminium 'umbrella' was covered with mirrors and prisms, designed to create rainbows and shadows as you turn it round and round (I got a bit giddy actually).

leafy glade
umbrella of light and shade

trying to catch the rainbow

twinkly umbrella

unknown people getting a crick in their necks
After the abbey we walked around the village a bit and then headed home for a leek, courgette and feta cheese omelette...after which a scary man decided to brandish his new scary toys!!


Then he headed off to the end of the garden to level out the old dried up stream bed, so we can plant it in shades of blue to recreate the stream that used to run there...he's a good chap.


  1. Dear Sue, you really can't do this to me - publishing gorgeous photos of lovely villages, flowers, gardens and crafty stuff. It's not fair, it really itsn't! Not while I am stuck here, closing the books and preparing for the next board meeting (not to mention having the kitchen floor ripped out and NOT having a new one yet).

    You do realise that I most probably will turn up one day, knocking on your door and requesting to move in with you, don't you? :-)

    But I am grateful that you didn't publish any photos of scrumptious cakes from the tea rooms...

    Love your photos!

    1. Irene - there i always a room for you here! Perhaps we should write a guide to teashops...!

  2. Why is March so far away..... longing to see your beautiful surroundings. Have a nice weekend!

    1. I will not be able to show you all my favourite places in the weekend in March, but maybe when you have visited once, you will feel comfortable to come back for longer!