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!
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 flagsWe 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.
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|
|Mark's fingers, magnified|
The optical treeOne 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 windowIn 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 fliesJust 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|
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!
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).
|umbrella of light and shade|
|trying to catch the rainbow|
|unknown people getting a crick in their necks|
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.