I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I have been busy working and getting ready for Christmas but I have also managed some fun adventures as well.
We went back to one of our favourite National Trust places to see their Christmas displays this year. I really enjoyed the theme of A Christmas Carol and thought it was beautifully done. I always find Wightwick so quirky and pretty but with the decorations this year as well it really was magical.
I have recently done my first Christmas stall with my new business Lyra’s Pawsome Books. I really enjoyed the day and sold some items as well which was an added bonus. I will be definitely doing more stalls in 2023.
Bath Christmas Market
Last week we stayed in Bath for a few days and did loads of Christmas shopping at the Christmas Market. It was really nice to get away for a few days before it gets really busy work wise over Christmas.
There were parts of this which I found interesting but I did not like the weird smells that also came with the displays. It was quite creepy in places but it was funny to see just how much the monster has been used in film, TV and advertising over the years.
On the run up to Christmas we have some more Christmas adventures planned but the main thing we will be doing is prepping and playing for Christmas jobs. I am hoping to get some reading done on the run up to Christmas and also some more products for my Etsy.
I thought it was time for another adventure update. I was on half term last week which meant more adventures as I had no teaching.
We spent a few days in Bath which obviously meant lots of book shopping but we also went to a few nice places for cocktails. We also visited the Jane Austen museum which we haven’t been to for quite a few years. I really like the Jane Austen museum as I find it really interesting and the gift shop has some beautiful items for sale. The Jane Austen tea room is also very nice.
We had a champagne afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms which was really yummy and in the evening we went to the theatre to watch and listen to the opera Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell which my husband very kindly got me for my birthday. I studied part of the Dido and Aeneas opera at university and I have always wanted to see it live so I was really pleased to get the chance to see it.
On our last day we went to see the Rodin and Degas exhibition at the Holburne Museum. I love the Holburne Museum and it has become a tradition to always visit when we are in Bath and see the latest exhibition.
I also went to Wimpole Hall and Farm to meet my best friend who I haven’t seen for ages. Wimpole Hall has one of my favourite libraries in the National Trust. The library is huge and has a book room attached, I would just love to spend all day in there reading and drinking tea. We also went to the farm and saw the latest arrivals of the piglets which were very cute and had lots of fuss off a very handsome shire horse called Stanley.
We are hoping to go on some Christmas related adventures very soon as you can’t beat a nice festive adventure.
I thought it was time for a non bookish update. I will be honest since being back at school I haven’t had as much time for adventures but we are trying to make the most of our days off together.
Boscobel House and White Ladies Priory
Last week we visited Boscobel Hosue and White Ladies Priory. We loved the fact that you get a candle and every time you see the candle symbol you put your candle on it and something happens, whether that be sound effects or videos. It was a nice feature that we had never seen before. When we had finished in the house we walked to the ruin that is White Ladies Priory and then went around the farm at Boscobel.
Today we met up with a friend and visited the National Trust property Berrington Hall. Berrington is one of my favourite National Trust properties because I always love how they decorate the rooms at Christmas. It was also nice to see the house without the scaffolding inside as that was there when we last visited. After a lovely lunch we went for a nice walk around the grounds and enjoyed the beautiful views and Autumn sunshine.
I am really looking forward to half term as we have lots of adventures planned so I will probably do another This and That Thursday then.
I hope everyone is well and having a good week so far. We are still trying to go on plenty of adventures whilst the weather is still decent. Here are our most recent adventures.
Ludlow Castle and Ludlow
We love visiting Ludlow but haven’t been for quite a long time due to covid so it was really nice to go back. We spent most of the day going around the castle but we also found an amazing little music shop where I bought a lot of music books. I did go around a bookshop but i just didn’t find a book that really interested me.
We have both been to Chirk Castle before but neither of us could remember much of it so we decided to go for another visit and I am so glad we did because it is such a wonderful place and has the biggest Grandfather clock we have ever seen.
Warner Brother Harry Potter Studio Tour
It was my husbands birthday yesterday and he asked to go to the Harry Potter Studio tour for his birthday, so yesterday we spent a wonderful day going around the tour. It was really good to see the new exhibits in the back lot and have a go at pulling out a Mandrake.
We spent the night away last night so on the way home today we visited a new National Trust property for us, Hughenden Manor. Hughenden Manor was the home of Benjamin Disraeli and it had the most amazing library, although smaller than some of the libraries I have seen in National Trust properties I just loved it, it was so cozy and well organised. I could happily have spent all day in that room.
I thought it was time for another This and That Thursday because I have been quite busy going on adventures recently.
Just recently I went to Norfolk where my best friend lives to surprise her for her birthday. The surprise went really well and we had a really great time. We ate some lovely food and visited a lovely National Trust property called Felbrigg Hall. It was a wonderful weekend away and it was so good to spend time with friends.
My husband and myself went to try afternoon tea at our local Golf club. We had never been before but thought as it was the holidays we would treat ourselves. We really enjoyed it and have also been for dinner there as well.
Powis Castle is a bit of a distance for us but we had a rare Sunday off together so we thought we would set off earlier and go to a National Trust place further afield. We enjoyed the castle so much that we went around twice and this also helped us avoid the rain.
We are also members of the English Heritage but we haven’t used our membership this year so we decided to remedy the situation and visit Witley Court. I love Witley Court but I do find it depressing. The house was clearly a gorgeous house and would have been wonderful to see before it was burned down. However, walking around the ruins you get the sense of the grandeur but also sadness that so little remains.
Wightwick Manor is one of my favourite National Trust places and one that is very local to us. I love the design of Wightwick and the fact that in comparison to most National Trust properties it is relatively new. The house is so eccentric and always fills me full of wonder. It is also has some beautiful artwork in and a very nice library.
So there are some of my adventures. I am going on another adventure tomorrow all being well so I am hoping it doesn’t rain.
I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I have had a lovely day out today but I must admit I am rather tired now. Anyway, here is what I have been up to recently that isn’t book related.
We do love our National Trust property visits and this is one we have visited in the past but is such a beautiful property we are always happy to visit it again. I also love the library at this property.
Spa Day and Afternoon Tea
This week I also met up with my best friends and we treated ourselves to a spa day at The Elms which included afternoon tea. This was a belated birthday celebration for my best friend and it was so good to spend time together after not seeing each other for a while.
I spent all day today at Burwarton Show and absolutely loved it. My feet are rather sore now from all the walking but it was worth it. Very cute animals, good food, good drink, vintage tractors and much more. All my favourite things.
The rest of my time has been the usual work, reading, walking with a little bit of housework.
I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I started yet another book today. I now have four books on the go which is feeling very odd and I definitely prefer reading one book at a time but I just can’t seem to settle at the moment.
I have been having some adventures outside of books though, so here they are.
Lord of the Rings Conqueror Challenge
We are still walking and trying to complete our Lord of the Rings Challenge. We are still on the first medal (there are 5) but we have now reached the 40% mark of that medal. Who knew it would take so long to get to Bree!
RAF Museum Cosford
I had an unexpected free Monday a couple of weeks ago so we decided to go to and see some antique planes. I always love visiting but I always feel a little sad at seeing all these beautiful planes which will never fly again. This is one of my favourite planes.
It was my Mom’s birthday last week so we took my parents out to an amazing afternoon tea at Stanbrook Abbey. The food and service was absolutely brilliant and the venue itself was incredible. Definitely worth a wander around.
Today we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went on a National Trust outing. Sadly, we were not able to go around the house but were allowed to go for a wander around the basement. Thankfully, the grounds at Attingham are beautiful so we did lots of walking and investigating. There was also a huge second hand book shop where we found a holiday guide for our next holiday.
So there are my recent adventures, making the most of days off.
I thought it was time for a non bookish update. My husband and I have really been trying to make the most of our days off together over the last few weeks and this has led to more adventures.
Lord of the Rings Conqueror Challenge
We signed up to the Lord of the Rings Conqueror Challenge with the aim to walk 10 miles a week. Some weeks we have fallen a little behind because of work but overall we are getting more walking in. It has been so good to get outside for a nice walk most days.
Severn Valley Railway
A couple of weeks ago we went on the Severn Valley Railway. We spent a lovely day on the train and exploring one of the stations and the museum there. We haven’t been on the steam trains since Christmas so it was so good to be back.
Last week we went to the National Trust property Coughton Court. It isn’t the first time we have been there but it has been a few years since we last visited so it was good to be back. The Court is a really beautiful building with a fascinating history and lovely grounds. We spent all day there exploring and I even bought a book in the second hand book shop.
Tonight we went to the cinema for the first time in at least three years. We went to see the new Downton Abbey film and we really enjoyed it. The cinema was very quiet when we went and we shared the screen with only another 3 people.
So there are our most recent adventures. Hopefully we will manage some more very soon.
I hope everyone has had a good week so far. I have been on a few adventures over the past week so I thought I would do a post about it.
Downton Village/ Bampton
We went away for a mini holiday which was lovely and one of the places we visited was the village that is used for Downton Abbey. We are massive Downton fans in this house so we were very happy to have a nosy around the different venues. The places we visited were the church, the entrance to the hospital and Mrs Crawley’s house.
Upton House was a National Trust property we visited and it was a lovely place to visit. Sadly the upstairs and the library were not open for viewing but I did get a little sneak peak of the library and it looked amazing. My favourite part of National Trust properties is the library.
At the hotel where we stayed there is the Gin Pantry which does gin tasting experiences and gin blending. We chose to do the gin blending and had great fun smelling all the different botanicals and then choosing which ones to use for our gin. The man who ran it was brilliant and we learnt a great deal about gin blending. Our gin is rather Christmassy I think and as we are both organists we called it Organ Cypher. A little in house joke that us organists know well.
Waddesdon Manorand Afternoon Tea
The best place we visited was Waddesdon Manor which was owned by the Rothschild family as a weekend retreat that was used for 14 weekends a year. It was amazing, the building was incredible and the amount of beautiful things inside was just fantastic. There was so much to see inside and out and we spent all day there exploring. We also had a very yummy afternoon tea whilst there with so many teas to try. My favourite was a very light and refreshing white tea.
Now it is back to dissertation writing and work but hopefully more adventures will happen soon.
Yesterday on our way back from Wells we visited the National Trust property Tyntesfield, which was stunning, possibly one of the best National Trust properties I have visited so far.
A brief history before we get to the books. Tyntesfield was purchased in 1844 by the merchant William Gibbs as a country retreat for his family. The Gibbs family made their fotunes from Guano, or dried bird poo, which the Victorians used as fertiliser. The house was in the family for three generations and each generation made their mark on the house by expanding it and adding extras. Richard Gibbs was the last Gibb in residence and sadly passed away in 2001, the National Trust then bought the house in 2002.
Whilst we were there we checked out the second hand book shop and the main National Trust shop and I managed to buy quite a few books. In my defense some are very small books.
In the second hand book shop I started off inside and to be honest I was not that impressed. However as I went outside my husband spotted a complete set of Penguin 60’s. These little books were published in 1995 for Penguin’s 60th Anniversary. After some research I discovered this set with the orange spines are based on 20th century writting and that the black set which I am now hunting down is based on classic writing. The whole set cost me £25, well my husband £15 and myself £10, I only had change and I didn’t think at the time the lady taking the money would be impressed with £25 in change of varying sizes.
The set is gorgeous and in rather good condition. I certainly can not wait to start reading them.
The next two books I bought were in the main shop.
A Poem for Every Day of the Year Edited by Allie Esiri
I’ve seen this book a few times and after having a little look through I thought I would buy it and read a poem a day. Still trying to further my knowledge and understanding of poetry.
This is the guidebook done by the National Trust. When I visit new places I always like to get the guidebook and read it when I get home. It helps me absorb more about the visit and helps me remember for the future.