Deciding on a Bank Holiday visit out is always a tricky decision for us as there are so many wonderful places to visit just a short drive away. Without too many words of discussion we decided on a drive into Pembrokeshire to visit Upton Castle Gardens as a friend had recommended it and then onto Pembroke to see the Sunderland flying boats again. WARNING: Please- if you don’t like photos of flowers especially bluebells and garlic don’t read on!
One and a quarter hours drive away from home we found the Gardens in a very secluded spot down pretty country lanes bordered with billowing cow parsley and ribbons of garlic.
We pulled into the carpark where there was only one other visitor’s car….. a rather fetching bright yellow Lotus Elan! No one to greet you just an honesty box to put in your entrance fee. We followed the path round through magnificent flowering camellias, rhododendron and huge magnolia.
The path meandered through the grounds leading us on passed streams, specimen trees and plantings of gunnera through onto a long herbaceous border – it was all so peaceful except for the singing of the many birds.
At the end of the long border there was a delightful arch and next to it the entrance leading to the 13 century chapel, where over the doorway the wisteria was just about to break into full glorious colour.
Jim was inside ‘horsing ‘ around!
Around the corner was a magnificent walled garden and a lovely auricula theatre.
In front of the chapel was an Easter message.
The chapel was dark but welcoming and full of the history of the past inhabitants of Upton Castle. The castle is not open to the public.
Leaving the chapel we continued our stroll around the garden accompanied only be the calling of the peacock , which we couldn’t see and the scent of the honeysuckle.
We left the walled garden and passed on to the woodland walk.
Now the scent was a magnificent garlicky, bluebelly and seasidy mix of magic…glorious!
It was all just so beautiful!
After walking through the bluebell wood as if it couldn’t get any better we saw the sight of the Cleddau estuary through the trees. Jim and I have differing views on estuaries -I love them!
Retracing our steps back through the woodland we crossed over the little creek which empties into the sea.
More delights awaited us on the other side of the creek- a wildlife haven.
We loved the garden and look forward to returning their again in another season but we felt that maybe we’d been very fortunate to go now when the bluebells were showing at their best.
A few miles down the road we came to Pembroke Dock and visited the Flying Boat museum again. I remember the Sunderlands when I was a child visiting Neyland on many a Sunday afternoon with my grandparents and seeing them landing on the water so all the exhibits bring back great memories of my childhood around the Cleddau estuary.
This was a new exhibit. The mock up of the plane has a moving landscape in front and brings the plane to land on the water! This was all good preparation for my first ever flight in an aeroplane which comes later on this year when we fly to Canada . This mock up made me so giddy – I nearly fell over!! Not sure this was very encouraging for me!!!
This was a new model of the old ferry that ran between Neyland and Pembroke and one we used to use. Nowadays these a brand new toll bridge!
The model Millennium Falcon used in the film was actually made at Pembroke Docks…who’d have guessed that?
After a tasty cake and coffee in the museum we went for a short walk around the town but it was quite chilly. We passed the interesting plaques about the history of the town and walked up to the Victorian built gun tower and then decide to return home before we froze!
We didn’t think we could take any more excitement in the day but when we arrived home our lovely farmer had brought the ewes and their lambs back on our field …so a day that started very well indeed ended on a high note too.