Tuesday, June 13, 2017

England - Part Two- Bowood

Once we got settled in at Granny & Grampy's and successfully over came any jet leg (which beautifully was minimal) we took a day trip to Bowood House. The gorgeous home and gardens are open to the public and have more than enough to keep you occupied for a day trip. Alex has memories of coming here as a child. I had found it on a search of things to do with kids. This outing was a hit with all of us!
The girls were immediately won over by the children's play area. I mean this puts most play structures to shame. We'd be here all the time if we lived nearby.
The huge structure had climbing nets, ropes, ladders, planks, slides, zip lines, you name it. They tried it all! Left no slide unridden. No plank undiscovered. 
The scarier the better was the name of the game. We did some research from home and knew this place was home to the "death slide." Alex remembers this one from his childhood. We watched plenty of you tube videos back at home.
Pretty much its a complete 30 foot vertical drop. You hold on to the wall on your belly and then let go and SLIDE!!! It's pretty scary. Alex went a few times first to warm the girls up. Finally Gemma had a go. Then we couldn't stop her, it was over and over again. Lily did have her turn too, but once was enough.
Because all the schools in the UK do not get out for summer until July we pretty much had the place to ourselves on this week day. I'm sure on the weekend it would be heaving with kids!

The life size pirate ship!
They had a small petting zoo area and farm animals.
They had a small petting zoo area and farm animals.
I think the tractors were more a hit than the animals.
We couldn't neglect the gardens and of course Bowood house itself. After a long while in the play area and a picnic lunch we went to discover the grounds. Our path led us to a small side trail that looked very intriguing. Well, the path paid off...big time. It led through a really dark and creepy tunnel which opened up to a waterfall!!
The spectacular waterfall could rival those we've seen in Hawaii.
We did manage to get a few smiles out of these crab apples. Gemma was in one of her more obstinate moods.
The tunnel was just as much fun on the return trip back to the main path. We had more to discover. 
The lake on the grounds was stunning even on a cloudy day.
On the far side of the lake is doric temple. Perfect spot for a rest and consult the map.
Sweeping views of the house from the temple. It is called Bowood house but it is more like mansion.
After much back and forth we managed to get the timer to work for a family shot in front of the house. I'm not kidding that we nearly had the place to ourselves, there weren't many visitors around to ask to take our photo.
The gardens and flowers in front of the house were magnificent and so fragrant.
Lily will find a feline friend no matter where she goes.
The Bowood house is the home of Marquis and Marchioness of Landsdowne and has been in the family since 1754.The family still lives in part of the house and half of the house is open to visitors. We toured some of the rooms that house art and famous artifacts. The home is famously the location where Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774.
We got a bit of a private tour as one of the tour guides took a liking to the girls and led us room to room giving us a behind the ropes tour. He allowed the girls to go beyond the roped area to pet the lion rug and open up secret hidden doors. It really kept their attention and hopefully they learned a bit too.
We had just about enough energy left in us for an ice cream back at the cafe before we made the drive back home to call it a night. 

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