A Sizergh Smorgasbord

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Sizergh Castle – perhaps not the best view of it!

A showery Saturday afternoon. TBH had a yen to visit Sizergh and a feeling that it would be good to get the boys out of the house and away from computer games for a while. They took a bit of persuading (okay: we didn’t give them an option), but then remembered the woodland trail and discovered a little enthusiasm of their own.

TBH had an ulterior motive for our visit – she wanted to check out the orienteering course on Sizergh Fell, because she would be bringing the local Guides to try it out on the following Thursday. (Incidentally, if you saw me wandering around Eaves Wood placing cuddly toys on small crags or in the branches of trees on the preceding Thursday it was because I had been dragooned into helping with setting up an orienteering course for the Guides to practice on: the soft toys were in lieu of controls.) A was happy to join her mum on the orienteering course and I was just happy to tag along with my camera.

A heavy shower set in just after we arrived, so we started with a tour of the house. This is our nearest National Trust property and we’ve toured the house many times over the years, but I always notice something different on each occasion. This time, it was the many family portraits which were painted by locally born artist George Romney.

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By the time we wandered around the house, the rains had cleared, so we went back to finish our aborted stroll around the gardens.

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We have a lot of native Crane’s-bills (i.e. Geraniums); I think that this one…

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…is Wood Crane’s-bill.

In the orchard…

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…there are a couple of hives…

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…very busy with Bees…

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The hives were also adjacent to…

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…the vegetable garden…

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…which were well-stocked with flowers too…

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I liked the Poached Egg plants…

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…and so did…

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…the Bees.

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The herbaceous borders are always stunning. I took a fancy to this plant….

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…which had leaves, I thought, very reminiscent of those of Aquilegia Vulgaris, which self-seeds all around our own garden. Since this plant, it turns out, is called Thalictrum aquilegiifolium ‘Black Stockings’, I’m not the first person to notice the resemblance.

House and garden ‘done’, TBH duly embarked upon the orienteering course. B and I went around it a while ago, a week or two before it officially opened. But on this occasion, neither of the boys could be induced to give it a go, so we headed to the woods instead.

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Some parts of the trail through the woods have been changed since our last visit. The boys were big fans of this rather tricky, log, climbing wall.

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S was convinced that these large, bracket fungi…

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…were artificial and therefore, somehow, an obscure part of the trail.

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With the trail completed, the boys went back to the climbing wall whilst I indulged in a pot of tea from the cafe.

When TBH and A had finished their inspection, A wanted to do the woodland trail, and the boys joined her. TBH and I waited by the start and finish of the course, by this old parkland tree…

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It’s not of a species I recognise…

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…and here in the grounds of the castle, I suppose it may well be an exotic from some or other part of the world. It was covered in moss, lichen and ferns; heavily fissured with a huge hollow in its trunk; it looked like it may have been here for a very long time.

We watched a number of small birds winging to and fro between the woodland and the tree. I saw blue tits entering two separate small holes in the trunk.

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And a wren, or wrens, making repeated forays, returning each time to the hollow in the trunk, although I could see no sign of a nest – it must have been well hidden.

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A Sizergh Smorgasbord

4 thoughts on “A Sizergh Smorgasbord

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Thanks Mark! It always repays a visit I think. The National Trust seem to be going out of their way to both broaden their appeal and widen the range of activities available at each of their properties.

  1. I’ve been a couple of times (once with you) but never into the house. The gardens and woodland trail were rather good I seem to recall. Our kids are past such things now so my NT membership has lapsed but we always enjoyed a visit and the various events they put on

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