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UK Trip Part 1: Chepstow and Kingston Lacy

Finally a moment to update my Adventures in Photography, so I will share my photographic wares from our holiday to the UK! Since having our second youngling we had yet to visit the UK where we always stay with my husband’s parents in stunning Dorset and also enjoyed a short but delightful visit to the rest of the family in Wales. With our daughter turning four we were excited to see her experience all the places my husband, son and I adore in England and Wales for the first time. Our trip to Wales was all only one night, but we managed to sneak in a peak at one of the many castles of Wales the morning after our family reunion in Ponthir. Chepstow Castle is a charming castle built cliff top over looking the River Wye muddy from the changing tide of the Severn Estuary. The weather went from beautiful sun to fifteen minutes of pouring rain and then back to beautiful sun. Bought lots of Welsh gear at the tourist shop – stickers, flags, mug, etc. (we admired the Welsh dragon festooned mug of the lady who worked at the tourist centre and she wrapped it up and gave it to us!!!) and walked across the short bridge back to England and then back into Wales. We drove back to England that afternoon with my daughter still trying to figure out why we did not see any whales in Wales.

Back in England two days later we headed up to the Manor House that up the road from my in-law’s house, Kingston Lacy. They had a kids “Adventure Play Area” at the end of a woodland walk and then you can loop on through the woods to the back of the Estate to their kitchen garden. Well the map was a little deceiving, because the walk was about 2 miles! The kids were thrilled with the play area, tons of really cool climby things and obstacle courses. The woodland walk was lusciously green (you may have heard – it has been a little damp in England lately) and I especially loved walking through a huge grove of wild garlic, what an incredible smell. Silly me forgot the water bottles and by the time we got to the back of the estate at the kitchen gardens we all thought we were going to die from thirst. The map promised “refreshments” (we envisioned a tea room!) but it was just a coin operated machine selling tea and soup and we were coinless. My husband finally discovered a water fountain disguised as a sculpture and we sucked on that for a while. The walk back was pleasant through endlessly delightful gardens filled with bamboo, rhododendrons and tree ferns.

We went to the tea rooms and bought 3 cream teas, my son has decidedly become a tea drinker and my daughter did not want to be left out and guzzled a milky tea. And oh my! the heavenly scones with jam and clotted cream – BLISSFUL! It was extremely refreshing for our parched souls after 3 hours of walking without a water bottle. After tea we strolled over to the back gardens of the manor house where the kids scampered and rolled up and down the perfectly manicured lawn. We decided that we could live at that Manor House quite nicely, thank you very much. Twas a really, really lovely day.

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