Monday, 8 October 2012


Overgrown- Around Hanbury Hall in Derbyshire. It was an absolutely beautiful property. I love this look around old houses.
Guy and I went away for the weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary- 22 years. We've done this for the last 3 years running now- and it is a lovely break for us to spend a weekend together. We love Derbyshire and have returned every year. Premier Inn had a sale and we managed to get the room for 19 pound a night.
We also went to Hardwick Hall - which is a National Trust property. These ladies were wandering around the house and gardens whilst we were there- and they really added to the atmosphere! They kindly posed for us. It's the first time we've used our National Trust membership in ages- we really need to start using it more. We both love photography and old houses!

                                                       Hardwick Hall- a stunning property.
 This was the hotel we stayed in- The Oast House. The rooms are pretty much standard in a Premier Inn- but it was a lovely base for us to travel around from. The staff were all marvelous- from the receptionists, the housekeeping staff to the waitresses in the pub attached. They could not do enough for you. We booked a meal deal for the second night- which was very tasty!!!! We saw a lot of people from the properties we'd visited that day- obviously similar minded people!!! I managed to fall over in the car park of the first property and ended up with clay all down one trouser leg!!!! I hurt one knee and the other foot- and looked a right sight! Only me!!!
We looked at loads of leaflets whilst we were there - to decide what to see on the Sunday. I did want to walk around Dovedale- but due to hurting myself, a nice long walk wasn't really on the menu!!! So we need to leave that for another day!
I think we were 'housed' out- so fancied something outside. We decided to go to Twycross Zoo- which is on the way home anyway. I haven't been since the girls were tiny. We both love animals - and not really sure about zoos. Although a great zoo does so much conservation work! Anyway- we got there just after they opened and were one of the last people to leave!!!!!! We were like kids walking around! We saw so many wonderful things- by being in the right place at the right time. I love penguins, meerkats and elephants-so I will get sidetracked and spend ages just watching them.

We were very lucky to see them feeding the elephants- and discovered that they were feeding them to get them all into seperate pens for medical attention. They have been training the elephants for 4 days to put their foot up on the pen platform when asked- so that the vet can inspect and treat them easily. They tap the foot with a little rubber ended cane- they tickle the skin for them which they love. At the same time they are keeping the trunk busy and away from the vet- by eating a constant stream of tasty treats- fruit and bread. I was absolutely enthralled. The elephants want to please the keepers- so they are trying to pop their foot on the platform window all the time. One of the elephants has arthritis and the vet has to scrub the foot and take photos to check progress with the treatment. She was thrilled that the elephants had picked this up so quickly- so that she can get more involved with them.They can also be trained to put their ear through the higher slot- so that they can have blood taken. Just listening to the vet and keepers - you can tell how much they love the animals. What a wonderful job.

We also saw the keeper clearing out the llama's enclosure and he kept hugging Woody- the one llama. The llama kept going up to him for a kiss. We also saw one of the orangutans with a huge bottle of water and a blue plastic cup. He was drinking from the cup- and then tipping it upside down when he'd finished, swilling it round and then pouring himself another cup very carefully. He was soooo clever. We watched him for ages. He kept looking out at us- showing us his treasured cup. Then when he'd had enough he threw his bottle of water into the straw- but kept his treasured cup with him. One of the chimps also had a dvd as HIS prized possession. He was cuddling it up to himself- with the title showing. He loves watching Coast apparently!!!!!! Then he looked at himself in the back of the disc.
We had a really busy weekend- but it was lovely to be able to spend some time together and visit some lovely places without the girls moaning about being bored! It really does us good to have a little break- so thanks to my parents for having the girls. (Emma really- Amy could have spent the weekend quite happily at home!).


  1. sounds like a great weekend together, shame about the fall though, hope you are on mend soon. Lovely pictures too...great story about the elephants :)

  2. What a beautiful post. Well happy belated anniversary! Glad you had such a lovely time.
    I love animal parks, too. Years ago I brought my parents to the Munich Zoo and they were was a very large area where animals were walking free. There were beautiful lamas. One came close to my mum and she was really pleased because she wanted to take a picture, but he spitted on her (we know since then they are famous for that) and since then, she hates lamas, LOL. xxx

  3. Happy Belated Anniversary. Great that you could have time away together, just the two of you.
    I know what you mean about zoos. I am never sure where I stand on them so it is great to hear how happy the animals are.

  4. Hi Kim glad you are back xxx Sounds like a lovely weekend and what a bargain got the room, well done on getting it at that price!

  5. Belated Happy Anniversary , Kim. I also love Derbyshire I was born there, near Chesterfieldvand all my mum and dads family live round there. Not so many of them left now though.

    1. We were near Chesterfield- a beautiful place!

  6. What lovely photos of a fab weekend out, it sounds as though it really recharged the batteries. I stayed at a Premier Inn a couple of years ago and couldn't believe how nice they were.

    Happy Anniversary!

  7. Happy Belated Anniversary!
    What a beautiful post and lovely photos!
    /Many thanks for the comment on my blog!/

  8. It's good too how the days away keep you going a good while.. but not quite til the next one! ;-)

  9. What fun pictures - love the meerkat, elephant and "overgrown."