Another glorious sunny day so we decided to have a visit to Woburn Abbey. There's so many amazing places to see that we've never even heard of. It wasn't a long drive from Slapton so we had a leisurely morning and headed off in the middle of the day. This area is surrounded by very picturesque countryside and we're enjoying just driving around. We brought our Tom Tom satnav with us from Australia and the UK map is quite a few years old now. We do occasionally get directed in not the most direct route but it's been a pleasant surprise to stumble upon pretty little villages we would otherwise not have seen.
Woburn itself has a charming main street. We only had a glimpse before turning off in the direction of the Abbey. From the ticket gate there is 2 miles of driveway through fields with roaming deer. It was so green and so perfect that it almost looked artificial!
We enjoyed seeing through the buildings and strolling in the gardens. What a great day out in such perfect weather. This would be our ideal Summer weather - cool enough to get out and do things without it feeling too hot out in the sun. We spent some time wandering through the antique centre. Someone obviously specialized in samplers because there were many of them for sale. Hefty prices so nothing for me but still nice to have a look at them all. There was also a couple of shelves of "pot lids" without prices on them. We didn't even bother to ask. I particularly liked the rectangular one with "tooth soap" on the top.
They have a tea room so we joined the queue. The service was dreadful which is such a shame. It's wasn't particularly busy and there must have been more than half a dozen women in aprons bustling about behind the counter but only one taking orders. The problem was that the one taking orders was also making the tea. We stood in that queue of about 5 people for more than 15 minutes.
We couldn't drive back without checking out the village. There was an excellent kitchenware store and we spent ages browsing in there. The buildings in the main street are so lovely. Carol chose herself a house to live in when their finished with the boating lark. It was getting late in the day so we even missed out on buying milk and bread in the village store so made a stop on the way back in the car.
I don't know how we haven't noticed this over the last few days but there's a huge chalk lion carved in a nearby hill. We must have driven within sight of it several times but somehow not noticed it. Once we spotted it we found a place to stop and take a photo. Nothing like it in Australia!
Back at our boats we joined them on nb Winton's Folly for Carol's lasagne. Delicious.
Heaps of photos today:
1. & 2. & 3. Deer along the entrance road to the abbey 4. Mick admiring some old ladder racks 5. & 6. Abbey buildings 7. & 8. Gardens 9. Bleeding hearts 10. Amazing rhododendrons 11. - 16. Around the gardens 17. A future project for Mick 18. - 21. Goodies in the antique centre 22. Stunning stair case 23. Carol wants this house 24. - 31. Around Woburn 32. Chalk lion visible from Slapton
The lion is at Whipsnade Zoo. It's a zoo and safari park just outside Dunstable.
Kath (nb Herbie)
I'm confused about all this driving around you are doing Elly - I've obviously not been reading your blogs thoroughly enough or are you towing a car alongside your boat??
You will know the English countryside far better than most by the time you go home - your pictures and descriptions are awesome! Maggie x
Thanks Kath. That's interesting to know.
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