Afternoon Tea at the World of Wedgewood, Stoke-on-Trent

Day 2. World of Wedgwood & Biddulph Grange Gardens

After a good night's sleep, we set off after breakfast for a visit to the World of Wedgwood in nearby Barlaston. The Wedgwood estate stretches for 240 acres with ample free parking in its grounds.  The modern buildings have huge willow sculptures near the entrance in the shape of crockery.  We planned our arrival for …

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Flowers in Trentham Gardens

Day 1. The Potteries, Trentham Monkey Forest & Gardens

Stoke-on-Trent doesn't always spring to mind for a short break in the U.K. but reading about its industrial heritage as the world capital of ceramics tempted us to spend a few days exploring the city.  Stoke is located midway between Manchester and Birmingham and has direct rail services to London taking only 90 minutes.  In …

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Thorp Perrow Arboretum House

Thorp Perrow Arboretum in the Yorkshire Dales

I've always enjoyed woodland walks and when it was suggested that we visit an arboretum I was eager to explore Thorp Perrow Arboretum, which boasts one of the largest collections of trees and shrubs in the north of England.  These include the national collection of Ash, Lime, Laburnum, Walnut and Cotinus.  The Arboretum is located …

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Norwich Castle

Day 2. Exploring Norwich

After a hearty breakfast in The Bell Hotel we were ready to spend the day viewing more of the city's cultural attractions.  We'd planned our first stop at the Plantation Garden but on the way discovered a hidden gem.  Tucked away on Bethel Street is the South Asia Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection museum and …

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Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

Quarry Bank Mill 

It was a sunny Saturday morning when we set off early to visit Quarry Bank Mill, one of the finest places to explore Britain's industrial heritage.  Quarry Bank is located on the Styal Estate in Wilmslow close to Manchester Airport and is now owned by the National Trust, further details can be found here. After finding …

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Illuminated trees at RHS Harlow Carr Glow event

RHS Harlow Carr Glow Winter Illuminations

What better way to lift our spirits on a dark, damp evening than with a visit to the RHS Garden Harlow Carr to view their Glow Illuminations. It's the first year that lights have been installed in the gardens, and as we have visited Harlow Carr on numerous occasions in daylight we were eager to …

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Promenade gardens, St. Annes-on-Sea

Day 2. St. Annes-on-Sea & Poulton-le-Fylde

After a good night's sleep we enjoyed the Ibis buffet breakfast which was included in our room rate.  The breakfast room features a seaside theme with imitation sticks of Blackpool rock adorning it’s walls.  The restaurant overlooks the sea so we were able to watch the trams pass along the promenade whilst we were sipping …

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Kingston Lacy National Trust building

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy is an elegant country mansion set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland.  The former home of the Bankes family, Sir John bought the estate in the 1630's, Sir Ralph then built the house in the 1660's and it was then updated and transformed by William in the 1830's until 1981 when Ralph …

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Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle Gardens and Village

My friend suggested a drive out into the Yorkshire countryside and a visit to Ripley Castle.  Ripley is situated 3 miles north of Harrogate.  It is also the preferred starting point of a 53 mile circular walking trail known as 'The Nidderdale Way' which passes through some delightful Yorkshire beauty spots including Brimham Rocks.  We …

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Flowers at RHS Harlow Carr Garden

RHS Harlow Carr Garden

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Harlow Carr Garden is one of four public gardens run by the RHS and is located one and a half miles from the centre of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.  We arrived by car, with ample free parking available.  On a previous visit we walked from the town centre which is a lovely …

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