11 May 2015

A Visit to: Burghley House

This weekend we were lucky enough to be staying here, at the magnificently impressive Burghley House in Lincolnshire. OK, ok so we were camping in a tent in the garden, but it's a very very nice garden too!

We were at Burghley because Mark was taking part in a race in the grounds on Saturday.  We travelled up Friday night, set up the tent, then I had all of Saturday to explore whilst Mark was racing. 

Of course I was super keen to have a look round the house and gardens.  Burghley was built between 1555 and 1587 by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I.  You can read more about the house on the website here.  It cost me £13.50 for my ticket that got me into the house and gardens, which is very reasonable for visits to places like this.  Burghley House is a registered charity and run by its own trust, so I am happy to pay admission prices knowing all monies go back into preserving the beautiful house and treasures for future generations to enjoy.

When you get through the Admissions doors you are greeted by a beautiful little courtyard of cottages. I might even prefer to live in one of these than the main house...!
I was so impressed with how well kept the house is, packed with original furnishings and art works. There were friendly knowledgeable guides in each few rooms who were happy to chat with you and answer questions as you went round. You were free to wander through the route, and also it was great that you are permitted to take photos too.

I think the highlight for me was the Hell Staircase. A large staircase hall entirely covered with a painted mural depicting hell. It was pretty impossible for my poor photography skills and iPhone to take a picture to capture how awesome it was.

Outside I enjoyed a stroll through the Gardens of Surprise. A modern garden, full of fountains and mazes etc. It was very pretty and interesting to see what was in all the little hidden bits but I much preferred the Scultputre Gardens, with acres of paths and lawns to explore.
The Sculpture Gardens were home to er, sculptures! It was fun discovering them all hiding up trees and round corners.  These were my favourite ones!

Who doesn't get excited by a secret walled garden door? aaargh! And inside??? There were some bears having a picnic of course! (see photo above!).

I discovered a rather ornate boat house on a little lake... but I didn't want to wander too far, as I thought I might get a bit lost on my own and had to get back to try and find Mark.

I walked back down the side of the house, to take in the view. Check out that huge gold door, how cool would it be to walk through that?

I couldn't stop snapping photos as I walked away and looked back!

I love the Ha-Ha, if you don't know what that is, the next photo illustrates it.  There was a dip and then a large wall.  It doesn't look it but the wall is a lot taller than me.

But as you get further and further away you can no longer see the wall and it is as if the gardens sweep out for miles ahead of you. Very clever architectural feature, but also provides a bit of extra security for the house.

I lingered in this spot for ages and ages and sat down on the grass just gazing across.

So this is what we were here for... Mark's race,  little bit of a contrast to my day! This is Rat Race Dirty Weekend, probably the most hardcore of all the mud obstacle races.  It was a 20 mile run with 200 obstacles, crawling through mud, climbing things, swimming rivers etc etc. Here Mark is on the top of some ridiculous one, after having climbed up 4 8ft walls to get there! Madness! ;-P

But it has a great atmosphere, everyone camps, and on the Saturday night it turns into a music festival, with Ash headlining! So that was pretty fun.

Have you ever visited Burghley? or indeed competed in Rat Race?

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