Weekend in Leeds, part 1 – swans and statues at Nostell Priory

Today on the blog we have two very special properties to help you make the most of that National Trust membership! (Even without it, entry fees were reasonable.)

We have a family in Leeds, so headed up there for the weekend. First stop was Nostell Priory, featuring a beautifully symmetrical exterior… [although, if you look closely, you’ll notice some damage on the left-hand side from a fire in 1980]

Nostell Priory

And an interesting lighting project, From Gloom to Glow, where they cast light on previously hidden objects. It certainly made for some dramatic photographs!

Gloom to Glow statue at Nostell Priory

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A very Tudor day at Hampton Court

Yes, we know it’s out of season to visit Hampton Court Palace and make the most of the beautiful gardens, but we had two crucial things… A beautifully crisp, sunny day, and [perhaps more pertinently…] half price entry (valid until 13th February 2015). So, we headed out to one of the prettiest parts of suburban London to visit the huge Tudor palace.

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII, responsible for large parts of Hampton Court, was a proud man – nowhere more evident than in the Tudor rose emblem found throughout. Except maybe his relationship history. That could take some beating.

Tudor Rose ceiling at Hampton Court Palace

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A walk around Newmillerdam

One of the main things I miss about the North are the many beautiful places to walk, and whenever I’m back there I always make an effort to get outside as much as possible. Today, before the winter frost had had chance to melt, I headed for a morning walk with some friends at Newmillerdam Country Park, an area of woodland surrounding a large lake near Wakefield.

Sun shining in the woods

Just as we set off, my friend somehow spotted a spider frozen on the ground. We wondered whether it would just carry on as normal once it had defrosted!

Frozen spider at Newmillerdam Country Park

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