Bob and his mom returned to the U.S. the weekend after our time together in Edinburgh, and were replaced by my sister-in-law, Faith. (Faith is my sister's husband's sister, but it is easier to say "sister-in-law", and that is what she is to me.) Faith spent all of last week with Claire and me, and it was a joy.
Faith is lovely inside and out.
On the Sunday that Faith flew into Heathrow, we picked her up and then stopped at Blenheim Palace on our way back to Chipping Campden. Blenheim is currently the home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, and is where Winston Churchill was born. It is a World Heritage Site, and is widely considered the loveliest palace in England.
The palace sits on 2,000 acres of landscape which Capability Brown designed, and you can bet I am as excited about that as I am the actual palace itself. :) You may have seen some of Blenheim if you've seen the recent films Gulliver's Travels, The Young Victoria, or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, because they all filmed there for a bit. (Actually, Harry Potter and the OOTP has about twenty seconds of one tree at Blenheim in it.)
Sadly, there is no photography allowed inside the palace, but I have these jolly outdoor pics to share. :) There was a Mini Cooper and VW exhibition outside on the grounds that Sunday we visited.
I'll post more photos of the grounds at Blenheim in a later post.
On Monday, Claire and I took Faith to two of our favorite places in the Cotswolds: Hidcote Manor Garden, and Snowshill Manor. (Bob and I actually joined the National Trust here this time because it was cost effective since we're visiting so many National Trust properties! The version for Americans to join is called the Royal Oak Foundation ... same thing, but tax-deductible.)
So here are some new photos of Hidcote from Monday, July 16, 2012. :) It was a rainy day, but we still had a lovely time.
I have some more photos of Hidcote to share, but I'll do that later. (The reason I have more photos to share of these places is because we went back this week with our this-week guest!)
Here are some photos of Snowshill from the same day. Snowshill is one of my favorite places ever.
In the first photo, Claire is trying on a pair of postillion boots, which were worn by a horseman when a carriage didn't have a driver. The horseman would sit atop one of the horses pulling the carriage, and the boots kept his legs from gettting crushed by the horses on either side. They pulled on over his regular boots.
The white dots on the photo below are sheep. :)
I have more photos of Snowshill Manor to show you later. :) After we looked at the Manor, we took a peek around the village itself, which I think is one of the very sweetest.
The church is interesting on the inside, but I like the graveyard even better.
Well! I still have to show you Bath and Oxford and some lovely villages in the Cotswolds, all from our time with Faith, so I think I'll break this into a couple different posts, because then I want to show you what we've been doing THIS week.
Stay tuned, tender flowers! :)