We decided on an earlier trip this week. Monday, weatherwise, seemed a better day than Tuesday. This trip was looking for Snowdrops, and I had been given a recommendation to visit St Botolph’s Church, Swyncombe. This came about during a chat with a fellow Kingswood gun club member on Sunday. She had visited St Botolph’s Church on Saturday, and mentioned the Snowdrops were gorgeous. On a Saturday and Sunday, the church volunteers were selling tea and cakes. We visited on Monday, so missed out on the victuals. Amazingly there were several people at the church viewing the Snowdrops. It is a lovely small, Norman church in a remote area of Oxfordshire on the Ridgeway and Chiltern Way footpaths. We looked around and photographed.
Next, we headed on to the National Trust house of Greys Court, renowned for its Wisteria and Bluebells. Here we had an early lunch, the seemingly standard winter menu of all National Trust house at this time of year. Both Rosemary and I ate the Vegan spiced bean pot, made not vegan by a slab of butter in my case.
We had a walk through the house, which had been in use up to a few years before. It is still maintained in a state such that you could think of living in the premises. You would need quite a lot of money to keep the place warm, lack of double glazing and large drafty rooms.
The gardens are not at their best at this time of year. There will be a visit for the Bluebells and Wisteria later in the year. There were though a couple of patches of Snowdrops, not as expansive as St Botolph’s Church, There is a maze, easy to manouver because you can plan your route, no tall hedges to restrict the view. Rosemary and I walked around it, unlike one chap who cheated!
Before we left, we paid another visit to the cafe for coffee and a cake, as well as the mandatory visit to the secondhand book shop.
Saturday 12th June was our first opportunity to see the Wisteria at Greys Court. We had booked just before we visited Wales, and on the day, thankfully it was lovely, being bright & sunny. To our surprise, it was art season, and there was an exhibition of sculpture produced by the Oxford Sculptors Group. It was opening day. The sculptures ranged from small pieces, exhibited inside, to large garden features. The sculptures were scattered throughout the grounds and made interesting items to be photographed. The exhibition is open until 18 July, and well worth a visit.
Our main reason for visiting was to see the Wisteria which because of the cold weather was very delayed in opening this year. (On our previous visit to view the bluebells, not a sign of growth on the Wisteria, despite the Wisteria in Cambridge being out.) The Wisteria did not disappoint.
Rosemary made a trip around the house, while I walked across the fields and wood. Bluebells not to be seen now, though there might have been a cow in the field called Bluebell. The fields were being grazed by a herd of cattle and their calves.
The Polestar car behaved well in the warm weather, and came in with an estimated range of 270 miles, making the WLTP advertised range.
R and I went for a trip to the National Trust house of Greys Court on a bright and sunny day. Today was a little warmer than we’ve been used to, so very pleasant. Yes more days without rain, but with a cool Northerly wind. The fields were very hard and dry. We visited to see the bluebells, unfortunately, they were not quite their best, but another week and they should be. The formal gardens were looking very pretty. We took a long slow walk across the fields to the bluebell woods, eating our Cornish Pasty lunch on some old decaying logs. Back at the house we managed our second cup of tea, served a great deal faster than our morning coffee.
This was also the longest trip in my new electric car. No need for range anxiety as the return trip was only 64 miles, giving an estimated range of 237 miles.