Any lengthy car journey needs a break - for lunch, maybe, and a bit of a leg stretch - and I prefer to avoid the obvious choice of roadside services but stop off at interesting places en route, often a National Trust property with interesting grounds and gardens.
Belton House is a favourite spot for heading East, but this holiday we were heading West to Wales and with the promise of a glorious day, we chose to stop at Attingham Park just outside Shrewsbury and wander round the grounds and deer park.
|view back to the house from the deerpark|
It turned out to be quite a long stopover as the mile and half walk we chose took a couple of hours as we stopped frequently to gaze at reflections in the river, spot early bluebells under the trees and investigate the walled garden; not many vegetables to be found growing there at this time of year but the borders were decoratively filled with flowers.
|cottage adjoining the stable block|
We then decided to make the most of the sunny day by taking a second break in the journey a few miles down the road but just into Wales - at Powis Castle.
From the formal gardens we headed back through a wilder area of trees and rhododendron bushes; having visited before when these are in flower, I know how wonderful they'll look in late May, but for now there were daffodils in bloom and glimpses of the castle to be had as we headed back up hill.