Thursday, 31 August 2017

Melbourne Hall and gardens

Bank Holiday Monday dawned bright and sunny so we decided to seize the day and visit Melbourne Hall just south of Derby. Despite it being quite close by - less than half an hour from home - we'd never been before, but my staycation project is all about finding new and interesting things to do on my doorstep, so off we went.

If it hadn't been for all the cars trying to park by the hall, visiting Melbourne itself would have felt like stepping back in time, but even with modern intrusions it's easy to imagine a bustling market town of a couple of hundred years ago.

View from Hall entrance

The Hall itself sits right on the main street but the entrance is down a small lane from which a view of Melbourne Pool opens up.

From the house terraced lawns lead to the pond and its 'birdcage' gazebo, but paths lead further away, through specimen trees to other smaller ponds, with a variety of statues and urns to discover on the way.

With plenty of seats it was easy to find a spot to sit for a while, either in sun or shade, to watch the ripples make and break patterns on the pond surface, watch the swans, or try to spot fish. It would be a lovely tranquil place but for one unavoidable modern-day intrusion - regular flights to and from nearby East Midlands airport; another time I'd visit on hopefully quieter non-holiday day.

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