31 May 2012

Loughborough and Chatsworth

Great Central Railway, Loughborough Station
They even had the flags out for us (Click to enlarge) 
Mrs Wurzel and myself slipped into history mode last weekend. On Saturday we drove up to Loughborough for my birthday present, a fine dining experience on the Great Central Railway . We arrived early and had time to visit the station in the afternoon to find it was operating as it would have done at the height  of the steam era with all staff in period costume.

We returned in the evening to be greeted  on a red carpet, and shown to our seats in the first class restaurant carriage by a very attentive waiter (steward?).  The first of 6 courses was already waiting for us, and soon the steam train was on it's way through the Leicestershire countryside. In all the journey was around 3 hours or so, with several stops, one of which was on a bridge in the middle of the Swithland Reservoir, which gave the almost magical appearance of dining whilst floating mid-lake.  In what seemed like no time at all we were back from whence we came, but there was no rush for us to leave so plenty of time to finish off the bottle of wine before heading back to our hotel (thoroughly recommended).

On Sunday we headed off after breakfast for Chatsworth House . Very busy thanks to a surge in interest due to the current TV series about it, but still plenty of room to wander around and explore at your own pace. A very impressive house crammed full of paintings and sculptures, and pretty much everything in between art-wise. In my eyes there was simply too much, there were plenty of fascinating individual pieces but the overall impression was almost too much to take in. The gardens on  the other hand were amazing, spacious but with something new (and often unexpected) to see at almost every turn.

Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House - Click to Enlarge

Chatsworth House Gardens
Just a small part of the gardens - Click to enlarge

All in all a very enjoyable weekend, certainly helped by the glorious weather, and also the discovery of The Peak District as we drove to Chatsworth, an area now on our list of places to explore in the future.


Rach said...

Ed's family hail from the Peak District, one of the most beautiful parts of England, definitely well worth a visit.

And what a super wife you have! Great birthday pressie

Wurzel said...

I guess she's aright ;)

Matlock Bath is top of our list for a visit - but I'm sure there's plenty more around that way to see

Rach said...

You could repay Deb back for her lovely present by taking her back to the Peak District and buying her a Blue John stone. Lovely bit of jewellery you only get in the Peak District. You cal also go in the caves where they excavate Blue John.

Wurzel said...

Blue John? I might be able to stretch to a Black Jack