Croome Court and its wonderful landscape were largely created by Capability Brown in the mid 18th century. On approach from the National Trust entrance the amazing landscape unfolds as you walk through the trees. The planting since the Trust started to restore the gardens is now maturing wonderfully and enthralls everyone and unsurprisingly visitors return time and again to see the glory in every season.
Croome, near High Green, Worcester, Worcestershire WR8 9DW
Google map: bit.ly/jK0a89
Nearest station - Worcester Foregate St
Witley Court and Gardens is a Jacobean house that burnt down in 1937. What's left is the shell of the house and some amazing gardens that have only recently been restored. I decided to go as i was bored with my usual day out, shopping or going to the cinema, so a friend and I decided to inject a little culture in to our lives by visiting an English Heritage site. We decided on Witley Court as it was close to where we live and I had always wanted to visit as you can see it in the distance on the drive to Worcester.
So we travelled the ten odd miles down winding repetitive roads, up the driveway and parked right in front of the gift shop along with the other five or so cars.
Coming out of the gift shop we headed in the general direction of the court. Finding the court wasn’t so difficult but the gate you had to open to get up to it was another matter! It wasn’t just a simple bolt or latch and in the end we just gave up and climbed over… lucky it was so quiet else we would have felt absolutely ridiculous! (Not that we didn’t already…)
At the foot of the house we were given audio headsets. After this point we were pretty much left to roam the house and grounds as we pleased as the headsets gave us information about different sections given on the number we pressed. The house I didn’t find that impressive as although it is a huge space with a lot of history it is mostly just a burnt out shell after the fire that destroyed it in 1937 but the gardens are fantastic.
The gardens were landscaped by one of the leading land designers of the time. William Andrews Nesfield. After the fire the ground fell in to disarray and it is only after a lot of hard work from the English Heritage that it’s finally on the way to becoming what it once was. The focus point in the garden of course, has to be the huge fountain that sits in the centre. The fountain of Perseus and Andromeda, when on, is supposed to be as loud as an express train going past, or so the audio headset told me. I was quite disappointed then that it was switched off for the day though it gave me a great view of the carving.
Worcestershire - WR6 6JT
Google map: tinyurl.com/yg3flot
Ten miles NW of Worcester on the A443
To arrive at The Camp my friends and I chose to hire a small boat from a family run business on the corner of Worcester Racecourse. No skipper is necessary for this; we were given a quick run down on the dos and donts of boating and we were free to set sail.
Meandering up the river at our own pace was fabulous - really tranquil and beautiful to be on the water, passing ducks, swans and for the lucky ones, even otters.
We arrived at The Camp to be greeted by other (professional) boaters who guided us in safely to moor our boat.
The Camp is most welcoming; obviously a popular place for summer revellers as it was really quite busy. However, this just adds to the charm - we threw out our picnic blanket and enjoyed the best cheese and onion rolls ever tasted, swilled down with a glass of traditional scrumpy cider. Surrounded by stunning peacocks, we felt right at home and at one with the nature.
Once we had filled up on food and drink we headed back down stream and towards Worcester Cathedral; this gave us a cultured feel and was the perfect end to a perfect day.
We had a real adventure and found ourselves in fits of laughter at times! I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a cheap day out with a difference. (boat hire starts from £10 an hour, depending on choice of boat & £10 bought me and my partner two drinks each and a huge baguette.)
Suitable for all ages and we even took our dog when we returned a second time.
The boat hire place can be found in the corner of Pitchcroft Racecourse; 01905 27949 and to get to The Camp from here is just one way up the river - you really cannot go wrong.
Grimley, Worcester WR26LX
01905 640 288
Google map: tinyurl.com/ydb92w9
A wonderful, family-run pub in the heart of the city. This amazing old building houses three entirely different bars. Downstairs you'll find a traditional pub with a choice of real ale, a large range of whiskies and great jukebox. Next door there's a huge bar which has live music, DJs and a variety of other events - it's always full at weekends and the atmosphere is great. Upsatirs they have a cool retro 70s style cocktail bar where the cool kids hang out. It's a great place.
New Street, Worcester. Not far from either Shrub Hill or Foregate Street Station.
Don't let the exterior put you off - the authentic taste of southern Italy awaits within. Highly recommended: the incredibly generous antipasto misto followed by an amazingly pneumatic calzone contadina. Excellent 'just like in Italy' coffee too - especially if accompanied by a grappa. Great ambiance, Italian mood music, friendly staff, excellent value. Be warned though - come here hungry and prepare to eat for England.
21 Friar Street, Worcester (01905 612211)
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