On Wednesday we decided we wanted a day away from the building work and, even though the weather forecast wasn't great, we decided to just get in the car and see where it took us. We started out at the Wolseley Centre, the headquarters of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, but we didn't stay there very long as when we arrived the car park was full to overflowing and cars were parked along the grass verges. We did eventually park and popped into the centre - there was a large conference taking place - hence all the cars. We walked around the boardwalk and down by the river but the heavens opened so we went back to the car to decide what to do next. As Shugborough isn't too far down the road that is where we ended up.
We decided we didn't want to go into the Mansion House this time and that we just wanted to walk around the grounds and across to the island arboretum. As the weather was unpredictable there weren't many people around so we more or less had the walk to ourselves.
We crossed the blue bridge on to the island
There is a lovely view of the back of the Mansion House from there
Then we crossed back over the river from the island over the red bridge
and then down by the river although the skies were grey and it always look as if rain was pending it didn't actually rain during the walk.
We walked as far as the Essex Bridge
and then over the bridge towards the canal
then over the canal bridge
into the village of Great Heywood. We had a little walk around the village before returning across the Essex bridge and back into the grounds of the Shugborough Estate.
This time with a fine view of the front of the Mansion House
We walked back across the parkland past the Tower of the Winds
and the farmhouse - I love this building! The inside is wonderful!
and back into the walled garden where we admired the lovely flowers and bought some freshly picked damsons and apples from the sales table which was full of the most glorious produce and an honesty box in which to pay whatever you thought was a good price for the goods.
As we left the walled garden the heavens opened again so we hurried back to the car getting a little wet in the process but we'd been lucky to get such a long walk in before it rained again.
I've written previous posts on both Shugborough and the Essex Bridge so I haven't put much explanation in the text in this post but I've put some links below to earlier posts if you want to read more.