One of the best things about my recent 50 mile walk (apart from the massive sense of achievement and raising money for charity) was the chance to explore parts of my home county that I don’t know very well. One of my favourite sections on the first day was heading  towards Yardley Hastings past Castle Ashby House.

As we got nearer to Yardley Hastings, we were treated to a great view of Castle Ashby House as we crossed through the parkland

Even though I was pretty tired by then, I still made a mental note to come back to the area at a later date and explore a bit further. Luckily, I got the chance sooner than I thought. Like many families where both parents work full time and have strange shifts, we have to grab bits of free time whenever we can. I rarely plan things in advance, it’s more a case of waking up and realising we have a couple of hours to get outside. Handily, I always have a long wishlist of places I want to visit!

So finding ourselves with a sunny day and some spare time, we headed back to Castle Ashby for a wander. I’ve never visited before, and although the house is not open to the public, there are some lovely gardens to explore.

Castle Ashby has a great mixture of formal gardens and wilder spaces

I’m not a massive fan of manicured lawns and formal gardens, but it was a beautiful day and Castle Ashy Gardens provided a lovely backdrop to spend a couple of hours. When we arrived we were a bit put off  by the amount of signs everywhere, it certainly lacked the family friendly, laid back vibe that you get from National Trust properties. However, in reality, it was actually very chilled and a great place to bring a toddler.

We explored the traditional gardens and even though I’m not a gardener, I can appreciate the skill that goes into keeping them looking so pristine. We also spent a bit of time in the menagerie, which Finn

Read the full original post here authored by Lauren Moseley. You can visit her blog here.

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