Yesterday was a proper English autumn day, so Myles and I went for a walk around Calke Abbey grounds and gardens with a picnic. It was so nice to get out in the fresh air and do some exploring.
For those that don’t already know, Calke Abbey is known as the unstately home and country estate owned by The National Trust. This time we didn’t go around the large country house but did visit the parklands, gardens and the church. There are over 600 acres of parkland to explore, with plenty of quiet spots to enjoy a peaceful walk. We saw no end of red and fallow dear about too and got pretty close to them without them getting flighty.
There are many colour coded trails you can follow around the parklands, some take you right out into what seems like the middle of no where. We ended up at Staunton Harold Reservoir before figuring out a way back to the Calke Abbey gardens.
Once we got back to the estate, we paid a fee to go into the kitchen gardens, which I have to say was my favourite part of the day. We got to explore the old outbuildings including the old pony stables, smoke houses, potting sheds, orangery and we even went through a tiny underground tunnel.
The walled garden was packed full of colourful dahlias and we got to use the gardeners water pump that still worked from all those years ago.
In the gardens, the best part for me was the huge veg patch. The whimsical scarecrows and pumpkin patches just made me feel like I was searching for Peter Rabbit in Mr McGregor’s garden. I would love a huge veggie garden like this one day, there’s something about it that feels super homely. There were some huge pumpkins in the garden and so many different types! They even had Cinderella pumpkins – their actual name!
I really recommend coming here during autumn, it’s so pretty and there were no end of dog walkers and families here. There are always lots of different events on too, I know that the Fine Food Fair will be there this month and also a Pumpkin Party event and a Kids With Cameras Walk. Have a look on the National Trust website before you plan to visit as it’s always a bonus when they’re are extra sights to see. It’s great to go around the house too! If you’ve not been around it before, please do, there’s loads to see inside and the staff all volunteer to tell you about the decline of the house and why it has been left the way it has.
Don’t forget, if you do visit, make sure to go to the stables for a hot mug of coffee and a slab of homemade cake! There’s a super cute gift shop too full of one off items for your home, gifts, food and drink, gardening gear and more. I brought my stepdad a really cute handmade metal kingfisher from here for his birthday, as they’re his favourite birds and he’s dead into his English wildlife.
That’s it for this post! Let me know if you’ve been here recently or plan to visit soon! This estate holds a special place in my heart as I spent many weekends tearing around here as a child. I’d love to hear what a great time you’ve had here too!
Until next time,