Spring has, supposedly, sprung in the Northern Hemisphere, although I feel like the Beast from the East might have some other ideas!
England in the springtime is so beautiful – for the most part – full of flowers and colour and life. One of my favourite things to do on a sunny spring day is to go and explore somewhere outdoors so I can completely experience the change in season. The National Trust has a ton of great properties and open spaces to wander around in, so visiting one of those is always a good choice, mainly considering the fact that you know there’ll be a great big slice of cake waiting for you at the cafe at the end. A reward for all that walking you’re going to do.
Anglesey Abbey is not far from where my parents are based in Cambridgeshire, and so it’s the natural choice for me when I don’t want to drive too far for a quick visit. Plus family connections mean I always have a great guide of the grounds if I want one!
I’ve been coming here ever since I was a child to visit the mill, wander the gardens and roll down the grassy hills with my brother (although they don’t seem as big anymore somehow…).
It’s a huge site, so there is so much to take in. You have the main house and surrounding gardens which are beautifully kept by the grounds staff. The gardens sprawl for what seems like forever, some completely manicured, like the rose garden, and some full of huge trees and plants. There’s also a water mill, which still runs (and makes flour), and a beautiful little river/stream alongside it, with towering poplar trees along the bank.
One of the spaces I had never really explored much until my last trip was the area called Hoe Fen. Its a bit more wild and overgrown, and is full of places to play hide and seek and shelter from the sun. There are areas full of trees, areas to build dens with big sticks, a children’s play area (which I believe they’re rebuilding), a treehouse and a bird hide.
It’s a fabulous place to bring your children, as there is so much for them to do and see here, but honestly everyone can enjoy it. It’s such a change of pace from the rest of the grounds.
There are countless areas to wander through so make sure you grab a map on the way in so you don’t miss anything. There are huge expanses of grass, towering trees, bees and butterflies, and stunning statues.
But, for me, best of all, if you visit in the spring, are the roses. There are so many varieties in the rose garden, and there are even climbing ones that run up the side of the house. The bees are in their element, which makes me so happy to see and the smell is just gorgeous.
At the end of your time make sure you get your cake, and then don’t forget to pop into the shop and garden centre so you can buy a plant or two for your house, or some kind of National Trust jam – you know it’s going to be good!
When it finally warms up and if you’re in the Cambridgeshire area looking for a place to spend a sunny day, you should absolutely take a trip here. It’s one of the nicest places to while away the hours.
Anglesey Abbey – Quy Road, Lode, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB25 9EJ