Sunday 27 March

The Duke of Westminster’s Eaton Hall opens its gardens for just four days each year in aid of charity and today was the first date of 2016.

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We arrived early and paid our dues, in return for which we were handed a map showing what areas were open to the public.  Max came with us as he was allowed so long as he stayed on his lead.

There were quite a number of attractions laid on to entertain the public and it was nice to see the youngsters charging about following the Easter Egg Trail.

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We headed first to the walled kitchen garden and fruit orchard.  I then took a brief detour into the covered glass corridor of the Camelia walk where the flowers were in magnificent full bloom.

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We then walked down by the lake, passing a falconry display and then to the Tea House Garden and the Dragon garden.

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Most of the plants one would expect to see in these areas have yet to appear and so I would suggest that avid horticulturalists don’t attend the first open day and perhaps attend one of the later dates in May, July or August when things should be in full bloom.

However, for those who wish to learn more about the Grosvenor Family history there is plenty to discover in the Family History Room which details over 1000 years of their existence.  This was very detailed and it’s a shame that it is only open four days a year.     In the central open courtyard there were a number of craft stalls and when you’d exhausted all of those there were plenty of  stalls serving refreshments.  It was all very well organised and clearly signed.

We made it back to the boat before the afternoon’s rain arrived which was fairly relentless.   I spent the afternoon packing as we’re going home tomorrow to help prepare for James’ and Ali’s wedding on Friday.  Exciting!

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