A few weeks ago, the United Kingdom celebrated what’s called the Early Spring Bank Holiday – a public holiday, held on the first Monday of May each year. (Most of Europe closes down on May 1, May Day, but England I guess didn’t want to be associated with that socialist day, so changed that public holiday to a few days later. Something like that.)
Regardless, it ended up being a lovely warm-ish early Spring day, so we loaded up the car and headed for the county of Kent, also known as the Garden of England, about an hour to the southeast. Our destination: Leeds Castle, a beautiful thousand-year-old castle on several hundred acres of land and lakes. Here’s Nyan after we strapped him into the car, clearly excited:
We weren’t the only ones with the bright idea of visiting Leeds Castle that day; the parking lot was packed with hundreds of cars, and the line to get tickets was about 45 minutes long. But the air was warm and the sun was out, and the line moved pretty quickly. Before long we were in, and walked toward the castle.
The grounds are just beautiful, with plenty of flowers in early bloom, streams, lakes filled with ducks and geese and black swans. The castle itself has a moat (and they just started a new feature where you can hire a guy to slowly row you around the moat. We didn’t partake.)
The grounds also feature several peacocks wandering around. Beautiful birds when they put out their plumage, though they look like they are probably pretty mean. Nyan had never seen a peacock before, and was fascinated. Here are some photos of him checking out the bird, and a couple videos of the same. (He now does a mean peacock impersonation, by the by.)
Inside the castle is a tale of two cities. There’s an old part that probably hasn’t changed in several centuries (aside from the addition of light switches and the like), and a newer part that was home to the owner until she died a couple decades ago. Kinda ugly, frankly, but interesting enough. Nyan enjoyed looking at the people and the art:
Mommy was snapping pictures, and check out this one:
Now let’s zoom in on the mirror on the left side; click to make it big:
Yeah. That was some Russian dude wearing all leather. Very odd. Nice shot, Mommy!
It was a long and tiring day, but lots of fun, with lots of sunshine, fresh air and family time. And plenty of walking practice for our young man.