Le blog seems to be blooming with gardening posts lately and today isn’t any different!  A while back, G’s mum picked me up to visit a beautiful cottage in Silsoe, Bedfordshire which had an open garden as they were participating in the National Garden Scheme.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

The National Garden Scheme (NGS) is a charity that supports numerous nursing charities and this year they are celebrating it’s 90th anniversary.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

Having no idea on which garden we were going to visit…a little sign beckoned us in for a cuppa and cake…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…then there were squeals of delight as the property we were visited was a cute little thatched cottage…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…and you know how much I love a thatched cottage!

You pay a small entrance fee and can wander around the gardens…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…the front garden was laden with roses…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…a rainbow of colours with a dash of bunting as it’s not summer without some bunting hanging in the garden…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…and a vegetable garden of my dreams…seriously someone has a little bit of OCD…or maybe someone has a bit more gardening time on their hands than me!  Everything looked perfect!

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

I did spot a little bit of door porn…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…their front door is super adorable! Notice the initials on the post box…the Queen’s fathers.

Popping around to the back garden, I was truly blown away…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…how gorgeous is this garden…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…there were secret gardens to explore…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…behind the fish pond.

We sat down for a cuppa and a piece of cake…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…there was a HUGE cake selection and two gluten free options which is pretty amazing and I was super thankful…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…and we enjoyed a spot of people watching which was rather fun to see the variety of wannabe gardeners!  I may have had the biggest hat in the garden.

After that quick refuel, we went off to explore the summer house…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…I’m trying to convince G’s mum that we should paint her summer house in candy cane stripes (she’s not convinced as yet!)…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…and the glass house for a little snoop to see how they were growing their tomatoes (I’m trying to see what way is best for growing tomatoes…every day is a school day!).

I couldn’t resist this little gardening shoefie…

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

…I thought it was appropriate!

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

So there is a reason why there is a number of gardening posts recently on the blog; I was pretty sick in May more than most people realise or that I alluded to in my weekly diary posts…and I’m going in for another procedure next week.   When you are stuck inside for weeks on end trying to build up your strength, walking around a garden is a right little blessing…it took me two weeks of bed rest to actually be able to walk around this garden for over 30 minutes and I needed a big nap when I got home.

I’m not going to apologise for all the gardening blog posts…my blog changes with my own lifestyle and this is my life currently…I’m now a flower sniffer and I love it!

If you fancy a snoop through someones garden, then you can check out the National Garden Scheme website for gardens in your area…remember to take cash for entry and cake…and it’s all for charity hence it’s calorie free!

England Travel Inspiration - The National Garden Scheme, visiting Round Cottage in Silsoe - a beautiful English Garden that provides plenty of gardening inspiration. I left with many ideas for my own garden and also wanting a pond! This garden is a traditional English Cottage Garden at it's best! Pop over to the blog to see more photos from this gorgeous garden, the vegetable garden isn't to be missed.

xx

If you liked this post on National Garden Scheme: Round Cottage, Silsoe, Bedfordshire then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!

While I’m not a religious person as such (I grew up in New Zealand where rugby is our main religion), I will lend my body to eat gluten free cake if a church requires a helping hand…I’m good like that you see!

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

If you live in Bedfordshire, you are in for a right little treat.  For the third year in a row, St Mary’s Church in Haynes is serving up afternoon tea on Sunday to raise funds for conservation work required…they need to raise £250,000 hence there is a blooming load of cake that needs to be eaten.

Last year, we ventured down to Haynes (just off the A6 heading towards Luton from Bedford) and we made our annual pilgrimage again last Sunday…I love kooky events like this that you find happening in the Shires of England.

The church is in the prettiest part of Haynes with gorgeous little houses decorated with rambling roses…

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

…and the church fits in perfectly with the cute surroundings.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

As I said, the church requires a lot of money as they are trying to restore the paintings around the altar which is going to cost a staggering £250,000 at the very least and the parish is rather tiny so they are looking for lots of local support!

You can see the little patch of work that has already been carried out for a cool £2,000 and the colours are just enchanting so it would be amazing to see the final product once it’s all restored.  This photo doesn’t do the colours justice!

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

The build up of pollution on the painting was caused by candles used inside the church and a little bit of damp.  St Mary’s Church is keen to have the painting restored as there are only a small handful of churches in the United Kingdom that now possess these paintings as most were totally painted over.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

Once you have tackled a big slice of cake and drunk your merry way through a large pot of tea…

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

^G’s afternoon tea from 2016…all home made cakes!

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

^my gluten free cake from 2017

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

…make sure you pop off to check out the knick knacks on sale…there’s even a table full of plants for all the gardeners out there…as they say, every little penny helps!

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

Make sure you take in the whole church as it’s very beautiful with an interesting history…

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

…even the grounds are beautiful!

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

^G, his mum and Dizzy Izzy (she suffers from anxiety and spins round and around …she’s on medication for her anxiety, poor little dog…she’s a rescue dog with only one eye but is now a very pampered princess!)

I’m actually quite disappointed to see so many churches struggling to find funds to carry out much needed repair or conservation work…these are historical buildings that are falling apart at the seams in some cases.

It’s so important to attend events like these in your local church and it’s amazing to see what is on offer these days at local churches from events showcasing Wedding Dresses through the Decades (which I loved at G’s family village!), to Afternoon Tea and Champing inside a church that I first heard about last year.

Afternoon Tea at St Mary’s Church, Haynes, Bedfordshire

  • Afternoon Tea is served every Sunday in July and August from 2.30 – 4.30pm; my advice is to get there as early as possible to nab yourself a table which are dotted around the church.
  • The church has organised a new band or musician every Sunday so you can boogie in your chair while eating cake…negative calories!
  • I was told that they are trying to have at least one gluten free cake available each week but I would take something in your bag just in case they don’t…the gluten free carrot cake was rather yummy.
  • The cost is £3 per person which includes a large slice of cake and a post of tea or coffee…there is an additional cost for more cakes or sarnies.
  • Remember it is cash only!
  • Even if you aren’t religious, it’s super important that we support our local communities to preserve our history regardless of our beliefs.
  • The post code for St Mary’s Church is MK45 3QP; easiest to get to from Bedford or Luton along the A6 and there is ample parking at the church.
  • You can read more about the history on the church’s website or check out their Facebook page for more information.

England Travel Inspiration - Afternoon Tea at St Mary's Church Haynes in Bedfordshire. Why not visit this Sunday for a pot of tea and cake to help the church raise funds for some really important conservation work...a perfect summers day out in Bedfordshire this July and August! Pop on over the blog to read more.

xx

If you liked this post on Afternoon Tea at St Mary’s Church Haynes, Bedfordshire then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!

I think we’re all guilty of it…we never properly explore our own backyard before booking a flight to some exotic destination.  As I live in Bedfordshire, I’m guilty of blogging more about London than my own home county so this easter I decided to rectify this by exploring Bedfordshire.

Good Friday was rather gorgeous…the sun was shining and there were beautiful blue skies so I took the opportunity to head to Old Warden but one of those pesky brown signs which indicate tourist attractions made me pull over to check out Moggerhanger Park first…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…which did look rather pretty with the sheep out the front…two words – pregnant ewes…so scarier than normal sheep!  I took a few snaps and jumped into the smurf mobile and headed towards the Shuttleworth Collection.

I’ve walked around The Swiss Gardens in the past and after getting told it was looking rather pretty on Friday thanks to all the spring flowers I decided to buy a combined ticket for the Shuttleworth Collection and the Gardens (a steep £20 per adult and it’s only valid for a day…a year validity would be a lot better!)…but made all better by the copious amounts of daffodils (one of my favourite flowers)…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…and wandered around the gardens which included snooping inside a rather grand old glass house or as it’s properly called…the Grotto and Fernery…just so you know, Santa doesn’t live in this Grotto (I did check)

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…with beautiful stained windows…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…and the interior was just stunning…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…simple but absolutely stunning…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…next stop was The Swiss Cottage…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…hiding in the daffodils!  I love spring time…it puts me in such a happy mood…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…to be surrounded by colourful flowers!  A walk in the sunshine through beautiful gardens is good for the soul and blows out a lot of old cobwebs that have built up over winter…it was so lovely to see so many other people enjoying the day in the gardens as well.

Next stop was popping inside the Shuttleworth Collection which is a collection of old aircraft and cars…some of the aircraft inside this collection are the last airworthy aircraft in the world and the reason why the ticket price is so high is that the Collection doesn’t receive any government funding to keep it running…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…if you’re an aviation geek then you will love this place…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…really really love this place…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…I’m pretty sure my dad is going to ask why I’ve never taken him here!  Bedfordshire has numerous air fields and a number of flights to Europe during WW2 took off from the county.

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

^^^I wished my handbag was bigger so that I could take this car home with me

How cool are these buses…

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

…they don’t make them like they used too!

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

And I fell in love with this blue beauty…I’m addicted to blue Fiat’s obviously!

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

After a good snoop around the Collection…I popped into the cafe to see if they had any gluten free options; there were two gluten free cake options but I was a good girl (I got up early to do exercise and then decided against eating cake…I’m seriously sick!).  It was fun exploring Bedfordshire…there’s always something new to discover in your backyard…you just need to find it.

You can read more about Bedfordshire with these posts – Afternoon Tea at Luton Hoo, Exploring Woburn Abbey, Exploring Houghton House, A Gluten Free Guide to Bedfordshire, Afternoon Tea at Flitwick Manor, Exploring Elstow and Dining at St Helena.

So the lovely folks at Three Mobile lent me the new Samsung Galaxy to play with over the Easter break so I could show you all the photo quality…can you tell that all these photos were taken on a phone?  You can read more about the phone specs of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge here and guess what, it’s water proof (awesome if you have a tendency of drowning your phone like I do…oops!).  

Pssst…If you love travelling then I would recommend checking out the Three Mobile Feel at Home plan as it’s awesome…I may have ordered G’s Thai dinner from our local in England from New Zealand using my mobile at no charge at all! Three aren’t paying me to say this…I just love their mobile service and wished I had changed over to them years agoooooooo.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?  Where do you suggest I visit in your home county?

England Travel Inspiration - The perfect day trip exploring Bedfordshire, England. Bedfordshire is the home of Afternoon Tea and and brimming with WW2 aviation history which you can visit at The Shuttleworth Collection and gorgeous stately homes. Click the link to read more about Bedfordshire and my travel tips for the county.

xx

If you liked this post on Visiting All the English Counties 6 / 48 – Exploring Bedfordshire then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!

I love exploring…Dora the Explorer and I would be the best of pals!  When I bought my car last year it gave me the sudden freedom to explore more of England; I now think nothing of driving two hours in search of the unknown but sometimes I like things to be a little closer to home hence why I explored Houghton House in Bedfordshire on the weekend.

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

Houghton House is located on the outskirts of Bedford, a market town in…you guessed it…Bedfordshire!

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

Houghton House is an English Heritage managed property situated in the middle of nowhere…along a drive that makes you think you’re trespassing on someone’s private property…it’s all very rock and roll and a bit muddy at the same time.

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

The property is free to enter…for English Heritage members and non members and it’s definitely worth a visit if you liked ruined old buildings or enjoy photography.

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

Houghton House was an old Hunting Lodge that has had various famous owners in its lifetime including the Dowager Countess of Pembrokeshire whom the lodge was built for, then the Earl of Elgin and then onto the Duke of Bedford who lives in Woburn Abbey. (The Duke of Bedford lives in Bedfordshire…unlike the Duke of Norfolk who lives in Arundel Castle in West Sussex…it’s all so confusing this English title business!)

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

The story goes that the Duke of Bedford emptied the contents out of the house and then ripped off the roof…apparently he was upset over the death of his father…which is a rather sad sad story (the poor man)...so let’s spin it and say he came home and found his wife in bed with his brother and in a fit of rage he demanded the house be partly destroyed…a slightly better story…he never married or had any children.

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

The staircase is now located inside the The Swan Hotel in Bedford which is a rather pretty hotel but with pretty appalling customer service at times…and don’t get me started about the dry gluten free cake that almost made me choke to death…seriously it was almost death my cake!

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

I adore columns so I got my column injection in the nick of time…I haven’t visited Athens this year you see.

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

Even though I almost got blown away while exploring Houghton House, we did manage to get a little bit of sunshine…

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

…and enjoy the beautiful rolling hills of Bedfordshire in the distance…oh wait there are no hills…it’s pretty flat in Bedfordshire and never trust anyone when they mention a hill in this county…they’re talking about a slight incline!

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

I can’t wait to head back when there is a blanket of snow on the ground to photograph Houghton House…and I can’t understand how I didn’t know about this place sooner.

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

Don’t you just love finding places like this right on your back door step.

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

What hidden gems do you have dotted around you that you like exploring?

England Travel Inspiration - Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire, an English Heritage property which is free to enter.  The stair case is now inside the Swan Hotel in Bedford. Click the link to read more about Houghton House and my travel tips for the county.

xx

If you liked this post on Exploring Houghton House in Bedfordshire then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!

This month’s Travel Link Up theme is “My Favourite Things” with the usual suspects Rebecca and Emma plus our awesome Kiwi co-host for November, Frankie from The Mayfairy.  My favourite movie of all time is The Sound of Music and I’ve visited Salzburg twice…and I want to return for a third time as I love the city so much.

I will admit to having the soundtrack on my iPod as well which I totally love…whenever my work colleagues over the years have gotten a tad stressed, I’ve always prescribed the sound track and forced them to listen to it until they’re in a happier place…usually by the second song they’re feeling instantly better.

Anyway…so my favourite things…

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

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Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens

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Brown paper packages tied up with strings

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These are a few of my favorite things

My Favourite Travel Photo

This is my favourite travel photo of Lisa and I in Krakow…we had such a brilliant weekend together even though I had the sniffles…Lisa is the best tour guide and sister that I could ever wish for…she completes me!

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This photo would be a close second…sweaty and hot in Belarus covered in cheap polyester…it was such a funny day as you can tell by the smiles on our faces…Belarus is amazing by the way!

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My Favourite Place for Ice Cream

Okay once again in Krakow…best place for ice cream in Europe is Lody…just do it!

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My Favourite Hotel Welcome Gift

Seriously a shoe cake…the guys at the Grande Bretagne in Athens will never be beaten…ever!

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And then the Sheraton in Krakow gave us a dragon…let’s just say the dragon sleeps with my sister each night in New Zealand.

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Starwood do the most amazing Hotel Welcome Gifts…thank you so much for every one!

My Favourite Place for Mocktails

Lisa and I had definitely rated the Sheraton in Krakow for mocktails…we couldn’t stop giggling over the fluffy kiwi mocktail as obviously we’re kiwis!

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My Favourite Place for Gluten Free Chocolate Eclairs

Two words…Helmut Newcake…in Paris…go to Paris just to eat these chocolate eclairs.

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My Favourite Up in the Air Photo

I’m petrified of heights but for some reason I love taking photos from the plane…my all time favourite is this one coming into land at Heathrow when we flew over Windsor Castle on a perfect May day.

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My Favourite Thing about London

The icons…I still get giddy when I see the Tower Bridge and Houses of Parliament.

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My Favourite London Event

I think I must have been a detective in a past life as I love snooping…my favourite London event is definitely the Open House weekend where you can snoop inside buildings which are normally closed off to the general public.

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My Favourite Place for a Shoefie in London

Duck and Waffle folks…go for the shoefie…they do gluten free waffles as well…you could go for those as well…and maybe the views

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My Favourite London Afternoon Tea

Claridge’s…my number one…where they don’t bat an eyelid when you turn up looking like this…with a broken arm, two black eyes, bruised teeth and a broken nose to have afternoon tea…I don’t recommend falling off a ladder and slamming your face into a man hole cover!

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My Favourite Train Station

If I ruled the world every train station would look like Porto…just saying.

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My Favourite View with Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at the Old Cataract Hotel served up with a glorious sunset…the reason why we visited Egypt.

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My Favourite Place for Sunsets

African sunsets are incredible but for me there is nothing better than watching the sunset set over the Nile

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I have so much video footage and photos of these sunsets!

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My Favourite Thing about England 

Definitely the castles and the incredible amount of history…I remember a work colleague lending me a book about Henry VIII and I managed to read all 600+ pages in under a week (he was shocked) but it gave me a real passion to learn more about the history of England. Possibly the reason why I don’t watch Coronation Street or Eastenders…there are more saucy and scandalous plots in England’s history to discover in the great castles you can snoop inside.

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My Favourite Place to Play Princess for a Night

If you’re an expat make sure you book yourself in for a night at a castle…I’ve only done this once but it’s high on the list again and yes take your slippers like little old grandma did here…

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Thornbury Castle is a great place to spend a night and apparently Henry VIII slept at the castle once.

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My Favourite Place in England

Cambridge…a 30 minute drive from my house and just takes my breathe away with every visit…and it has great shopping.

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My Favourite English Summer Tradition

For some reason the English love to open up their gardens during the summer months, normally for charity and offer cream teas…I love this English Summertime tradition…and it makes me grateful that I don’t live in London anymore as this is definitely a “shires’ thing (but am sure you can find a few in London if you looked).

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My Favourite Thing about the English Seaside

Beach huts…and the more colourful the better!  And I will admit, I’ve never gone swimming at an English beach yet.

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My Favourite Travelling Hat

I bought this hat from Max Fashions in New Zealand years ago and it travels with me everywhere…it’s the first thing I pack when I go on holiday…always wear a hat…I managed to get skin cancer on my scalp…trust me wear a hat!

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My Favourite Travelling IBS Photo

This is what happens when things get lost in translation…hello gluten food baby…I’ve been expecting you!

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My Favourite Thing About Lifts in Hotels

You can take a sneaky selfie and nobody will judge you or roll their eyes.

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My Favourite Thing about Christmas in New Zealand

Christmas and sunshine go hand in hand…along with giant santas…preferably with a moving finger…

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…but my favourite thing is the gorgeous Pohutukawa tree…and my folks of course…that’s my mummy!

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My Favourite Christmas Market in Germany

I’ve visited quite a few…okay more than a few…a lot…Dresden is possibly my favourite but I think Hamburg would be a close second.

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My Favourite Thing about Travelling

Meeting new people…I love the pyramids (and I’ve seen them three times now) but on my last trip it was meeting all these cute little school kids and telling them about New Zealand and having loads of giggles with them…for me that is what travelling is about all…

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…and I like to talk to random strangers…it takes you out of your comfort zone and you just never know who you are going to meet.  Take the time to talk to the locals…and if you can’t speak to the language then a smile goes an awfully long way.

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xx

If you liked this post on Travel Link Up: My Favourite Things…then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!