A week off

We both had last week off work, after transferring our week’s holiday from June. We did have a holiday cottage booked and a trip planned to visit friends but it still felt too risky to travel so we decided to stay at home. What was really nice was the chance to have a week off and a break from the frantic pace of the last four months. LO still went to preschool (we actually put her in for an extra day!) – she loves playing with her friends there and we felt it was more beneficial for her to do that, especially as she’d already had ten weeks away from preschool in March-May.

We decided to concentrate on shorter outings that we could do within a couple of hours, thus removing the need to go to the loo(!) away from home. I bought sandwiches from M and S too (I can go at 8am on my way back from preschool drop off when there’s no one in the store) so that it was a genuine week off (anyone else utterly sick of preparing meals?)

I’m not sure why we haven’t been to Sunbury Walled Garden before. In normal circs it has an embroidery gallery and a cafe (both closed on the Monday when we visited but with signs up to indicate how they were dealing with social distancing etc), a beautiful garden, park and play area. We enjoyed a walk here and it felt safe with not too many people around.

I’m fairly sure the reason we haven’t visited the Ankerwycke Yew before because it’s a pretty short visit and there isn’t a cafe! 😉 It’s the National Trust’s oldest tree (2500 years old) and also has the remains of St Mary’s Priory nearby. It’s a short walk through fields from the tiny car park, and you can walk further along and look out over the Thames to Runnymede on the opposite bank. If you do want a coffee you can get takeaway or eat in ones from a little cafe in Wraysbury, about ten mins drive away.

Runnymede is somewhere we’ve been before but OH hadn’t seen the art installations put in for the 800th anniversary a few years ago. Writ on Water is a building with the sky reflected in a circular pool through an open roof. And the Jurors now looks rather like socially distanced seating!. We climbed Cooper’s Hill behind the meadow and looked towards Heathrow and central London far in the distance. The riverside car park here is open and quite busy but it’s easy to keep away from other people. The toilets were also open but not the cafe.

Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park is open to members and with some pre-booked slots available to non-members. I met up with a friend for a walk around the gardens and we enjoyed seeing all the flowers in bloom. I chatted with one of the gardeners who explained that they’d been at work throughout, so maintenance has continued to a high standard (you can tell!), although he did say it had been strange without visitors around. It was a bit busier here around the Savill Building and towards Obelisk Lawn (the children’s play area is closed still) but fairly easy to keep away from others still.

Have you been able to have a break after the last few months? And have you visited anywhere new?

One comment

  1. Thanks for this, I was not aware of Ankerwycke at all, very familiar with Runnymede and especially with RAF memorial and Magna Carta. It is the usual story that we don’t tend to go to local places unless we have visitors. We have family in Sunbury so I knew about the walled garden, haven’t been there for a while but can recommend the cafe there when you return. Not that I have been anywhere since before lockdown!

    Can I recommend a visit to Strawberry Hill house, home of Horace Walpole, maybe not so good for LO, not far from Strawberry Hill Station.

    Three year old granddaughter is is going to pre-school three days a week, there are plans to up it to four, she spends longer at preschool than her 5 year old brother does at school.


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