Today was the day.
It was grey and cooler than the regular temperatures in the 80C we had endured, I wore a cardigan and left my sunhat on the boat.
Well what was stark on arrival were the dry conditions.
Cliveden is situated on a hill above the Thames, maybe you've been passed on a boat?
The car park was brown and concrete like of what had been a grassy field, we were directed up a hill through trees to the water gardens firstly, the water gardens were also brown concrete areas with large brown ponds into which nothing could be seen.
|David taking the first of his Instagram shots of the day, he has become very keen on this form of social media!
|So the main house, which is now a posh hotel.
|The recently restored gates finished in gold leaf.
|There were loads of them, I'm not completely sure what i feel about spending all that money on gold gates.
|The main house and the South Terrace from the lawns, yes that brown used to be lawn.
The sun came out and it was boiling again so much so we sat in the shade to picnic.
The gardens are talked about in this link HERE the parterre started it's restoration in 2010, that was after we visited last time, it certainly had warranted it. Today it was colourful with swathes of gladiolas which had wilted not unsurprisingly.
They have created a rose garden which is a bit bland and looks very new, the Long Garden was far more appealing and the very best bit of garden borders were right in front of the hotel at the front, sadly my phone had died by then but even more sadly there wasn't a soul looking at them.
The parkland all around was teeming with people as you'd expect in the summer holidays, some children were even on bikes! It was a lovely place to walk, shelter under the tree canopies and let off steam, but the gardens to my mind were fair to middling, cannot be compared to Hidcote or indeed its close neighbour Kiftsgate HERE but goodness knows how they are coping with the drought.
On the way home to WaL in Henley David took me on a short tour he had cycled through, Hambleden village and then the surrounding villages of Freith, Parmoor and Rockwell End, a lovely drive and we ended up in The Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden. Its all charming there. I tried to photograph the houses missing out the Range Rovers, it proved tricky.
|Flint cottages, make me feel at home.
|Sunset skies over Henley tonight