On Sunday afternoon we drove over to Calke Abbey, near Ticknall, for a wander (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey/), rather a special place as the National Trust have left the house much as it was. It's not pristine and new like many NT properties but shabby and shows how many grand houses declined over the 20th Century.
However, we didn't go into the house this time - mainly because it was such a nice day and also we hadn't had the foresight to book our time slot. Here are some of the lovely views:
see the deer under the trees ...
beautiful tulips in one of the walled gardens
We also enjoyed seeing the orderly rows of vegetables and herbs and the fruit trees trained in espalier fashion. The grounds of Calke Abbey are so enormous that, although there were hundreds of people around, we didn't feel hemmed in.
Calke Abbey grounds was also hosting a craft market but we didn't fancy queueing to get in and the place looked packed - perhaps next time.