On this unusually hot May day, we chose to take a left turn at the entrance gate and follow the cool and shady forest trails down towards Upton House.
We were just in time to see the last of the late spring bluebells.
The children enjoyed the natural play areas and dens, jumping between felled logs and tree stumps with bear print grips …
… and there was plenty of opportunity to leave the main route and explore little winding paths.
We paused for a little picnic and then carried on through the Orchard, where Upton has a range of old fashioned lawn games for visitors to borrow.
The house itself looks out upon a large flat expanse of lawn, and on the day we were there it was packed with families enjoying the sunshine.
We headed straight down the stone steps …
… where the gardeners have left delicate little flowers to thrive within the stone walls and slabs.
We were rewarded with a spectacular view of the Mirror Pool, reflecting the clear blue skies of a perfect spring day.
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