With a Sunday off work, Dad and I headed out for a day in the sunshine, without too much of a plan I packed a picnic for good measure. We starting the day by visiting my Nan and catching up over a cup of tea and a few biscuits and it was then we decided to head to Coombe Abbey Country Park.
It was my Dad's suggestion, he grew up in Coventry and hadn't been there for years and the weather was looking perky, so we headed for Coombe.
We always start our outings with the picnic, then walk it off as we wander around wherever we're visiting. I'm glad we ate before we went for our walk because Coombe is huge! There's no way I'd have made it all the way round on an empty stomach.
We followed the track to start with, heading towards the Abbey, which is now a hotel as well as a restaurant. The trees neatly lined up towards the entrance to the side of the Abbey, which displayed a no-photo sign.
Because of the sign, we didn't venture further than the little bridge over the moat. I always think those signs are stupid especially in the age of social media. Free publicity is good publicity. Not allowing photos is very vintage and somewhat pointless, because people will take them anyway.
It was after the bridge we headed towards the main track of the country park, towards the luscious green meadows full of plants and flowers.
There were a few ducks in the grass, who had wandered off from the lake. The lake was full of ducks and geese loving all the attention from all the park visitors. There were lots of people throwing in bread, which is actually really bad for ducks, however I'm yet to see anyone throwing in frozen peas, which are actually much better for the ducks and is their preferred snack over bread, fun fact.
Taking the right path off the lake, heading up towards the other side of the Abbey, we were greeted with another sign. Another one that people ignored. They evidently love a good sign at Croome Abbey.
I can understand this sign a little better though, just look at that neatly striped grass! Very 'British summer.' The courtyard grounds were beautifully kept and featured pretty pink flowers up the aisle.
After admiring the lawn and flowers, we went in search of the walking trail, to get those legs moving and the pedometer going.
We reached the top pool, which led us into the tracker trails and other woodlands. Spaces where trees, plants and wild flowers were left to do their own thing. We found some pretty big tree trunks and branches that would have made great wildlife watching spots
or interesting picnic tables!
Like a big kid, I took the rough route, rather than the defined pathway. I jokingly said to Dad that people probably just look at me and think I'm a very well developed and tall 15 year old when I haven't got make up on and am dressed casually. The haircut probably doesn't help. Dad's response? I definitely didn't look 21!
It was at this point that the sky decided to shower. Without rain macs, we sheltered under a leafy tree to keep dry and after a few minutes, the rain went away, leaving behind glorious sunshine.
After walking over a very overgrown field, we came across some really interesting looking plants, trees and flowers, including acorns sprouting and wild flowers growing tall in the long grass.
Just like in my fashion photography, I love the up close, detailed shots of nature. Framed real close to capture the grooves and the lines of bark, plant leaves and flower petals. The natural formations fascinate me.
The rest of the afternoon was a treat. Rain free with a light breeze and sunshine.
Near the end of the trail we came across even more pink and purple wild flowers and bizarre tree formations until we finally made it back to the Abbey.
In total, we took an hour and a half to go around the route, but I'm pretty sure we didn't do the whole thing. I think next time we'll start the other end, to see what we missed first time around!
I always enjoy being outdoors, exploring nature and places of interest that aren't too far from home. I'd highly recommend Coombe Abbey Country Park, It's free to go to, you just have to pay for parking, which isn't priced too badly.
Theres ice-cream trucks dotted around the park that's filled with picnic spaces and benches. Coombe Country Park allows dogs on leads and gives it a really lovely family atmosphere. Coombe Country Park proved to be a really lovely day out.