A Lockdown Day Out

June 8th, 2020
Penny Hampson

Although I enjoy my daily lockdown walks, seeing the same scenery day after day gets more than a little tedious. After nearly three months I was itching to walk somewhere different. So when the rules were relaxed recently, I decided to see if there was anywhere not too far away from where I live that would fit the bill of being safe and picturesque.

Blenheim Palace

So, no, I didn’t join the crowds to visit the coast or laze on a beach – I’m not that daft.

View across the Great Lake

Instead, I made a trip to Blenheim Park and Gardens. Booking is essential, as numbers are now restricted – a sensible move in my opinion. I went online and made my reservation for the first slot of the week.

We enjoyed our picnic under this tree

So tickets printed off, masks on, and picnic lunch packed, the husband and I set off.

Water Terrace

What a great day it was too. The sun was shining, the grounds looked superb, especially the Water Terraces with their clipped hedges and sparkling fountains.

Topiary birds by the Italian Garden

The topiary birds near the Italian Garden sported far better haircuts than I’ve managed these last few months, and I discovered the Roundel, a striking fountain I’d not seen before.

The Roundel

Sadly, the lake and the Cascade were not looking their best, due to the extensive restoration works taking place.

The Rose Garden

But it was great to get out where there were no cars inflicting noise and fumes – just blue skies, magnificent trees, and open spaces.

A pond near the secret garden

Most of all… it was different. Much as I love where I live, it’s good to have a change once in a while.

A profusion of roses

I’ll let my photographs tell the story of my visit. It’s just a pity they can’t convey the heavenly perfume of the roses which are in glorious full bloom at the moment.

The geese and swans seemed happy
A red kite swooping over the Queen Pool

Have you been able to visit anywhere different from your usual lockdown haunts?

6 Responses

  1. Charlotte Frost
    8th June 2020

    An idyllic day — I’m glad it worked out so well.

    With the help of two iPads, two computers, one pair of headphones, FaceTime and YouTube I’m exploring Pallington Lakes sculpture park in Dorset from the comfort of my home in company with a friend who lives some way away from me. More than a dozen online walking tours with the sculptor. I absolutely HAVE to go there when . . .

    • PennyH
      8th June 2020

      That sounds complicated but fun, Charlotte! I’m just about managing Facetime, but for nothing more than chats with friends and family. I’ll have to give one of those tours a go… going to Google Pallington Lakes. Best wishes, stay safe.

  2. 8th June 2020

    This sounds like such a marvellous day trip. I’m glad you and your spouse had such a good time.

    What did you two pack for your picnic lunch? And were there washrooms available there?

    Here in Toronto we’re just now beginning to see a few public washrooms opening back up. Using them makes me nervous, though, so I do everything I can to avoid needing them when I’m out and about. 🙂

    • PennyH
      8th June 2020

      Hi Lydia! Yes it was a great day out. The change of scenery was welcome and it was made even better by the glorious weather. I’ve never seen such blue skies, so pollution levels must be improving, thanks to lockdown. Our picnic wasn’t fancy – just sandwiches of cheese and tomato – though the bread was homemade (something else I’m doing thanks to lockdown!). The washrooms were the portable variety and there was plenty of handgel available. Blenheim’s usual washrooms are inside the palace which is all off-limits at the moment. Like you, I’m nervous about using public facilities, so I won’t be venturing too far until things improve. Stay safe.

  3. 12th June 2020

    It’s wonderful to get out and about. I’m lucky where I live as we have many footpaths we can take to explore something different everyday. A great post, Penny

    • PennyH
      12th June 2020

      Thanks, Paula, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes we’re lucky living in a rural area, and we try to ring the changes with different walks each day. But after so many weeks in lockdown, I think we’d done everything at least half a dozen times!It’s good to know you too have a variety of places to explore. Stay safe.