The husband and I took advantage of our brand new National Trust membership and the half-decent weather forecast on Sunday to pop over the border and visit Charlecote Park in Warwickshire.
[even the gatehouse is fancy]
We arrived just as the house and outbuildings were being evacuated after a fire alarm but we were allowed into the park to eat our sandwiches and pork pies and by the time we'd finished our picnic the alarm was over and we were able to look round the house.
The park had been home to the Lucy family since the 1200s but was decorated as it had been in the mid-19th century by Mary Elizabeth Lucy.
The grounds and gardens, set on the banks of the River Avon and River Dene, are beautiful with a herd of fallow deer roaming about them.
[cascade into the Avon]
Luckily the weather stayed fine for long enough for us to wander round before heading into the cafe for tea and cake.
If there are two things the National Trust does well it's gardens and cake.