Cragside, Northumberland

On our way back up to Scotland, after our short break in Yorkshire a few weeks ago, we stopped off at Cragside in Northumberland, another National Trust property. It was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. Thanks again to Margaret @ Booksplease for pointing us in its direction. We were lucky with the weather, although it had been raining most of the week which meant it was a bit muddy underfoot in the gardens. We got a great day for viewing it all, it’s a very popular destination so it was fairly crowded in parts but most people stayed close to the house. I think it’s best described as quirky, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about all those roof angles but the inside is full of Arts and Crafts details.

Cragside house from gardens

It’s a very homely place though, despite being huge, as it’s Victorian, the furniture isn’t too precious, lots of us own bits and pieces of Victorian furniture and knick knacks, so most of it doesn’t seem grand, especially the bedrooms. I’d love to own a patchwork quilt like this though.

A bedroom in Cragside.

I love this quilt too, as you can see, this room has William Morris wallpaper, one of his brighter designs, they can be a bit dark sometimes. I have absolutely no idea what the boxes on the floor at the bottom of the bed are, I don’t even recall seeing them!

Cragside interior bedroom 1

I took lots of photos of the interior as it was such a nice change to be able to, for some reason the National Trust for Scotland still don’t allow photos inside. So I’ll probably show more of Cragside again soon, it’s a real delight for anyone interested in Arts and Crafts design.

Studley Royal, Yorkshire

Studley Royal is a water garden, owned by English National Trust which adjoins Fountains Abbey, it was created in the 1700s and its setting is very artificial looking compared with all the trees which surround it, but gardening has always been about fashion and I suppose the moulding and taming of the natural water to a man made shape was popular then. The photo below seems quite foreshortened somehow, it was actually taken quite a long way away from the bridge. The whole place is covered with hundreds of pheasants, you can just see a couple of them in the foreground. It was a surprise to me that there were so many of them because I thought that they mainly spent their time hanging about on the edges of roads, trying to chuck themselves in front of cars. They are handsome looking birds but terrifyingly stupid.

a stone bridge

The photo below is taken from quite high up on the opposite bank from Fountains Abbey, as you can see, some of the trees were just beginning to get into their autumn colours. The water is home to quite a variety of birds.

reflections at Studley Royal

This octagonal tower is one of several ‘folly’ like structures in the gardens, the others are mini classical temples but I thought this was the prettiest of them.

an octagonal tower

I couldn’t resist another view of the tree reflections. Studley Royal is a lovely place to visit, even on a cold and slightly misty autumn day. It involves quite a lot of walking and some steep paths but it’s well worth it if you’re fit enough. If you aren’t up to it then you can just enjoy the view from the water’s edge. You can see more views here.

a long view, Studley Royal.