Driving along the winding country road that was sandwiched between lush green fields, we were convinced we’d taken a wrong turn. The signal for Google maps was now non-existent and it was starting to feel like we’d stumbled upon someone’s private and (very) impressive driveway. As we cautiously continued along the road we soon realised there was a steady stream of cars behind us, so we picked up the pace and began looking for signs. Eventually, almost hidden from view, we saw a sign for a car park, so in we drove.
I’ve been to many National Trust properties as I love losing myself in the gardens. Whether I’m on my own or with someone else, I always have my camera in hand and find beauty everywhere I look. Erddig was no exception. As we meandered along the gravel path towards the entrance, I knew I was about to see something special. Although the gardens weren’t yet in full bloom, there was still an impressive display of plants and flowers.
When we first arrived, the sun was warm and hazy; we explored the gardens, wandered down by the lake to see the baby coots and looked at the impressive borders as they spilled over with plants. We played on the swings, had an adventure in the play area and engaged in conversation with a couple in their sixties. As the lady grinned from ear to ear she told me she’d also just had a go on the swings. I guess the saying is true: ‘You’re only as old as you feel’.
By now the sky was grey and the air was cold, so we grabbed our coats from the car and then headed to find some lunch. As always with National Trust restaurants, the options for vegetarians were dismal. There were four things on the menu – one of which I could eat – so that was a bonus I suppose. After some warm tomato soup, a hot drink and a cookie, we were ready to see what the rest of Erddig had to offer.
There was an impressive area of tulips that I couldn’t tear myself away from; I was in flower heaven. Lost in my own little world, I took photo after photo after photo. I even went back later on to get some more shots, because let’s face it, you can never have too many tulip photos.
We walked around to the back of the house where we sat on a bench, admired the view and took comfort in the silence that surrounded us. We found classic cars, bikes and stables, but more importantly for me – we found a cat! Being the crazy cat woman that I am, I gushed with joy and immediately began to make friends; stumbling upon the friendly black feline was the ideal way to end my day.
As we headed back to the car, we briefly stopped to browse in the bookshop. Along with cats, books are another thing I adore. If I could start and end each day with a cup of green tea, a good book and a cat curled up on my lap, I’d be a very happy cat lady indeed.
The final stop before the car park was the area for ‘memory postcards’. I loved this idea. You get to write your favourite memory about your visit to Erddig on a luggage tag, and then hang it up for everyone to see. My favourite part of the day was playing on the swings, but apparently my friend really liked it when I fell down the stairs coming out of the restaurant. He failed to mention how he hit me on the back of the head with my own camera bag when he tried to help me up. I probably had concussion by the end of the day.
Located on the outskirts of Wrexham, Erddig was the ideal day out as it only took us an hour to get there; I’m looking forward to returning during the summer months when the gardens are in full bloom and the days might be a little warmer.