Saturday 14th January, 2012

Mottisfont House - Cold and sunny


We bought Jenny and Graham a family membership in the National Trust for Christmas. This gives free entry to any National Trust property and free parking. We were so impressed that we decided to take out a membership ourselves to encourage us to get out more often.

Today, the weather forecast was for a very cold day, but with lots of sunshine. So we searched the directory of sites looking for somewhere

  • Relatively local
  • Open (lots of National Trust properties are closed in the winter)
  • With a cafe and restaurant
  • With grounds or gardens that would encourage us to walk

Finally, we settled on Mottifont House and Gardens on the river Test, just North of Romsey in Hampshire, about 40 minutes away by car. This turned out to be a brilliant choice.

When we left home, the car was frozen. The temperature was -1°C. By the time we got to Mottisfont, it was around 5°C. With bright sun and virtually no wind, it was perfect weather for a walk.

I really didn't know how far I would be able to walk. We started with coffee in the cafe in the basement of the house, maybe 400 yards from the car park. After coffee, we set out for a longer walk.

We started off by strolling into the Winter Garden, where there was an amazing amount of colour, ranging from winter flowers to shrubs with bright coloured bark. I was walking well, so we returned past the cafe and walked a few hundred yards along the banks of the River Test, a very fast slowing and very clear chalk stream. Back at the cafe, we stopped for a light lunch -- home made vegetable soup.

Bt the time we got back to the car, I think I had probably walked about a mile and a half. I had a lot of muscles that we complaining and I was feeling very tired. The good news was that my muscles stopped complaining as soon as I sat down in the car.

I didn't do a great deal for the rest of the day.

I have mentioned the young lady with the stubborn infection several times in my blog. She has been recovering quite quickly and today we heard more good news. Today, for the first time, she felt able to go out for a meal. Her father came round to take a Nordic Track cross-trainer that we have had in our garage for several years, the significance being that she felt able to start more physical activities to rebuild her fitness.