Calke Abbey Christmas long exposure

Last year in the run up to Christmas we visited 6 National Trust properties, this year our weekends have been taken up with other things, days have flown past and suddenly find ourselves 2 days before Christmas

Determined to visit at least one place festooned with baubles, twinkly lights and colourful illuminated grounds we settled upon our closest place National Trust Calke Abbey located between Derbyshire/Leicestershire border

Here are just a few photos from our little trip into echos of Calkes Christmas past. Although over for another year we cannot wait for Christmas 2017 at Calke Abbey.

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Christmas sparkle at Calke Abbey

In the past 2 weeks I have visited five National Trust properties.

So here is my third visit a beautiful twinkly at National Trust Calke Abbey

First stop of festiveness at Calke was St Giles church, weirdly it made me feel rather emotional to see the beautiful tree by the alter twinkling away in the dark.

The grounds around the house are also lit up

 The decorations continued inside with a magnificent tree in the entrance hall and a cute little tree in the Saloon

This weekend 19th/20th December are the last two opening days to visit the house and grounds at Calke Abbey. Check opening times before you leave.

Copyright Susan Guy

Carillon Tower Loughborough – lit up for literature

Loughborough Carillon tower was illuminated with a fantastic light show and fireworks to signify the launch of Loughborough Childrens Illustrated Literature Festival , the festival next year will coincide with the 100th anniversary of Ladybird books.
Lights were beamed onto the tower and showed stories ranging from Nursery Rhymes, Alice in Wonderland, The Golden Compass and Harry Potter with fireworks exploding from the top of this amazing building. It was a spectacular evening.
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Starting to light up ready for the show

SGP_2552 2562 Susan Guy_Loughborough Literacy Festival cand we are off, first up is Humpty Dumpty

SGP_2561 2588 Susan Guy_Loughborough Literacy Festival cIncy Wincy Spider & Hickory Dickory Dock

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Jack & the Beanstalk – fee fi fo fum …..

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The Cheshite Cat from Alice in Wonderland

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Fireworks made me jump a little

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Narnia and Golden Compass

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Oompa Loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Harry Potter

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 More fireworks from the top of the tower conclude the evening, this time I was prepared for them!

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The Children’s Illustrated Literature Festival is to take place from October 22 to 26 2015

Beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water

We spent a few very enjoyable few days in the Cotswolds in beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water (Venice of the Cotswolds) A series of elegant low bridges cross the River Windrush that flows through the picturesque centre. The river has an average depth of just 10 inches as it flows through Bourton

DSC_2139 Susan Guy Bourton on the WaterSusan Guy Bourton on the Water img2155 2176 2190A glorious Spring day prompted a spot of relaxing in the grounds of  The Dial House with afternoon tea.
DSC_2098 Susan Guy Bourton on the WaterTea for two came with delightfully pretty teacups, delicious smoked Salmon, Roast Beef, Egg & Cress finger sandwiches followed by Scones with cream & jam and a selection of scrummy cakes.
DSC_2057 Susan Guy Bourton on the WaterDSC_2048 Susan Guy Bourton on the WaterSusan Guy Bourton on the Water img2052 2054 2064Susan Guy Bourton on the WaterSaint Lawrences church is a stunning church with magnificent painted ceiling and Oak screen that separates the chancel from the nave, over one door is a skull and cross bones.
Susan Guy Bourton on the Water churchBourton on the Water by night

DSC_2204 B&WThe following days weather was not as glorious…rain. However this did not dampen our spirits and visited The Model Village, a 1/9th scale replica of Bourton village complete with named shop fronts, church with choir & bridges that arch over replica streams. Created by a previous landlord of the Old New Inn it took five years to build and was officially opened  on the Coronation Day of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the late Queen Mother) in 1937. Even the plants and trees are miniature! I remember visiting as a child and thoroughly enjoyed going back seeing them miniature high street buildings and feeling like a giant. 
Susan Guy Bourton on the Water Model villageThere was just enough time at the end of our visit for a game of Where’s Wally (minus the glasses & stripey hat!)
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Christmas at Calke Abbey

During the weekends of December Calke Abbey, Derbyshire opens the house for visitors to experience Christmas. The National Trust normally closes the house during winter months so December is a very special month. I went along just as it was getting dusk to see it in all it’s magical, colourful glory.

Calke Christmas 2013 - DSC_0890 0893 0895Traditional beautiful real trees are dotted all around the property.

My favourite is just past the entrance door by the grand staircase and rocking horse.

Calke Christmas 2013 - DSC_0905 0907 1714I love how you can look at the beautiful decorations on the tree as you climb the stairs.

At the top of the stairs you are almost eye to eye with the vintage Fairy that sits on the tallest branch.

Calke Christmas 2013 - DSC_0914 0915Upon entering the Saloon you are greeted with lots of Christmas cards. These have been hand written by adults & children visiting Calke Abbey and placed on the Billiard table.

A tradition started by the Harper-Crewe family that used to live in the house.

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Calke Christmas 2013A lovely sitting room, I can imagine how cosy this room must have been with a gorgeous log burning fire.

Perhaps there would be music playing in the background whilst you enjoy a mince pie and glass of mulled wine.

DSC_0948 c Calke Christmas 2013 - DSC_0954 0957 0958The smells coming from the kitchen must have been devine with mince pies and Dundee cake baking.

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After wandering around the rooma inside I ventured outside to see the house & trees lit up with illumintated lights that changed colour whilst you watched.

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DSC_1026 cDSC_1040 clairty cTrees lit up by multi coloured lights

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Calke Christmas 2013 - DSC_1033 1037 1053Don’t forget to visit Santa in his Grotto

Calke Christmas 2013 - DSC_0879 1090 1705Carol Singers completed my visit

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All the fun of the fair – Loughborough 2013

November 13th – 16th 2013 saw the return of Loughborough Fair
I’m not keen on the rides but I do enjoy the atmosphere and watching others enjoy themselves on rides

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Excited to see slow shutter speed creates stunning images and turn fair rides into giant Lollipops!

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Minions seemed to be popular prizes this year, we ended up with 3Loughborough Fair 2013 Img 362 451 469 Loughborough Fair 2013 Img 411 420 436

My daughters favourite – Hook A DuckLoughborough Fair 2013 Img 324 326 333New ride this year was a giant Ferris Wheel
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No fair would be complete without the sugary snacks
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