Canons Ashby, a rambling Elizabethan manor house in deepest rural Northamptonshire, is just close enough to where we live, to make it a suitable place for a Sunday afternoon jaunt. It’s been almost two years since the last time we went (I wrote about it on Mostly Motley at the time, so if you want to know a bit more about the house, do click here).
It was clear from our previous visit, that the gardens were being worked on, and I was keen to know how they were coming along, so last weekend, we dodged the showers for a quick afternoon stroll around the grounds, followed by afternoon tea.
Canons Ashby is the sort of place to visit when you need to unwind, to slow down and relax. It somehow manages to help me breathe, as if it gives you permission to take time out of the present stresses and step back into a peaceful time-warp.
For me, it’s a portal – a place where it’s very easy to let your mind slip you back through the centuries. I don’t think I’d bat an eye-lid if I saw people bustling about in seventeenth century costume, or cooks were preparing a feast in the Elizabethan kitchen, or ladies in wide dresses were fanning themselves provocatively in the gardens. It’s a house where the imagination happily conjures the past. I wasn’t disappointed with the progress on the gardens. As I’d thought from our last trip, it’s being done gradually, with taste. It manages to feel like an old-established garden, not an instant construction, which fits well with the atmosphere of the house – they both sit gently in the countryside. I wonder if membership of the National Trust should be prescribed on the NHS for soothing battered nerves. If it was, Canons Ashby would be up there at the top of the list of tranquil places. If your spirit needs a little TLC, it’s a good place to find it.
For more information…
This is the National Trust visitor site with all the opening times, prices etc. We had a short visit this time, but next time I go, I hope to find out more about the secret masonic chamber – see the news article here. And who knows, one day, when the girlies have flown the nest, I might persuade the Other Half to book us into the Tower for a few nights.