The medieval manor house at Lower Brockhampton nestles within 25 acres of Shropshire Prune damson orchards. Banish the winter blues with a day out amidst this picturesque scene. Once a year, for approximately two weeks, the house becomes an island in a sea of white blossom. (Pictures: Brockhampton Blossom from across the moat. Les Rogers: Beautiful Brockhampton, gatehouse and manor house. Nick Birkin: Beautiful blossom surrounding the manor house. Nick Birkin: Fresh, seasonal and local produce in the Granary Farm shop. Kate Oakley
Once a year, for approximately two weeks, the house becomes an island in a sea of white blossom. Operations Manager, Ari Volanakis says: “Clouds of blossom, rivers of daffodils, bluebells and wood anemones have replaced the wintry weather, a paradise revived.”
Alongside the orchards, there’s so much to do at this National Trust property in April and early May. New highlights for 2014 include thrilling theatrical plays in the intimate setting of the Great Hall. The first play will be ‘The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes’ on 25th April. Book early if you wish to take part and witness this unique transformation of the manor house, as seats are limited.
From 12th to 27th April little ones can run around Lower Brockhampton and take part in a fun Cadbury’s Easter egg trail, where the whole family can help Messy Miriam find her lost eggs. Also returning after last year’s incredible success, is Family Den Building Day on Tuesday 23rd April. Children can have an adventure in the woods by making their own den, toasting marshmallows over a campfire as well as discovering how to make a bow and arrows.
Older ones can explore the 20 miles of way-marked walks, try their hand at Geo-caching or take part in the Hereford & Worcester Schools Orienteering Championships which are being held on the estate on Saturday 5 April. Schools can register their team and find out more by visiting http://www.harlequins.org.uk/, entries close on Saturday 22 March.
There’s a chance to stimulate your mind by joining a lecture lunch. Forthcoming lectures in April include The Craft of Dry Stonewalling and The Art of Stone Carving. In May there are two medieval inspired lectures to choose from; Reading Between the Lines or 1066 and All That. If you would rather be more hands on, join one of the Stone Carving Workshops on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 April. Booking is essential, call 0844 249 18950844 249 1895 or book online.
For great fresh produce and artisan foods, why not visit the Brockhampton Estate Farmers’ Market on the first Saturday of each month. If you are unable to make the Farmers’ Market then you might like to visit the new Granary Farm shop, open every day from 11am to 4.30pm. All products are specially selected by Brockhampton Estate tenant farmers’ and includes vegetable boxes, eggs, cheeses, cakes, a range of award winning jams and Herefordshire rapeseed oil.
In addition, the Old Apple Store tea-room offers a range of seasonal tasty treats, such as nettle soup, delicious apple cake and elderflower cordial, all made using local produce. Why not pop in and take advantage of their early bird and dog walkers offer in the tea-room and enjoy free entry to the estate between 9am and 10am.
For further details of opening times and events visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brockhampton or call 01885 48207701885 482077. Certain events are subject to normal admission charges apply, National Trust members and under 5’s are free of charge.
Kate Oakley National Trust Brockhampton Estate, Bringsty, Herefordshire
WR6 5TB Tel. 01885 48207701885 482077