Mr C and I had decided that our tenth wedding anniversary warranted a weekend away. However, this was no ordinary weekend, this was a weekend without children. My parents had very kindly agreed to spoil the girls for the weekend. Mr C and I had decided to stay just up the road in the Ickworth House Hotel. Our weekend away reflected the weather of our wedding weekend 10 years ago. The day before our wedding day, the heavens had opened. I am talking monsoon rain. I was convinced that Noah was going to rock up with his boat. People kept reassuring me,
“Oh it’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day”
I wasn’t convinced. Luckily, on the morning of our wedding the rain finally ceased and the sun came out to play. It was only fitting that the first day of our weekend away should be a very rainy and miserable day. Therefore, we decided to explore Bury St Edmunds.
Bury St Edmunds is a quaint market town with a great array of shops. We spent the whole day exploring the town, sampling some cake and admiring the beautiful Georgian squares. The town also has a stunning Cathedral and Abbey gardens.
During our mooch round Bury St Edmunds I suddenly remembered something terrible: I had forgotten to buy Mr C an anniversary card! I managed to divert us into Waterstones and I quickly nipped behind some book shelves to find and purchase a card. Crisis diverted! We really liked Bury St Edmunds as it had a great choice of independent shops. It is also a very pretty town to while away a couple of hours. There are lots of quirky medieval streets that beg to be explored. We were also very lucky to see a wedding taking place at the Cathedral. The bride looked beautiful and it certainly made us nostalgic for our wedding day! I was tempted to shout,
“Don’t do it. This will be you in ten years’ time.”
But I decided that scaring the bride probably isn’t the right thing to do.
The next day was our wedding anniversary and we woke to glorious sunshine! Now when we booked this trip away we had decided that we wanted somewhere we could really explore and get outdoors, Ickworth was perfect for this. After a very lazy breakfast, we strapped on our trainers and we got outdoors. First of all we decided to explore the ancient woodland. The girls would have loved it. There were hidden dens and a trim trail. Perfect for the family that wants to keep fit. We kept an eye out for deer but sadly we didn’t see any. We spent the whole morning exploring the wonderful woods; it was just us and the birds. It felt very strange not to hear Oldest’s constant nattering.
After a morning of walking we decided to head back to the house and find some food. The main house is open to visitors and is perfect for families and older people alike. There is a great selection of food that is served in the main house and also in the hotel.
The grounds of Ickworth House are stunning and are well worth exploring. The house has a walled garden which is lovely for a stroll around. You can also find Italianate gardens that encircle the house. They are beautifully manicured and very befitting of the grand house that they surround. I quite fancied myself as a lady of the manor. I think I would make a great lady. I would happily wander those gardens, reciting poetry 😉
After lunch, we decided to go on a bike ride. This was despite it being very windy and the sky looking slightly grey again. We were not going to let this deter us though. I was determined that we were going to explore the acres of parkland from our saddles. We strapped our helmets on, did a few wheelies on our bikes (I am joking), and ventured out into the parkland. We were a bit wobbly to start with as neither of us had ridden a bike in a few years. However, we were soon flying. Well I was, Mr C kept breaking the chain on his bike.
We whizzed down the gravel driveways and out into the countryside. I may have got a little bit carried away, I may have yelled
We whizzed past families picnicking, sheep grazing and couples walking. We kept cycling until our lungs felt that they would surely burst.
The parkland offered stunning views. There were rolling fields and pretty cottages. The undulating landscape carried us on our way. We weaved between potholes and glided over grass. That was until Mr C’s chain came loose again. Then the peace and quiet was broken by some rather coarse words.
However, Mr C is not one to be beaten and he was soon back in the saddle. I was now remembering that riding a bike can be a little bit painful. I did not want to admit this though as I had been the one that insisted that we get out and get exploring on bikes. We veered off the path and cut across a field. The field making it even harder for me to pedal.
Mr C took this as his opportunity to put some distance between us and burst ahead. I, meanwhile, puffed away, cursing my short legs and my inability to work out the gears. We finally went through another gate and there I saw something truly horrific, a hill. Not a small hill, a massive, this will make you cry, hill.
I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the tortuous climb ahead. Midway up the hill, was a couple who were holding hands and having a lovely WALK. A walk, now that’s how you should celebrate your wedding anniversary. I made a mental note to get past the couple and then I could stop. I didn’t want to stop before them. I needed to pretend that I knew what I was doing. I powered up the hill, my legs pedalling ten to the dozen, but the only problem was I didn’t seem to be moving very fast. I couldn’t understand it as the rate I was pedalling at I should have taken off. Finally, I made it to the couple, Mr C was just ahead of me,but just as I got past them I wailed:
“I can’t carry on. I need to stop”
I heard sniggers from the couple just behind me. Then disaster struck, Mr C’s chain broke and he fell off his bike. I then fell off my bike because I was too busy pointing at him and laughing. Behind us I heard the man say to his girlfriend,
“And that is why I said no to the bike ride”
That man is a very wise man. After fixing our bikes we leapt back on and cycled past a family flying a kite. Yes, it was now that windy. I was peddling frantically as I was being buffeted side to side by the wind. We eventually made it to the house and made it into the warmth of the hotel. I informed Mr C that after a morning and afternoon of extreme exercise we needed to carb load. He looked dubious until I explained that in this case I meant BEER!
We had a fantastic time exploring the grounds of Ickworth House and it is perfect for families. There is acres of land to run around (or try to cycle in) lots of organised events for little ones and a really good park.
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