When I wrote my recent post about visiting Newstead Abbey, I said that I would someday have a tour of the inside of the hall and take lots of pictures for your enjoyment.
I had no idea that “someday” would arrive quite so soon!
Sunday 17th April was BBC Nottingham’s Big Day Out, where attractions across Nottingham opened their doors for free (or thereabouts). The girls were off having a day at the zoo with my family, so I decided this was an opportunity too good to be missed.
I can safely say that I have never seen Newstead Abbey so busy. The car park was full, as was the over fill car park. There were queues into the house, queues in the shop and queues all around the house. I think it’s fair to say the place was heaving!
I’m not sure if the attraction was particularly used to dealing with that number of visitors. There were no clear directional arrows, helping you to navigate through the Abbey. There were a few guides dotted around the corridors, but that didn’t stop bottlenecking and confusion around some of the smaller bedrooms.
As you were herded through the hallways and rooms, you didn’t really feel like you could stop to appreciate all of the different exhibits. If you were to stand still for a second there was a chance you would cause congestion. (Or be stampeded by the crowd).
Having said all of that, I did manage to get a feel of the atmosphere in the abbey. The rooms were beautifully decorated, showing examples of different periods of history. There were vaulted ceilings and splendid wood panels. I think my favourite part were the cloisters and courtyard which were a beautiful example of the Abbey’s architecture.
I’m sure there were hundreds of tiny, fascinating details that I missed as I was walking around. Now that I’ve had a slight taste, I think I’ll definitely need to go back for a much more detailed visit.
After looking around the house and gift shop (didn’t buy anything this time although I really wanted to!), I had another amble around the gardens. The sun was out and the flowers are just starting to bloom. Hopefully it won’t be long until Summer finally arrives and we can enjoy the gardens in their full glory.
There was just time for a quick beverage (non-alcoholic) in the local beer garden, enjoying the last of the Sunday sunshine, before it was time to go and pick up the little ones. They’d had a lovely time at the zoo (Bug stroked a kangaroo!) and it would have been far too busy for them at Newstead Abbey.
Hopefully I’ll get to take them back there soon – although I probably still won’t get time to see many of the exhibits!
Did you have a nice weekend? Tell me all about it in the comments below.