On Tuesday 8 November we did not move early, then drove south through Ashdown Forest. It was lunchtime when we arrived at Sheffield Park. A lovely National Trust property, but the queue for the café was very long – they could have done with a separate burger van. We went into the gardens and had a walk – it was lovely. The colours were beautiful – enjoy. These are just a few of my 60 photos. The NT website says “John Baker Holroyd (later the First Earl of Sheffield) purchased the house and Park in 1769, and set about remodelling the house and garden in the latest fashionable style. He brought in architect James Wyatt to design the house, and Capability Brown to work on the garden. Brown created walks through the woodlands, with clearings to give views down to the lakes and nearby Fletching village. Dotted around the garden and parkland you can still see oaks in groups of threes and fives, breaking up the landscape, but cleared around the base so as not to obscure views. Of our five lakes, it’s Upper and Lower Woman’s Way Pond that were the ones originally created by Brown, a feat of 18th century engineering in itself.”
After our explore we drove north – rather wishing the teashops on the Bluebell Railway were still open. We had had a lovely afternoon on the Bluebell Railway on Sunday, riding from East Grinstead along the new line Kingscote, then to Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park. Their website is here. At East Grinsted there is a small station just south of the BR one. When the train came in we were invited in to the wheelchair accessible coach – and accessible it is too. They have a wonderful lift, so Julie was raised in style. The steam heating was on, and our carriage was a very nice environment – it reminded me of our courting days (that sounds so Middle Aged), on the last train back from Liverpool Street to Cambridge, in a Mark 1 compartment, with the steam heating on full.