Finally, the wind dropped, the sun shone and it really felt like spring was here at long, long last. You could actually feel the sun's warmth on your skin and seeping into your bones. The breeze felt soft and refreshing rather than bitter and cruel and for the first time this year I had the confidence to leave my coat behind. We know there won't be many Saturdays like this in the whole year so with wall to wall sunshine we got the chores done quickly and headed out after lunch to play.
This weekend is National Trust free weekend (thank you Froogs for the tip-off) so we headed off to nearby Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire. The hall is set in a charming village which was rebuilt in the 17th century when the hall was being built. There are no grand walls, drives or gates hiding this impressive Restoration mansion, it can seen easily from the main road leading through the village. The hall has an impressive staircase and long gallery which were used for some of the interior scenes of the BBC dramatisation of Pride and Prejudice. Outside there are formal gardens and a lake. In the nearby servant's wing is The National Trust Museum of Childhood which is full of interactive fun and fantastic archives.
We enjoyed the hall, gardens and museum and there was a lovely atmosphere outside with plenty of grass for picnicking on and for children to play freely. We sat outside and lingered over a cream tea. And do you know, we didn't want to leave because it felt so good to be relaxed, warm and outside. I could get used to that feeling.