Mommy and Daddy were supposed to go to the french alps this week, but the naughty volcano in Iceland caused their flight to be canceled. So instead, mommy saved the day by quickly planning a trip to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. Its a National Trust property that is very very old. We all had lots of fun!
The trip to the castle is by train from London Bridge station. Mommy and Daddy gave me some new toys especially for the train ride! I love riding on a train. My favorite is the tube. I like to wave at the trains as they zoom past. Sometimes the engineers wave back at me!
We stayed in the farmhouse at the castle, which Mommy and Daddy call a "B&B". The owner, a woman named Sue, told us that they had just finished refurbishing the farmhouse, which was built in 1850. Its not connected to the Castle, but its on the Castle grounds. I made some new friends there -- the other guests were all grown-ups but I still shared my toys with them at breakfast and told them all about our day.
Sue and her husband have a dog named Inca who is very very sweet. She's a little bit old and has some gray hair around her snout, but she was very patient and let me pet her a lot. Mommy and Daddy kept reminding me to be gentle. Inca liked playing with me and running around on the lawn. I gave her lots of hugs and she tried to lick my face but I ran away.
The Castle is about a mile outside the little village of Sissinghurst. When we got to the farmhouse, mommy and daddy put our bags and my buggy into a storage closet and right away went for a walk through the woods back to the village. The day was bright and sunny and I walked the WHOLE way! The trail went through the woods, past a pond, across some sheep and cow pastures, and through an orchard. I got to see Salamanders, Pheasants, Cows ("Moooo!"), lots and lots of Sheep (my favorite) and lots of other animals. When the lambs (there were lots of lambs) bleated for their mommies, I would help them by yelling "Mommmmyyyyyy!".
Its problably not a big surprise, but I had a lot of fun kicking the ball on our long walks. Its still my favorite game and Daddy says I'm getting very good at it. He says that I know how to dribble and can kick with either foot. I don't know about that stuff, I just know its fun.
At the end of our long walk we stopped at The Bull, an old pub in Sissinghurst, for food and a pint. The Bull is a lot of fun for me because there's a kids' play area in the back that has fun play structures, a lot of open space to run around, and DUCKS! I spent lots of time feeding (and chasing) the ducks at The Bull.
When we got back to the farmhouse, we went for a nice walk to the lakes, where there are Geese. Mommy sat with my on a bench and we waved at the geese before we set out back to the farmhouse. The night was getting chilly, and so were we!
The next morning we woke up and this was the view from our window. Mommy and Daddy kept saying how pretty it was ... I was happy just to watch Mr. Tumble on CeeBeeBees.l
We spent most of the next day exploring the Castle and the grounds. Apparently Queen Elizabeth the First stayed here, as well as some other very famous people from long ago. Also there were apparently many French soldiers held captive here in the 1700's. Mommy said that there is more information available on the National Trust site.
Later that day we took a long walk along an old Bridle Path to go out for dinner. The scenery was very pretty and mommy and daddy let me run the whole way, which was over a mile.
Well, I guess I didn't run the whole way. Daddy and Mommy both let me ride on their shoulders which I love to do.
The gastro-pub where we ate was called the Three Chimneys. Its very old -- its been a pub since the 1400's!! Mommy says if you look, you'll notice that the building only has two chimneys. Its never had three -- apparently it took its name from when the french prisoners called the intersection where the building sits "the three ways" which in french is "Les Trois Chemins". Then through mispronunciation it became known as The Three Chimneys.
Then when dinner was over we all walked home as it started to get dark. I walked the whole way (again!) and was pretty dirty by the time we got back.
While mommy and daddy waited for their table, they each had a pint and I got to play with some of my new toys.
The next day we all went on a long walk from Sissinghurst to Cranbrook, which is another small village about 3 miles away. The walk took us through pastures and woods. I don't remember very much because I was asleep for most of the hike.
Cranbrook was very pretty. Apparently Charles Dickens lived there a long time ago. There was a big church there, a very pretty estate, a lovely high street and a neat old windmill. Once i woke up i had lots of fun runnning around.
My favorite part of Cranbrook was the playground mommy found behind the church. There was a big old horse ride that i loved, and there were swings and a long slide too. I love going on the swings. I had so much fun.
After Cranbrook, we got back into a taxi to the train station and headed back to London, very tired. We all had a wonderful time on our little impromptu trip to Kent. Take that, you naughty volcano!!!