I grew up not many miles from Felley Priory but it's one of those 'on the doorstep' places that somehow I've never visited. However, this year I'm 'staycationing', getting out and about to places I can visit from home, and having heard about Felley's splendid bluebells via social media, I decided it was time to remedy things.
The house itself isn't open to the public but its gardens, which we visited first, are. In front of the house are a series of garden 'rooms' divided by topiary hedges, and leading down to a pond.
Colour at the moment is mainly from tulips but the summer borders are already starting to fill, and I think I may return to see them in flower.
This gateway leads through to the rose garden, another thing to lure me back in summer.
Beyond the formal areas , the garden opened up to meadows filled with late daffodils and snakes-head fritillaries.
We'd intended this to be a short morning visit but decided to fortify ourselves with tea and cake before the walk to the bluebell wood.
It's a fifteen minute uphill walk away but SO worth the effort.
I don't think I've ever seen such a dense carpet of bluebells. It's something that's often said, but these really did look like water running round the tree trunks.
As ever, the feel of the place proved difficult to capture on camera - it appears misty which it wasn't, though clouds blocked the sun much of the day and the light was hazy.
Like so many places I'm discovering near to home, I wonder why I'd never visited before. It's certainly a place I'll be back to!