Sometimes it’s really easy to be lazy on the weekend. I am extremely guilty of this. My commute amounts to 15 hours a week on top of working full-time so by the time the weekend rolls around I just want to sleep, eat and maybe catch a film. And of course there is the boring stuff to do – food shopping, household chores, y’know the drill. However, I always regret this come Sunday night/Monday morning. Nothing worse than a wasted weekend. So me and David decided to take a leaf out of Lynne from Cocktails and Daydreams book (blog) and join the Alphabet Dating bandwagon.
Alphabet Dating is basically where you plan dates according to the letter of the alphabet you are one. So A could be aquarium, art, arcade etc… you get the idea. A nice suggestion is to take it in turns to plan so it’s a surprise for the other person.
For our first date we decided on A for Arboretum. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is located between Gloucester and Bristol in the Cotswolds and is home to some 15,000 trees, 17 miles of pathways and even plays host to concerts.
The treetop walkway is a new addition to the park and offers views a birds (nest) eye view of the start of the Silk Wood section of the forest. We took the Summer Trail around the Silk Wood which was 1.6 miles and took us just over an hour at a leisurely pace.
The above image is of a 2000 year old lime tree and a sculpture made from cuttings from it. Really! Even though it doesn’t look like what you might expect.
What’s the Time Mister Wolf? I loved this tree sculpture. There were a few dotted about (including the Gruffalo) so it would be cool for them to add to this.
After this walk we stopped at the cafe for lemonade and scones, which were lovely. However, this rather pleasant a civilised morning came to an abrupt end when I discovered a tick on my wrist! I think that it hadn’t quite burrowed all the way in as it wasn’t engorged (vom) and David was able to pluck it out of my arm fairly easily but I was absolutely horrified! I have a fear of bugs so it was all I could do not to burst into tears.
We did then walk around the Old Arboretum Summer Trail (1.2 miles) but we had a bit of a case of the heebies so the pace was picked up quite significantly! The Old Arboretum shows subtle differences in how trees used to be managed and displayed. There lots of information as you walk round and additional activities for kids to do such as a digital “Tree Quest” if you so wish.
Entry to the Arboretum was £9 each which I did think was quite dear. Luckily the prices in the restaurant seemed fairly reasonable, so not the cheapest day out but not the most expensive either. We did pack a picnic but unfortunately the weather wasn’t great and we didn’t like the fact that the picnic tables were just in the carpark. Had it been a nicer day (and I hadn’t already had a tick trauma) we might have just sat on a blanket in the Old Arboretum part of the park which doesn’t allow dogs so is generally quieter.
We’ll definitely revisit Westonbirt. I think the Enchanted Christmas Illuminated Trail looks wonderfully festive and I would love to see it. Plus all the ticks will be dead by December!
Overall, we enjoyed the first instalment in our Alphabet Dating adventure. I just hope the next one doesn’t involve any insects.