Today’s guest picture, taken by Clare, her mother, shows Matilda enjoying refreshment in the cafe at the Archerfield Walled Garden.
After breakfast Mrs Tootlepedal and I cycled out to the Archerfield estate, a few miles from North Berwick, and apart from being nearly knocked off our bikes by the powerful scent from this huge field of rape beside the road….
…we enjoyed the scenery as we went.
We met up with Matilda and her parents at the Walled Garden and had a cup of coffee before going to see what the Fairy Walk had to offer.
We passed the big house on our way down to the walk.
It has had a new avenue of trees planted and these will look impressive in years to come.
The Fairy Walk lived up to our hopes.
It had proper sized gates at the start and finish…
… and a path that wound for a good distance through a wood…
…with various fantastical creatures beside it on the way and fifteen little fairy houses to visit.
There were wild flowers and orange tip butterflies among the trees and many interesting willow constructions (a spiral, a kirk, a yurt and a tepee) to explore on the way back to the cafe.
There was also a lot of this….
…which Mrs Tootlepedal thought might be Wolfsbane, which doesn’t seem quite so fairy like to me.
The grounds are well looked after….
…and every now and again, the visitor passes a wicker deer or two.
We had spent so long exploring the fairy world that it was time for lunch when we got back. After lunch, Matilda took her parents home for a snooze and Mrs Tootlepedal and I looked at the walled garden itself (a work in progress with an excellent polytunnel) and then cycled into the village of Dirleton where we stopped to visit the fine castle and gardens there.
We passed this good looking tree, almost exactly 100 years old…
…and visited the substantial doocot….
…before going on the the castle itself.
I haven’t got the time (or the energy) to detail the various stages of its ruin and rebuilding but it was a rewarding place to visit on a perfect spring afternoon.
Those interested can click here for a full review of the castle and its history.
Although it is basically a ruin and the owners left it as such when they built Archerfield House to actually live in, there was still plenty to see.
The castle is built, as a good building should be, on a firm foundation of rock…
…and is an impressive sight, even today.
Below the castle, surrounded by aged yew trees, lies a bowling green, which was added in Victorian times.
It comes with added squirrel…
…which the sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal spotted when it scampered up a tree on our approach.
After a last look back at this splendid building…
…and a quick look over the garden wall to admire the typical roofs of the area…
…we cycled back to North Berwick.
Fellow cyclists will share our pain when I remark that the wind, which had been in our faces as we cycled out from the town in the morning, was now in our faces as we cycled back in the afternoon. But it was light and we laughed as we cycled along.
After some recovery time, we went down to the beach with Matilda and Clare and there was any amount of sand castle building. There had to be a lot of building because someone, who shall be nameless but was aged just over three, kept knocking any castles that were built quite flat again.
There are thus no castle pictures but we did see a sailing boat passing us well out at sea.
We got home just in time to enjoy a delicious meal of macaroni cheese prepared by Alistair.
We have been very lucky with the weather so far and the forecast is offering us the hope that it may last until Friday afternoon which would be very satisfactory.
No flying birds to day but as there have been more than enough pictures already, that is no great loss.