It seems that everywhere we’ve gone for a walk recently that has cows/bulls, the animals have been very horny and decided to put on a bit of a show for us. It was the same when we went to the New Forest, seems that they can’t keep it in their trousers and Shugborough Hall was no different.
As usual, you get given a map by the friendly staff at the entrance. The map usually gets immediately discarded in favour of the nearest signpost and we head off with much confidence as all we know exactly where we are going. The aforementioned map normally comes back out about half way through the walk so that we can try a locate where we actually are as opposed to where we think we are. This orienteering method is always very interesting, and is often about as useful as letting the dog decide where we are going.
One thing you can nearly always rely with National Trust places is that they have a ‘tea room’. Shugborough has two tea rooms, and we found that our walk coincidentally started from one of them and ended at the other one. What can we say, we like coffee, we also like cake.
I took the opportunity to have a play with a Go Pro camera that I had inherited and will bore you with my creations a little further down the page.
As the National Trust website says about Shugborough;
“Rare survival of a complete estate, with all major buildings including mansion house, servants' quarters, working farm and walled garden”.
We started off walking through the walled garden,
If you go through the opposite side of the Walled Garden you will find your way to the Explorers Wood. This is the kids play area.
We went back through the garden and out, turning right and on to our first ‘tea-room’ stop. Beside the coffee, another reason to visit this tea room is that inside the farm buildings are lots of exhibits to take a look at.
After our coffee, we headed off towards the Hall and made a left turn we were walking along the Arboretum. We took a detour onto the Lady Walk, which was basically a big field. Be careful off the cow dung.
After the Lady Walk we returned onto the Arboretum and a beautiful picturesque bridge.
We continued along the arboretum alongside the River Sow where we eventually reached the Hall.
Continuing along the River, you eventually get to the Chinese House with its pink bridge.
Cross the pink bridge over to see the Cat Monument and the old tennis court. Head back over the pink bridge and follow the path around to your left and on your right you will see another monument.
Continue ahead on the path, you will pass the small dam on your left (across the River Sow). The path then turns right and the field opens up in front of you with Shugborough Hall on your right.
Finally, we walked back towards the Hall and stopped in at the other tea-room (on the opposite side) for another coffee, a little cake and then headed back to the car.
We had a pleasant and leisurely walk, in total it was 3.47km (2.2 miles). When using the paths around the estate, the ground is flat, even and drains well so you could walk around here any time of the year without any problem. The detour around Lady Walk was through fields of long grass, still flat, but you may need some more appropriate footwear.
One final note - Dogs are allowed around Shugborough Estate (not in the house), but they must be on a lead.
Now as I said earlier, I got my hands on a GoPro camera and had a bit of a play. Here are the results, I am not waiting for Hollywood to knock any time soon.