We had a fantastic time at Castle Howard!

A lovely long weekend, in the grounds of the beautiful house itself (although not on the front lawn as I had hoped here but round the back of the very large lake).

The surrounding countryside of the ‘Howardian Hills’ is beautiful

We arrived on Friday afternoon, without getting caught up in the Leeds ‘V’ festival traffic (phew!) and set up our little home.

Our plans for a quick tea at the caravan were scuppered when we realised that we had failed to pack either pasta, rice or butter! So off we popped to ‘The Bay Horse Inn’ in Terrington, we had gorgeous food there. They managed to provide food that both our 5 and 3 year old liked by doing half portions of normal food rather than just having a junk food kiddie menu (a personal hatred of mine).

Saturday was the day to look round the grounds and house of Castle Howard, and we had a great time. A picnic in the gardens, augmented by some beautiful pasties from their farm shop and a wander round some of the gardens.

We managed a quick tour of the stunning house, but it would have been great to linger a bit longer and read all the interesting information about the house and family. However, with two small children we were lucky to get round at all! Lily was spread-eagled in the middle of the floor of the saloon at one point…

I could cope with that view…

Then on to the best adventure playground I’ve ever been to, we all had a real laugh there. Definitely not just for kids!

Then on Sunday and Monday there was the Artsmix Contemporary Arts Market in the courtyard of Castle Howard.

I had a great day, and met some lovely people such as Maria Silmon who shared my stall, and Gaynor (whose card I didn’t get, sorry!). It was great to catch up with April of Aprilis a fellow etsy artist and blogger whom I met at the Loft Artmix event earlier in the year.

My review of the craft fair – venue, amazing. foot fall, great. sales, poor. I am not sure why, certainly the weather didn’t help. I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed with sales. I chatted to quite a few artists of various types who had been to the last one and made a much healthier return.

I also thought I had booked a full pitch, but it seems I had only booked a half. I think, on reflection, I look rather squeezed in, with not enough space round the jewellery to set it off. Nevermind, we live and learn, I’m new to this market lark!

…And now for the hedgehog!
Look what we found looking for worms on the lawn of the Castle!

How cute is this baby hedgehog?

Alas no pictures of wonderful ‘Yorkshire Lavender’ where we spent a delightful afternoon and were greatly inspired by their planting schemes (it being in hardy Yorkshire like us). The camera was full! So please click on their link instead. We left with various lavender products, such as lavender honey, which I have been trying to get hold of for years.

What did you do for your bank holiday?

Rachel x

Rachel Lucie Johns

Hi! I'm Rachel, a jewellery designer-maker & nature photographer. My work is inspired by the gorgeous countryside around West Yorkshire & Art Deco design. This blog is where I share my creative life and inspiration. find out more ...


  1. Reply

    Insomniac Mummy

    2nd September 2009

    I really should visit Castle Howard with it being so close! It look beautiful.

    We did nothing as my hubby was working and I have the lurgie. Boohoo.


  2. Reply


    2nd September 2009

    What a perfect weekend!

    Your kids are gorgeous and what a sweet little hedgehog. I wish I could say I was doing something that exciting for our upcoming bank holiday.

    Sorry, I signed in with the wrong account last time :P