The Rural Life

Stamford Travel Blog

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It was the same day as the solar eclipse.  I was quite excited about this, being a bit sciency, and kept looking out of the window as the sun become more covered.  The morning grew darker and darker, whilst my girlfriend faffed about doing her hair and make up, pre-leaving for our little getaway.  Thanks to grupon, we'd been given an overnight stay byRutland Water for a Christmas present, and we'd managed to book it for this day.  I had been working hard prior to this little retreat on doing up my new house, and the usual hard graft with the regular job, and consequently, I was particularly keen to get away from it all, if only for a night.  Soon after the eclipse, the sun shone brightly again, and we'd been blessed with a beautiful day to make the most of.

 It was 9:20am when we packed the car up, and left forBarnsdale.  

The drive was brilliantly pleasant, and with the windows down for the first time in the calendar year, we made our way across the country roads, via Melton Mowbray, and reached Oakham surprisingly quickly.  It was just a short drive from there to Barnsdale.  We decided it was too early for the check in, and there wasn't much point in using the hotel facilities on such a nice day, and so instead, continued on our way to the pretty town of Stamford.  

It was market day in Stamford, which added extra vibrancy, and we gladly strolled though some antiques shops, and various other book and watch shops.

 Some were like being in a museum, and we managed to find some Winnie the Poohbooks for an outragous £950!  It would have made an amazing present for my mum, who is a massive fan of both the books and the character, but I decided even she isn't worth that much (I hope this never gets read, otherwise I'll be forking out £950 for a literate apology).

We strolled along the river and watched swans nest build, and glanced around the old hospital before grabbing some lunch, washed down with some really great real ale.  If anyone ever finds it, A White Rose (from Yorkshire) ale calledSamuel Smith's is certainly worth a try.  

After lunch, and a post prandial fatigue, we continued to walk around the town a bit, but soon headed off in the direction of the very nearby Burleigh house.

 The house is huge, and often a site for filming.  The Gardens of Surprise and the Lion Bridge are located there as well, and it does make for a pleasant walk or short bike ride.  Talking of which, the day was creeping on a bit by this stage, and I had brought my bike along with me.  I wanted to cycle around the lake before dinner, and Dora wanted to get back and relax a bit at the hotel.  We headed back to check in, and see the room.

The room was nice, but a bit basic, but it was pretty much what we expected.  The view was the winner though, and the location was perfect, right by the lakeside.  I left Dora to do her thing, whilst I reattached the wheels to the bike.  It wasn't much longer until I was on my way, but I soon noticed there was a problem.

 My gears weren't working to the full capacity, and so riding the bike was a lot more difficult than planned.  I still went some distance though, but chose not to push it too hard, and instead use the hotel pool, sauna, and steam room facilities.  That decision was a winner, and gave me a far more pampered experience than the bike would have.  

We checked out the hotel menu for dinner, but it wasn't overly exciting.  Instead we caught a taxi back to Stamford, and enjoyed some Thai food, and a fair few drinks.  We didn't stay out too late though, as we both wanted to use the next day fully, and see Oakham and Melton Mowbray on our way back to Nottingham.

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photo by: sarahelaine