This year's Chairman's Outing -
Sculpture By The Lakes
Boarding our luxury coach we travelled to Dorset with the sun shining and the promise of a great day out.
And what a day it was: peaceful, inspiring, fascinating and hugely enjoyable in the beautiful 26 acres of grounds, lakes and gardens of this glorious location.
Following a personal welcome and introduction from Toria, the manager, over 30 of us split up to explore the wide variety of bronzes – animals and birds, abstract works and many humorous examples of the sculptor’s work. Birdsong and the sound of water was everywhere with surprises around every corner.
The Gallery had further examples of work, paintings and sculpture, much of it with a wildlife theme and the nearby Gallery Restaurant provided much needed sustenance of home cooked and innovative dishes – and cakes of course!
Adjacent to the house was a stunningly designed garden comprising a surprising selection of plants and flowers laid out in unusual sequences with willow, tunnels, paving and water features - and virtually unique in this country, a flowering bamboo!
Unusually, rolling waves of hedging with a grass river walkway took you on a journey over three levels to feature bronze sculptures of exotic birds and a delightful row of mixed summer fruit, with a patina suggesting the appropriate colours for each one.
And of course, there were the animals – apart from the wildlife – water fowl of all sorts with their newly hatched young, there were the rescue dogs and chickens running free and scratching around in their enclosure near the magnificent vegetable garden. A real delight.
So, after covering a substantial distance on foot, some of us sketching and painting in the grounds, admiring the gardens and relaxing in the shade of the trellis restaurant, it was all-to-soon to depart.
Mike, our driver, provided a smooth and enjoyable journey back to Budleigh where we all went our own ways with smiles and inspiration from a truly great day out. As a reminder, below are some of the photos taken by members. Where to next year? ... that's the question.