The humans often stop at National Trust properties to break journeys when travelling. On this very cold March day the car pulled into Cotehele. We had no idea that it was a special day but were quite delighted to find that it was Daffodil Day. There was an exhibition displaying the many different varieties. Daffodils were strung up in a garland outside the old packing shed.Years ago sheds like this were used to pack up flowers and fruit to be taken to markets to be sold.There were lots of old fruit trees in the Old Orchard.The trees in the Mother Orchard were younger (planted only ten years ago) and had little pots around the bottoms of them for small bears to sit in. It started snowing while I was having my little rest; hence the white specks on the photograph.Amongst the apple trees that was a huge hand as though there might be a giant underneath the ground. I think a manicure was needed as one the nails was broken.At the edge of the field a large building housed a cider press. I like cider but as I am only quite small I only have a few sips to taste it now and then.I was pleased to find a glasshouse as although snow can be fun it also makes fur wet and cold. Glasshouses are usually warm.There were lots of seedlings growing in pots. Some of the pots were empty; the gardener told us that a mouse had been nibbling them.The snow continued to fall as we walked on around the gardens. The Prospect Tower was closed for maintenance. Maybe we will see it next time we visit.The beautiful blooms of the camellia didn’t seem to be troubled by the snow that was still falling.Here I am with the Cotehele House behind me. It is about 500 years old.We went into the house and found arts and crafts for sale. I had a chat with one of the grey knitted bears. There was a splendid bear sized chair for sale too.On our way to the rest of the house I walked through an archway lined with daffodils. Once inside again I warmed my fur for a while by the fireplace.There was a little chapel just inside the door with a posh fence half way across. Apparently in the old days the rich people that lived in the house would sit one side and the other side was for the poor people who had to stand and came in through a different entrance.I sat at the organ but decided not to play it as I thought ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ might not be appropriate.After going up some stairs I arrived at a little hidey hole that had a tiny window. I peered through and could see the room downstairs. It was a spy hole!My legs always get very tired climbing the steep stairs of stately homes.Outside it was still snowing so I was glad to be indoors.In the kitchen there was another fire keeping visitors and the National Trust volunteer guide warm.I thought it was probably time these vegetables were made into a stew.The sink was very interesting indeed.Unfortunately I fell in. It was just as well that there was no water in the bottom.The humans helped me out and pointed out to me that there was a little fireplace underneath which would have been lit to heat the water in the sink.Next to the sink there was an enormous stone oven where many loaves of bread must have been baked.Up above on the wall was a big shovel that reminded me of the ‘pizza peel’ that we have at home.The kitchen had buckets (made of leather) which would have been jolly useful had there been a fire. I had a last look at the house before we set off to walk down the valley to the Quay.On the way I sat for a while in a little thatched shelter and watched the snow falling.A little stream ran down the valley. I think lots of the plants were still asleep for winter but there were a few primroses braving the cold.At Cotehele Quay I was hoping to see a very old barge build in 1899 called the Shamrock. However, it has been put in a tent to protect it.I persuaded one of the humans to lift me up and I had a quick peek through one of the holes in the tent. The Shamrock did indeed look very old. Further along the quay I was pleased to find a seaworthy boat. The Little Charley.We walked on to see the waterwheel which was being driven round and round by the water dropping on top of it. This is still used to grind wheat into flour.I wasn’t in luck for a freshly baked bun though as the baker wasn’t there. There was a very interesting little outdoor cupboard near the mill where many years ago people used to keep butter in order to keep it cool.The thought of flour, butter and baking made me feel extremely hungry. The Edgecombe Tearoom is an excellent place for hungry bears.
Another very interesting place for bears and their humans to visit.
Horace the Alresford Bear 27/03/2018
For more information about Cotehele see: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele