On Tuesday I booked to go on a mystery tour. It was being run by my church. I love a good mystery.
The coach set off and we stopped at this lovely quaint village called Scorton. Here there is an old barn that has been turned into a gift shop and a cafe. We were served hot buttered tea cakes and either tea or coffee. The coffee was freshly made and delicious. The tea cakes had that slight flavour of cinnamon that I love. It was a somewhat stormy day so the food and drink was welcome.
Off we went again, I guessed we were heading for the beautiful and wild Trough of Bowland by the route being taken. This is a land of fells and rivers and woods. It is a favourite haunt of the Queen, believe it or not, and much of it is owned by the Duke of Westminster. Situated in North East Lancashire it falls away eventually into Yorkshire, but we don't have to talk about that! Lancashire and Yorkshire folk have a friendly rivalry.
It was a hairy journey, tiny roads, hump backed bridges, frightening bends. The weather did not help, pouring with rain, a wind blowing in from the west (straight from the USA I suspect!). However the heather was in full bloom, and spread in vivid purple clumps over the dark green hills.
Eventually after negotiating milk tankers and other motorists, we arrived at this beautiful house. Built in l721, it was a perfect example of Georgian architecture. There were lovely gardens - we managed to enjoy the brief spaces between rain when even the sun popped out - and the house allowed us to mix and mingle as resting in a pub or restaurant would not have allowed.
Our wonderful organisers had booked the house for the day and we were free to wander at will. They provided us with a hot and cold buffet and sold any drinks at cost price. Remember, this is a church trip...but we know how to enjoy ourselves. The house buzzed with chatter and friendliness. It was wonderful.
It was said the house had a "presence" i.e. ghost, but I did not see one...however I think I did see Mr Darcy in the garden...yes I am sure it was he!