I didn't mention on the other blog how we parked at the first parking lot we found. A nice old man asked if we needed to pay and I said we had joined the National Trust and also we were there for the Mass. He smiled and told us not to park in any of the handicapped spots. There were tons of handicapped spots, which made me wonder, was that just for the Mass? Did they always have that many handicapped spots? Dismissing such thoughts, we set out for the monastery.
A sign in front of a building pointed up the road and said the entrance was half a mile. We started walking up the hill, little realizing that half a mile brought us to the entrance driveway, which was another half a mile long. Jacob was getting pretty tired before we had seen anything. We found the main entrance and went in, discovering another car park right by the entrance building! Very frustrating.
The admissions lady told us about a playground right behind the restaurant for the children. We decided to walk down the hill to see the historical buildings. On our left was the restaurant and behind it was a grandfather and granddaughter who seemed to be playing a giant Connect Four game on the lawn. We were a little surprised since it seemed to be the only "playground" thing around. 200 feet later, we discovered the real playground:
|This instantly became an obstacle course for Jacob.|
|He also enjoyed this slide.|
|Lucy found a unique sort of swing.|
Another thing I didn't mention on the other blog was the overall grounds of the Abbey. Founded in 1132 by thirteen monks, the Abbey grew into one of the most prosperous of all Europe. They had a working mill which survived King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. We didn't get to see the mill on this trip but we surely will on a future trip. It's such a beautiful place. The gardens are extensive and there's a "Serpentine Tunnel" that I am dying to see. Also on the grounds, a large park is home to three types of deer, whom I am sure the children would love to see. They'd also love to go back to the playground, too. It will be easier since we've discovered where to park. Look for a future posting when we see more of the abbey!