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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:34 pm
Posts: 59
Having booked Warner's at the start of the post Covid season we looked at some of the first reviews and were a little shocked.

I even tried telephoning head office but they were engaged. However, a week before we were due to go the reviews did get better.

So I thought I would give an honest review via a picture blog of our experience there.

This year we had booked to stay in Cricket House a grade two listed building as our holiday abroad had been cancelled. Other years we have stayed in a Signature room in the walled garden so have lots of pictures of other holidays to go back on.

Other years I had not photographed the walks or pictured the meals, so I have made a special effort to do it this year to calm people's nerves.

We had two lots of confirmations from Warner's one said our room would be ready at 1 pm another said 3 pm. So we took a chance arriving at 1 pm but of course it was 3 pm for all rooms.

No matter the scenery is so nice, so after parking the car, we would have a walk around.

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I think we were the first to arrive but people staying for a week would still be on site.

Nice Pyracantha berries at the front of the house

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Cricket House front

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and to the side of the house there is a fountain

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At the back of the house there was a stage set up with chairs on the lawn. I understand entertainment was held outside up until September, not sure that it would have gone down too well with some clientele sleeping above in Cricket House. However, I believe that has now stopped and entertainment is now in the Pavilion. However, further entertainment was being held in Cricket House but we were too tired to hear it lol.

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So a walk around for an hour, there was no staff to greet us in the house so we went to reception in the main Pavilion area and was told to see the staff at the main gate at 2 pm for our keys and information.

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There is a Portal point above the gate to the river bridge and if you position your camera carefully one can get an unusual shot. This is one I did last year and will later become clear why I did not attempt it again this year

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and a nice walk along the river

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Oh what is this, I hope it will not spoil my photography

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Never mind, to the side of the walkway is a couple of tended gardens and depending on the time of the year one goes the flowers change.

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a vivid red flower always catches the eye

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There were also purple ones in the same variety

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and this purple fern

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and a yellow flower, all these I will return to at a later time

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Here is one of five statues you may come across. I believe they were made for an exhibition by the artist but the owner of the estate liked them so much he bought them all.

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The grounds has a massive Redwood tree and thought I would take it at an angle from the bottom

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yellow rubeckia daisies

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more of the river

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So that easily passed an hour and we walked to the entrance gate to be given our holiday information entertainment / keys etc. We clearly we not going to be allowed into our room until 3 pm, so sat in the car until it was time.

There was no staff communication in the house itself and all information had to be obtained from main reception.

So it was 3 pm

And now taking our cases upstairs. No porter here this year, something which had been available in the past in the easy access of the Signature rooms but have no experience of what was provided in the house but these are strange times.

It was no problem for us but I did see a lady struggling to get her case upstairs and I asked if she would like help. Being honest, for a luxury place to see this happening to me was just not right.

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our room

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view from our windows

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bathroom

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complimentary food and drink on arrival

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So all settled in and after a cup of tea a walk around. This is the stage which is no longer used and tables and chairs laid out for evening cocktails. For those now going I think the outside entertainment has ended and is now in the Pavilion in two sessions

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On the bridge looking up the river

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The ducks are friendly

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The water under the bridge goes down a man made weir

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a favourite tree of mine I liked to photograph near the bridge

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There is a church inside the grounds of Cricket St Thomas and open for worship twice a week

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Another of the five statues one may come across in the walks

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A nice evening

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another man made weir on the river

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It was time for our evening dinner and I intended to take the camera with me but left it in the room.

One of the mains was roast shoulder of lamb which was very nice.

We chose 7:30 pm for our meal times as not too bothered with entertainment. However, the 7:30 pm slot had gone for our first night so picked 6:45 pm.

The tables are nicely staggered and clients wore masks in the corridors and inside the restaurant until seated at the table (table allocated each evening). So a different table given each evening, so on arrival one no longer is required to sort out a table beforehand.

Then it was back to our room.

Oh the lights come on automatically in the bathroom

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The bed creaked as we got in perhaps giving the feeling that Nelson had at sea lol but very comfortable bed.

Goodnight Lady Hamilton lol

End of day one

..................................................

Day two

I crept downstairs at the early hour of 7am lol

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and quietly went out the front door

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a nice sky

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The yellow digger had moved into my favourite spot

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So I thought I would do the tricky trail and amble ramble walk

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The next picture tells you all about the statues and I was privileged to meet some of the Taylor family as they were the people working on the drainage of the water which comes from a privately owned spring that supplies the water to Warner's and other places in the area.

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So we are now working our way up the tricky trail towards the house. A bit of a slope for wheelchairs

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Across the immaculate lawns there is the third statue of a boy standing on his head

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also watch out for pheasants at this time of the morning. However, I believe I only saw one this year but saw it several times during the holiday.

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These are the Courtyard rooms connected by a long corridor from the main house

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a slope made to avoid stairs going up to the house and garden

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The House garden

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about to go down some stairs but wheelchairs would need to go over the other side of the putting green to avoid the stairs

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at the bottom of the stairs turn left and head for the river

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at the bottom is of the path is a monkey puzzle tree, unfortunately the bark has disappeared quite quickly over the last couple of years

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Also over looking the bridge is the Portal of reflections where you can take unusual pictures like the one shown on the first day.

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So now turning left and walking along side of the river, watch out for the pheasants, always been a good spot for them other years

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This one is hiding behind the weeds my camera has focused on the weeds rather than the pheasant

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I would have to put my camera in manual focus to get it right but for now I am not too worried about it

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a nice place to relax

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Then a left turn into here

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and through a little archway in the hedge

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follow the archway through to the middle and you will come across a waterfall

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coming out of the tunnel turn left

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at the end on the left are the red flowers but we have seen those earlier

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so turn right and go over the little bridge to go back to the river if step is too high

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or continue over the wooden bridge

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passing the gardens on your left

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and passing the statues of the pillow fight mentioned earlier

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There is a small pond on the right

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Then one is back on the path near the river

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There is a small shelter to look out of if it rains

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so that is the little walk complete

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So now walking back to the house

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A couple of flowers in the garden still out

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a dahlia

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and all photographed before breakfast

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Our breakfast was timed for 8:30 am and there was a queue to get in. There was obviously a problem but it did not happen again on this holiday

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It is now waiter service and all help yourself counters have gone due to Covid restrictions

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Tea and coffee was served with toast, along with fruit juice, smoothies and a fruit platter for us

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followed by the full English

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After breakfast I had booked us to see Downton Abbey at 11 am in the hotel cinema as I had promised to take Mrs Db to see it in the cinema but it never happened due to Covid.

So we had a couple of hours to spare so it was another walk together

I think these are begonias outside the hotel

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This time going around the pathway at the back of the putting / bowling green

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and passed the Orangery which now just seems to hold sports equipment

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an unusual chair cut into a tree trunk

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So this is still considered the amble ramble and the tricky trail from the back end of the putting green

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but this time avoiding the stairs going down

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on the left you will see an unusual tree house

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turning right at the bottom we leave the amble ramble and continue with the tricky trail which will later join the hilly hike

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Heading now to the lake end of the complex

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This is a new sculpture added this year, one could call it a pear of horseshoes

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to the right there is a small area over a little bridge to look at

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at the far end, you will come across the fourth statue of the boy and girl playing leap frog

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so back on the path around the lake and on the tricky trail again

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There is a little fish food machine on the left but never seen any fish in the lake

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On the right is an art deco building and a waterfall. Unfortunately, the boarding around the building has become derelict so getting around to the waterfall is no longer possible. I think the building was part of a zoo which was on the land many years ago. Also Mr Bobby had a show filmed there too.

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another fenced off art deco building which I would have loved to have photographed properly but not sure of it's history

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Here is a plague which is in memory of Hugh Garner Taylor, where the Taylor family who still own the land have built the woodland walk in his memory

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we were now approaching the bridge, we could have gone further on this walk but it was approaching 11 am and we had Downton Abbey to see in the cinema

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on the other side of the bridge the digger is having to locate some blocked piping for water to drain into the river from the fields above

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so back to the House to see the film

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The lounge/library of the house

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which leads into the Tea and bar room

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I think my wife counted seven pairs of chairs nicely spaced out but only 4 couples incluing us where using them and we wore masks

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Muffled chuckles could be heard from masks lol

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afterwards it was back upstairs and feeling the part of Robert and Cora Crawley, the Earl and Countess of Grantham for three more days but failed to see any bells to ring in the room. Oh well we will just have to make our own tea then lol

Not wanting to settle down, I was out once more and doing the last part of the walk in reverse. I had a photo competition with the theme of 'old' and had remembered the iron bridge from previous visits so was going to get some photos to work on for the competition

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Love the shape of this tree

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looking back with this shot, the river is on my right in the direction I am walking

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This is the lower path, there is a higher pathway next to the complex but will sown that later.

One can see the disused iron bridge in the distance

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another look back at that tree

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One has to go through a gate to get to the bridge, the iron bridge can't be used but there is another wooden bridge near it to cross the river

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so just going off the main pathway to get some better angles of the bridge

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As you can imagine I took lots of shots

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and will have to go through them to find the perfect one

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These will give you some idea

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So now back on track, I then go alongside the wooden bridge

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No gate on this bridge but the one going into the field behind me has to be shut to keep the sheep in.

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So now I am on the hilly hike which will later join the tricky trail at the next bridge

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There are two man made weirs along this point

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There is a gate at the end of the bridge which is getting hard to shut but needs to be closed to keep sheep on one side of the bank.

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The pheasant is back but not on the menu tonight lol

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who me??

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I'm off

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bath time, send Carson up to run my bath please lol.

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No queuing of anything significance from now on and quickly shown to out table

we both chose the potato cakes

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and roast beef for the mains

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potato cake

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roast

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my wife had the trifle

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and I had the bramble apple tart

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Then back up to our room

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Where through the window the Orangery has been lit up ..well orangery lol

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Good night Lady Hamilton

End of day two


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