POSTCARDS FROM FEBRUARY

Blossoms at National Trust's The Courts, Holt, Wiltshire

Postcards feel like a modern day anachronism: bits of paper covered with photographs, a scribbled line or two on the back, and sent through a postal system that operates at human speed rather than almost instantaneously.

Why bother with all this when you can pop a picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter in the time it takes to hit a few buttons? As someone who both likes to send and receive postcards, I argue that it’s this very time invested in them that makes them special!

Would you like a MissElaineous postcard? Drop me a line with your mailing address by the end of March and I’ll put one in the post for you. In the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the places I visited in February that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet.

Visiting Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Castle Combe is picture-perfect Cotswold village that is often voted one of the prettiest in England. It is also practically down the street from me, so it’s one I love to visit whenever possible. In addition to its postcard-worthy main street, it is also home to the Manor House Hotel, which is one of my happy places, and their afternoon teas have formed the basis of a few birthdaversary celebrations! There are also some lovely walking trails around the outskirts of the village; I think they look great regardless of the season, but the blooms of wild garlic at the height of spring are absolutely sensational.  

Church and Moon, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Vintage Car, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Walking trail near Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Hello from The Gruffalo, Westonbirt Arboretum

I’ve been to Westonbirt Arboretum a number of times, but this was the first visit where I caught sight of their Zog Trail. The cute and colourful characters were fun to see, but I also liked that the bees seemed to enjoy the snowdrops even more than me!

Winter branches, Westonbirt Arboretum
Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Bee on snowdrop, Westonbirt Arboeretum
Crow, Westonbirt Arboretum

I’m still experimenting with my photo globe … at least when I remember to bring it with me! Westonbirt is a great place to use it though; how often can you hold a full-grown tree in the palm of your hand?

Just across from the arboretum is a small lane with a smattering of quaint Cotswold cottages, and I couldn’t resist taking a peek …

Great House, Gloucestershire
Colesbourne Park, Gloucestershire

Colesbourne Park was the fourth snowdrop garden MrElaineous and I visited in February (Lacock, Welford Park, and Painswick Rococo Garden being the other three). It advertises itself as “England’s Greatest Snowdrop Garden” and while I don’t want to create a snowdrop league table, I can vouch that it far more species of snowdrops than the other gardens! Indeed, a previous owner of Colesbourne Park, Henry John Elwes, has one species of the flower named after him, and it was lovely to see all of the plants carefully labelled (who knew there were so many different types of snowdrops?!). However, if the three-digit price tags on the flowers for sale are any indication, this isn’t a plant I will be collecting any time soon!

It was actually the other flowers at Colesbourne Park that caught my eye the day MrElaineous and I visited. The bright cyclamens, crocuses, and hellebores stood out in a sea of white, and the buds beginning to appear on the trees looked fantastic against the blue sky. A walk along the blue lake was just as picturesque; the colour is thought to be caused by local clay and it was originally set up to provide hydroelectric power to the now-demolished great house.

Pink Blossoms at Colesbourne Park, Gloucester
Pink Blossoms at Colesbourne Park, Gloucester
National Trust The Courts, Holt, Wiltshire

I have enthused about the National Trust garden at The Courts before, writing about it at the height of summer, but the late winter flowers and early spring blossoms have to be seen to be believed. In true postcard fashion, I’ll let the pictures do the talking!

Don’t forget to send me your mailing address to get a MissElaineous postcard; your address will only be used for this purpose.

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MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy