About Me

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Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it

Sunday September 17th 2017 - East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens

This was the day when I finally, finally, got to do the garden visit, though initially I thought I wouldn't be going anywhere unless I walked, and the gardens were too far away to do that. It had turned out to be a glorious day but several lengthy bouts of overnight rain, added to what had fallen over the previous few days, had softened the ground so much that when I tried to reverse off my pitch the back wheels just dug themselves in and wouldn't budge. Even putting foam mats down underneath didn't help - I was well and truly stuck. 

Now I knew that the site owner's son had a 4x4 with a towbar on the back so I went round to the house to see if he was in - luckily he was, and when I explained the problem he came straight round to the field, attached a big chain to both vehicles and with me steering the van he pulled it backwards off the pitch. With that minor problem sorted I finally set off for the gardens and arrived a few minutes before opening time at 1pm, in fact I was the first visitor there.

I was pleased to see that the admission price was still the same as last year and once I'd handed over my cash I set off on my wander round. It was after my visit last year that I realised there were some areas of the garden I'd missed seeing so my quest this time was to seek out those areas. The only trouble is, the garden itself is so vast and has so many different sections that without a map it's quite easy to miss things (and also quite easy to get lost) so even though I found some of the areas I hadn't previously seen I know I missed out on others. I also noticed that some parts were looking a little unkempt compared to last year, but I put that down to the fact that new areas are being developed and without a small army of gardeners there probably isn't enough time to do everything. I still got lots of photos though and the ones on here are just a small selection of the many I took.

After well over an hour-and-a-half of wandering it was time for a brew so I called in at the tea room, and in spite of all the delicious-looking home made cakes on display I resisted temptation and opted for a sausage roll to go with my coffee. The sausage roll was also home made and was so good that I bought another to take away for later, then after taking the dogs for a walk round the tree-shaded car park (they aren't allowed in the gardens) I set off on the second part of my day.


  1. What a wonderful place Tigermouse, Pleased you managed to get there.


    1. It's a lovely place Yvonne, and for anyone who likes gardens and/or flower photography it's well worth a visit :)

  2. Glad the camp site were able to get you out of the mud. Lovely photos from your garden visit.

  3. It's the least they could do after charging me so much to stay there! lol
    The gardens are really lovely and there's a surprise round every corner. For an insight have a look at this programme first shown three years ago -
    A few minutes before the end it shows a specially commissioned sculpture being put in place - I came across it while wandering round and actually took a photo of it but it was in quite a dark corner so the shot didn't look as good as I'd hoped.

  4. What an utterly glorious garden. In my wildest fantasies I think I would like something similar, but not the upkeep. Your photos are brilliant.

    Assume you have seen: http://www.e-ruston-oldvicaragegardens.co.uk

  5. Yes, I've seen the website, in fact I've looked at it more than once to check the map for the names of various sections of the garden. It's a wonderful place and well worth visiting if you're ever down that way :)


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