Thursday, 15 August 2013

Woburn Abbey

Last weekend I took a trip to Woburn Abbey to see the Strictly Dancing Dresses. For someone who knows next to nothing about Strictly, dresses, or dancing, I really enjoyed it. (I did go with people who do like those things by the way- I'm not some sort of weird masochist)

Historic houses are some of my favourite places to visit and this one was no exception. Woburn Abbey has a colourful history and great number of connections to the monarchy- Charles I was interviewed there by Oliver Cromwell (would've loved to have been a fly on the wall in that conversation...), Queen Victoria stayed there, and Gower's Armada portrait hangs in one room (I was very excited by this one...I love Elizabeth I). There's a fantastic collection of silverware and each room is sumptuously and unabashedly lavish in its decoration. It makes my little bedroom look like the runt of the litter.

Dotted throughout the Abbey are dresses from Strictly Come Dancing. Up close, they actually look quite cheap and unimpressive and even a little tacky, but in the accompanying photographs they had much more impact. Then again, I suppose they are designed with movement in mind and hanging limply on blank faced mannequins, they probably don't look their best. It was interesting to see them though, but I have to say I was much more impressed by the house itself.

We didn't get to see much of the grounds, or gardens, as we had to dash off, but we did pop into the pottery shop and I bought a beautiful Denby-esque mug for £3. I couldn't help myself! I like supporting independent potters and the glaze was stunning. On the way out, we got a good glance at the deer that roam the grounds and I got a not so good picture of a stag. Unfortunately I missed getting a picture of the fawns, which were much cuter.

I would recommend going to Woburn Abbey for the Abbey itself, and not so much for the dresses. However, since they don't really distract from the house, you wouldn't have to wait until they're gone, thankfully. If you are interested in seeing them, they're there until the 29th September, so hop to it!

We weren't allowed to take photos inside, as you can see from this sign :(
Loads of deer in the grounds- took this out of the moving car window... Don't think I'm going to give any wildlife photographers a run for their money
First time taking the Oxford Tube from London and was very impressed. Decent price and leg room! 
I do like a good hanging basket
Some vintage buses in the car park

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