Thursday 5 September 2013

We take Ryder to Down House

Today Ryder and I went to visit Charles Darwin....well not actually the man has he has been dead a long time but the house where he lived and worked.  Here we are saying hello to the great fellow.  He looks rather distinguished doesn't he?

His house was just wonderful and the rooms were so large and roomy.  

This is the Billiard Room.  For the first 15 years that the Darwin family lived in this house it was used as a dining room before it was moved across the corridor.

The Dining Room was originally used as a Drawing Room until it was extended in 1858.

The Drawing Room ( or what we would probably call a lounge or living room, looked very homely with books, piano & bassoon.

The Old Study with its pigeon hole shelves and even a partitioned 'privy' was where Darwin spent a lot of his time working and studying his detailed scientific work.  

We venture upstairs where there are various displays about the life of Charles Darwin and his family.

There were lots of  items on display and we found it all very fascinating indeed.

Oh look Ryder a dinosaur and a model volcano!

Looking at the butterflies we decided we preferred to see them flying around in the wild.

The microscope was put up high...probably to avoid temptation to touch!

Saying hello to the tortoise.

One room was dedicated to various interactive activities for young children and we could finally get to touch and play with some things!

Do you think we can find the card to match the beetle?

Hmmm...I am not sure...

We checked out the globe and looked up where Ryder lives....unfortunately that made him a bit homesick seeing how far away it was and as soon as we got home he started to write a note to his Mom asking if he can come home now as he is missing his brothers and sisters.  

Fortunately though while we were there, once we got outside he forgot his homesickness feelings for a while.

The day was really glorious and the house spectacular

My Mum and Dad said they want a house just like this - no neighbours, nice and quiet peaceful surroundings with plenty of acreage!

Outside we got a chance to run around, climb trees and investigate nature.

I wonder if Darwin's children got to sit underneath this tree?

We walked round the kitchen garden.

It was really warm and I was starting to wish I wasn't still wearing my Harry Potter uniform....but don't tell Mum that!

Oh this is Mum taking yet MORE flower photos.... 

Now even Ryder and I had to admit this was pretty cool.

Walking through the kitchen garden led us to the Sand walk - a walk that Charles Darwin used to call his 'thinking path' where he strolled three times a day, formulating his ideas.    From here you can look back at the house.

By now I had shed my sweater - it was just too hot - why didn't I wear shorts and a t-shirt like Mum suggested?!

This looked like a good tree to try to climb.

Hey!  Look at me!

I'm the King of the Castle.

As you can see I am looking rather hot and weary so I opted to climb this cool mossy stump instead.

What we saw next amazed us....actually I think we smelt it first!

This fungi actually smelt like giant mushrooms...the sort you would expect to see in the woods where Harry Potter goes to school.   Hey perhaps I was right to wear my Harry Potter School Uniform after all!

We better be careful it doesn't decide to swallow us up!

We just can't get over its size.

and smell!

You can tell it fascinated us for quite a while before we continued on our walk.

It was cooler walking through the woods and I abandoned my hat.

Although I think Ryder looks like he is fairing better than me with his t shirt on.

So what do you think Ryder is this fun?

It is a bit like Robin Hood and Little John

What do you mean I am Little John?  Are you really that much taller than me?!

A little later we discuss our afternoon.

I've really enjoyed staying with you Henry, but I really do think it is time I went home.  Ryder tells me.

I know, but it is always sad when the time comes to say goodbye.  I reply.

We chat for a bit longer before making our way back to the kitchen garden which is on the way back to the house.

Some more fabulous flowers.

There were some lovely seating areas in the garden.  Dad heads towards one.

Taking a rest!

Was surprised to see this flower in the tree.... it seems to be later than most.

Oh yummy plums...they smelt wonderful!  Just as Mum was about to pick one to taste she got distracted by me!

I thought I might do some scrumping...

Yup, I can just about reach it!

This pear looks just perfect!

How about this apple!  Is our bag big enough for a few apples and pears?   

Apparently not as I was unceremoniously pulled down from the tree and told I wasn't allowed them!  Still we have some at home, so that is okay.

One last look at the gardens before we leave for home.

The Mulberry tree outside the children's school and play room.

The drive home through the narrow tree lined lanes.


  1. adorable! Lorraine, you have a way with the photography and story-tellling to bring it all alive! Love the places you visit, as well!

  2. Such a wonderful place and great to see the Charles Darwin house. The garden and pathway are so lovely and Ryder is having the best time!!!! Thank you Henry for being an extra special host and thank your Mum and Dad too!!!!

  3. Ryder seems to be getting homesick. but then, it must be time for him to go home to start school.
    He and Henry have gotten along very well, and had lots of fun.

    I enjoyed seeing Darwin's garden - I'm quite impressed with the flower photos!

  4. I always pictured Darwin living in a small cottage. Guess not! It's been great fun reading about Ryder's visit. I hope he has a safe trip home, and Henry gets another visitor soon.

  5. I very much like the various house tours too. Tell the boys it's a staghorn beetle.

    Ryder looks so different with his punk hair--very neat. I love the Harry Potter outfit for Henry

  6. I am glad you had good weather for your visit to Darwin's house. I suppose Ryder must go home though it is always sad to end a holiday and fun with friends.

  7. We are so impressed with all the photos and all the fun you Henry is having! His friend Ryder is a cutie, too!

  8. Looks like Ryder will have sooo many great memories to take home wirh him, this looked like a particularly fun day with so much to see and do! I suspect that he is missing his family now's a long time for a small boy to be apart from his mum...he has been very brave!!
    He will go back to school with so much to tell his classmates though!!