After our return from Paris, the weather here in our corner of the world took a dramatic turn for the worse. In the UK, April 2012 ended up being the wettest month in 100 years and the coldest since 1989. It was miserable. Some days were a mixed bag with a few glimpses of sun, but it was completely unpredictable. One moment it would be sunny, and two minutes later it could be pouring (or hailing!). Other days were simply unending rain (with varying degrees of intensity).
It was impossible to plan outdoor activities without expecting to get wet. The weather definitely complicated our efforts to explore England, but we did our best to dodge the raindrops and get out and about. One thing I was quite keen to see was some of the famous bluebell woods that appear each spring. As it turns out, bluebells are everywhere around here! We found a spectacular area of them along Frank’s Walk on nearby Leith Hill.
We also found bluebells at Hatchlands Park, a stately home and estate near Guildford. We had a pleasant ramble throughout the grounds and play areas at Hatchlands (and hardly got rained on at all).
The big family event in April was Joey’s birthday. We now have a nine year old in our midst! We marked the occasion at home with a cake and presents, and in lieu of a party we decided to take Joey (and the rest of our gang) to visit The Making of Harry Potter at London’s Warner Bros. Studio. Because it’s an extremely popular attraction, we couldn’t get tickets until May. I’ll post our pictures of the visit in the May recap post.
Sometimes the weather just called for indoor type activities. One Saturday we went to our local theater, Dorking Halls, to see Disney’s most recent version of Winnie the Pooh.
We also went into London and visited the Natural History Museum. This place is huge, and we really just scratched the surface of all there is to see.
Sometimes we just decided to brave the rain. This proved to be a great tactic for visiting Chessington World of Adventures. Because it was a rainy day, we were able to enjoy the park with very few other visitors. It was wet, but fun!
During a lull in the rain one Sunday afternoon we visited Clandon Park, another local manor house with beautiful grounds. Unfortunately the gardens were closed off due to the wet conditions, but we did tour the house and checked out the Surrey Infantry Museum onsite. The boys had fun trying on some of the military uniforms.
It was a soggy month. We kept trying to think of the fabulous “May Flowers” that all the rain might bring, but we all got pretty fed up with the wet weather.