English countryside


Horses are led out before a Saturday morning lesson at Sophie's stable. photo by Kamilla

I think I have mentioned before how my vision of England included girls regency garb walking about green hills spotted with sheep. I am very pleased to report that this scene (minus the girls in empire dresses) does exist!

I began my Saturday morning by going to watch Sophie’s horseback riding lesson.  The red stables in green pastures with little girls eager to ride could have been a scene in picture book.

And just 40 minutes away, similar settings did inspire someone’s paintbrush.

That someone was Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill, perhaps England’s most famous Prime Minister, was not

Chartwell was Winston Churchill's home and place of relaxation. The house was given to Churchill as a gift from "a grateful nation" for his leadership in WWII and then given to the National Trust. photo by Kamilla

only active in politics and the military, but was also a recipient of the Nobel Literature prize and an accomplished painter.

His house, which I visited with Julian and Aisling,  late Saturday afternoon with the family, is filled with his paintings of the English countryside and his favorite horses.

And who can blame him? The countryside is beautifully inspiring.

Chartwell, the house, is perched upon a little hill and overlooks hundreds of acres of farmland. There are gardens and water pools surrounding the house and a brick playhouse for Churchill’s children in the garden.

Sophie mentioned a few times that if her family moved here, they

Chartwell is surrounded by gardens and the gardens are surrounded by walls. Churchill built garden walls for relaxation. He liked building them because he could see what he accomplished. photo by Kamilla

would have enough room for horses. Her father, Julian, responded that if they lived in Chartwell, they would have the money for horses. (I suspect this is an ongoing argument in the household.)

And while I will probably never live in a country manor with horses, it’s nice to know that places like Chartwell still exist and that I’m free to visit anytime.

Cows graze on the hillsides of Chartwell. photo by Kamilla

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