Road Trip Day #4, Stamford

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We awoke early and took a 5K run through the medieval streets of Stamford with perfect  conditions, cool and dry.  We also headed out of town and ran through the pastoral grounds of Burghley House until we were stopped by a road closure due to preparations for the upcoming Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials next weekend which is reportedly the premier equestrian and social event in the international sporting calendar and a focus for the best horses and riders in the world.  We reversed course and ran out of another gate back to our hotel.

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Running back towards town after being turned away from Burghley House grounds.

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We stopped to experience St. Martin’s church at the end of our run.
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This is one of five medieval churches in this small town.
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Another one of the churches, just down the street from St. Martins.
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All cleaned up, well fed and heading back to Burghley House.
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The back gardens of our hotel.

Burghley House is a grand sixteenth century country house offering a unique glimpse into how houses have been lived in from the time of Queen Elizabeth I to the present day.  It is an opulent place and is still occupied by a descendant of William Cecil the first Lord of Burghley.

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The kitchen entrance of the house.
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Part of the original kitchen.
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View into the private couryard which is for the use of the present occupants.
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The Billiards Room with portraits of many family members.
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Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom although she never really stayed here.
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There were room after room with magnificent painted walls and ceilings.
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The Heaven Room, wall covered with Gods and Goddesses at play.

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Ceiling of The Hell Staircase.
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David Cecil, Lord Burghley who won an Olympic gold medal in hurdling.

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The present day public courtyard.

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This is the wing where the present occupants, a family of six, live.
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One of the jumps for the upcoming horse trials.
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Main entrance to Burghley House, not used by the public.

We spent about an hour touring the house and then continued out to the beautiful Garden of Surprises which is a modern oasis of flowing water and fountains that is utterly delightful for children as they never know when the splash of water will erupt at various places.

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A dangerous garden if you don’t want to get wet.
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Jim found his safe place in The Garden of Surprises.

The sculpture garden was reclaimed from Capability Brown’s (Britain’s most famous gardener) lost lower gardens and has a permanent collection of over 20 sculptures.

IMG_0685IMG_0686IMG_0687IMG_0691 (1)IMG_0689IMG_0094IMG_0097.jpgIMG_0698After Burghley House we returned to the small town of Stamford and visited some of the five medieval churches before having a lovely dinner at The Crown Hotel, another famous coaching Inn.IMG_0704IMG_0705IMG_0710.jpgIMG_0711This is a beautiful little town and well worth a visit if you are in the area.  The Burghley House seems much grander and more enjoyable than Versailles.

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