It's the start of something great. The days are getting lighter, the skies are getting brighter, the grass is getting greener and it's the time of year where we start to make the most of our National Trust membership.

Last weekend was an absolute scorcher! Totally out of the blue. Shame the same can't be said for the incoming bank holiday. How very British. But still, I have steps to do and so I'll be out there come rain or shine (I'm a new Fitbit lunatic). But back to last weekend's glorious sunshine, when the in laws asked if we fancied a walk around an N.T. Garden, we didn't hesitate. Cliveden  is one of my all time favourites and it is so close. You'll see why from the pictures.

If you arrive early you'll get in the main carpark. Super useful at the end of a long, hot day! As you wander in you are greeted by the prettiest of water features at the end of a beautiful avenue - and it is even more spectacular once the trees are in full bloom. At the end sits the house, which is now a hotel - they serve a very glamourous afternoon tea if you book ahead but I wouldn't go strolling in in your walking gear.

I could stand at this fountain for hours.

There are so many places to explore at Cliveden. In this post is by no means them all! We've been countless times and everytime we find something new. The N.T. Membership is worth it just to visit this one a few times a year.

We headed into the long garden and were overwhelmed by a display of colour! Spring really has arrived.

Every little yellow petal basking in the sunlight.

As you walk around the estate there are views for miles everywhere. Cliveden is set high above the Thames and it's an amazing walk right down to the water, there are beginner and intermediate routes so it suits everyone!

A quick stop at the church tower for a photo opportunity - Snr.B loves a good church :P

One of the most challenging routes to head down to the river bank is the almighty staircase. It stretches down for ages, almost disappearing from view.

Going down isn't too bad, but coming up... I'll leave it at that. Once down, you are rewarded GENEROUSLY.

Being the early birds, though it was busy already, we headed straight for the self drive boating station. 

You can rent power boats and row boats. They can seem a little pricey but absolutely worth it. We all jumped into a power boat and away from the dock we zoomed, Mr B navigating the waterways.

The original Mrs B was thrilled, as you can see.

My Jeeves <3 He's always a good captain. (I think he was a pirate in his last life :') ) YARRRGGGGHHHHH!

On we cruised towards Maidenhead lock, looking out for birds and river babies as we went.

I was leading the WAG life on this journey, can you tell?

The views very dreamy ;)

Bigger and more glamourous boats passed as we went. We waved boldly, smiled goofily and muttered our disbelief at their magnificence as they went.

As we reached the lock, we made a swift turn back on ourselves to avoid the traffic and a 2.5ft drop over a weir. Though Mr B likes to leave these turns until quite late for the drama.

On our approach back to Cliveden, you really get a feel for its magnitude. Perched proudly on the hill, can you imagine being the person to have lived here once upon a time?!

I'm not great at selfies but I thought I'd grab one en route. See I was there too!

As we headed down a narrower channel, we passed some nesting swans <3

Proud Mummy was preparing her nest and quite a nest it was too.

Daddy hung around to protect her.

We met a few critters on our way...

The next two were the strangest ;p

How perfect is this bench. You could waste away a day here.

Back on solid ground after lots of relaxing, we headed into the woodland after a quick picnic lunch. 

The first bluebells had sprung.

A lovely little family photo spot.

Cliveden is also home to a lovely Chinese garden and maze. It has something to suit the whole family. Blossom was decorating the trees in all its glory.

A heron even stopped by to pose.

And catch his lunch! Such a treat to watch.

And just like that, belly full, he was off.

As you head to the back of the house, the views of the manicured gardens are unreal. So perfect. I don't think there is a leaf out of place.

And my all time favourite spot here. The Turtle Fountain. The views are breathtaking.

Until they are interrupted by a loony with their arms up hehe.

We finished up with well deserved ice creams before heading off for dinner - outside of course - we have to make the most of these glorious, sunshine filled days.

Visit Cliveden, rent a boat, walk in the woods, combat the maze, sit by one of their many fountains, have afternoon tea in the orangery, lie under a blossom tree or picnic in a meadow. Every visit offers something different, and often something even lovelier than the visit before!

- MTWP xxx

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