A picnic under the most famous apple tree in history

Are you a science nerd?

Well, from one science nerd to another, welcome.

If you’re not a science nerd, perhaps you like food? Or picnics? Being outdoors? Historic properties? Hilarious selfie fails? If so, I got you. If not, I’m sorry. Maybe try back next week.

Last weekend I took a last minute road trip with Kelly up the A1, a road I have a chequered history with. This time it was totally different, with the sun on our faces and a breeze through our hair (well, the air con anyway) we set off in search of history and intrigue.

Stop 1: Sir Isaac Newton’s House, Woolsthorpe Manor

This house is where Sir Isaac was born, and retreated to when Cambridge University was closed due to plague (I could make a joke here but I shan’t). He also wrote some of his most famous works, notably on how white light is formed of many different colours of light. Most significant of all however, is that this is where the famous apple tree resides that inspired the law of universal gravitation. Yes, that apple tree.

You can have a picnic under Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. What's not to love?

So Kelly and I decided that we would have a picnic under it. NB – it’s the tree on the right, in case you hadn’t guessed from the protective fence around it.

We had brought all the best looking gluten free picnic offerings from Marks and Spencer, and what a good spread it was too (if a little cake-heavy).

You can have a picnic under Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. What's not to love?

I score M&S top marks for this. Stand out winners included the gluten free scotch eggs, BLT sandwich and the Extremely Chocolatey Millionaire’s Caramel Mini Bites. Amazing.

Once we’d scoffed the lot, we set about trying to take a selfie with an apple on our heads. Of course, it went really well.

Sir Isaac Newton National Trust gluten free picnic 13 Sir Isaac Newton National Trust gluten free picnic 14

We decided we really should be cultured, so headed inside to check out the house. There was a National Trust staff member all ready and waiting to give us an info sheet on the house, which we accepted – nothing like a good info sheet.

You can have a picnic under Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. What's not to love?

I loved the lab trinkets set up around the house, and the fact that the rooms were set up just as they would have been back in the 17th century.

You can have a picnic under Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. What's not to love?

This is Sir Isaac’s room itself, where he performed many experiments – it’s also got a great view of the apple tree. You can even see the old carved wooden safe marked as Sir Isaac Newton’s with a brass nameplate.

You can have a picnic under Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. What's not to love?

In the other bedroom is a plaque commemorating his birth, this being the room he was born in. We exited this room rapidly after reading a sign about how weak the floor was – all that cake suddenly didn’t seem like such a good idea.

You can have a picnic under Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. What's not to love?

After a little look around the rest of the grounds, Kelly and I had clearly not had enough National Trust for one day. So we headed a bit further down the A1 to…

Stop 2: Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s residence Belton House

Any Jane Austen fan will tell you whose house this is:

Would you like to take a turn around Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s house aka Belton House, Lincolnshire?

Sadly Kelly and I had not been invited for tea at Rosings, so we made do with a wander around the immaculately laid out gardens.

Would you like to take a turn around Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s house aka Belton House, Lincolnshire?

As I’ve said before, there’s not many things we do excellently in the UK, but gardens is definitely one of them. I’ve never visited anywhere with gardens quite as good as ours. There was a hot house, a lovely big fountain, and an en-suite church.

Would you like to take a turn around Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s house aka Belton House, Lincolnshire?

You can see the contents of that lovely hot house right here.

Formal gardens…

Would you like to take a turn around Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s house aka Belton House, Lincolnshire?

Wildflower gardens…

Would you like to take a turn around Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s house aka Belton House, Lincolnshire?

Flowers hanging out on walls…

Would you like to take a turn around Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s house aka Belton House, Lincolnshire?

More flowers than you could shake a camera with a flat battery at. (My camera died at some point during the day, meaning some of these were taken with my phone. Can you tell which ones?)

In summary:

> Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree is really beautiful, astonishingly still alive given its age, and surrounded by a peaceful meadow that’s an idyllic place for a picnic

> Woolsthorpe Manor is a small National Trust property but full of charm

> Belton House is an impressively large National Trust property which is also full of charm

> The gardens at Belton House are some of the most impressive and immaculate gardens I’ve been to in quite a while

> The National Trust really is a national treasure; we’re so lucky to have it

Home time rolled around and we reluctantly headed back to Bedford. Of course, we sat bumper to bumper on the A1 but we did put the world to rights as we crawled along so it was time well spent. Thanks Kelly for driving and being excellent company as ever, here’s to more madcap roadtrips in the future!

-Rachel

You can have a picnic under Sir Isaac Newton's famous apple tree. What's not to love?

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26 Comments

  1. 21st July 2016 / 20:48

    Looks like an awesome day trip! I’d love to see both of them and put my NT membership to some good use!

    • 21st July 2016 / 22:37

      It was great, my membership has only just lapsed and I’m really sad about it. It’s definitely a cool card to have in your wallet 🙂

  2. Jen
    21st July 2016 / 23:48

    I am so jealous! This looks like such an amazing day trip! I want to go! 🙂

    • 25th July 2016 / 11:51

      It was a great day trip! We’re so lucky to have so much cool stuff just down the road. I often forget that.

  3. 22nd July 2016 / 11:55

    This sounds like such a lovely day trip and both places weren’t even on my radar so thanks for sharing!

    • 25th July 2016 / 11:52

      You’re welcome! I hope you manage to make the trip. I recommend the National Trust app for finding places near you, it’s really quite helpful. Or have a friend like Kelly who comes up with cool itineraries for you…!

  4. 22nd July 2016 / 14:14

    obsessed with all of these photos. i just envision myself transporting into them and living permanently. belton house! UGH LOVE.

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 25th July 2016 / 11:53

      Isn’t it amazing?! It’s just such a beautiful house. And the gardens were incredible – I wish I could move in as well. And just spend my days wandering around the gardens in the sunshine. Yes please!

  5. 22nd July 2016 / 17:12

    Its seriously all something out of a novel… so beautiful.

    Y’all know how to pull off a picnic. The food looks amazing. & yes, you have beautiful grounds &I notice the food most of all 🙂 haha

    • 25th July 2016 / 11:55

      Oh yes we do, if there’s something Kelly and I know it’s food. And how to eat well. We usually do food oriented activities so we’re getting down to a finely crafted routine! I’m exactly the same about food – I’d have zeroed in on that as well despite the gardens! I think the gardens made the food even better though.

  6. 24th July 2016 / 19:50

    And this is why living in Europe would be so freaking amazing! Not only did you get to sit under the apple tree but you also got to walk around those amazing gardens! The United States has some history, but nothing as old as there is in Europe! Thanks for writing this post so we could all venture with you!

    • 25th July 2016 / 11:56

      You’re right, we’re so lucky to have history and scenery all in one place. And pretty close to each other, too. I love all our history! There’s often too much to take in and get my head around. I mean, that apple tree was over 400 years old! Isn’t that mental!?

      And you’re welcome, happy to share the joy as ever 🙂

  7. 24th July 2016 / 22:13

    What an amazing place to have a picnic, and the gardens at Belton House look so beautiful!

    • 25th July 2016 / 11:58

      It was beautiful, so peaceful. There weren’t many other people there either, which I found strange considering what a lovely spot it was. Still, I wasn’t going to complain! The gardens at Belton House were just gorgeous. So well laid out and maintained, they must have a small army of gardeners working there!

  8. 27th July 2016 / 04:14

    The gardens are beautiful and that is a lovely location for a picnic, but I can’t get over the food selection! So much better than what we have here. I’ve noticed there’s a new brand of gluten free food they are stocking at the supermarket , and it’s actually from Ireland, ha! There would be no chance of us coming up with such a great range of goodies if we went shopping here, you have to make it all yourself!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 27th July 2016 / 11:05

      I know, we’re really lucky to have such a good selection. It’s really come along in the past year or two, heaps better than it used to be. It’s so exciting when I walk into a shop now! My sister got off the plane from Aus and went straight to the supermarket, ha! I forget how the selection isn’t so good out there – five years ago it was the complete opposite.

  9. 27th July 2016 / 22:35

    Looks like you had fun picnicing under the apple tree! Great selfies! 🙂

    I’m sorry you weren’t invited to tea at the Belton House. Maybe next time? 😉 In the meantime, the gardens look lovely. It seems it was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon! 🙂

    • 2nd August 2016 / 22:33

      The selfies were a triumph, I think. You can tell we’re not of the selfie generation 😉 I think I’ll have to work on my manners before I’m invited to tea by Lady Catherine. And I’m sure taking photos at the tea table just wouldn’t do!

      The gardens were beautiful, and the weather was lovely, so it was a great day all in.

  10. 28th July 2016 / 21:18

    bahahahaha i laughed so hard when i hovered over the jane austen fan link. hey, if there is one thing i’m known for, i don’t mind it being that 😉
    the picture of the apple falling off your head is legit the funniest thing i ever did see.
    your picnic was cake heavy? what does that even mean? that there was too much cake? NO SUCH THING.
    cool sciencey tree though!

    • 2nd August 2016 / 22:34

      Your reputation precedes you 🙂 The apple photo is a good’un. I love Kelly’s face, she can see impending disaster and I am just not taking the whole thing seriously at all!

      I mean the picnic probably contained too much cake for your average picnicker. Not us though, we polished off that cake admirably.

    • 2nd August 2016 / 22:35

      It went well, I think! It was a super fun day out; food, nature, science, Austen, what more could you want…?!

  11. 3rd August 2016 / 13:48

    I just knew it was going to be Newton’s tree before I opened the post! Pretty epic to take photos with apples on your heads directly underneath the famous tree…what a brilliant idea! 😛

    • 3rd August 2016 / 20:51

      Haha it was a bit obvious wasn’t it! I think the idea was rather inspired. I think it was Kelly’s idea, I couldn’t possibly take credit for it. A pretty unique spot, I have to say!

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