You might well expect April showers when camping in the Spring, but our trip to Hay-on-Wye around my birthday in April had us experiencing absolutely every season in one day! Especially on our visit to the National Trust’s The Weir Garden where we were rained on, warmed by the sun, blown by the wind and battered by hail stones! Still, it was great for a trip our and lovey to see the place in both rain and shine!
The Weir Garden
The Weir Garden is so called because it sits on a weir of the River Wye in the gorgeous and unspoilt countryside of Herefordshire. It really is a little haven and if you’re there in Spring, like we were, you get to enjoy carpets of stunning sunny yellow daffodils and other colourful bulbs.
We have National Trust membership which made the visit free (I would highly recommend becoming a member as it opens up huge possibilities of places to visit and a bit of dry when you’ve having a bit of a wet camping trip!)
As you can imagine, the weather was a bit crazy at times so while it was fairly dry we thought that we’d head to the garden to see as much as we could before heading into a cafe or sheltering in the car for our picnic. As it turned out, it was lovely when we arrived – a perfect Spring-like day.
Looking at that sunshine, you just couldn’t imagine what was to come! It looks so still and serene, doesn’t it?!
Lots of routes
There are lots of little pathways that you can take to explore the garden, with some taking you up and some down towards the river. Our aim during our visit was to walk on every singe one of the paths, so we started with the route leading to the middle so that we could plan our attack (you know what I mean!) and make our way around the borders and plants.
The pathway curved nicely round taking us down to the edge of the water where we could sit and listen to the flowing river beneath the wall. It was amazing how silent it is down in the lower parts of the garden. Even though there were plenty of other visitors, it was really serene. You could barely hear a murmur form the other people and the main sounds was the gentle lapping of the water on the wall, the slight breeze rustling the leaves and the birds going about their business. Absolute bliss!
Even though it was a bit on the chilly side – remember it was still early springtime – we got the chance to sit and enjoy the sunshine for a little while. Jit enjoyed the deckchairs overlooking the Wye. It almost became the spot for our picnic until the wind was blowing our bags as we tried to set up and the clouds began to set in.
Finding a picnic spot
Having decided that the open space and the deckchairs were too windy for a comfortable picnic – picture plastic flask cups and crisps flying away – we headed back to a more sheltered area and hunted out a suitable secluded bench.
We just about managed to finish eating and supping out tea when the drips of rain began to fall. The wind was picking up and the sky was getting pretty grey. Thinking that the best place would be sheltered beneath the trees, we headed back toward the top part of the garden (which also happens to be closest to the drinks area and tiny shop)
With putting on our waterproofs and getting kitted out, I barely had time to take any photos in the rain when all of a sudden the sun popped back out and the sky began to clear again! After hail stones and heavy rain, it went straight back into Spring again!
It cleared up so quickly and so fast that it seemed daft to have put our wet weather gear on! We even headed back to the bridge to take another pictrue of the river – with the sunshine this time!
This is the before (while it was raining) shot:
…and the after shot (which was literally 6 minutes later (I checked the time stamp)
Absolutely crazy weather to say the least! However, it did make us feel highly justified for making sure that we go belt and braces on the kit that we bring on our trips out – we were very comfortably dry in the crazy heavy rain and hail.
With the clouds lingering again, we decided that we would head back to the car to drink tea and plan the next leg of our adventures.
One great positive about grey skies is how blooming gorgeous the spring colours look against it – they really pop against the dark backdrop.
Although it can be rather chilly and unpredictable in the Spring for camping and spending time in the great outdoors, I wouldn’t let it put you off. There are plenty of places that you can go to enjoy the luscious green grass, spring colours and even have some fun in the rain! It really is part of the fun and great to live in the UK and have seasons!
Come rain or shine – or hail and storms 😉 Make sure you take some time to get outdoors and enjoy all weathers!
I promise you’ll thank yourself for it!
What do you like to do when it’s raining? Do you have a go-to place to visit in the showers?
Share in the comments, I love wet weather activities!