We had our first coach trip of the year on the 2nd May to Calke Abbey to see the beautifully tended walled gardens springing into life. They also have a rare auricula theatre and we were lucky to catch it before they put all the pots away for the summer. There are some immaculately pruned wisterias underplanted with forget-me-nots & tulips as you can see from the photos, as well as the herbs & vegetables coming through. The grassy banks round the house were full of cowslips and some of us opted for a longer walk up through the bluebell woods which were at their peak. There is so much to see spread over quite a wide area and there is a buggy service from the house to the gardens for anybody wanting to rest their weary legs! We all had a good day despite early morning rain which saw us all head straight into the tea room till it abated for delicious cakes & scones. The house itself was open for those who could tear themselves away from the garden and it is very unusual, being described as an "un-stately" home, preserved as it was when last lived in. There will be more photos on the gallery page shortly.