If you want to charge for admission – as was clearly the intention from all the publicity material – it is a good idea to have somebody available to separate the visitor from their cash. But when we arrived all we could see was a few cars in the middle distance, a couple of tents almost on the horizon and, well over to our right, a man sitting in splendid isolation beside a pedestrian gate. Indeed at no time during our visit and self-guided garden tour we were asked for our £10.00.
We are not clear if the fete at the far end of the car park was an entirely separate event or was part of a greater whole. But if you think of Ticklerton Fete divided by 10 you would get a fair idea of how few goods and how few stalls there were. We were only there five minutes but twice in that time the tents were nearly demolished by the gusty wind.
We followed the signs to the house and garden where the helpful ladies from the tea and cakes team directed us to the walled garden. This appeared to be a nothing more than a wilderness surrounded by a wall and if the intention was to drum up support for an external funding request that wasn’t the way to do it! The Forest Walk was clearly a last minute addition to the attractions because it was narrow, steep and slippery it really quite dangerous and we gave up on it while our ankles and wrists were still intact!
Finally the advertised “lots of entertainment” didn’t appear to exist. We didn’t see a single timetable of events so the what, where and when of what had been planned for any paying customer remained a mystery.