Six Talbots and one Bentley met in the grounds of Burghley House at midday on Friday 15th September to begin the tour under louring skies. Half an hour later the heavens opened, yet half the group were intrepid enough to have a picnic outside whilst the rest of us hit the coffee shop. Due to Lord Burghley’s great Elizabethan pile being closed on Fridays, some of us walked or drove into nearby Stamford or visited the cottage of the poet John Clare in Helpston
Stamford is a town well worth visiting. Over 600 listed buildings built of mellow limestone, cute tea shops, one-off shops, medieval churches, alms houses and the George Hotel, thought to be a thousand years old. Well worth a look round. Something for everyone there. At the end of the afternoon we headed to our various b&bs in Fotheringhay, Woodnewton and Elton - extremely pretty stone built villages with a smattering of thatch next door to each other. We all met up that night, including other members and guests, eighteen in all, at The Falcon Pub in Fotheringhay, for an excellent dinner.
On Saturday the weather was still unkind, but we somehow managed to dodge the showers throughout the day. First thing, we headed off in convoy to the Nene Valley Railway where two steam engines, The Union of South Africa A4 Class and 92 Squadron Battle of Britain Class, were running. We all travelled back in history, steaming our way to Peterborough. There we were treated to a most interesting guided tour of the Cathedral.
Catherine of Aragon is buried there and the body of Mary Queen of Scots resided there until her son removed it to Westminster Abbey. We journeyed back by steam. A blissful experience. When some of us arrived back in Fotheringhay we visited the church and saw the site of the castle where Mary Queen of Scots was executed.
That night, The Falcon Pub provided fifteen of us with a delicious à la carte meal where, once again, local members joined in the fun.
On Sunday five Talbots set off on a tour. Oundle was the first stop where the Talbot Hotel provided the backdrop for a photo opportunity.
Ian and Gill Potts guided us around the various fabulous buildings of Oundle School which are spread about the town. Afterwards we enjoyed the civilised pleasures of Rushton Hall for coffee, followed by a cross country drive to Rockingham Castle, inadvertently via the cub camp!
Rockingham Castle was a gem. Good food, good house, good garden, good views and good history, even though we failed to find a Talbot connection. We then all dispersed on our separate ways, having thoroughly enjoyed some of the delights of Northamptonshire.