So many rainy, gloomy days in November meant fewer walks and more visits to inside attractions. I noticed Harewood House had started its Christmas exhibition very early and decided it would be good to pay a visit before the crowds got too big. Many of our large stately homes really go to town with their decorations at Christmas and Harewood is no exception, with a lovely display of artistic 'Christmas trees' in the State Rooms (more of which later) and festive trees, lights and baubles all over the gardens. It was worth seeing and I did have a short walk around the gardens too, in the drizzle.
Despite the gloom, the view from the Terrace is always lovely, looking out over the landscape created by the famous garden designer Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 18th century. Many years ago a breeding programme for endangered Red Kites was started at Harewood and it has been really successful, so that you nearly always see these magnificent birds of prey soaring over the estate.
Harewood is renowned for its art collection, including many recent commissions and acquisitions. I've always liked the huge statue of Orpheus, by Astrid Zydower, added to the formal Victorian parterre garden, the Terrace, in 1984.
This garden also holds some delightful sculptures of rather cheeky-looking nymphs and children.