See in the Spring at Donnington Grove
Despite the storms, the rain and the still-short days, February and March also give us a real treat. Because these are the months when the signs of Spring start to emerge.
From snowdrops and daffodils to birds rediscovering their voice, it’s an exciting time of year. And one of the most enjoyable places to experience it all is the gorgeous rural estate of Donnington Grove.
Making time for Spring
Even though the green shoots are sprouting, the signs of Spring can be surprisingly easy to miss. Our urban surroundings and busy lives can mean there aren’t any nearby buds to spot, or we don’t have the time to see them if there are. Which can sometimes mean that as soon as you start spotting Spring, it’s gone. The remedy is to take a break in an idyllic estate. And then make time to head out on walks to see the year change gear.
At Donnington Grove we’re blessed with an abundance of greenery, calm and space. The 20-mile Lambourn Valley Way edges our 500 acre estate and a wealth of walking trails wind through our gorgeous grounds. Which means when you set out on a stroll here, you can take in everything from gardens and parkland to woods and a magnificent lake. The River Lambourn, a pristine chalk stream that’s home to trout, ducks and swans, also meanders through the estate.
All that space is the perfect place to spot the signs of spring. Snowdrops pushing their way out into the open, daffodils raising their heads - both fabulous floral assurances that winter is ending and warmer days will come. It’s also a time of year when birds seem to rediscover their voices. Pausing for a moment on a walk at this time of year and listening to the birdsong is a right rural treat.
Connecting with our natural world
Which is why having nature on your doorstep is so important. When gardens, woods and parkland that’s rich in the signs of spring are just outside the window, you’re much more likely to take the time to tun in. The 500 acres of Donnington Grove are perfect for reconnecting with our natural world this spring. As well as parkland and woods we also have the gardens surrounding our “secret” Japanese She-tennoji Temple - a deeply restorative environment in which to take a deep breath and let the world drift by.
Taking a moment in nature
Some call it mindfulness, others call it noticing the nature around us - either way a few simple activities outside pay dividends. Sensory things are key - take time to notice things you can see, hear, taste, smell and touch. Another trick is to pause, close your eyes and notice birdsong. Don’t try to identify it, just listen to the notes, how it flows, if it suggests a shape or a feeling. Ask how many different birds are singing and listen out for those that are further and further away. Breathing deeply, counting your steps, feeling the warmth of the sun on rough bark - all are ways to reconnect with nature and notice spring. The mental health charity MIND has more tips on ways to let the outdoors boost our moods.
Delight in Donnington Grove
Donnington Grove is the perfect place for a springtime break. Once you’ve strolled and paused, drunk in the exquisite scenery, revelled in the spring flowers and the sound of birdsong, you can return to our historic country house hotel. Heritage-rich rooms, unstuffy service, and superb food and drink keep the mood music positive. What’s more, only a sort drive from Reading, Oxford, Basingstoke and Swindon opens up all this spring spotting in the heart of the Berkshire countryside.