14 December 2014

Where the apple falls...

THE apple tree

Even non-science and maths oriented people like me have no trouble remembering Sir Isaac Newton's law of universal gravitation (please don't ask me to explain it or write out the formula though!!!) so it was quite a surprise to discover that the original apple tree that inspired the law still exists! I found out about it when I stumbled upon the 50 Great British Trees list that I wrote a blogpost about back in November so we immediately started planning a road trip to visit it at Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham.  Alas, the first trip over we neglected to check the website for the winter opening hours and arrived right when they were closing up.  I could have used my American-ness and tried to plead our way in but I was more in the mood to blend in and didn't want to keep them there for longer than necessary...besides I also discovered if we were to visit on a different day of the week that the entry fee would be less, something not disclosed online!

Woolsthorpe Manor

So cue a couple of weeks later and I've planned another interesting place nearby to go see after visiting the tree and we make the trek again.  We arrived close to shutting down time again (not deliberate timing on our part though) and we really had no interest in touring the inside of the house itself (although if you are into maths and science, the guestbook reads like a Who's Who of that world) so when I requested grounds only entry we were given even more of a discount--that southern accent comes in very handy at times! 

You can no longer get up close and personal with the original apple tree--they have erected a willow fence around it to protect the root system and there is an additional rope barrier further out but there are several other trees scattered throughout the property and there were apples galore all over the ground. One may or may not have found its way home with me! 

Only 48 more trees to go to complete the list! I have caught a glimpse of the Domesday Oak in Ashton Court, Bristol but I was there for a British Nordic Walking event and hadn't yet become aware of the list of 50 so it will require a trip back!  Expat tip: Always check websites and facebook pages for updated hours and expect unannounced closures. I've learned to be way more laid back about the times anything will be open here. National Trust and English Heritage memberships are also well worth the money if you plan on visiting lots of historical sites, right now I only have the latter but both do come in handy.  

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