On Sunday we visited Down House the former home of Charles Darwin in the pretty village of Downe in Kent.
We managed to get a bus all the way there from Bromley town centre, which was very quick and cheap!!
We had a pot of tea and cake before touring the house and gardens and then did the ‘sandwalk’ where Darwin walked on a daily basis pondering ideas on evolution and natural selection :)
The house was stunning, with furnished rooms downstairs including his study filled with scientific study materials and a more multimedia, display cabinet section upstairs. The whole house had a lovely atmosphere (as old houses do I guess) and enviable amounts of space!
Darwin came from a very wealthy family, having been related to the ceramics pioneer and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood. The wealth of the Wedgwood family enabled him to travel the world on voyages of scientific discovery and spend time in England formulating his revolutionary ideas.
You can read more here http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/home-of-charles-darwin-down-house/
After our tour we intended on walking to High Elms Country Park (approx 2 miles away) but it was a bit cold so we sat in a pub and drank cider instead :P
Whilst waiting for the bus back we noticed that most of the buildings in the village were made of flint
Apparently this was a common building material in Kent before the development of brick building techniques.
The flints were knapped by chipping off the rounded edges which made them much easier to cement and were arranged decoratively with other types of stone and variations in the knapping technique.
All in all it was a great day out and a brilliant start to the exploring season ;)