It was with a feeling of relief that we left the cares of superintendence, somewhat aggravated by an ungenial season, behind us, to spend our holidays among our old haunts and friends north of the Tweed. Leaving the murky atmosphere of South Yorkshire, and hurrying through the din and smoke of the Cottonopolis, our first halt was at Worsley station, on the London and North-western Railway, about 7 miles from Manchester, and less than 2 miles from "Worsley Hall, the beautiful seat of the Earl of Ellesmere, and the object of our visit. This is altogether a fine place; and no doubt, if the Editor of the 'Year Book' ever adds a map to future issues, Worsley Hall will be represented, in black letters, as a place of first-rate importance. The Hall is a modern mansion, in the mediaeval style of architecture, and is considered one of the finest examples of the style in England. It stands on a commanding position, overlooking the Chat Moss, stretching away like a vast plain to the south-west. On the south, the eye ranges across Cheshire, on the east the Derbyshire Peaks may be descried in the distance, while, far away to the north, the Westmorland mountains may be seen on a clear day.

In the immediate neighbourhood, and visible at different points, is the famous Bridgewater Canal, with its network of tributaries; and in the distance is seen that triumph of engineering skill, the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, which is carried across this oozy Moss, 7000 acres in extent, and from 20 to 30 feet deep, upon rude hurdles interwoven with heather and branches of trees, and in some places, it is said, upon cotton bales; the surface being covered with gravel, in which the sleepers are laid. The flower-garden and pleasure-grounds around the Hall are nearly 50 acres in extent, and all in high keeping. Everything is conceived and carried out on a grand scale, the arrangements reminding one a good deal of Drum-lanrig Castle. A parterre on the west side of the terrace on which the Hall stands is entirely bedded out with Geraniums; and another, on the east side, with Verbenas - by the wish, we understood, of the noble proprietor; and certainly, Mr Upjohn, the head-gardener, has exemplified in a highly creditable manner what can be accomplished with so few materials. The collection of Geraniums was of course varied and select, and the display was rich and effective. The Verbenas used were Crimson and Purple King, and a dwarf white variety.

They had grown and flowered well, and the somewhat intricate pattern was brought out by the three colours in a very effective manner.

In front of the Hall, the ground descends by a series of terraces for a considerable distance to the flower-garden proper, which is laid out in the geometrical style, and was furnished with the best varieties of summer plants, including recent introductions. To the right and left are fountains throwing jets 50 or 80 feet high; beyond, the finely-shaven lawn stretches to the edge of a beautiful lake swarming with waterfowl of various kinds, the off shore forming the boundary-line of the grounds on that side. In addition to the pleasure-grounds proper, Mr Upjohn has also under his superintendence some 200 acres of woodland, lying contiguous to the gardens. Through a stretch of the wood, a secluded and well-kept walk leads from the flower-gardens to the kitchen-garden and forcing departments. The fruit and vegetable forcing-houses are very extensive. Though not recent erections, the houses are well designed; and being constructed principally of iron, and kept in very good repair, they have a new look about them. The vineries are large, and comprise Hamburg, Muscats, and late houses of Alicant and Lady Downes, etc, all in excellent order.

The Vines are mostly old, but Mr Upjohn, who has been in charge only about two years, has by systematic training, exposing the foliage well to the light, and attention to the borders, got up a wonderful amount of vigour in the Vines. Crops were heavy, we thought, and the bunches were large, uniform, and well finished. Muscats were unusually fine on young and old Vines; we noticed also some beautiful bunches of Gross Colman on year-old rods. Mr Upjohn has already given token of his presence as a grape-grower at the Manchester Exhibitions, and is likely to be troublesome by-and-by to the old stagers of that neighbourhood. In the Peach-houses, the old and feeble trees are being gradually replaced by young trees, already being pushed forward for that purpose, and bearing nice fruit. Pines are grown in quantity, the Black Jamaica variety predominating. Melons, in low span-roofed pits, were ripening off in great numbers; also good crops of Pears and Plums in pots in the cool houses. Here, as elsewhere this season, hardy fruits are a poor crop. The kitchen-garden is about 10 acres in extent, and well cropped; a part of it encroaches on the Chat Moss; and here we saw marvellous crops of Celery: on the same piece, Potatoes, however, were much diseased, though the ground is well drained.

Our time was scant, however, and space forbids more than a cursory glance at this fine place, everywhere bearing evidence of the quiet, painstaking energy and skill of the courteous superintendent.

On the following day we resumed our journey for the north. Emerging from the leaden pall that overshadows the country around Wigan, with its gloomy traditions of colliery disasters, the traveller breathes a purer air on the pleasant shores of Morecambe Bay; and farther on the clear mountain streams of Westmorland contrast pleasantly with the foul puddles with which the eye has almost grown familiar in the coal and iron districts. We had left the corn-fields in the south almost green, to find the same on the shores of the Solway and in the valleys of Dumfriesshire yellow and ready for the sickle; consequently, on arriving at Drumlanrig Castle - our next stage - we were somewhat prepared to find a display, in the bedding way, in advance of anything we had left behind.