The Wilderness Battlefield is just west of Fredricksburg on Route 3. If you take Rt 3 to Culpeper and then head north on 29 to Warrenton, you can also stop at Brandy Station which has a small museum about the battle of Brandy Station.
If you like wine I would recommend stopping in at Old House Winery which is also on Rt 3 just east of Culpeper. There is also Marterella Winery just north of Warrenton on Rt 17 (behind the old Ben and Mary's Steak House). Katherine Marterella always has something interesting going on on holiday weekends.
On your way between Warrenton and Middleburg, don't forget to tour the Bull Run battlefield. Others know it as the battlefield for the 1st and 2nd Manassas fights where Stonewall Jackson got his name. You can rent horses to ride the battlefields instead of walking them. Lots of walking.
Check with Horse Country (now on Facebook!) because in years past they have always packed up the store and brought it to Hound Show on Sunday (when the store was traditionally closed). But in 2008 two of us stayed at the store, while some of the crew was at Hound Show. So call to be sure. If you go to Warrenton on Friday, not only can you go to the main store, but their discount store, Horse Country on Fifth is open until 3:30.
~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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I'm not a fan of the restaurants in Middleburg. There is Hunter's Head in Upperville which is about 5 miles west of Middleburg.
I like Iron Bridge Wine Company in Warrenton. Its good for lunch or dinner.
In culpeper there are several good restaurants. Foti's - Mediterranean, Lucia- Italian It's about Thyme - Continental. All are good and require reservations. They are in downtown culpeper and there are some nice shops in the area.
If you don't mind driving a bit west of Culpeper, there is Thornton River Grill. This is one of the best in the area.
Of course if you want a five star dining experience, you could go the Inn at Little Wahington which is about 20 miles west of Culpeper.
It all kinds of matter where you stay. Culpeper has some B&B in the area plus several hotels. Warrenton is the same. Middleburg has B&B but no hotels. Leesburg has several hotels and B&B.
I don't know of 'rental horses' in the Manassas Battlefield (though I could be incorrect - I don't think there are.)
Stay here! I can take you and hub for a hack if you want during your very rare time off.
Definitely the hound show. It is one of those events you don't want to miss. EVERYbody will be there.
We should make a rendezvous spot for the whole gang.
While you are at Morven make sure to tour the mansion and the carriage museum as well. I believe that may also be the weekend of the annual PVDA Dressage show as well, so you could take in some musical freestyles.
Just got this from Morven as well:
Exhibit Honors the Women of Foxhunting
The world of foxhunting will be the main focus at Morven Park during the weekend of May 28-29. Events will include the first induction of a female into the Huntsmen's Room (the "Hall of Fame" for foxhunters) and the opening of a new exhibit at the Museum of Hounds & Hunting of North America.
On Saturday, the public is invited to attend the induction of three new members into the Huntsmen's Room at 4 p.m., just outside the Westmoreland Davis Mansion at Morven Park.
The 2011 inductees are Nancy Penn Smith Hannum of Chester County, Pa., a woman who was at the forefront of land conservation for many decades, plus two brothers who are legendary among foxhunters throughout North America, Melvin M. Poe and Albert O. Poe of Virginia.
Immediately following the induction, doors will open to the newly installed exhibit in the Museum of Hounds & Hunting of North America, located in the North Wing of the Mansion. The exhibit, titled "Ladies of the Chase," focuses on the role of women throughout the history of the sport of foxhunting.
The weekend ends with Sunday's Virginia Foxhound Club show, featuring about 800 hounds from as far as California, Canada, and even Great Britain.
To learn more about Mrs. Hannum, Melvin and Albert Poe, about the exhibit, and the foxhound show, go to www.MorvenPark.org/e-news.
Gift of Services Assists in Mapping Civil War Site
Thunderbird Archeology, a division of Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI), located in Gainesville, Va., recently donated its services to Morven Park to survey the property's Civil War encampment site. This survey will lead to development of a concise map, indicating exactly where Confederate soldiers built and lived in huts during the winter of 1861-1862.
Morven Park's Director of Preservation Jana Shafagoj described the donation as "hugely valuable to us."
Upcoming Events at Morven Park
Sunday, May 1, 1 p.m.
Arbor Day Tree Tour & Planting Workshop
Guided by Morven Park Horticulturalist Keith McMillan, tour the grounds and learn about the various species of trees, plus how to plant and care for them. Receive a native tree seedling to plant at home. $10/person.
Sunday, May 8, Noon - 2 p.m.
Mother's Day Picnic in the Garden
Picnic lunch in the Mansion garden, provided by Morven Park. Enjoy the perennial plantings and reflecting pool, and make your own container garden. Mansion tour included in admission. $10/ea.
Saturday-Sunday, May 14-15, all-day event.
Invitational "Lure Coursing" Competition
Watch sleek and swift sighthounds (such as whippets, greyhounds, and Afghans) that hunt using sight rather than smell, as they race against the clock to catch pretend prey. Spectators welcome at no charge.
Sunday, May 15, all day.
Hunter Pace 10 a.m. & History Trail Ride 2 - 5 p.m.
Area hunt clubs compete in an all-day event, and trail riders explore Morven Park's established trails, stopping for discussions of local history along the way. Trail ride $30.
Saturday, May 21, 2 - 4 p.m.
Conserving Family Heirlooms
As part of Morven Park's new Lecture Series, art conservator Margaret Bardwell will lead a discussion on maintaining your own family art pieces. Tour the Mansion and enjoy light refreshments. $15/person.
Coming in June...
The Governor's Country Fair!
Sun., June 5, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Free homemade ice cream donated by Moo Thru. Activities include something for all ages: vendors, demonstrations, kid's activities, carriage driving demos, live music, hands-on fun. $10/carload.
Sun., June 12, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Princes and Princesses, your carriage awaits you! Bring your family's young royalty to Morven Park for a fairytale day of "happily ever after." A tour through the Winmill Carriage Museum provides an up-close look at coaches similar to those in William & Kate's wedding procession. Be sure to take a photo of your prince, princess, or royal coachman in the Caleche, a carriage used by Princess Grace in the movie The Swan, in which she portrayed a princess shortly before her own royal wedding. Children will craft their own crowns, scepters, and carriage horns to be used in a parade to the mansion, followed by sweet treats on the portico. Children are encouraged to wear princess, prince, or coachman costumes.
If you're in the Warrenton area; be sure to call me & meet for dinner/lunch or something! Houndshow sunday but sat afternoon is the hound show seminar. Then that evening the reception at the Morven Park mansion for the Museum of Hounds and Hunting & the induction ceremonies, horn blowing contest etc.