We went on an absolutely FREEZING day in early February (this was actually our first foray out of London, so I'm essentially blogging my travels completely backwards). So walking around the grounds was a borderline numbing experience, but that also meant we had the place almost entirely to ourselves. It was pretty awesome! Everything was beautiful, from the castle to the grounds, and there were birds everywhere. There was a bird sanctuary with all sorts of exotic species, plus ducks and swans and peacocks (!!!!) roaming freely. We stopped in the cafe for tea and scones (obviously), and got to act like children in a playground.
There was also a hedge maze, so fear not; the Harry Potter spirit was alive and well. I'd also happened to wear my Hufflepuff scarf that day, which was incredibly fitting (though dangerous, since Hufflepuffs tend to die when they reach the center of hedge mazes. Cough, Cedric Diggory). But at the center of this maze there was just a fake grotto thing -- no Portkeys to take us to Voldemort -- so in this maze, all four competitors survived. Success!
I'd take some freezing weather for another afternoon at a castle with my amazing London friends any day! (Though give Colorado a few weeks to start getting cold and I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune. How about just the castle and the friends, can I have those again?)