It lasts for such a short time! Already the Virginia Creeper, whose rosy hue adorns my wall in Autumn, is strewn across our drive and whistling off down the road. So I’m glad that I made it to Thorp Perrow Arboretum when I did. 100 acres of woodland are surely enough in which to worship Autumn colour. And you can take your eyes off that tearoom! That’s for much later,
As always, I hand the map to the other half, and set off to follow my nose. Or, in this case, a lovely little stream which wends its way through the woods. Signs promise ‘Henry’s Island’ and ‘Kate’s Island’. Will I be allowed?
A plopping sound stops me suddenly. From overhead something lands in the water, sending concentric rings dancing to shore. High in the canopy, a mischievous squirrel is dispensing acorns for our entertainment.
The history of Thorp Perrow can be traced back to the Domesday Book, where it was listed as ‘Torp’ manor house. The trees came much later. Planting began in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in the 1840’s the Milbank Pinetum was planted with seed brought over from America. There are now 5 National Collections of trees (Juglans-Walnuts, Tilia-Limes, Fraxinus-Ash, Cotinus and Laburnum) and 66 Champion Trees (the largest of their kind in Britain).
But it’s not at all a stuffy place! A sense of humour manifests itself in many forms.
Throughout this month the children have been treated (or tricked!) with a collection of spectres and ghouls lurking in the woods. Eek!!!
There is also a growing Wildlife Park, where you can ‘meet the meerkat’, watch bizarrely plumed fowl strutting their stuff, and gasp at the exploits of the birds of prey. The flying displays are one of the park’s most popular features, and are well worth seeing. I’ll let you discover them for yourself. For me the park is mostly about the landscape.
Beautifully weathered statues loiter wistfully amongst the trees. They mingle with newer wood sculptures, showing no apparent resentment.
Walks spiral off in all directions from the mighty Jubilee Oak, and another named for Catherine Parr. You don’t have to follow a specific route but simply wander to wherever your eye finds most pleasing. It doesn’t really matter. It’s all lovely!
Despite it being a glorious day, the park is quite peaceful. Strangers nod to each other, wearing beatific smiles in the unaccustomed October warmth. Only when we reach the Autumn bays is there a sense of urgency. Bathed in rosy colour, we gaze upwards.
I can sense you beginning to tire. There’s only so much beauty the eyes can take in, and we’re not far from the promised tea rooms. If Meg were here she’d be fingering the bark on so many of the trees. But you’ve earned your bowl of soup, and some of that yummy cake. Which one to choose, I wonder? There’s a full menu on the website, all very reasonably priced. (Dare I admit to having the pensioner’s special?)
The Arboretum is just beyond the lovely market town of Bedale, in North Yorkshire, and details of how to get there are also shown on the website.
I’m feeling quite tired myself after all that exercise. I’ll just say my thank you’s and get that kettle on, I think. You’ve certainly brought variety this week. Thank you so much to all of you who keep following me down this path. I really value your company. Anyone wanting to join in will be made very welcome. Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Just click on the logo.
Scotland has some of the most beautiful gardens, and in wonderful locations too. Thanks, Anabel!
And I can’t argue with this description from Violet, either :
A little fog gives a nice air of mystery, don’t you think?
A comprehensive guide- see the sights with Jackie!
Richard doesn’t mind being a beach bum. With beaches like this, who would?
A ‘kick of happiness’ is what you’ll get if you join Drake this week!
Ever tried Australian salmon? Ruth explains why you might not have :
Not so taxing as last week’s walk, but still you might prefer just to gaze in admiration :
Next up, a nice relaxing stroll around Central Park (or a ride in a horse drawn carriage if you’re feeling flush)
Tobias is showing us a very different kind of beauty. Come and see!
I hope you enjoyed the walks this week. I certainly did! Where to take you next week? I haven’t made my mind up yet. I shall just wish you all a Happy Halloween week and hope the weather stays fine. Bye for now!