A little bird told me that you’ve all been very good this year. Soon it will be time to open Santa’s sack. Thank you for staying with me on all of those long and arduous hikes. This week it’s all pleasure. Shall we take a little one by the hand and go in search of some Christmas magic?
The venue is Roundhay Park on the outskirts of Leeds, where we’re queuing up for the Magical Lantern Festival. Arrive a little early to make parking easier. There are food stalls and a few small rides for the tots. Hot chocolate and Baileys, strictly for the grown ups.
Here we are, queued beneath the Chinese gate, the anticipation and excitement building. Look up! Look up! Can you see the reindeer on the top?
Under we go, across the road and into the park. Roundhay Park includes 700 acres of parkland, lakes and woodland. In summer you could stroll to your heart’s content, admiring the Monet and Alhambra gardens and former Chelsea Gold Medal award winning gardens. Tropical World is beloved of children for the meercats and the butterfly house. This December the gardens have been transformed with the addition of the lantern festival.
It’s a gentle beginning, as the sun disappears softly into the woods. What ARE all those pandas up to?
We weave around the canal garden, ooh-ing and aah-ing at each new sight. A pumpkin feast affords much delight.
Flowers sparkle prettily, birds tweet from luminous cages, dragonflies whirr and ladybugs glow.
A serenely oriental pond has me clicking and clicking, trying to get the best angle to capture this beauty.
With a grand finale of geese and prancing unicorn, I fear that the tour must be over. Not so! I’m delighted to be directed back across the road.
In Mansion Place an avenue of lanterns leads to yet more flamboyance.
Elegant blue and white porcelain twinkles, while swans dip their graceful heads to admire their own reflection.
A pagoda signals one last crescendo of excitement. No self-respecting Chinese festival is complete without a dragon or two.
Try to end with a flourish! I believe I did. Time to relinquish the little hands and tuck small persons into bed. The Magical Lantern Festival is on at Roundhay until 2nd January. If you’re in the area, why not treat yourself? It really is lovely. Full details are on the website. Let’s put that kettle on!
Thank you so much for another fantastic year of walking and friendship. You make it very special. I hope to have another walk for you next Monday (Boxing Day) but I know that many of you will be absent and enjoying Christmas with your family. Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful Christmas, filled with much joy. And now to share some walks.
A blissful beginning from Paula! I know you’ll enjoy :
Lady Lee spent the most beautiful birthday weekend walking and eating… ideal!
Life isn’t ideal in a lot of places. Let Indra show you the brighter side in India :
Becky’s found blue skies and some rather interesting sculptures in Olhão :
Where’s Woolly this week?
My memories of San Diego are of scorching heat. Elaine’s are soothing and refreshing :
Christmas posts are becoming inevitable! Here’s a lovely one from Stephanie :
And then please hop over to delightful Kayserberg with Drake :
Carol had the most fantastic view from her apartment in Cornwall this year :
And Biti found the cutest B & B, especially if you enjoy street art :
A mournful, poetic walk to end the year with Geoff and Dog :
But Cathy’s still right on adventuring!
A winter wonderland’s something to celebrate, isn’t it? Irene’s is beautiful :
I hope to be out and about walking between Christmas and New Year but I won’t be posting walks between 2nd and 16th January. Maybe you can guess where I’ll be. Merry Christmas all!