Yesterday I stepped back in time to an old haunt that I haven't walked in 10 years. Full of wild flowers (some garden escapees) and beautiful buildings, structures and farms.
Heading away from Woodfalls I crossed the meadows admiring the farfetched views of patchwork pastures and crops with early flowering rape lighting up the landscape. Further on the exacting row of trees lining Hale Park are dripping in "pompom's" of mistletoe. The walking is very different here on the outskirts of the crownlands with tidy pastures and fenced footpaths. No manure to dodge or hoof-print tracks. No browse-lined trees and cattlegrids but ungrazed verges means wildflowers a plenty!
Wandering down the drive of Hale house the verges are bursting with flowers. Mostly a show of daffodils drawing the eye down to the impressive house and beautiful well which stands alongside before heading down the steep path towards the pretty church of St Mary's. The churchyard has a beautiful feel where wild primroses and daffodils bloom amongst the gravestones.
Following Moot lane I stepped off the road and weaved amongst the trees along the bank of the Avon River silently flowing through water meadows and lanes.
Lanes was my choice on this walk lined with wild verges of stitchwort, celandine and bluebells where I spotted an early flowerer!
This walk continues through meadows and over stiles. Past exclusive properties and ornamental gardens. Then with one turn sticklands plantation becomes an area of out of control invaders. Gorse so thick and abundant it dominates as far as I can see. Looking beautiful against the greying skies in full bloom and the aroma outweighed the spiking as I squeezed along the narrow footpath, the gorse then turns to Rhododendron, and nothing else but rhodie for a good mile. Silent of birds and insects with no variety of foliage.
Eventually heading out into a beautiful lane of more stunning properties I find myself on Hatchett Green where ponies were grazing and snoozing and for a moment I was back within the cattlegrids and crownland before heading uphill through meadows back to Woodfalls.
It was nice to take this walk again although it is not for the faint hearted with steep climbs and abundance of stiles (some more sturdier than others!) And even a fallen tree to clamber over, but the views and the wildflowers made it all worthwhile!