I’m currently in the process of moving my life to Nottingham and, since my boyfriend already lives there, it’s where I’ve been spending a lot of my time. We try and get out and do something at the weekends and this week we made a great new discovery called Bradgate Park just south of Nottingham, in Leicestershire.
I was instantly blown away by how gorgeous Bradgate park was. It’s big, and sweeping, and we entered heading up a hill towards a stone tower, a folly, with rock outcrops (maybe Granite?*) jutting all around it. It reminded me of somewhere I’d like to fly a hawk – of course in my head I occasionally live in another time, but if I had a hawk, I would bring it here. We then tumbled down the hill, which could almost have been described as busy, with dog walkers, cross country runners, children and people flying remote control aerial vehicles, over the heath-y landscape, with the occasional copse of woodland breaking up the landscape. At the crest we figured we might be at the highest point for a long way, on a clear day you could have seen for miles and miles, and we were certainly higher than any point in Nottinghamshire we’ve found so far.
Across the other side of the park – which is so large you forget it is a park – you can find a river, babbling its way down tiny waterfalls towards the eventual, and extremely large, reservoir; it was really pretty. There’s also the ruin of a house there, not particularly old, completed in the 1500s*, and I’m not too sure why it’s ruined; maybe it’s just age or maybe it was bombed during a war. And then eventually you reach the deer park. The deer are much further away than some of the deer parks I’ve visited around Manchester but the deer looked lovely (even without my glasses on) from a distance, the females grazing in the open and the males – or at least, the ones with antlers – collecting under the shelter of the trees.
Bradgate park would be gorgeous in the summer and was equally lovely on this rather windswept and bitingly cold day. You can make your walk as long or as short as you like and we managed to find a cheap car park – £1 in an honesty box – about a mile or so down the road from the official entrance. (I’ve marked it on a map below).
Did you go out walking this weekend? Where did you go?
*It turns out, those rocky outcrops were Cambrian and Precambrian rock I think. This wikipedia page is full of really interesting information about the Park and its heritage.