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Posts Tagged ‘Brixham’


I am not especially well travelled but I have been to some wonderful places, the memories of which will stay with me forever.

 

I have sat on a beach in Jamaica as I dipped my toes in the Caribbean Sea and watched a tropical storm flash on the horizon.

 

I have trekked into the Sahara desert astride a camel and watched the scorching sun set over the endless sand dunes, and then, the next day, watched it rise over the Chott El Djerid, the largest salt lake in North Africa.
 

Waiting for the sun to set in the Sahara, near Douz, Tunisia. My photo.

 

I have lain on a beach on a tiny island off the coast of Tunisia watching shooting stars dance across the sky surrounded by nothing but the blackness of the night and a few rustling date palms.

 

I have walked the streets of the beautiful city of Valletta in Malta, up and down endless steps, and inside the stunning St John’s Co-Cathedral.

 

I have stood at the top of a snow-capped Austrian mountain watching cable cars as they disappear into the valley below.

 

Mountains near Mutterbergalm in the Austrian Tyrol. My photo.

 
I have waded through a flooded St Mark’s Square in Venice.

 

Flooded – Piazza San Marco, Venice. My photo.

 

I have been to so many places in France they are too numerous to mention: Paris, the Camargue, the Loire, the Dordogne, Provence; the list is endless.

 

In the United Kingdom, again, I couldn’t possibly mention all the places I’ve been but…

 

I have seen the ever-changing storm clouds scud over the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides.

 

I have fallen in love with a fishing town in Devon called Brixham.
 

Brixham, Devon. My photo.

 

I have searched the surface of Loch Ness hoping for a glimpse of that elusive monster supposedly lurking in its depths.

 

I have paddled on an empty windswept Essex beach.

 

Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. My photo.

 
I have been for a ghostly punt on the river Cam in Cambridge and taken a cable car over the river Thames in London.

 

The Thames Cable Car, London. My photo.

 

I have walked in the footsteps of my ancestors all over this land but my favourite place is only 15 minutes from my front door. The photograph in the banner at the top of this blog was taken there.

 

Old John, Bradgate Park in February. My photo.

 

Bradgate Park is approximately 830 acres of beautiful countryside; a former medieval deer park that was first enclosed over 750 years ago. It may be known to some of you as the birthplace and early home of Lady Jane Grey (9 days Queen of England in 1553). The ruins of the Tudor Bradgate House still stand in the park.

 

Bradgate House in October. My photo.

 

Fallow deer in Bradgate Park in November. My photo.

 
For me, it’s a great expanse of unspoilt open countryside in which, even whilst surrounded by hordes of visitors on a hot summer’s day, I can still lose myself, breathe in plenty of fresh air, and relax.

 

Bradgate Park in June. My photo.


It is an ever-changing landscape as it goes from lush green to golden brown with the seasons. In the warmer months the deer, both red and fallow, can be found grazing happily amongst the crowds, but they withdraw as the winter sets in and remain mostly hidden in the areas of the park reserved exclusively for them, until spring arrives.  You can choose to remain in the valley and walk alongside the meandering River Lin or go to the highest point in the park and gaze out over the Leicestershire countryside.  The land’s geology is, unusually, on full display. There are large rocky outcrops everywhere and apparently some contain some of the oldest known developed forms of fossil animal life in Western Europe.

 

On top of the hill and in the wide open spaces it seems to be perpetually windy but there is shelter to be found. It is a place of contrasts and great beauty, a favourite place of families, dog-walkers, cyclists, runners and, of course, me.

 

In the 17th century, the Grey family, through marriage, became associated with the Earls of Stamford. Bradgate House remained occupied until 1719, after which it ran into disrepair, falling to ruin by 1790. The park remained part of the Leicestershire Estate of the Earls of Stamford until it was sold in 1928 to an industrialist called Charles Bennion. He presented it, in trust, for the quiet enjoyment of the people of Leicestershire, and there, with some additional donated land, it has remained; a source of endless pleasure to all who visit.

 

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