Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Wollaton Park bus & stroll with cake and a chorus of ducks in the Five Leaves Bookshop

The past weeks has been consumed with house moving delays and sorting out the final problems. When it's all over and we have finally moved I will blog about the experience. For now, it's enough to say that I am glad my sister in Hastings telephoned for a long chat and that Susan got me out on Saturday afternoon to Wollaton Park for a stroll and cake, then today a visit to the solicitor ended up in Five Leaves Bookshop and spending money. Both lifted me from the doldrums for a while a least, so before I sink back down again, a quick post.

Wollaton Park and its many attractions are so accessible by bus that I have never understood why the bus companies do not have 'To & from Wollaton Hall/Park' signs on all the buses which go along this section of the Derby Road.

This is a pic of the south entrance to Wollaton Park from August 2008 when I blogged about Wollaton Park entrances. Just click on the highlighted text to see what I said then. Nothing has changed. This must be one of the least attractive park entrances in England!

However, once through the entrance, everything changes. I didn't go out with the intention of blogging, so I did not have my camera with me. At first Susan took the pics for me, but over tea and cake she showed me what to do, so the rest are mine. I'm quite impressed with the quality. This is the footpath on the west side of the lake, which is just a few feet to the right of the photograph. It was a busy Saturday afternoon and this was one of the few moments when we had the path to ourselves. 

Looking east across the lake through a gap in the trees to Wollaton Hall in the distance with a Moorhen. 

OK, this is what got me out — the prospect of cake. My sister Roz told me to have a slice for her, so we bought two slices and a Belgian Bun (which we took home to have with tea on Sunday afternoon). So, here you are Roz, your cake. Enjoy.

Occasionally, my writing buddy Cindy and I meet here on a weekday. It offers good value. Three generous portions and tea enough for three cost just £9. The café in the old stable block was very busy and what few staff there were were rushed off their feet. Any walk which has a café and toilets scores highly on our scale and probably explains why I describe myself as a 'urban and canal walker'.

I believe that Wollaton Hall appears in Batman films, which explains this logo on the Wollaton Hall gift shop wall. I think it's a rather clever logo and that for many youngsters in 2014 Batman probably has more appeal than Robin Hood. In many ways they are one and the same — good against evil. Nottingham and Gotham (just a No.1 bus ride away from Nottingham's Old Market Square) and, yes, I do know Gotham is in the USA. I was a kid once when there were 6d (sixpence in old money) Batman comics. 

Being lazy, we came out of the stable block at the north end and cut across the park to avoid the climb up to Wollaton Hall and down the other side. In the hands of the National Trust the Hall and Park would be making a mint of money, but Nottingham City Council have always resisted the temptation to turn it into a cash cow. As we walked around the park we heard many different languages and I am sure the fact that access is free helps to promote Nottingham as a visitor attraction. Nottingham Castle, with its disappointing museum and art gallery, is not in the same league.

I have blogged about Wollaton Park on a good few occasions in the past, but it is the avenues of trees beside Lime Tree Avenue, which runs from the park's eastern entrance to the Hall which I love most. I will come back in mid-November when the ground will be a thick carpet of multi-coloured leaves.

This is part of Lime Tree Avenue looking east, It seems to go on and on and it does! Once it would have run all the way down to Lenton Lodge in Lenton, but when Nottingham City Council bought the Wollaton Hall Estate in the 1920s it sold some of the estate to recover the cost and this included part of Lime Tree Avenue.

Today, at the end of the Avenue is Middleton Boulevard, better known to many as Nottingham Ring Road, turn right heading south and you are a few minutes from the Nottingham University North Entrance bus stops (on both sides of the road).

We could have walked from our home in Lenton, it's less than a mile, but we caught the bus to and from Wollaton Park instead. An altogether lovely afternoon.

 Finally, a photograph I took with my phone this morning in the Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham city centre. A chorus of ducks. Need I say more, other than that I spent money as I always do, as much on cards as I did a book. Ross, the owner, has the best card selection in Nottingham, so you know were to go the next time you need a card.

Well, time for tea and to climb back in my self-made hole until we have exchanged contracts and I know we have a new home to move to. Otherwise I will be digging a little deeper...

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