Sunday, 20 June 2010

52 Walks in 2010 - Walk 17 - Bedford River Valley Park (20th June 2010)

This afternoon we made our second visit to Danish Camp at Willington in Bedfordshire. The site next to the Great River Ouse has been known as "Danish Camp" for many years. It is an English Heritage scheduled monument, believed to have been built originally by the Vikings as a place in which to live and repair their boats, in readiness for battle. It is now part of the Bedford River Valley Park and whilst Lara cycled along the cycle trails we walked behind.

Some of the trails are right by the riverside.

Of course I had a keen eye for the wild flowers growing along the way.

This bee was enjoying flitting from thistle to thistle.

As the afternoon went on it got warmer and it was really very pleasant walking (and cycling) in the sunshine.

We turned a corner and found ourselves alongside a farmer field where wheat was growing. All along the edge of the field were the most gorgeous red poppies.

On our way back to the car park we noticed a sign pointing to Willington Dovecote so we decided to do a short detour to have a look.

Willington Dovecote and Stables are owned by The National Trust.

The Dovecote and stable building stand alongside Willington church. Both buildings were built in 1541 by Sir John Gostwick, who served as Cardinal Wolsey's Master of Horse. This was a man who thought big! 1500 nesting boxes for pigeons line the walls of the cote. The cote and adjoining stable block are thought to have been built with stone from Newnham Priory. It is thought that the buildings were built to prove Sir John's status to Henry VIII who visited Willington on two occasions.

The Dovecote.

The Stables.

It is possible, by appointment, to go inside the building. We didn't but if you would like to see what the buildings are like inside and hear more about them here's a little video made in 2009 by

Sunday, 13 June 2010

52 Walks in 2010 - Walk 16 - Another walk around Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire (13th June 2010)

I am so far behind with my walks and really disappointed that I've not managed to keep up.

Anyway, we headed off for walk number 16 today. We went back to Wrest Park. When we were there in April I focused my photography on the buildings, today I focused on the garden and the plants.

Wrest Park’s formal gardens are spread over 150 acres, were laid out over 150 years and inspired by the great gardens of Versailles in France.

These first few photos are of the West Flower Garden which was laid out by the Earl de Grey for his wife, the countess.

Standing by the wall is a statue of Pomona, goddess of fruit.

Alongside the West Flower Garden is The Strangers Gate Walk and alongside this is a flower border which at this time of year is full of beautiful scented flowers.

Even in the uncut pasture land in a different area of this garden there are lovely flowers like these yellow Birds Foot Trefoil flowers.