As mentioned several times on this blog we usually go to the UK in the spring. Following last year’s jaunt to Dorset when we visited Bournemouth, Shaftesbury and Weymouth I was planning this year to take a closer look at Kent. However when I mentioned this to our daughter Kate she said she would like to spend a couple of days with us and visit the area around Ironbridge as we had enthused so much about the wonderful museums and the Victorian town of Blists Hill. She would have happily visited on her own but felt she might miss some of the ‘best bits’. So that is what we did.
Jim and I decided it would be our treat as it solved the problem of what to buy Kate and Ashley for their birthdays. Kate has just bought a new comfortable car so she could do the driving (I trust her driving more than anyone I know) and we set of for a couple of days ‘Up North’.
I have blogged about the Ironbridge area on a few occasions and you can see these if you click the links above but the other place I thought was fun to visit was Hawkstone Park and Follies. On our last visit here we bought Pong our Shih Tzu a certificate that said ‘I survived Hawkstone’ that had to be at least 20 years ago.
Whilst the park is nice, it is just one of those typical English Country Parks, however, the Follies is something else!
A woodland fantasy of cliffs, caves, and monuments built over 200 years ago. After years of neglect, the estate was restored and reopened in 1993 but we were told there are still treasures waiting to be discovered, hidden away in the undergrowth.
After entering the park, visitors are mesmerised with the glory of nature a blend of beauty, streams, and dells. On one side a stretch of rugged reddish rock, on the other the crumbling ruins of an ancient fortress, with a silvery lake shimmering in the distance, all surrounded by dense woods. Proceeding along the drive, and passing through a rugged archway, hewn out of the solid rock, the visitor catches a glimpse of Hawkstone Hall.
Myths and legends abound here –Hawkstone is believed to be the home of King Arthur, with tales being told about his adventures. It is also said that a small green chalice found at Hawkstone Park was believed to be the Holy Grail.
To describe the scenery of Hawkstone Park as “beautiful” doesn’t do it justice. It is much more. It is magical, surprising and captures the imagination. It really is a must see.