Wollaton - Call Of The Wild
w/e 24 January 2016
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

I don't know if it's the call of the wild but when January comes round each year, we're often drawn towards a country park. Sometimes it's at Shipley but more often than not we pay a visit to Wollaton Hall and the Deer Park. So that's where we headed on a bright winter's afternoon under a cloudless sky.


We parked in the village and entered the park to follow the long path up towards the Hall. Squirrels were scampering about to our left unperturbed by dog walkers, pedestrians and the occasional vehicle. The grass between the path and the drive to the hall is often used as an overflow car park and it bore the scars of tyre tracks but we spent much of the time whilst walking along the path peering over to the right looking for a sight of the red deer.
In The Valley

The low sun in the sky made it difficult to see them until we neared the top of the hill when we could look back into the valley but even then it needed a zoomed shot to enhance the view.

Near the top of the hill we entered a courtyard in the buildings adjacent to the Hall. This is actually the rear entrance to what was the Stable Block associated with the Hall.

There are three courtyards linked by passages through the arches. Nottingham's Industrial Museum is accessed to the right from the second yard and in the next one are several tables and chairs where customers at the Coffee Shop can sit to enjoy their drinks. The Coffee Shop is housed in the block to the left of where the people are standing but we turned right there into the Souvenir and Gift Shop. Here there is also a small Natural History Museum and also a display documenting the time when American Troops were stationed in the Park during the Second World War.
Up and Down

As we left the Stable Block, steps to the left lead up to the Hall and a number of people were walking up the old Coach Road. After circling the Hall we would later return by that route. To the right a path leads down to the lake and a number of cross country runners were coming up from that way but we continued straight ahead to pass through a sturdy iron gate and up a dark narrow passage.
Formal Garden

This took us out to the formal garden area and the Camellia House where several plants were in full flower.
Wollaton Hall

We passed the Camellia House and after a few minutes watching squirrels darting amongst the trees before they were chased away by a a dog that was being encouraged by its silly woman owner, we climbed the steps to the Hall. I think there is a popular misconception that the regular view of the Hall often photographed from the other side is the front but that is actually the tradesmens' entrance and this is the front of the Hall.
Big Tree

Snowmen's Resting PlaceDriveWe turned right at the top of the steps, admired this magnificent large tree and walked along to the terrace where there were hazy views over the city to Nottingham Castle. Completing the circuit of the Hall (left) we descended the steps seen earlier to return to the path to the village but not before noticing the piles of snow on the grass (right) that prompted the comment "Looks like the snowmen's graveyard."
Getting Closer

As we went down the hill the deer had come closer to the path and we noticed people approaching them with children in pushchairs and dogs. Perhaps they too were heeding the call of the wild but it should be remembered that these animals are not pets.
Red Deer

That's were the zoom lens on the camera comes in useful though which can get you as close as you like to those fearsome antlers. The call of the wild may be strong but this is close enough for me. It reminds me of the joke about the government official who went to inspect a farm. He said he could go anywhere he liked as he had a document authorising him from the government. He ignored the farmer's plea not to enter a field and when chased by a bull his shouts for help resulted in the farmer replying "Show him your document!" Having once been chased by a herd of cattle I know that unless you can run faster than a deer, you're better to keep your distance.

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