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