Attingham Park, in other words – walking out through the walled garden and the snowdrop woods, then around the perimeter of the park, along the path which passes through the deer sanctuary. Those in charge are keeping a wary eye on us, though they don’t seem worried.
It’s the 1st of March on Tuesday – St David’s day, and there are signs of spring all around us as we wander down to the river, for tea and cake at Coalport youth hostel, just beside the china works. We’re about 2/3 of the way round, and their shortcake is perfect fuel for the long plod back up the hill…
View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=369175&Y=301571&A=Y&Z=120
The one seems to accompany the other – we’ve been to Attingham on previous occasions, to see the floral display and to find the river Tern resembling a lake, backing up from the nearby Severn. It’s a pleasant spot for a cold afternoon, and though the morning’s sunshine has gone, there’s barely a breeze – the water’s like a mirror. There are post-stroll tea and cakes too…
“We need to go and see the snowdrops at Attingham”. Yes, I suppose we do, and it looks like being rainy tomorrow and Friday. They are worth seeing, and there will perhaps be tea and cake afterwards. The snowdrop woods are busy – it’s half-term, and there are lots of kids-and-grandparents out today. They’re not really interested in the snowdrops, but that familiar shrill chatter is evidence that they are enjoying their outing (I’m referring to the kids, of course). We continue beyond the snowdrop woods to follow the park perimeter path, and it’s much quieter, perhaps because there’s a crocodile in the swamp. A gap in the trees reveals, perhaps 1km distant, a Roman villa. Is reality on the blink again?
A dry afternoon, with some sunshine forecast – “let’s have a walk around Attingham Park, the snowdrops should be good”. Which they were, of course – like a fall of snow in places, the ground almost white over. The sun wasn’t at its most cooperative – why is the most spectacular burst of sunshine the one when you’re in the car, ready to drive home? The translucent Judas ear fungus is edible, apparently; it doesn’t look too appetising. Think I’ll give it a miss.
The deer were grazing in the deer park – see video clip (below)