I am quite excited about this place at the moment and still in the 'exploring stage' so as I find new things to do and see I will share them with you. I was looking for somewhere new to take one of our son's for a little one to one time and to just get out of the house for a a bit. After Charlecotes West Park closed for Rutting season, I missed the deer so I googled 'Red Deer Parks' the deer at Charlecote are Fallow Deer and very beautiful animals but I wanted to see other types too. Please note the rest of Charlecote is open as usual.
Charlecote will always be my favourite place and I am loving the Autumn colours there at the moment and have even found a way of still seeing the deer but I am not telling you :)
I wasn't sure what to expect to be honest, I had looked on the site and checked out the map of the park, pictures were pretty but it just looked like a normal sort of park only with a deer sanctuary attached to it. I couldn't have been more wrong, it is a very beautiful place, I loved what I saw.
Not long after arriving there, about 5 minutes to be honest, I was looking over the stream towards the deer sanctuary, trying to see if there was anything hiding amongst the trees and bushes, when my son tapped me on my shoulder.....As I turned around, there right in front of me, just a few feet away was a beautiful Red Stag. I could not believe how close it was and I hadn't got a clue where it had come from. One of those blink and you miss it times I think! I had my 400mm lens on my camera at the time as I was expecting to see the deer further away, luckily my son had a camera with a shorter lens on so I quickly grabbed it , threw the cap on the floor and just caught the stag crossing the stream before it disappeared into the sanctuary. I love the reflection of the stag in this photo, I wasn't sure I caught it in time, two seconds later he was up on the bank and gone!
I was so pleased to have found Bradgate Park, there is something to do for everyone. It felt like it had a little of other places I visit from time to time all within the one park. You had the tower on the hill which reminded me of Burton Dassett Hills ( 'The pork pie in the sky' as it is known to a few :) The stream and woods remind me of day trips to Wales, walking in the streams and mushroom picking in the woods.
The Old John Tower at Bradgate Park
The Old John Tower at Bradgate Park
For those who don't know Burton Dassett Hills, here is a picture, maybe you can see how it got it's nick name of 'pork pie in the sky'There is a lot of hill area to cover here but don't worry if you can't manage the hilly parts.There is a flat path walk which follows the stream and leads you to the visitors centre which also has a cafe attached to it. You can stop there for some light refreshment if you want and either turn around and go back like we did, or continue along the path towards the wood past the reservoir. Yes they have one of them too! We only did the flat path walk this day and you can see how much we saw.
Just to give you an idea of the place I have included a copy of Bradgate Park's map, click on the picture to make it bigger. This picture is not mine so all copyright belongs to Bradgate. I did not think there would be a problem sharing it but if there is, let me know and I will happily remove it.
A little of the parks history... Bradgate was a Medieval Deer Park created from Charnwood Forest, it was 1st enclosed as a hunting park early 13th Century. For many Centuries the land belonged to the 'Grey' family and the Earl of Stamford. Many will know the family more if I mention 'Lady Grey' the 9 day Queen, who was born here in Bradgate Hall of which the ruins of you can still see today.
There is a little more History about this place in this link....
Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood are managed by Bradgate Park trust, it is free to enter but you do have to pay for parking which for a car is £3 for 3 hours or £5 all day. I know some people moan about the price of the parking and block the main roads on the approach so they don't have to pay. I don't think the parking fee is bad at all, just think what you pay at other places for a day out and at least this money goes back into the park to keep it looking as it does so you can visit. People should stop moaning and enjoy it or don't go, simple as that!
This one looked like it had been in the wars but then it is that time of year!
Anyway back to my visit, I must say the deer were in top form this day. We only walked by the stream this and saw so much. We saw a few Red Stag's, Fallow deer and some Red Doe's and had quite a show from another stag rolling around in the wet mud!
No not muddy enough yet! ..
It was a lovely day and we also stopped for a coffee and a toastie and my science lesson for the day! I guess I should explain......
Our son has Autism plus a few other things but bless him, he does try to hold a conversation but it's always a little awkward , you can see it in his face. He has spoken with his facial expressions for a long time, well before he could talk, some people might understand what I mean here, some won't. He is very expressive with his face and can't hide anything. I can tell if he is stressing or doesn't like the situation he is in and a lot more. His face tell's it all . Sat having a coffee and he tries to start a conversation, only it's not about our day out or what we have seen or anything most people talk about on nice relaxed days out. It's about atoms,cells dividing, molecules, particles and the list goes on! He is studying A'level Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Computers and these are the subjects he talks about and repeats the lesson to me when we are out walking or driving in the car. He talks about what he knows and he knows his stuff. I do have to remind him from time to time, that I went to school too :) Although to be honest, most of what he talks about goes over my head.
One my son took, I like the way the water is moving over the face, I think I have some competition!
Just a few more photos as I took many as usual, I will put the rest on my Panaramio page.