This trip is going to take us to the National Forest for a short three night stay. We needed to get Iona back to Grantham Caravans so they can check the broken gas hob valve and order a replacement under warranty, however they have since told me they want £60 to do an inspection before they order the replacement part. Appointment cancelled.
A great sunny morning so after breakfast we headed for the National Forest. The owners of the campsite, Mr & Mrs Stanley gave 16.7 hectares, about 42 acres, of farmland to the National Forest scheme, and the plantation on their land has been split into sections, each is enclosed with styles at various points. I have to say that the tracks tended to be circular so we made sure we moved from one plantation to another.
We found a plant nursery and attached to it is a RHS Arboretum, so we spent a bit of time looking at trees from various parts of the world. We made our way back to the van via another forest track. It had been heavy going in places and our legs were suffering when we got back. It was worth it and we had done almost 8000 steps, about 4 miles.
Today we walked into Ashby de la Zouch, the walk was a bit longer than we thought but we found the high street and walked up the hill towards the church where we found signs to the castle ruins.
|The Tower with spiral staircase|
The castle was three stories high and you could see ornate fireplaces on different levels on the walls, great sockets that once held huge beams to support the floors, on the outside there were dents in the stone work made by musket balls. There was a chapel within the castle and a great hall with ornate stonework. Overall it was very interesting and the mixture of commentary and information boards gave you a sense of how it was in the 1600/1700s.
|The tunnel from the Kitchens to the Tower|
|A View from the Tower|
|On top of the tower|
|One of the ornate fireplaces|
We met Henry the tame squirrel, he goes into the gift shop if the door is left open.
|Henry the tame squirrel|
The walk home was all uphill and it was great to get back to the van for a cup of tea and a sandwich. The weather turned and the wind and rain came back with a vengeance, the rest of the day was spent reading.