Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A big splash at Rufford Country Park

Saturday was a non forest day, life is too short to be going round in circles trying to find a way out, I want to see the open countryside. First off a little bimble round Edwinstowe.
St Mary's Church is a magnificent building sitting on a mound near the main crossroads in the village.
In the High Street is a gift shop called Robins Den.
Outside the new library is a statue of Robin Hood proposing to Maid Marian.
The old library was a hive of activity, they were getting ready for the days trading. Inside are small shops selling crafty type things, and a cafe.
This is a hand made ceramic map of the village. It is laid at an angle on a grass verge near a road junction. It looks as though it could do with a good clean up, there is debris from the trees all over it, and weeds are growing in the crevices. It's a shame to see it in this condition, if I lived here I would adopt it and make sure it was kept in good condition. Mrs Mop to the rescue is needed here. 
The Dukeries Lodge is an 18th century inn, and is currently being refurbished. I love old buildings with lots of history and character.
Time to get on my way so I pick up the Robin Hood Way along this path. It's a lovely sunny start to the day.
Spring is in the air.
It wasn't long before I was at the entrance to Rufford Country Park. At first I walked into Rufford village thinking I could get through to the park, but a man who stopped to ask if he could help with directions said I would have to go back to the main road and use the main park entrance. It looked like a lot of rich folks might live there, going by the big posh houses. I like noseying around to see how the other half lives. Car parking is £20 for a season ticket, free today as it's out of season.
There are 150 acres here to bimble around, gardens, sculptures, childrens play areas, lakes and woods. This sculpture is a clenched fist giving the thumbs up.
The Abbey was founded as a monastery over 800 years ago, it was later transformed into a grand country estate. The Abbey ruins are part of this unique visitor attraction.   
Inside the walls it is just a shell.
A nice view over the Long Meadow from one of the windows.
I took a walk to the lake. The sun has brought a lot of people out today. Lots of families with children and dogs. I did a full circuit of the lake and then carried on my walk to North Laithes, and Wellow.
At the top end of the lake you get to Rufford Mill, it has a tea shop, function room, and a shop. At this point the water flows from the lake, over the road, and meanders on to New Ollerton. The kids thought it was great fun when a car came along and made a big splash. Some of the motorists were very cautious and slowed down to a crawl, but others gathered speed as they approached to make a bigger splash, much to the delight of the onlookers. This cyclist got over the footbridge just in time.  
On the way back I came past The Mill again, then continued back to Edwinstowe on the road. I was determined not to be late today, as I was going on to Burton on Trent to stay with my nephew for the night. Todays walk was 13.5 miles, and I finished at 5pm. Just as I planned, see I can stick to a time table if I really try hard, ha ha.  


  1. Great views again today. I really enjoy 'walking' with you and taking in the sights.
    Love from Mum

  2. great photos, I love the car splashing though the ford.
    There is a folk song all about poachers in Rufford park, I didn't know where it was until now!
    I enjoyed this post as ever, we do get about, your virtual walking companions don't we?

  3. Lovely buildings, ruins and art pieces. The map is wonderful, shame it hasn't been kept pristine.

  4. Ilona, why is the big tree fenced off? I love the map,obviously a labour of love.
    Jane x

  5. That "map" is quite a marvelous thing! All the issue of perspective, complicated further by the overall piece being a circle! Very, very impressive.

  6. What a lovely spring walk. Thank you for taking us along!

  7. What a lovely place that is!

  8. Hi Jane, I'm sorry I don't know why the big tree is fenced off, I can only assume it's to stop people climbing on it. I can't find any mention of it on the Rufford web site.

  9. Apparently it is an offence to deliberately try to splash people like that.
    I remember riding along on a dual carriageway in the rain and a car swooshing past leaving me in a tunnel of water like a surfer. It was very scary as I couldn't be sure I was still riding in a straight line and half expected to emerge in the middle of the carriageway when the water died down.

    Is there really a Robin hood and Maid Marion character in History? You hear such conflicting stories.
    Same with King Arthur and Camelot and Merlin.
    Very romantic though, I am sure I would have liked to live in the forest in Medieval times and be a rebel.


  10. I would guess the tree is fenced off to protect it not only from immediate damage (broken limbs, carving of the bark, etc.) but from invisible damage due to compaction of the soil. Over time, soil compaction can injure fine roots and also reduce the availability (to the tree) of nutrients, including water.

  11. I have fond memories of Rufford Park. My Dad was a GP in Ollerton but we lived in the posh houses next to the park. I had a very happy childhood there and spent many nights with my school friend who lived in the Abbey when it was residential. A lovely home full of creaky stairs and we would scare ourselves half to death looking for the white ghost in the crypt!!! The meadow was just a meadow in the 60,s (no cows!) so we walked our dog daily there. Happy memories looking at your piccies.

  12. Also actually went inside The Major Oak years before it was cordoned off to Joe Public. Quite roomy but don't think Robins Merry Men would have got in! The Dukeries Hotel was a dive of a pub when I lived in Rufford so good to see being re-furnished! The houses in Rufford are amazing and definitely millionaires row now! We lived in a bungalow behind the meadow and there're were only about 20 houses at the time. A wonderful place to grow up . Sadly came to an abrupt end when my mum died at 39 and we regrettably moved to Edwinstowe. Too many painful memories for my Dad I think.

  13. We also as children spent many an hour watching cars drive through the ford! Happy times!!!!


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