Bretton Hall Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park occupies the grounds of Bretton Hall once a stately home, then a college, now……I’m not sure what. Aside from the sculptures there is some pleasant walking to be had, and a few odd structures dating back to the days of Lord and Lady Muck. A very pleasant walk can be had around the park.

Miro crow

This crow was hopping about scavenging around the Miro sculptures, rivalling them for sleek blackness, but, truth be told, much more handsome.

We dropped down the hill and wandered around the far bank of the reservoir. There were spots of rain in the cold breeze, and the water was black and forbidding, taking it’s lead from the sky, but swallows were skimming the surface, the first I’d seen this year. By an inlet a pair of Canada geese were building a downy nest…

Nest making 

…and testing it for comfort.

And testing 

A sign pointed out an alternative route avoiding a field grazed by highland cattle. But, we’re not scared of them. Are we?

Angry local... 

This cow seemed a bit agitated, but was heading in the opposite direction to us. At least, I thought it was, but something made me look behind a few moments later, to find it cantering towards us, head down, on a collision course for TBH. I yanked her aside and we made a swift exit. Made the pulse raise a tad, I don’t mind admitting.

TBH spotted a stoat (or a weasel) close by and we were able to watch it bouncing in and out of the longer grass for a few moments. Couldn’t get a photo though. Later, on the journey home, when we were driving along the road which crosses Warton Crag, a rabbit was movingly rather oddly in the middle of the road. It transpired that it was being carried by a stoat. I pulled over and we watched in the rear-view mirrors as the stoat at first abandoned the rabbit and then returned to retrieve it.

In the woods by the lake there was a fine display of bluebells, and, in the damper spots, of shiny marsh marigolds. Some birch leaves had emerged, limp and pale.

I thought these fungi, growing from a substantial log, were highly attractive. They look like a Pholiota species, perhaps Pholiota aurivella, but that and other Pholiotas are listed as being late summer or autumn fruiting, so…..probably not. Any suggestions?


The path around the lake has a rather sad shell grotto (although I suspect that the kids would love it), a boathouse now marooned in dry land, an obelisk marking the site of an older hall building. Also, a rather fancy well or spring…

Lady Eglinton's Well 

…and a Greek Temple folly…

'Greek Temple' Folly

Bretton Hall Park

8 thoughts on “Bretton Hall Park

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I remember that post Danny, it was the one with the Knipephant. You’ve reminded me that I really want to take the kids for a peep in those caves.

  1. Amazing highland cow pic. Those horns look quite capable of tossing a grown man! I’ve been chased by a field of cows before (think they thought we had food) and it’s really something when they all come thundering towards you.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Yes – they may generally be placid but, well, they’re also pretty hefty.
      Backpacking in Northumberland once I found my way blocked by a large herd of cows gathered in the corner of a field between me and the gate I needed to go through. I was fairly nonchalant to begin with, slapping their flanks and shouting and making my way through. Nonchalant that is until, right by the gate I met the last of the hard, quite a bit bigger than the rest. A bull! He raised an eyebrow, but tolerated me.

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          I didn’t really have any options – I was surrounded by cows and carrying a ridiculously heavy rucksack. I was standing right next to the bull when I realised he was a bull – he was pretty placid. Normally, I would go out of my way to give a bull a wide berth.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I told her the pose was a bit too far East for Greece but she wouldn’t have it!
      There’s probably a bail-out gag here, if only I were clever enough……

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