Another weekend afternoon jaunt, this time with the whole family, on an old favourite walk through Levens Deer Park. The park is a proper deer park, attached to Levens Hall, and has its own herd of domesticated fallow deer, of a breed particular to the park, and likewise it’s own breed of goats, although we didn’t see those on this occasion.
It’s spread out either side of the River Kent…
…and this walk follows the western bank for a while, leaves the park briefly, crosses a road bridge and then returns via the eastern bank.
We met the deer pretty much as we entered the park.
A nice opportunity to try out my new favourite toy’s zoom facility.
Another chance cropped up after we’d left the park, when we spotted a grey heron sat on the verge of the minor lane ahead of us. It was really very gloomy at this point, both because it was late in the afternoon and also because it was overcast, so I’m quite chuffed with the result…
The minor lane is extremely quiet since it’s a dead-end, having been chopped off when the A590 dual-carriageway was built. A path continues however, under the main-road’s bridge over the Kent….
….to Force Falls.
We stopped here for a while to watch some canoeists shooting the falls.
I did take some photos, but they were taken through a tall hedge, before a resident of one of the cottages by the falls invited us to watch from their car-parking area.
There’s a sign at the other end of the park which says ‘No Swimming’. We never ignore that. Not at all.
It looked exhilarating. One canoeist did capsize as he went over, but they’d obviously got a good safety routine organised and he was soon rescued.
Most of the return leg follows this avenue of magnificent oaks, dating back to 1690 when the park was first laid out.
Some of the oaks are hollow, and there’s little that’s more enticing to a small boy than climbing inside a hollow tree.
I was more absorbed by the sun setting ahead of us.
I’ve taken photos of the boys inside this tree before, when they were tiny-tots…
….but the opening used to be much smaller and for a time they weren’t able to get inside.
On the wooded banks of the Kent, snowdrops were flowering. Spring is on its way!