RSS

Picture this. Autumn colours at Arlington Court…

04 Oct

This weekend I’ve once again been playing host to my old friend Ho, who has been taking a well earned break from a frantic work schedule to join me for a spot of relaxation in the beautiful autumnal Devon countryside.
This time we decided to take a stroll around the extensive grounds of Arlington Court, ancestral home of the Chichester family for over 500 years.

image

The house itself is an imposing stone built mansion, surrounded by rolling lawns, lakes, and woodlands, criss-crossed with pathways that lead you to various viewpoints overlooking not only the gloriously varied vistas of the estate but also the picturesque church of St James (not owned by the Trust, but adjacent to the house) which just happened to be staging a flower festival at the time of our visit.

image

We began our tour on the front lawn of the house, heading down to the ornamental lake, stocked with lazily cruising carp and topped with a proliferation of water lilies, pausing on the way to admire the splendor of an ancient oak tree that has stood on the site since well before the house or grounds existed.
The tree is preserved primarily for the scientifically important and internationally recognised variety of lichen, moss and fungi that festoon its gnarled and twisted trunk.

image

image

image

The church is just visible through the trees that overlook the lake, providing a focal point for visitors, an invitation to investigate the hidden beauty of the peaceful sanctuary as you make your way round the estate.

image

But before we headed into the cool vaulted space of the flower-strewn chapel we made our way down the shady path amongst the trees to discover what the woods had to offer.

image

Before too long we came upon a small camp in a clearing, complete with a traditional clay oven beneath the billowing folds of a parachute canopy, along with rustic huts constructed from sticks salvaged from the woodland floor.

image

image

image

The woods have the quiet atmosphere of a primeval forest, rotting trees left where they fell, allowing the verdant moss to take hold and making perfect burrows for small animals and insects, creating shapes that look for all the world like the backbones of long-dead dinosaurs or mythical dragons.

image

image

Occasionally a gate or stile will allow a view across the cattle grazing fields of the deer park, to the densely wooded slopes of the valley, the trees starting to display the muted tones of autumn foliage.

image

image

We retraced the path back to the lake and made for the tower of the church, immediately seeing signs of the floral attraction within…
image

image

image

…already catching the scent of the expertly designed bouquets before we even entered the light and airy space of St James’s, the vibrant colours of hundreds of flowers perfectly complimenting the stained glass windows and ornamental carvings on the walls.
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Our final two stops were at the formal and walled kitchen gardens, the latter of which provides fresh produce for the house and its cafe.
There was even an imperious peacock to welcome us to his domain, although he didn’t seem keen on me taking his picture and I required several stealthy attempts to capture him in all his iridescent glory.
image

image

image

image

image

There is even an “insect hotel” high-rise apartment block for bees and other pollinators…
image

…and there is always something intriguing around the next corner or through the next inviting door.
image

image

image

image

…and of course the Chichester family symbol, a heron grappling with an eel, is in evidence everywhere.
image

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable visit to a place that I’m sure I’ll visit again and again, because there is always something new to discover.

Arlington Court house and gardens are open until the end of October, I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys relaxing amidst spectacular scenery, basking in the more genteel atmosphere of days gone by and leaving the stresses and strains of modern life behind for a few hours.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

13 responses to “Picture this. Autumn colours at Arlington Court…

  1. steph

    October 5, 2014 at 01:52

    Some of your photos really do look like an ancient and magical setting. The tree with the ivy looks incredible!

     
    • dalecooper57

      October 5, 2014 at 02:02

      Thank you Steph, it’s a wonderful place that I’ve been to a lot, there’s so much to discover. It was also the setting for the first Startrek night hike I took part in.

       
  2. Ho

    October 5, 2014 at 21:46

    Fabulous photos as always Dale ( great peacock pic ! ). Many thanks again for your splendid autumnal hospitality.

     
    • dalecooper57

      October 5, 2014 at 21:51

      Cheers Ho, good to see you again. By the way, I inadvertently deleted the photo of the two of us by the sequoia, any chance you send me your version?

       
  3. flmabon

    October 6, 2014 at 12:53

    Absolutely Stunning! Thanks for sharing!

     
    • dalecooper57

      October 6, 2014 at 13:42

      You’re welcome Bonnie, glad you liked it.

       
  4. jerseylil

    November 4, 2014 at 08:53

    Beautiful, love all photos, Dale! That’s an awesome place to visit, and it really does look magical. That peacock, gorgeous as he is, did not want his picture taken LOL! But you got a great shot of his colors.

     
    • dalecooper57

      November 5, 2014 at 00:33

      Thanks Lil, it is a wonderful place that always has something new to offer

       
  5. saminaiqbal27

    November 9, 2014 at 02:42

    Beautiful photos and the place looks so lovely, seems like a peaceful setting. The peacock looks awesome. Thanks for sharing your lovely experience with us. 😄

     
  6. BigD

    November 21, 2014 at 19:05

    You make that place sound magical. I love the idea of a “hotel” for bees too.

     
  7. Charlotte Hoather

    December 8, 2014 at 16:06

    Wow, great photos, the photo 10 down I’m telling my brothers and Dad instead of the wigwam we usually make in the forest we need to get more adventurous.

     
    • dalecooper57

      December 8, 2014 at 16:26

      Thanks Charlotte, it’s a magical place for a camp, that’s for sure.

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
stripSearchLA

Stories about Los Angeles and its people.

FLOW ART STATION

THE ENLIGHTENED ART MAGAZINE

cmsaunders

The online presence of dark fiction writer C.M. Saunders

Timeandreflections

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"

Little Fears

Flash fiction tales of humor, horror and whimsy

JOHNNY SPANGLES THE PILE

The random thoughts of a very troublesome haemorrhoid on travel, art, sport, bad dogs, good cats and other fake news...

The Lessons

that time forgot to teach

SOZ SATIRE

The Best of British Bullshit

Step-Parent's Sanctuary

The Stories Behind those (not so) Perfect Family Photos

Ellenbest24

words and scribble.

sloppybuddhist

hedy bach photography mixed stories and music

Isabella Morgan

Opinions not otherwise specified

A Life in Transition

Poetry & Fiction

The Bee Writes...

.... don't expect anything...not even the unexpected...

Author Kyle Perkins

The latest and greatest of my documented daydreams

Luca Sartoni

Protector of Asynchronicity at Automattic

Pages That Rustle

The journey from words to stories.

trickyemotions

For your mind only!

Waruni Anuruddhika

Film and photography

An Artist's Path

A space for creative seekers.

3nions

Learn WordPress & SEO from the beginning...

Tyler Charles Austen

Foul mouthed, Queer and Angry

balloonfacetrace

The facepainting and balloon twisting lady

Jamaica Ponder

...only a little bit famous

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth

Kristin King Author

True Story...

thegirlwhofearoblivion

To Share, To Connect, To Create, To Inspire.

unbolt me

the literary asylum

swo8

Music means something

Broken Castles

Shattered long ago...

Joshi Daniel Photography

Images of People Photoblog

iamthemilk

Every day I'm jugglin'.

The Write Project

"The answer is to write." - Richard Rhodes

b e t u n a d a

I'm interested in THE GLUE BETWEEN THINGS. "Back on planet URTH" i search for and study desert wombats and inukThingies (they're like inukshuks) while rambling in the high desert of western Colorawdough.

Seabornen

enthusiast photography

bizchair.wordpress.com/

Stop Yearning, Start Earning

%d bloggers like this: