A day of fantasy and imagination at Elvaston Castle, Derby.

A short story to mark my first attempt at using the haveyoubeenhere app

Elvaston trail

We began our journey to the castle travelling alongside a beautiful stream. It appears these woods were once inhabited by people much smaller than you or I because halfway along the trail we came across a miniature bridge made of stone…

My rating: 7/10

The clearing

Soon after we passed Dwarf’s bridge, we noticed a gap in the foliage that gave us the perfect escape route away from the spooky woods of Elvaston.

Passing through the trees we came out into a beautiful clearing, the polar opposite of the environment we had just departed.

My rating: 8/10

The castle approach

A canopy of dark branches which had cast its shadow on everything below instantly disappeared to be replaced by a heavenly blue sky, accentuated and illuminated by a gloriously raging sun. What was an uneven and muddy path had now become a lush and vibrant grassy pasture lined either side by wise and imposing trees standing together as sentry to what laid ahead…

The castle courtyard

The trees had done there job well, leading us directly to the castle grounds.

Approaching the castle we were greeted by huge sandstone walls peppered with ornate glass windows that allowed anyone lucky enough to be called residents a panoramic vista of their glorious surroundings. One could only imagine the luxury that laid within the rooms behind those windows and for us tourist this is as close as we’d ever get to knowing.

Onwards towards the clock tower we walked which then lead us out of the courtyard and into the gardens…

My rating: 8/10

@Article61 in Wonderland

Now this is a garden! Beautifully set in symmetry. The garden with not a single leaf out of place holds it’s pose for all to admire. Reminiscent of a scene from Alice in Wonderland, I imagine myself shrunken to a fraction of my size and allowed to lose myself within this natural maze.

My rating: 8/10

(Pic sourced from google)

A romantic hideaway

After saying farewell to the gardens we wandered further on allowing the natural openings in the trees to guide our way. A minute or so later a small grass garden opened up in front of us. On its own this spot would have made the perfect picnic point, however, there was a building that stood at the far end demanding our attention…

The architecture seemed far out of place and not at all in-keeping with the traditional buildings that surrounded it. The foreign style of this building gave rise to immediate intrigue and its modest size and isolated location suggested a deeper purpose.

The story behind the Moorish temple…

In 1829 the 4th Earl Charles inherited the title and two years later married Maria Foote. She was 17 years his junior, an actress and an unmarried mother (neither of which were socially acceptable at that time). It is believed the temple was commissioned by Charles as a tribute to their love.
(passage sourced from https://www.flickr.com/photos/janflicks/6972342186)

My rating: 7/10

(Pic sourced from google)

The Giant Elephant

Throughout the day there had been many interesting sights to spark our imaginations, so it seemed quite fitting that on our way out of the gardens we stumbled upon a giant elephant…

200 feet tall and with ears as big as the main sails of the Mary Rose. We all looked up in amazement, too flabbergasted to scream and too awe-struck to move away. The giant creature somehow noticed us looking up from below and decided to put on a little performance by simply shaking his enormous head which then created a spectacular display of ears, trunk, and tusks dancing together. Then, with a deafening sound from his trunk, the elephant signalled his exit, but not before scooping up the three of us and placing us gently on his back. “Onwards!”, we all shouted in an excited chorus and with that we headed off into the woods on the back of our very own gentle giant. The perfect ending to a magical day at Elvaston Castle.

My rating: 10/10

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