GLW1210:  Little Hall, Big Hall

The only hall that I thought we would be close enough to inspect today was Hincaster Hall, near to where we parked (thanks to a very helpful lady at the first house in the lane). The lady also provided us with something we have missed on recent outings- a fine display of washing!  Plus a foretaste of things to come with the clipped yew representation of Queen Victoria.

After passing the hall and reaching the farm at the brow of the hill, the cows watched in amusement whilst we waded through the challenge they and the rains had left us in the field.

Dropping down to the A6, our intention was to return via Levens Park but we noticed that Levens Hall's garden and shop were open for FREE at weekends until 9th December so we decided to take a detour.  A good decision.  Even in autumn (or perhaps especially in autumn) the grounds with the crazily trimmed yews looked magnificent.  

Other trees looked more like Ents from Lord of the Rings!

Not long ago we were given an etching featuring part of the topiary.  Fortunately one of my snaps closely corresponded.  Had I know in advance where we were going, I would have taken a copy with me to try and reproduce the image.  Even so, it is pretty close:

Cunningly, you have to pass through the gift shop into and out of the garden, unlike on our last visit a few years ago when the snow and ice meant that the grounds were out of bounds.  Inevitably, on exit, purchases were made, including my Christmas present, which I can't describe or the surprise would be lost.  No doubt we would have eaten there as well had we not done so before setting off.

As ever, the Park also looked good; the Kent running past the trees which still held some fine autumnal colour.  On our side were the Bagot goats whilst opposite there were plenty of deer to be seen.

The original plan had been to climb up to Well Heads Lane, no doubt to sit on the bench and enjoy the distant Lakeland view but time was now tight so we returned by the direct route, partly along the old canal towpath to the tunnel entrance, near to which was the car.

One last piece of excitement.  Arriving home (well, nearly) the drive was blocked by a horse that certainly didn't want to go where its would-be but now dismounted rider wanted it to go!

Don, 11th November 2012

Note to self:  Don't forget to return to Levens Hall next time Luca is over and take him to the playground whilst Margaret admires the plants!


More scenes of Levens Hall and Park:



Distance: 4.1 miles;     Height climbed:  340 feet



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