Photos to Follow

I was trying to find the toilets.
Commonsense said they should be near the campers, and there were a number of tents on the left. I picked a path round the back of them, saw a low building and awarded myself the Poirot Deduction Badge.
There were more tents passed the toilets. And caravans, and camper vans. The latter accommodated in a walled area by the old Dovecote, itself disfigured by two large royal blue rubbish bins up against its sides. As campsites go, it was pretty unsophisticated. There were toilets and shower blocks, a place to empty chemical toilets, electrical hook up, but no shop, no organised activities. There was no reason why I should have found it depressing.
I have spent the day at the Castlewellan Forest Park, enjoying the arboretum and the Cypress Pond Trail. Most of the time I had no mobile phone signal, so it was a bit of a surprise, just as I was photographing the ‘castle, now a Christian Conference Centre from whence came the sound of intermittent singing, when I got a call offering me some work for the week after next. I think I have to take it, though it is the only day I have completely free in a week. Still, bills and all that. But I digress.

The castle isn’t really a castle. It was only built in 1856, in the Scottish Baronial Style, the leaflet states grandly. You can imagine it, all turrets, pinnacles and crenellations made from local granite.
As a place for a family holiday, away from conspicuous consumerism that characterises most seaside resorts, this couldn’t be much better. Acres of woodland, a lake with canoes, and lanes for paddlers laid out like a swimming race, mountain bike trails of different grades – I took photos for JanH – bridle paths (though I didn’t see any horses tethered by the tents), lots of walking for lots of happy dogs and their owners.
I think it was just the sheer number of campers that cowed me. It was like a housing estate removed to an area of natural beauty. I was glad to get back to the quiet of the woods.

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10 thoughts on “Photos to Follow

  1. How different our perceptions are – “only built in 1856” isn’t a phrase used often in North America, especially away from the East Coast. I also had to smile about your perception of camping. When we go camping I feel the same way with so many more people so much closer to me. But the purpose of our camping is to get us to a different location so we can find solitude away from the campground. We like taking our beds, kitchen and toilet with us when we travel. 🙂

    • My primary school was built in 1853! Victorian buildings still don’t seem very old to me, perhaps because my grandparents were born while Victoria was still on the throne, so I can reach back via people I remember to that time.
      The campsite seemed a bit claustrophobic after the space and emptiness of the rest of the park. The only part I met people in, other than one man on a lovely friendly horse, was on the family trail where there were lots of dog walkers. There was camping in the park I visited yesterday too, but on a much smaller scale.

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