Heaven is an English Woodland on a Sunny Day in May ...


Early this morning D asked if I fancied going to Swithland Woods which is at the northern end of the county.  We live at the southern end.  It entails a drive right across town and near to where I used to live.  We hadn't been to the woods since my Dad died; some 15 or more years ago; mainly because we used to visit him every weekend and always stopped off at the woods to give the dog a run.

This is me in the woods in 1986.


So much had changed on the journey there, buildings had vanished; new ones had risen; roads changed; small roads turned into dual carriageways; it was awful - I didn't recognize anything or even know where I was at times.


But eventually 40 minutes later we reached the woods and it was like coming home.  As we walked further in I knew where the old trails were, the bridle paths and ridings; remembered that it used to be an old slate quarry and the lake that had formed from the quarry workings (now fenced off with razor wire).  It all came back in a flurry of  familiar memories that had been hidden in the recesses of my mind for a long time.


It is not known as a bluebell wood but there were plenty about in the open glades where the dappled sun shone through.  Seeing the trees again was like greeting old friends who wondered where I had been for so long.


I fell in love with the woods all over again - I'll be back I silently told them as we left.  I'll be back - not tomorrow, or the next day, but soon.  How could I have forgotten you.









Elaine











Comments

  1. Sunny days in May are just made for walks in parks, down lanes ... and definitely in woods with wonderful bluebells as in your photo's.

    Many thanks too for the glimpse of you back in 1986

    Maybe you'll have a chance to go back ... soon

    All the best Jan

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    1. I'm glad we did it when we did because the weather has been atrocious since.

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  2. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep--as Frost wrote. Aren't you glad that you made the trip? We don't have woods here on the plains, but in the mountains. The vegetation is so beautiful; even the dandelion looks romantic in the English Woods. Other UK bloggers have shown the English Bluebells and they are indeed beautiful. I would imagine that your spirit was lifted, especially after all that you have been going through. A nice day away, I'd say. Sweet D.

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    1. Thanks Ann - yes, it was lovely to get out and about, especially as it is one of my favourite spots.

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  3. What a wonderful wood. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It was beautiful in there - a very special place to me.

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  4. Such beautiful photos of an enchanting woods. I am so glad you found it again and unchanged.

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    1. So am I ~Sarah - these places never seem to change - just grow more beautiful and cherished.

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  5. You're right; there's something so magical about Bluebell Woods. In my native Surrey we also had nearby Daff Woods; people used to visit and walk away with armfuls.

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    1. I can never understand people picking bluebells - they just go all floppy, best leave them where they are so everyone can appreciate them.

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  6. Good Morning Elaine,
    Buildings, roads, progress it is called. It is sometimes hard to see the changes.
    Wonderful when a landscape you cherish has stayed the same for years.
    We have a bluebell wood near our home...........it is stunning this time of year and managed by the woodland trust.

    I love the image of you........

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    1. Hi Cheryl
      Not all change is good - when the familiar becomes the unfamiliar I feel it quite unsettling. That photo certainly takes me back to a time when I lived in my Barbour coat and Hunter wellies - it was my uniform, I look at the photo and wonder where that young woman went!

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  7. I love the smell of the bluebells in a woodland setting. It's a shame that so many bluebell woods have not survived and also that the Spanish and hybridised bluebells have taken away much of the perfume.

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    1. I love the smell of a bluebell wood too - unfortunately with this cold my sense of smell has temporarily disappeared!

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  8. How beautiful Elaine ...... even the dandelion looks lovely, nestled in amongst the bluebells !!!
    Isn't it a shame how everything changes but, I guess it has to otherwise we would never move forward. At least the wood and the flowers have survived .... make sure that you go back often. { are the white flowers woodland anenomes ? }XXXX

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    1. The white flowers in the dandelion picture are wood anemones, the others are stitchwort and we were lucky enough to see some white bluebells too - a rare treat.

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  9. Aaahhhhh memories! Thank you so much for those lovely photos of a place I love. I've lived in Earl Shilton, Barwell, Newtown Unthank, Narborough, Leicester . . Bradgate Park and Swithland Woods were favourite place to visit when my boys were growing up. I have lived in Cornwall for the past 30 years so I doubt I shall ever be able to see those places again, (though you have awakened a longing inside me.) I know what you mean about places changing - when I drove up to visit my family several years ago, I was completely lost when trying to find my way through Leicester. It had changed out of all recognition and I got completely lost.

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    1. Ah Rosie - I know all these places - I spent my teenage years living in Glenfield, so Bradgate Park and Swithland were on my stamping grounds. I have spent many a happy hour in both.

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  10. What a beautiful wood. I feel as if it greeted you too, as if welcoming a long lost friend. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos!

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    1. It was lovely going back after such a long absence and I felt as if I had never been away - it was a delightful morning spent roaming and stopping to take photographs and getting slightly lost then finding the path again - my internal compass is not that good but the trees showed me the way.

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  11. I'm glad that you enjoyed the woods, which look rather idyllic. Flighty xx

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    1. It's a lovely wood, just a shame it's not a bit nearer home.

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  12. Beautiful pictures and you must have had great remembrances of the 80's X

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    1. Yes Catherine it took me right back to the good old days - seems such a long time ago now.

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  13. Love the woods there Elaine. If I walked in those woods where I live, I'd be covered in a million ticks. I guess they don't live there. Gorgeous anyway.

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    1. I'm sure we do have ticks but luckily they have never found me.

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  14. I'm glad to read that you've rediscovered a special place Elaine. It looks most magical.

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    1. It was a glorious day and I can't think of anywhere I would have rather spent it Anna

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  15. Swithland Woods look beautiful. I'm glad it hasn't changed there and they are still as special as they always were. A lovely post.

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    1. Yes, thank goodness the woods were as I remembered them - I was rather worried because everything else in the area was different from how I remembered it.

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  16. I get quite misty-eyed looking at those gorgeous photos. Your bluebell woods hold such old world, fairytale magic for these Australian eyes! x

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    1. I should imagine that woods are very different in Australia.

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  17. That was a wonderful walk down memory lane. It sounded just what you needed too, it was a shame the car journey wasn't so enjoyable. Sarah x

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    1. It was a memory jerker that's for sure. And the journey, well you can't have everything!

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  18. What a wonderful wood, I can see why you would make such a long journey to get there!

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    1. Yes, it was quite a trek, but well worth it.

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  19. I think I need to add the Swithland Woods to my bucket list...wow. In this post, you reveled us with both your photos and your words...

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  20. Not much beats an English woodland on a sunny Spring day. I love how fresh everything looks.

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    1. It certainly doesn't Jessica - a perfect morning in my book.

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  21. A beautiful walk to take! I enjoyed coming along with you in a virtual capacity!

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  22. What a beautiful wood, I'm so glad you've rediscovered it again :-)

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    1. I didn't realise just how much I missed going there on a regular basis.

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  23. Just love, love, love that pic of you with your dog! Oh goodness, what beautiful woods, the photos are just gorgeous and have me wishing I was there. It's funny how the memory suddenly kicks in and we get our bearings. You just can't bear a bluebell wood!What a lovely post.xxx

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    1. Thanks. I was in my prime then Dina - gone downhill a bit since then :) I was surprised just how much I remembered of the layout of the woods - funny how it all comes back.

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    2. Actually I don't think you've changed that much...I see you now and then...just a beautiful pixie type of a gal....with gorgeous bone structure....lucky you!xxx

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    3. Actually I don't think you've changed that much...I see you now and then...just a beautiful pixie type of a gal....with gorgeous bone structure....lucky you!xxx

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  24. Such beautiful woods. It was good that you were able to visit them again and that you remembered your way through as if you had visited only the day before:)

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  25. Beautiful pictures - there's something about the combination of green and purple/blue.
    That feels like a place with so many memories, both personal and nature's own memories.
    And it's lovely you have that picture of yourself there so long ago.
    Ah, nostalgia...
    Thank you for sharing :)

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