Monday, April 27, 2009

Bradgate Park holds a special place in our hearts; in mine it’s more recently held. But The Mister has fond childhood memories of family outings. It was a place his mum championed and after her first visit to Central Park she crowed confidently: “Just wait until you see our Bradgate Park.” And she was right. Only fifteen minutes from the center of Leicester, it trumps our park with a river running through it—the Lin. It’s an open ruggedly rocky heath covered with bracken, affording spectacular views. We once sighted the elusive white deer! Fabulously weird trees—Jazz called them Monkey Trees—tower over the path into the park. The ruins of the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey crown a rise in the distance. A killer plant called Deadly Nightshade is allowed to grow among the ruins for “historical purposes.” Not much fun being a Queen, I suspect, even if for only nine days.

Stopped on the path by the comical sight of a youthful gang of deer considering how to navigate over a stone wall, we noticed a parade of stags streaming down a steep hill in the protected area the little ones were aiming for. We watched transfixed as these majestic beasts hurtled down the slope, unhindered by the weight and extravagance of their impressive antlers, first stopping to dip shoulder-high into the river before making their way to a herd of females. Getting ready for a little  snogging action, perhaps? Sure, maybe when tourists weren’t gawping at them.

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