Many of you are close enough to still be able to visit the Castle grounds. For those of you who are too far away, we took these pictures on our grounds check, and hope you will enjoy taking a virtual walk with us.

Beautiful deep pink Rhododendron bush in lawn

Starting our walk, we paused to enjoy these Rhododendrons lining the drive. With their show of vibrant blooms they are always a welcome sight, and are at their most spectacular in spring. They provide a lovely welcome to Castle Visitors at this time of year.

Two weathered fallen tree branches framing view to blubell glade

Continuing along the path adjacent to the cliff top, we stopped to admire one of the many glades of bluebells which have sprung up in-between the trees and shrubs. Did you know almost half the world’s bluebells are found in the UK? They are relatively rare in the rest of the world.

 

Two weathered fallen tree branches framing view to blubell glade
Rope hammock swinging between two trees with background of trees and glimpse of blue sky

Passing the natural playground, the hammock which is strung up between two trees was empty of occupants. It is normally too tempting to resist, and provides much fun and laughter, especially when tying to get out of it. Are you up for the challenge of a swing next time you visit?

Foreground of trees and bushes with glimpse of sea and blue sky

Looking out across Christchurch Bay to the Isle of Wight, we were reminded of how lucky we are to work in, and care for, such a magnificant building with such beautiful surroundings. We never grow tired of this view, however many times we see it.

Foreground of trees and bushes with glimpse of sea and blue sky
Monkey Puzzle Tree set in lawn with blue sky and trees in background

Crossing the Vista, we took a closer look at the Monkey Puzzle tree which was planted relatively recently. It is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria, which makes it ideal for this open this spot. It is thought to get its curious name from a remark that ‘climbing it would be a puzzler for a monkey’.

Large group of forget-me-knots growing in front of walled garden brick wall

Following the path that took us in to the secluded old walled garden we came across a carpet of dainty forget-me-nots nestling in the shelter of the warm, red bricks. The name comes from the Ancient Greek μυοσωτίς “mouse’s ear”, which the foliage is thought to resemble.

Large group of forget-me-knots growing in front of walled garden brick wall
Piles of logs on the grass under fir tree with glimpse of blue sky

Exploring this area further we stopped to enjoy the sound of birdsong filling the air. With the absence of the usual day to day sounds normally heard around the Castle, the chorus seemed louder and more joyful than ever.

Brick wall with ornate sloping coping stones and trees and blue sky in the background

Skirting the newly rennovated wall next to the Castle Kitchen, the recent replacement of some coping stones has restored it to its former glory. This will ensure the wall remains safe, and will continue to provide a cosy feel to the outside eating area.

Brick wall with ornate sloping coping stones and trees and blue sky in the background
The Parterre with neat box shrub patterns and gravel in between

Finishing our walk, we couldn’t resist a final look back at the intricate hedging in our Parterre. Our gardeners have done a great job ensuring it is kept in good condition. We also have them to thank for their continuing hard work, ensuring a lovely walk whatever the weather!