It was raining, but I thought that I needed to get out and get some fresh air this morning, so I thought I would walk around to Hulne Park and take a very short snoop around and see what there was. My friend Julie had told us that this was the Duke of Northumberland's "back garden" but when we went it was shut. It is maintained by Northumberland Estates and you can read about it here.
I noticed on the Walk 1 Route a Standing Stone was marked, but as it was dreich I decided that today was probably not the best for a walk, but I decided to find where the road would take me so went a little further.
I was impressed by the trees in the forest areas I walked through. Many had been cut for logs and often I felt an eerie feeling seeing the very tall ones in the near distance. The sound of the wind was unlike anything I had heard before, it was almost as though some creature was coming towards me, but it was just a powerful wind blowing through the branches.
The sights kept me walking a bit further and by now the rain was starting to ease and the Standing Stone was calling.
There were many piles of logs and I did see one vehicle that was doing the job, but I know this will be a sustainable enterprise.
I saw the sign above and was shocked at how many pheasants there were and the way they acted. I sort of equated them with the cats on my walks at home, but then I realised that pheasants do not have the intelligence or character of cats. Yes they sometimes pose and let you take pictures, but they can fly but just seem to run everywhere, even when they are supposedly escaping from a human predator like me. Here are some I posted on Instagram.
Looking For The Standing Stone
The map implied that the Standing Stone was in the forest, so I was a bit worried about getting lost looking for it but continued my walk up a fairly steep cinder path.
There was a residence with some hens and pheasants and then I got my first big shock. I thought Brizlee Tower was just another area of forest, It isn't, this is what it is.
Who the hell built such an impressive construction effectively so far from the beaten track and doesn't tell anyone about it? It is a 26m high folly and you can read about it here.
This stone is by the front door.
This had been a long walk but I really did not feel tired, and seeing Brizlee Tower almost made me forget about the Standing Stone, but eventually, I decided to to continue.
The views from parts of the path are absolutely stunning, but I was a bit concerned about having to leave the path for the woods to find the Standing Stone.
The Standing Stone, The Garden Gate and The Golden Tree
I wasn't sure this was the Standing Stone at first because it wasn't in the forest, but the map was a little high level, and the Standing Stone really paled into insignificance against the Garden Gate guarding the Golden Tree which was directly opposite the location of the where it stood.
So after Brizlee Tower, my senses got knocked with this amazing vision. I don't know anything about it apart from it being a memorial garden for someone, but it is another amazing sight.
I decided to continue as I was still not sure about the Standing Stone and was shocked when I saw this when I turned the next corner.
The Green Monk And His Cave
I got a shock when this appeared, and realised it was a statue, and given the proximity of the cave, he was probably a hermit.
This walk had completely disorientated my sense of direction and when I rounded the next corner I was at the start of the Walk 1 trail.
This was the shortest of the trails (four miles) and I have not covered everything I have seen but I hope I have given you a taste of what an incredible place Hulne Park is.
I think Billy Fury's "Wondrous Place" is an appropriate soundtrack for this piece.