If you go into the woods today, be prepared for a fairytale surprise. Chapel House Wood, just minutes’ drive from Blenheim Lodge Guest House in Bowness, but . . . what a different world – one lost in time and to time, a playground for the imagination, where even the unimaginative soul becomes poetic within its surroundings. It all started from Sow How Lane.
And into the woods we walked . . .
. . . where gnarled mossy trees and exposed roots form interesting shapes and capture the imagination. Do little people live underneath those exposed roots?
As we walked past the tree above, even my oh-so-practical husband began to turn his mind to ghouls and monsters. Venturing onwards, we came to a surprisingly pleasant brown needle-strewn path, where the walking was dry and easy . . .
. . . but it did not last. Overhead, a slightly overcast sky cast its uncertain light. Meanwhile, into the gloom and dark we went, or so it might seem when looking ahead.
A small circle of light encircled by a stand of trees. My imagination ran rife: could this spot have held any significance in bygone days? I stood there in the gloaming, fascinated by my surroundings. What could these woods tell us if they could only talk?
A more difficult track – or lack thereof – awaited us. We had to be very careful so as not to stumble and fall. Walking carefully, we soon came to an even more malformed group of trees, under which we had to crouch and scuttle to get past.
‘Imagine trolls jumping out at you,’ said Hubby. Nice! I told him not to be so ghoulish. Nonetheless, the landscape truly did encourage thoughts of childhood terrors: ghouls and trolls, and giants whose feet stomped upon those trees that impeded them to leave gigantic feet-sized tracts of spongy land where straw-like grasses now lay. It was impossible to find a way forward, blocked as we now were by a dense growth of conifers.
Fairyland at Chapel House Wood was not a tale of kind and light-hearted fairy folk. It felt very much the opposite: a story of dark and unfathomable creatures, whose unseen hiding places reflected their even darker souls. Where we walked, daylight was scarce; and where there were open spaces, deep mires dug deeper troughs where I would not venture for fear of sinking into them.
But did Hubby and I enjoy the walk? You bet we did! It was interesting, illuminating, and certainly worth exploring again – with a good compass in hand and a stout stick to depth-check the fields of muddy troughs before endeavouring to cross them! If you are looking for a fell-walking break, this is one to try just for the atmosphere alone!
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: http://www.blenheim-lodge.com
Telephone: 015394 43440