Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Around the Town Tuesday: Parks

 Remember what we're doing on Tuesdays?

Last week, I gave you a little information about the town I currently live in, Thetford. (click that if you missed it) For those just now stopping by, I'm a military wife, so I get the privilege of moving somewhere new every 3 or 4 years. (Until it's actually time to move every 3 or 4 years, then it's viewed as more of a hassle than a privilege!) So, I'm  thankful for the Around Your Town blog hop for giving me some motivation to get out and learn a little more about my surroundings!  We LOVE it here, but as we learned when it was time to leave Okinawa last January, our time here will be over before we know it and we won't have seen and done half the things we want to!

This week's theme is "parks". So... let's get to it........

Are you ready for a quick tour of the Ancient Capital of East Anglia?

First, we need to hit the road and leave the subdivision... after we cross Castle Street, we'll pass by a stone bridge and a nice little picnic spot, and take a quick look at Melford Common, where you can walk your dog or play "football."

Now, let's take a look right across the street at the big green blob portion of that map:
(I decided to put my pictures for this week in "storyboards" because I had SO many, and "save-for-web-ing" and uploading to blogger gets too tedious)
This is Castle Hill, and it's less than 1/2 mile away from my house, along the route to the town centre. The top left photo was taken while we ate lunch outside at the Dolphin pub on Sunday! The hill is about 81 feet high, 1000 feet around the base, and is the "tallest medieval earthwork in England". Today, kids & grown-ups like to climb the hill (I haven't tried it yet!) and the playground is always packed on nice days!

On Sunday, we took the short-cut out of the neighborhood and took a walk down the paths behind our house:
This is part of the Nunnery Lakes Nature Reserve and besides geese, you'll find silly little deer called muntjacks, bunnies, pheasants, and people walking their dogs. (That's NOT our house in the background. :)  It's Ford Place, the nursing home, and you'll see just a little more of that in a minute.) There are nice paths, benches and a few little footbridges.

If you get on the correct path, you end up really close to Thetford's Forgotten Garden:
The garden had been forgotten for 30 years and now "friends of the garden" have fixed it up. I can't wait to go back later in the summer when there's more in bloom! The garden is "through the gate in the wall" behind the Ford Place (the pretty back stairs of the Ford Place are in the bottom right photo.)  It's a "secret garden", surrounded by these great old stone & flint walls. We've got another hidden garden in town... I haven't tried to find it yet though.

From here, we headed back the way we came, but passed the path back to our house in favor of the Nuns' Bridges:
The Nuns' Bridges are old & neat looking, but a little nerve-wracking to walk or drive across (they're one lane). This is the place where Thetford's two rivers, the Thet and the Little Ouse meet. The bottom left picture is looking down the path toward the town centre, and at the Gentle Meadow...another "park". They are called the Nuns' Bridges because they used to lead to the Benedictine Nunnery of St. George. It's also said to be where the Icknield Way, one of the oldest roads in Britain, passed.... the Iceni tribe (I mentioned their warrior queen last time) may have used this route, as well as Romans as far back as 43 AD.

A quick stop at the Nunnery Arch:
And our last stop before heading home (on a different wooded path...we love where we live!):
The BTO, or British Trust for Ornithology (wildlife) has its headquarters in Thetford. The ruins are what remains from the 12th century Nunnery. This is where Queen Elizabeth I came to eat dinner in 1578! 
Now, it's a great place to take a walk, sit on a bench, see a few cats, pheasants, and other birds.

And that wraps up our tour of some of my favorite Thetford parks!
Click here to check out some of the other towns on the blog hop!


Christina said...

that very last picture with the archway....I love the look of that. And....the paths that are lined with trees. Just amazing!

Courtney said...

LOVE this, Becca! The history is just awesome & your surroundings are truly beautiful!

Jes said...

Omg.. How much fun! Your town is quite amazing with tons of history, which I LOVE. Glad you are out and enjoying your surroundings.

Krista Lund said...

i love this! i would love to take photos at all these amazing spots!

Brandi said...

What a great park, I can't believe how much wildlife visits. We don't get much of that at our city parks in AZ. Thanks for sharing so much of the history of your park, that's one of my favorite things.

Amy said...

Oh my goodness, the history there is amazing! You are living my dream. Good you are enjoying it since it certainly wont be a permanent place.

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