Sunday, November 12, 2006

Robin Hood et al - 11 & 12 November 2006

Armistice weekend marked the end of the Grainger touring year for 2006.

The Little Castle at BolsoverWe set off for Nottingham hoping for some lovely autumn foliage, stopping first at Bolsover Castle. This was basically built as a party venue by Sir Charles Cavendish,in the 17th century. His 'Little Castle' has survived with it's original lavish wall and ceiling paintings. His son, the first Duke of Newcastle built the Terrace Range, now a ruin, and the Riding School, which is still in excellent condition.

Sherwood Forest's Major OakWe then did a five-mile walk through Sherwood Forest. Some of the trees had turned a lovely golden colour. The Major Oak, said to have been a hiding place for Robin Hood, was still a stubborn green. After our walk through Robin's wood, we felt obliged to watch the very poor BBC TV production of Robin Hood that evening.

Southwell MinsterOn Sunday we did a circular drive starting at the town of Southwell with it's inspiring Minister. Poignantly, we happened to be there for the two-minute’s silence of Remembrance Sunday, in a place that has provided solace and comfort for thousands of bereaved and suffering folk during it's 1000-year history.

The Duke's Drive

From there we drove through an area known as the Dukeries, as these were estates owned by four dukes in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Chapel at Clumber ParkWe visited Clumber Park, the estate of the 2nd to 7th Dukes of Newcastle. The Duke’s Drive is a 3-mile double avenue of lime trees, the longest lime tree avenue in Europe, - looking beautiful in their autumn colours. The house was demolished in 1937 and all that remains is the park, the Chapel, the kitchen garden and some estate buildings.

Our tour finished at the lovely town of Newark-on-Trent. Newark-on-Trent Castle ruinsThis town has it all: a picturesque Castle ruin on a river; interesting historical buildings many of Do you have to go outside to turn around?which face the large market square; a beautiful church; and possibly the narrowest building in Britain. Links to Robin Hood can even be found here, as the Castle is where King John died.

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