It was very peaceful walking along in the sunshine with the dogs running round exploring; it was still fairly early so there was hardly anyone around, and with the steam rally having finished the previous day there was no background noise other than the birds in the trees. On a wall in the courtyard behind the castle I found a large map of the castle grounds and country park and after several minutes of study I managed to work out where the Golden Gates were; it seemed as though it was quite a long walk to get to them but in reality it wasn't as far as I first thought. Walking down a wide grassy avenue between the trees I came to the quaint and oddly-shaped Moorish temple with its fancy roof and windows then a couple of hundred yards further on I finally reached the Golden Gates - and looking at them I couldn't really fathom out why they were called the 'golden' gates as most of the paintwork on them was light blue. They were very ornate though and certainly worth a few photos.
Across the lane from the gates an area of land had been turned into a wild flower meadow; apart from the obvious poppies and cornflowers I hadn't a clue what any of the flowers were but the mix of bright petals intermingled with various grasses made a lovely splash of colour against the background of the field behind. With a couple of photos taken I headed back the way I had come, lingering for a while by the lake before finally returning to the camping field and the tent.
With the dogs in the back of the van out of the way I began the packing up process and with only five things to take out of the tent it wasn't long before the tent itself was folded, rolled, and back in its bag. After a quick check for any stray tent pegs I took a shot of Sophie and Sugar looking rather cheesed off then closed the van doors, and at ten minutes before noon I drove across the field for the final time; there were still a handful of caravans in the other field so at least I wasn't the last to leave.
The journey back home went without problems and I pulled up outside my front gate just two hours after I'd left the camping field. The weekend had been a good one, made all the better by the fantastic weather; I'd met some nice people, done a bit of exploring, been to visit Sophie's 'other mum', and the cobbled-together 'temporary' single bed in the van had been a success - so roll on next year when I can do it all again!