About Me

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Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it

Sunday April 16th - Part 2 - Chirk Castle gardens

Emerging from the castle courtyard I turned right and followed the path round to the formal gardens. It was still a bit too early in the year to have much colour in the flower beds but there was a nice bright border of tulips and a few other flowers below one of the well clipped hedges so that was worth a couple of photos. 

As I wandered round the various paths I came across a small narrow section of grass almost tucked away in the angle of a curved hedge in a quiet corner of the garden. A dozen or so small stone slabs were set into the ground with one larger one standing upright against the hedge, and when I looked closely I realised it was a pet cemetery. The inscriptions on the stones were quite difficult to read as the surfaces had worn away over time but I could make some of them out - "Pincher, the most faithful of dogs, died much lamented May 1886"  -  "My dear little Bobs, died August 1905 aged 9 years"  -  "Dear little Nettle, died 1895 aged 18, surviving her beloved mistress 6 years". All very sweet but rather sad too I thought.

It was just after I left the pet cemetery behind that I came upon something totally unexpected; after passing between tall hedges and several varieties of shrubbery the path emerged at a section of huge sweeping lawn and in front of me was the most incredible and prettiest view of a garden I've ever seen. If the sky had been blue it would have been absolutely stunning, even so it still looked amazing. Definitely worth a photo, and I don't think I need to describe what I was seeing - this was certainly a case of a picture painting a thousand words.

There was a large rockery behind the summerhouse and another path leading back to the lawn, and it was only when I was satisfied that I'd photographed everything worth pointing the camera at that I made my way to another part of the garden. With more flowering shrubs, rhododendrons, azaleas, daffodils, magnolias and bench seats in strategic places to sit and take in the views I got several more shots before heading back towards the castle.

With one final shot looking down the length of the lawn I made my way back past the castle and down the hill towards the car park, but just before I got there I spotted something I hadn't noticed earlier on. Set back in a corner and across a small green were a couple of stone cottages with red brick chimneys; they looked so cute and quaint that they were definitely worth a photo.

As I walked back to the van I noticed that the line of cars parked in front of the trees on the left of the car park had increased by at least a dozen vehicles in the time I'd been at the castle - so much for there being 'no spaces' when I arrived, I could have easily parked there after all. Maybe the NT should give their volunteer marshalls some training in good customer service!

The exit road through the castle estate was a different one from the entrance road and it ended close to a black and white cottage and a set of very ornate white gates and railings. This was definitely a photo opportunity not to be missed so I pulled up just off the road and got half a dozen shots - and I actually got a fleeting patch of blue sky in one of them.

From there I drove down into Chirk and back to the A5, heading back to Llangollen. It was only 2pm and my day wasn't over yet - I had another place to go to, and from what I'd read on the internet there was quite a fascinating story to it. I'd been once before, a couple of years ago, but it had been closed then so I was really looking forward to seeing round it this time - fingers crossed it was worth going to.


  1. Well Tiggermouse what can I say? what a wonderful place you visited and all the photo's are awesome. It's wonderful when you come across a place that you really cherish the memories they make. Well done and thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  2. The castle gardens were lovely Yvonne, a shame the weather wasn't brighter but it's a place definitely worth going back to on a nicer day even if I don't go in the castle again.

  3. Such fabulous gardens and your photos are wonderful. Aww, the pet cemetery you came across, I'm glad you could make out the words, very sweet sentiments. How wonderful for a little dog (I assume) to live until age 18.
    Those gates are beautiful and I love the dogs on the pillars. Next time I go to the lodges, and I will, this castle will be on my places to visit list. The gardens will be even more splendid in the summer. Thanks for showing us around :)

  4. I like the dogs on the gate posts too. Looking at the style of them and going off the name on one of the pet cemetery stones - Pincher - I'm thinking maybe the family traditionally kept Dobermans.

    The gardens are lovely, and will be even better during summer. I actually missed some bits out - there's a pond somewhere - so they are definitely somewhere to revisit :)

  5. Gorgeous place. We had an experience a bit like that recently where we went through a garden gate and were stunned by the view.

  6. I had originally planned to go back there this weekend and hopefully get another photo of the lovely garden view with some blue sky and sunshine but the weather forecast for that area seems to be a bit hit and miss so I've more or less decided to stay at home.


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