Thursday, 12 May 2016


Wanting to make the most of a day of sunshine, we went for a walk. Since we're rather out of condition, we chose Shugborough as the place to go, and discovered parts of the estate we'd not seen before.

There are various Greek temples and classical follies dotted around in best 18th / 19th century fashion…

and "The Lanthorn of Dionysius" caught my eye on the map. Off we went in what seemed to be its general direction, but we never actually found it. What we did find was a nice stretch of the River Sow with a bridge in the distance.

Across the bridge is an island between two channels of the Sow, with a section known as "The Wilderness". Dotted along the path were occasional sculptures,

a horse chestnut in bloom,

and various information boards about the Shugborough herd of English Longhorn cattle.

As boards go, they were very informative, and we learnt a lot about the Longhorn – mild-mannered, resilient, slow-growing, intelligent, fun-loving. In fact it sounded like a description of my best-beloved until we came to the bits about living out in the grounds all year round. Eventually we passed by some of the herd, enjoying the sun just across the water from the ornamental gardens.

These days, apparently, in contrast to the past, they leave the horns to grow in whatever direction they fancy, so every animal has a unique set of appendages.

We found that the path leads round the island to another bridge…

which brought us back to near where we'd come in. Overall, a very pleasant day in Great Haywood.


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