The follies of Painshill Park: Part two

November 16, 2013

PODcast IMG_8968We returned to the follies at Painshill Park last Sunday as Daddy had missed out on seeing the Crystal Grotto.

Historically its been recognised as the finest stalactite Grotto in Europe and was officially opened this year following extensive restoration. Lady Lucinda Lambton, a crusader for England’s forgotten architectural heritage, placed the last crystal in the Grotto describing it as rare and extraordinary.

We’re looking forward to visiting Father Christmas there. Elves will guide us from the Wishing Tent to the Crystal Grotto. It will be POD’s first experience of sharing a wish with Father Christmas so it will be interesting to see what happens!

PODcast IMG_8999 v2Located in Cobham, Painshill Park is Grade 1 listed and has been awarded the rare Europa Nostra Medal for its exemplary restoration. Having taken the accessible route on our last visit, this time we opted for the longer historic route.

This route took us past the Gothic Temple with its pillared arches and down to the serpentine lake. It was the most glorious of days. Much to POD’s delight there were ducks everywhere and the Five Arch Bridge looked wonderful.

After admiring the Turkish Tent close-up, we *unintentionally* ended up on the wrong path for a short time. PODcast IMG_9036That said POD was more than happy jumping in muddy puddles!

Next stop was the fabulous Gothic Tower where you can climb 99 steps and enjoy views across four counties. We then enjoyed a wander through the Alpine Valley until POD decided she would walk no longer. Instead she’d lay down midst the trees having a tantrum in a way only a toddler can. Within reason too, she’d outgrown her wellies in less than a week!

POD cheered up at the beautiful Hermitage nestled in the woods. The Honourable Charles Hamilton had created Painshill Park as a romantic landscape to stimulate the senses and emotions of visitors. He had PODcast IMG_9079advertised for a hermit to live as a recluse for seven years in the Hermitage. Legend has it the hermit was found worse for wear in the local watering hole less than three weeks later!

Built in the 1830’s and restored in 1987, the Waterwheel is one of the largest working wheels in the UK. It was a fabulous sight, its red wheel gleaming in the sunshine. We then passed the Cascade and Mausoleum before arriving at Grotto Island and the Crystal Grotto.  It almost takes your breath away with its shimmering features.

With POD on Daddy’s back, we took the route along the River Mole past the Ruined Abbey, Vineyard and Bastion. En route seeing geese, swans and more ducks. Then it was back home for a well deserved hot drink and coffee cake.

We’re linking this post up with How Does Your Garden Grow? at Mammasaurus and Country Kids at Coombe Mill.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) November 16, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Lovely to get back and enjoy such beautiful surroundings again. Love the photos of POD in the mud, and the sit down (protest?!). Looks like you had a lovely day for it too x #CountryKids

    • Charly Dove November 16, 2013 at 11:54 am

      It was such a gorgeous day too Sara, just wonderful. POD decided to lie down and kick her feet on the ground, had a proper hissy fit. Turned out in just a few days she’d outgrown her wellies! Looking forward to seeing Santa in the grotto now 🙂

  • Mummy of Two November 16, 2013 at 8:50 am

    That looks gorgeous. I bet it will be amazing going to see the big man himself there nearer Christmas!

    • Charly Dove November 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      It really is fabulous. I can’t wait to see the grotto next Month. We’re there in the morning but I’m sure it will still look wonderful 🙂

  • Scattymumofboys November 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

    This looks like a beautiful place to visit. Spud was very excited when I showed him the photo of the grotto and thought it looked like a magical place to visit and see Father Christmas. Really lovely photos.

    • Charly Dove November 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you very much, it’s a great place to visit. Lots of green space and things to look at. The grotto especially is wonderful. It will be interesting to see what it’s like at Christmas 🙂

  • Coombe Mill - Fiona November 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    How great that Daddy got to join in the fun and was on hand to give a little lift to Pod, I’m sure the Crystal Grotto will provide a magical backdrop for meeting Father Christmas. I hope you’ve managed to buy some new wellies ready for some more great muddy puddle fun. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    • Charly Dove November 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

      It was lovely to show Daddy the follies Fiona – such a lovely day too. Can’t wait to see Santa at the Grotto! We have new wellies for our next outing, just need to go and christen them now 🙂

  • Kriss MacDonald November 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Your posts and photos have more than convinced me that I would love to visit Painshill Park. I would think it would be rather magical place for Santa encounter too.

    • Charly Dove November 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Thank you Kriss, that’s very kind of you! I can’t wait to see Santa there 🙂

  • Kizzy November 16, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Wow that looks amazing.

    • Charly Dove November 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Thank you Kizzy, its a great place 🙂

  • 76 sunflowers November 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Love the sound of elves leading you to the grotto! What a beautiful sounding place.

    • Charly Dove November 17, 2013 at 9:51 am

      It does sound good doesn’t it. Time will tell 🙂

  • Charlotte November 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Gorgeous photos as always, and such an informative post too! x

    • Charly Dove November 17, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Thank you Charlotte, much appreciated 🙂

  • PODcast | The follies of Painshill Park November 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    […] Also at Painshill Park is a restored Waterwheel, the largest working wheel in the UK,  a Hermitage and a Gothic Tower. We saved these for our next visit as we spent too much time in the Crystal Grotto (restricted opening times apply). You can read The follies of Painshill Park: Part Two here. […]

  • Iona@redpeffer November 21, 2013 at 9:34 am

    It looks absolutely stunning and your photos I’m sure do it justice (well, you are an award winner now aren’t you) Congratulations!

    • Charly Dove November 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you so much Iona, it’s such a fabulous place. Even more so with it being Autumn. Just love this time of year. Chuffed with the award too 🙂

  • An Exeter Mum November 21, 2013 at 9:53 am

    So lovely to see the grotto finished! It was still a work in progress weenie as last there. You will love Father chritmas at Painshill. It’s the perfect setting xx

    • Charly Dove November 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      You must go and have a look, it’s just amazing. Can’t wait to see Father Christmas there although need to master taking photos, some parts are so dark!

  • Mammasaurus November 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    POD has the best days out with you! I adore that huge white and blue tent – if I were Queen I’d have one of those to go and blog in !

    I haven’t seen a waterwheel for years, but can remember just how magical it felt seeing one as a child – lucky POD 🙂

    Seriously lovely shots – those whites and greys of the buildings and bridges really stand out against the autumn colours don’t they?

    Thanks ever so much for joining in again x

    • Charly Dove November 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      That’s very kind of you to say Annie, have really missed not being out this week. It’s so nice to get some fresh air. The blue tent is fabulous isn’t it, perhaps we should all have one in our garden!? The waterwheel was lovely and huge too – it’s been a while since we saw one too. Such a fabulous time of year is Autumn, I love it 🙂

  • Claudia November 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    you had me at crystal grotto. i mean, how could one not go back again and again? amazing!!! and that white and blue royal tent? yes please.

    • Charly Dove November 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      It’s just fabulous Claudia, really enjoyed it there. It’s a great tent, I think we should all have one 🙂

  • Nichola Fabfortymum November 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Before I say another word I have to say I WANT THAT TENT (sorry that was shouting!) Charly, I have missed your pictures and my word you never disappoint, you have blown me away again. These are magnificent, every single shot is just superb, you are a very talented photographer. I adore the first picture of POD and daddy, so so gorgeous. These are a feast for the eyes, I think I may have to go and just claim squatters right there, I want that garden.

    Apologies for missing out on comments for a couple of weeks, but thankfully the sickness is gone and I’ll get caught up now xxx

    • Charly Dove November 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Glad to hear you’re all feeling better Nichola, sounds like a tough couple of weeks. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, I love that people enjoy my photos. A fabulous place to photograph though! We all need one of those tents in our garden 🙂

  • Heather @betamother November 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I love the tent too! But I’m going to be all greedy and say I want the whole estate cause what an amazing place!! A perfect place for a wander, full of adventures and secrets of years gone by, I bet.

    • Charly Dove November 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live here Heather, you’d wake up with a smile on your face every day!

  • Gemma Garner November 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Elves and Santa in the crystal grotto sounds like magic! It’s nice to see that your daughter enjoys your garden trips too. The photo of the 3 ducks in a row made me chuckle 🙂

    • Charly Dove November 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

      The ducks made me chuckle too! POD loves running round in the fresh air, lots to see there too. Can’t wait until we see Father Christmas in the Grotto 🙂

  • Katie November 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    What a beautiful waterwheel and the building attached. Looks like it was a lovely day out:-)

    • Charly Dove November 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

      It’s a fabulous place Katie, the waterwheel was huge!

  • Kathleen November 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    What a beautiful place! It seems so fantasy-like I am sure POD really enjoyed it.

    • Charly Dove November 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      It’s a great place Kathleen, loved it there. Looking forward to Father Christmas in the Grotto next month 🙂

  • Sam @happyhomebird November 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    It is like something from Narnia, I love it. We studied this park on my garden design course, fantastic.

    • Charly Dove November 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      I love that, it really is. Fabulous place it really is 🙂

  • The follies of Painshill Park: Part Two | LAB March 31, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    […] Read the rest of the post at it’s original source by clicking here. […]