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Unexpected Leicestershire
Yesterday, Ina and I took the car (and the LDD) into the North to pick up whatever of my father's possessions appealed to us before the house sale goes through. This was mainly a limited edition print of a Spanish Lynx by Eric Tenney, my old Countdowns (and a Howard the Duck special which had got left behind in my brother's last comic sweep) a sewing box and odd bits of glassware.

We made the mistake of going up the M11, with the intention of driving along the A14 to the M1, and therefore missing out the long stretches of said M1 which are being dug up, and the bits of the A1 and local roads that, we suspected, would be very, very foggy.

However, coming off the M11, the A14 was backed up for miles. We inched forward for nearly an hour until we passed the crash that had caused the tail-back. The fog wasn't too bad, though, save for some small stretches on all the roads. We still got to Sheffield about 11:30, and the business took a couple of hours, including a quick chat with the buyers.

Coming back, we decided on the M1 all the way down to the M25, but we needed to stop somewhere to give Draco a walk. So we turned off the motorway intending to find our way into Charnwood Forest. In fact, we ended up following signs to Bradgate Country Park. Walking up through some very ordinary woods, we could not have expected what awaited us beyond the huge kissing gate (through which we saw someone take a horse!)

Along the Bridle Path

Those are fallow deer the horse is passing, by the way, which did mean Draco had to stay on his long lead.

Old John Tower

The folly is called Old John Tower.

From the top of that hill, the views are incredible.

Evening Light

(Spot the helicopter! I didn't at the time.)

From Old John

Power Station Plume

It's okay, that's a Power Station on the other side of the hill.

Bradgate Hall

And the above are the ruins of Bradgate House, home of the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey.

We also met an eight week old Border Collie pup of the utmost sweetness.

Collie Puppy

And had a wonderful walk in glorious light.

On the horizon

Of course, the drive home was interesting, particularly when the fog came down around Luton and driving on the M1 something of a lottery, but it cleared by the start of the M25, and we got home in reasonable time.

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These are all stunning! What an incredible place to have come upon purely by chance. :0)

We just couldn't believe it when we walked through the gate onto that hillside. We'd never thought of Leicestershire as having such views.

A genuine stroke of fortune for landscape photography fans like us. :0)

Ah yes, Bradgate. It is a rather surprising place to find in the middle of mostly-flat Leicestershire -- and it was a glorious day for it.

There's a novel by Freda Warrington, The Rainbow Gate, that uses the park as the our-reality end of a portal fantasy.

I may have read The Rainbow Gate... must check if it is one of Freda's that I own.

Glad you had a good day!

I love Bradgate. One of the few good point about growing up in Leics.

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