Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Thoresby Hall taster....

We have just returned from a very relaxing week's break at the Thoresby Hall Hotel,Thoresby Park, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire. The whole week was so peaceful and we felt as though we had our own enormous back garden in which to walk. I even did some sketching whilst there, something I normally forget to do on holiday. We were exploring the massive grounds on our first full day there (Tuesday 26th July) when we discovered the "Courtyard" - a lovely circular arrangement of building, in the centre of which was the courtyard and there, in all their finery was a military brass band - plus a hoard of people dressed up in their "Sunday Best". Eventually, we discovered that a new military museum was to be officially opened by Princess Alexandra, so all the usual Royal procedures had obviously been employed - security staff located in the vicinity, etc.
Keith got a good shot of Princess Alexandra from where we were standing.
One of the tunes was an "Abba" medley!
The best thing about this holiday was that we were both so relaxed, we did nothing but go for strolls in the grounds, read our books and visit Sherwood Forest to see the Great Oak of Robin Hood fame. The surrounding parkland of Thoresby Hall covers approximately 50 acres of land - with a variety of different areas to wander along, including shaded woodland walks, hidden rose garden, River Meden, a cricket ground, tree-lined roads and avenues, not to mention a church & tennis court, which were both 3/4 of a mile from the hotel itself.

The two photos above are both taken from our bedroom window, which was situated on the side of the hall that used to be the main entrance. I drew a sketch of this view one day - sitting on the window-cill in our bedroom -focusing on the two beech trees (I think!) framing the gates. We also particularly liked the Cedar trees which can be seen in the first photo - they look so old and gnarled, which really adds to their beauty.
View from the gates towards the front of the Hall. Our bedroom was on the top floor.

The fountain in the gardens to the side of the Hall.

Keith sitting in the gazebo closest to the woodland walks.

I took up a position at the other gazebo, from which you could gaze at either the hall itself or the magnificent surrounding landscape.
Aside from the fact that the Hall itself was a wonderful display of architecture, there were gargoyles, ornaments, statues and features throughout the gardens that I loved looking at and taking photos of.

The Japanese urn here was probably as tall as me, since I am wearing heels in this photo!
As our bedroom was on the top floor, we made every effort to use the four flights of stairs both ways whenever possible. I also loved the artefacts, ornaments, tapestries and wooden carvings that were on display throughout the historic part of the Hall. Additional building has been added onto the original hall in order to create a new reception area, more rooms and a late lounge/theatre.

Regularly to be seen around the entrance to the hotel and in the grounds were several peacocks and peahens. The cocks seemed to roam about majestically together, as did the peahens - who also had chicks with them. Here are a couple of shots of the cocks which show their stunning beauty. They really do seem to proudly display their colours, whether showing their feathers or just strolling along!

We did lots of walking on this holiday and enjoyed a "Great Oak" walk in Sherwood Forest, some of these photos were taken on that walk - which leads you to the legendary Great oak Tree where Robin Hood supposedly met his merry men regularly. I will try to find a decent photo of that for a future post, but it was shored up with scaffolding and doesn't lend itself to being photographed very well.

I really loved the textures and patterns in this ancient tree stump.

Even when walking the woodland paths on the surrounding parkland of the estate, you got the feeling you were miles from anywhere, and the fields seemed to go on for miles. I particularly liked this view and the light shining through the leaves of the crops.

Taken on our last night at the hotel, this is one of my favourite shots - it looks like a magical old building with the lights burning from inside.

This is just a taster of the holiday - there were other things that I want to share, too,  but as I have other things to talk about as well, I thought I'd split the holiday post and give you variety in your reading (if indeed you are still reading this by now!).


  1. Excellent taster, Aitch! What a great break it was.

  2. Looks fantastic (a bit like my house actually)


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