When life gets you down and the stress is all to much, where do you go to get away from it all?
For the past year I’ve been having bouts of depression; towards the end of 2014 it got very bad for me, and the first thing my husband says when I’m feeling down is “why don’t you go up to Bedfords Park?” as he knows it’s one of my make me feel better places. He knows that I can just wander around, breath in the fresh air to clear my head, listen to the sound of silence, and look for something new to photograph – it’s very rare for me to go to Bedfords Park without taking my camera.
I’ve often written about Bedfords Park on my blog; it’s only a five minute drive from where we live, I feel safe to go there on my own, there is always something new to see (and to photograph!) and it has some great views of London and Kent. The park rises up from 45m to 104m above sea level at the main entrance. The park spans 210 acres and is a mix of grassland, parkland, woodland and meadows. There is a duck pond, a deer pen (as well as wild deer) and lots of different flora and fauna to look out for. (Remember my Fungi Friday series?)
I head over to the park several times a month – whatever the season, just to get away from it all. I don’t always go on my own; as a family we’ve enjoyed summer picnics, explored the woods, collected conkers and had snowball fights in the winter when the ground is covered with a blanket of snow. I had a hilarious moment by myself where I slipped over in the snow whilst walking down a slope…I was feeling particularly down on this day and with no one around, I just lay there, made a snow angel and laughed my socks off!
I am self-employed, and working on my own, day in, day out can be tough. During the warmer months, I take myself up to Bedfords Park and set up office on the grass. I take a blanket to sit on, something to drink and a notebook to write in. It gives me a new lease of life to just get away from the computer screen. The sun and I are always in agreement, and being outside in the sunshine always makes me smile, as you can see in these photos of me last summer in my outside “office”
I mentioned earlier that you can see into London and Kent, and I adore that all this green space is here for us to enjoy. And as a born and bred Londoner, now living in Essex, I love being able to see my old hometown from my new!
I’m closing out with a four seasonal galleries of photos that I’ve taken over the years. At the start of each gallery is a shot of my tree – I call it that because I often just sit on the bench opposite, and let all of my worries just drift away.
In Spring the days start getting longer, the sun shines a little bit more, blossom starts to appear on the trees, flowers start to bloom and by the end of the season, the leaves are back on the trees making the park full of green again after the starkness of the winter months!
I LOVE summer in Bedfords Park! Near the Visitor Centre is a small community garden filled with different flowers and plants, and I love seeing what has grown. There are also lots of wild flowers to discover, and while the deer are here all year round, last summer I saw a fawn with its mother – just beautiful!
Autumn is my favourite season – it can still be warm and sunny, but the leaves are starting to change from greens to reds and golds, mushrooms start peeking through (I love going on a treasure hunt to find them in Bedfords Park!) and conkers fall from the trees – all of my favourite things! Speaking of trees, please do open the photo in the gallery below, of the information board that is in the park. This is a new addition, and I never realised that the huge tree that I am always in awe at is a giant sequoia! It also explains why there are exotic trees in the park. Another new addition to the park is some lovely wood carvings and sculptures.
It’s been a while since we had any snow in my area – but the last time we did, I loved seeing the blanket that covered the park. Untouched and so peaceful! Even in the winter, when the trees are bare, when the flowers have died off, and the weather turns cold, I can still see natural beauty wherever I look.
There is so much I love about going to my local country park, that putting it into words is very hard, I hope that my photographs can help you to see what I see! Maybe even feel what I feel…it truly is one of my better places.
Disclosure: This #BetterPlaces post is in support of the Syndol Headache Relief – Find Your Better Place campaign with BritMums. Syndol Headache Relief is now formulated for headaches. Visit www.syndol.co.uk for online resources with information about headaches and how to restore calm in your life.