A Familiar Walk

When I saw this weeks photo challenge, my first reaction was to post a Dartmoor path, and I started hunting for photos I like. As I searched I started thinking about walking the dogs on Christmas Eve, in Heavitree park. My earliest memories of the park are from when, aged about six, I’d walk home from school on my own, for lunch. This is the way I walked,

path1This photo looks a bit creepy, but it wasn’t back then and wasn’t on Saturday, I was snapping into full sun.

path2There were few trees on the left, those thatwhere there were mostly lost in the 1987 storms, and the ones above were planted a couple of years later. You can just about see the remains of some that were lost at the time.

path3A little further down the path are some of the old ones that survived.

path4And some, like this old giant, have since been lost. In autumn I posted some fungi growing on this tree, I can’t  help wondering what will happen to it now it’s had it’s branches chopped off.

path5That’s how long it’s stood there, since four years after the park was created.

path6This one died from the inside and now it’s finally fallen, it’s become a miniature habitat for all kinds of creature.

path8Many trees have been made into rustic seats, this one seems to have lost it’s balance.

path7This skateboard and bike area needs refurbishing. When I was little, it was always full of kids, with swings, a seesaw and a roundabout. No soft padded ground to fall onto in those days, if you didn’t hold tight enough, not only would it hurt, but you would probably have had a telling off from ‘Parkie’, the ever present park keeper, for messing about! It was surrounded by a painted metal fence back then, now more of the dead trees provide a barrier. There’s a whole new play area now, with a paddling pool, and it’s all fenced off to keep dogs out.


It’s still a lovely little park, with plenty of wonderful trees, and it hold many memories for me. I’ve played hide and seek in the bushes and walked home from a club in the early hours of the morning in my teens, and stopped there with my boyfriend for a snog on a bench. I’ve pushed my children and grandchildren in prams, on bikes, on swings and slides.

So that’s my simple little path, you can walk the whole circle in ten minutes. Or you can dawdle in spring when the crocus push their little heads up, smell the roses in high summer, and marvel at the autumn colour. For those in the know, there’s even a mulberry tree, but I’m not telling where.

Cheri asked that we consider our path for this weeks photo challenge.



10 thoughts on “A Familiar Walk

  1. A lovely pathway to the past and in the present. Have you lived there all your life? This kind of now-familiarity with childhood places is rare these days. I reckon for most people childhood places are at most for passing through with nostalgia. I love the glimpse of child and teenage Gillies.

  2. Might be a simple path, Gilly, but clearly it’s very much part of your past and present, part of you…..Meg’s comment is very true, and certainly I have no familiarity with childhood or adolescent places….

  3. I like the idea of trunks being made into benches. The walk does not look creepy to me, it looks a bit mysterious and solemn with tall, bare trees and the whole section has my preferred length – 10 min walk. Lovely place to be going back to.

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