Dartington Hall, a photo blog

For many years I have been visiting Dartington Hall in Devon, twenty five miles from home and have often raved about it to my friends. It’s a stunning place held as a trust began by the Elmhursts, a visionary family since the 1920’s. Part of the estate is farmland and woods as well as a landscaped garden. It’s a major centre for education and performance of arts and until last year was  home to Dartington College before its move to Falmouth.  Each summer it hosts a literature festival, Ways With Words, when for two weeks the grounds are filled with people relaxing between events. The festival attracts world class writers from all genres and my only criticism is that perhaps it is becoming increasingly high brow. I’ve photographed the grounds in all seasons, there is always something to see.

I think one of my favourite times to visit is February when the scent of witch hazel assails you before you can find it – unless like me you know just where it is.

But of course I’m really fond of snowdrops

Followed by the crocus

While I’m here, this is my dream office,                                                                                           it has the most amazing view of the valley                                                                                 and I’m sure I could be incredibly creative                                                                                    here if only they would let me have it                                                                                    instead of filling it with garden tools.

No prizes for guessing the sculptor!

It’s a permanent feature

unlike this one,  resident for a few months and that I took lots of photos of.

Dartington has plenty of space for performance rehearsal

and quiet contemplation

The planting is elegant and striking

There’s a restaurant and bar,The White Hart, it’s name may have been inspired by this detail on the ceiling of the hall itself.

Places to climb 

 Abundant summer flowers

Sunny benches

Shady walks where who knows what you may find.

But don’t let the gardener catch you doing this!

unless you can think of an excuse very quickly!

Dartington is special, I’ve loved sharing it with you and hope that you get to visit one day.

 Shady walks


Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured

I found this weeks challenge really tough. I decided not to go the route of bark/shell/natural stuff and kept getting texture and textile mixed up in my head! I came close to posting a bunch of alpacas with different states of hairiness though. Anyway I’ve decided on this sculpture that I edited a little. The original is a bronze, about a metre high,  that has been created to look like wood and was at Dartington Hall in Devon, UK.

Okay I’ve decided to add two more photos, the first, alpacas because I love their wool/fur/coat? which has mixed textures of silk, fluff and slightly rough.

and then this one, taken on Dartmoor in the UK. It’s a huge slab of granite with the ten Commandments carved into it.