Tuesday, 3 February 2015

In Search of: Bambi

Some people go without alcohol for ‘Dry January’, I went without coffee, and blogging. One thing I did a lot of in January was searching. So herewith a series ‘In Search of’ beginning with Bambi.

Sundays are great feasts of leisure in my world. And one of the great benefits of living in Belsize Park is that nothing is that far away. So one Sunday afternoon my bike and I boarded a train and for the princely sum of £1 and a 40 minute train-ride made our way to Richmond Park.

On arrival I was relieved to have brought my bike, the park is a good 10 min uphill cycle, half an hour’s walk through suburbia would have seemed a waste of good energy en route to a park of epic proportions. That said, Richmond town is pretty enough, and they name places after food!

The park itself is a humongous 856 hectares (1427 football pitches) and is the largest of London’s parks, created in 1634 as a deer park for Charles I the park plays host to 630 deer, The Royal Ballet School and enough unique plants to be declared a Site of Specific Scientific Interest.  You can visit the park on foot, bike or in the car. The nice thing about riding the bike is you get wider access to the park (than in a car) but you can still cover large parts of the park fairly quickly.

I enjoyed looking for Bambi, his family and friends. I found his Dad and one of his sisters, but not Bambi himself. When you look at this majestic fellow you would never believe me that I nearly missed a whole herd of his antlered friends, but they really do camouflage very well. I also enjoyed this tree which looked a bit like a deer’s head complete with antlers.

It was a chilly crisp day so I didn’t sit around much. I did find a few snacks (what is an adventure without a good snack!) but was a bit disappointed that the tea rooms were shut. A pasty and a hot chocolate would have to do. Rejuvenated the return journey back to the station seemed terribly easy but then it was all down-hill. I was caught out (twice no less!) by last minute unannounced platform alterations at Richmond, do be aware.

As Sunday afternoons go, that was a good one. Long live Bambi!