Pick of the Week - Ripley Castle
No visit to Ripley Castle would be complete without a stroll into the deer park. Some of the oak trees are one thousand years old, and they still look magnificent with their impressive girth and gnarled branches.
You will see plenty of wildlife on your way round the deer park: fallow deer, rabbits, squirrels, heron, canada and greylag geese, mallard, teal and wigeon, pheasants, woodpeckers and, if you are very lucky, a kingfisher as it flashes past.
The park walk takes you round the castle’s large ornamental lake, across the waterfall and into the deer park itself.
The Walled Gardens are a pleasure to visit at any time of year and in April contain a collection of Hyacinth giving a riot of colour in Spring as well as a magnificent aroma. The huge range of hot houses contain a highly impressive collection of tropical plants, ferns and cacti. Ancient wisteria and clematis thrive on the high south-facing walls.
The Walled kitchen garden contains an extensive herb bed and an extraordinary collection of rare vegetables, grown in cooperation with the Henry Doubleday Research Association.
The pleasure grounds contain a collection of specimen trees from around the world and thousands of spring flowering bulbs, daffodils, narcissi, snowdrops, aconites and bluebells.
There is also a small children’s play area.
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