I don’t know about anybody else, but I spend my days wishing I lived somewhere else. I spend hours browsing for flats in Belfast, jobs in London, and dreaming of the gorgeous towns in America I could move to. As a result, I’ve started to neglect my local area. I spend so much time wanting to live somewhere else, that I forget just how gorgeous my local area is. So I’ve decided to make it a goal to explore more of my local area, and I thought it would be fun to make it into a blog series. So for the first part of this series, I decided to explore a local forest: Gosford Forest Park.
Gosford Forest Park is large area of both woodland and parkland and is home to Gosford Castle. There are many walks, orienteering routes, cycling routes and camping facilities. When I was a child I actually lived on the very outskirts of Gosford, in an old gate lode, so the forest was my playground. We took almost daily walks around, my friends and I would cycle around (we tended to get lost quite a lot) and it made for the best games of hide and seek ever. But ever since I moved to a different town, I very rarely ever go. These days I usually only go into Gosford if my boyfriend decides to go slack-lining, and even then we tend to go straight to the same spot.
So last Monday, I decided that, despite the constant rain showers, I would go for a wander around the forest. I had actually brought my camera, but being as silly as I am, I forgot my memory card. Good job we all carry around a camera in the form of a phone isn’t it? There’s so many gorgeous insta-worthy areas in Gosford. From the massive trees, to the castle.
The building of the castle began in 1819 though it was not fully finished until 1859. Occupied by the Acheson family until 1922, it was then used for a variety of purposes including accommodating troops during WW2. In 2006 the castle began being restored and changed into homes.
Unfortunately the renovation of the castle has meant that you can no longer walk around the actual castle grounds or the walled gardens. However there are still many other gorgeous places you can walk to. Just outside the gate to the Walled Garden, is an old sundial. The actual dial is missing however it is still a gorgeous focal point in the forest. There is also a lovely message on it, that reads ‘Times passes, friendship remains’ in French.
I only spent a few hours walking around Gosford, but I was instantly reminded of how much fun I had as a child. I took a lot of photos that day, so scroll down to see more!