Cawthorne Park

Continuing with the dog friendly cafes I will share my love of Cawthorne Park with you. Cawthorne Park is one of my all time faves. It is seeped in wonderful childhood memories of feeding the ducks and geese, then sitting in the warm sun eating a picnic. I remember walking for ages before we could put the picnic blanket down so it was safe to sit amid the goose poo! We would bring every outdoor game going and play cricket, rounders and football till.the sun set behind the rolling hills.
I used to look up at the towering Cannon Hall in such awe. I used to think that was where our queen lived. We loved rolling down the steep hills in front of the house, not even caring to swerve any duck or goose poo!
Cawthorne park has changed so much over the years and I have loved seeing the hardworking family run business grow and grow. The farm and adventure playground are amazing and the more recent indoor play area with the Hungry Llama restaurant is fab. They do the best Manchester tart!
We love to visit the Deli and browse the gin wall. You can even ask for tasters. I liked the idea of Ginger Ninja and it loved up to its name. Very fiery! We always get a bottle of freshly squeezed orange to take home. It is divine. On some occasions, we like to get take out coffees from the Deli and a savoury topped pork pie and have them on the benches in front of the house, just admiring the view from  Cawthorne church over to the Maize maize.
We sometimes grab a coffee and a choccy bar from the friendly lady in the ice cream van outside the house. We love to walk round the Pear Garden. It always transports me back to The Secret Garden book. They have placed a modern sculpture of a rhino there now but in a funny way, It kind of fits! The pond and the leafy avenue is gorgeous too. I remember the greenhouses brimming with colourful flowers and vegetables. It would be lovely to see this right again. I remember too, a courtyard cafe outside the big house. As you walk out of the gardens, there is a lovely building that showcased flowers many moons ago and has been a flower shop and a pop up shop over Christmas. This would be a lovely space for a shop. Perhaps my bookshop one day?

Onwards down to Fairy Land. My all time fave. This reminds me of pre-Raphaelire times and I can imagine the Lady of Shallott with her arms crossed over her chest, clenching her flowers as the water dampens her beautiful, red hair. At the bottom is a stone window, part of a ruin. The setting sun shines through it, sending shafts of light onto the pond, illuminating the koi carp. Just magical.  There are signs of work on the bridge and we are hoping they are building up to a marvellous restoration on it.
We often bring a flask of coffee and sit on one of the benches as the sun sets. It is not just relaxing. It's more than that. It's realising how small a part you actually play in this wide world and it's just being at one with nature. I'm finding myself stopping and proper looking at things now. I stand in amazement at the overpowering trees and just gaze at their power. I look at all the different flowers and their delicate petals. We are so blessed with what nature has to offer but I am only now coming to really appreciate this.

We joke that our car has got an inbuilt Sat Nav for Cawthorne Park. I have already said I want a bench there so I can still savour it in many years to come. We are so lucky we have this place to go to. Even more so now we are dog owners because she loves it so much too. Once off the lead, she's like a greyhound setting off. We feel it's a very safe place here for dogs and the dog friendly cafes mean we can sit down in the warmth after our wonderful walk.


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