"I stepped into the garden through the arched gateway onto the patio of a flower-filled English garden of the type you read about in storybooks..."
After a couple of trips to take photos of Kenilworth Castle in recent times, how could I possibly ignore another great castle on my doorstep? Last weekend I decided to head down to Warwick to see what I could capture of Warwick Castle (far more intact, albeit less grand in scale, than Kenilworth is today).
In fact, Warwick Castle is so intact that it's a very popular visitor attraction. So the question is, how to get great photos of it on a warm, summer Sunday afternoon (not necessarily the ideal time to attempt it)?
Parking (eventually) in the St Nicholas Park car park, I crossed the busy road to an ancient bridge that I drive over several times a week as I to and from the gym! One day, I had noticed the great view from the bridge of the castle by the river. You'll have seen a photo I took there on my instagram page 😀
I couldn't quite get the shot I wanted from the bridge on this occasion (my tripod too short to see over the balustrade to get the long exposure shot I was aiming for), so I continued to wander, this time along a street of old medieval houses towards the castle. On reaching the end of the road, I spotted a sign outside an old cottage saying that the garden was open. At this point, two women left the garden and, noticing my camera, eagerly encouraged me to go inside.
"It's well worth 3 pounds," they told me gleefully, "the best views of Warwick!" Well, who could question that without giving it a go?
I stepped into the garden through the arched gateway onto the patio of a flower-filled English garden of the type you read about in storybooks. An old man was tending to the flower beds. An elderly lady stepped out of the kitchen and welcomed me. Goodness knows how long they had lived there but I imagine quite some years. I put my money into the pot that sat on a table on the patio and began to glance around for some nice shots, as I was asked "whereabouts do you come from then?" Perhaps I felt like saying The Netherlands (a real tourist), but settled for Coventry 🥸
The garden seemed to literally sit alongside the ancient castle walls, where it no doubt has shared the same space for at least several hundred years. The river ran right through that garden. I wandered small paths through trees and bushes and into open grassy areas - it really was a secret corner of Warwick. Fuscia flowers overhung a leafy green archway and two benches sat with a perfect view of the calm, barely rippling river.
The picture you are looking at is my favourite of the shots I took - the scent and colours of the flowers of an English garden in the gaze of the towering castle, with its several replaced blocks that keep it looking as it would have in its glorious heyday. Clouds obscured the sun for a moment and the distant sound of visitors enjoying the castle could be heard on this very warm English summer day in July. I'm not sure I would have been surprised if fairies appeared (or even a Cheshire Cat)...
Surely it was true - this couple indeed had their own incredible view of Warwick Castle that no one else could access. Certainly a few coins well spent for a momentary step off the beaten tourist trail 😊
It was time to go, heading back to the car and back home, but that was a short and lucky find. I'll be back to Warwick again to see what other shots I can get, when the weather makes for a good photo 📷
You can see this photo in my Countryside and Woodlands collection here!
Do let me know what you think of my shots (and my progress) and do check back for more updates soon!