I like trees. So I don’t understand why I have never visited the Yorkshire Arboretum before.

However, EBL is not an entity to let history stand in her way and without further ado Sigoth and I hied ourselves thither recently to investigate.


The Yorkshire Arboretum is not far from EBL Towers, at Castle Howard (that’s “Brideshead” to non-locals). It is set in 120 acres of land by Castle Howard, half the site being clay and the other half sandy soil. This part of the world has interesting geology, being on the edge of Lake Pickering, a glacial run off from the Ice Age which only drained a few thousand years ago.

berry collectionIn any case, this variety of soil (much of which clay was transported liberally around the grounds on our boots) means that there is an astonishing variety of trees to look at. We saw all sorts of berries on various Sorbus: red, white, orange, pink. So pretty.


We also met trees with pink or white trunks, adding a little variety to shades of brown and grey. Sometimes the neutrals need to spice it up a bit!


Now, I don’t know what you read as a child but I was a devotee of the Narnia stories, and the proud owner of a boxed set of all seven books. One of the things I learned from those stories (apart from the fact that Evil means “always winter and never Christmas”, too  much Turkish Delight is not good for you either physically or morally, and especially when served en sleigh, and that hiding in wardrobes does not always guarantee the appearance of a portal to a magical world) – apart from those things which are of course true, I learned that trees have spirits. I even learned they are called dryads. I was particularly honoured to meet one at the Arboretum.

yorkshire dryad

The café was a welcome finale to our wanderings. I really can’t understand why we have never been before!

May you wander happily where it pleases you, and wipe the mud from your boots with contentment in your hearts.