It's amazing how you can live in one area for your whole life, and still find hidden walks and places to visit... Even a stone's throw from your address.
At the moment, I'm trying to make a point of going out for as many walks as I can, for 2 reasons, 1) I could do with shifting some lockdown lard, and 2) It's an amazing excuse to take the camera and get some photos.
Well, I've been racking my brains, trying to think of somewhere myself and Rachel can go for a walk that's a little bit different from our normal haunts.
It was apparent I wasn't going to think of anywhere suitable, so I had a quick google, but most of the recommended locations were places I've already photographed in the past. Knowing my mum is a bit of a veteran of the area, I picked up the phone, and she suggested we pay St Bernards Abbey just outside Whitwick a visit.
Now, to say I wasn't aware of St Bernards, would be a lie, but truth be told, it hadn't really registered as somewhere that would be good to go for a walk or take photos. I hadn't been for years! The last time being when I was about 8 years old when my Grandma used to visit to collect eggs. Even then, I used to sit in the car, probably plotting up new ways to wind up my little sister. The place really wasn't on my radar... and it should have been, cause it was bloody awesome!!
So myself and Rachel took a trip over yesterday, and we were definitely not disappointed. We spent most of our time exploring the gardens of the Abbey, where they have their own little scaled-down mountain path, that twists and turns taking you up to a statue that gives you an incredible view of the monastery.
It's such a massive place, and there's a plethora of little decorations and trinkets scattered around the grounds to be discovered.
I can only imagine how impressive it would be if COVID restrictions hadn't meant that all the doors were firmly shut, and things like their farm and gift shop were open.
As per usual, the moment we walked through the door after getting home, the memory card was straight into the computer, so I could crack on with some editing. I get so excited to see the pictures I've taken on a big screen, it's one thing seeing a little preview of them on the tiny camera screen, but on a bigger computer monitor, you can see all the intricate details of the photos you didn't know you'd captured. It's a feeling I could almost compare to Christmas morning. Getting home after a wedding and doing the same thing, is honestly even more rewarding.
We're just scratching the surface with the pictures I've posted in this thread, and what's even
more exciting is that the same can be said about the monastery itself! We walked around a tiny part of what St Bernards has to offer and we noticed there are so many more footpaths to explore, so we'll definitely be going back. It would also make an amazing backdrop for engagement pictures too!
So why do I want to be a Monk?
Well when I got back and did a bit of reading up, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the monks are pretty much self-sufficient. They work the farm, run the shop, maintain the gardens, and the crucial bit here... BREW THEIR OWN BEER!
I was more or less ready to pack up my things, and live a new life under the name of Pope Purday, the patron saint of incredible photography. When Rachel brought me back down to earth and told me they get up at 3 am to pray every morning and practice abstinence.
I don't think I'll quit the day job for the time being in that case.
In all seriousness, if you're local to the area, definitely go and visit St Bernards, I can honestly say you won't be disappointed!
Let me know if there are any places, YOU know of in the comments. I definitely want to find more hidden and unknown places in the area.
It's been another VERY busy week since the plans for the ease in restrictions, so if you do wish to book with me for 2021/2022 get in touch while I still have dates available!
Well, I think that's pretty much it for this week, I had planned to make a roast dinner today, but we're seeing Steve the pig again later, and it almost feels like he'd be really ashamed of me if I tucked into a joint of roast pork.
Stay safe, and Peace out!