The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Contrasts–National Memorial Arboretum

On Sunday 5 January this year, I visited the National Memorial Arboretum and the walk leading up to the Armed Forces Memorial looked like this:

Armed Forces Memorial

This is what I had to say about my visit at the time:

“I was probably at the arboretum for half an hour or so […] and in that time I didn’t see a soul apart from staff and volunteers. It was so eerily devoid of visitors that I was beginning to wonder whether it was actually open (as I’d entered via a Right of Way at the side, rather than through the main entrance, it wouldn’t have been beyond possibility).”

We visited again on Saturday last, and whilst I didn’t take a snap from quite the same viewpoint, this is a view over the same walk and up to the Memorial:


Never have I seen so many people there!

The fact that it was Armed Forces Day, with a full programme of events, probably had a bearing on its popularity on this particular day.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I do recommend a visit to the Arboretum if you happen to be in the area. It’s free to enter and just a couple of pounds (which goes towards the upkeep of the place) to park – or, if you don’t feel inclined to pay for parking, then (coming from the A38) don’t turn off the A513 to enter the Arboretum, but instead continue over the river and the second opening on the left is a free car park. Walk back over the bridge and just the other side is a public footpath that takes you into the grounds.

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