My home town, Darwen, has several Victorian parks, including Bold Venture Park. At the entrance, an angel, now nearly 100 years old, holds up a wreath and an olive branch to remind us of the consequences of war and to commemorate those who fell in WW1. The angel’s wings are the first things you see when approaching from the town.
Bold Venture is a hillside park with an interesting topography, built around quarries and steep ravines. A small lake, home to ducks, is another visual magnet. The lake rarely freezes right over, but was cold enough to support a band of ice, covered in snow in places.
The park has a children’s playground and a smattering of decorative plants, including Pampas grass, but is mainly trees and large shrubs such as rhododendrons.
The paths, steep in places at any time, can be treacherous on a frosty winter’s day, but we met several people braving the weather to exercise dogs (or themselves).
Bold Venture Park is dissected by a road and I much prefer the lower half. The upper half is too steep for my pleasure and too closed in for rapture, although there are little surprises in the form of artwork for those who press on. I usually turn left after the first half and walk around the second, up a dirt road (technically, a continuation of Belgrave Road) that leads towards Darwen moor with its Jubilee tower. Yes, that’s a steep climb too, but it gets easier the more you do it, and being out in the natural world has its consolations. Moss. Grass. Brambles. Bracken. That sort of thing.
I’m also adding a picture of cemetery rose buds in the snow. Another place, another time, but so atmospheric and wintry that I couldn’t resist slipping it in.