I’ve finally figured it out. A path in woods is but a suggestion, to children. It may lead somewhere interesting, but so might a path made by a deer through the undergrowth. The chance to walk along a fallen tree trunk, will always be preferable to a well marked track.
Last week, we headed down to Fyne Court, which is owned by the National Trust. No house to see, but the grounds more than made up for it.
Not that the children totally ignored the paths. They did join us as we followed the trails. It was restful to take time and explore the different areas. We enjoyed walking around the ponds and streams, through the woods.
I envied the remains of their walled kitchen garden. Bare now and lacking its greenhouses, but in its hey day, I should imagine it produced enough food, for the big house, to last all year. Oh, it must have been busy and so full of life. We speculated about how many gardeners they would have needed.
Moving along the path, the children enjoyed the natural playthings, dotted along our route. We listened to the bird song and then they played their own music in response. Plink, plink, plonk.
I suspect a slightly different kind of music wafted over the woods, in times gone by. One of the few remaining buildings is the music room. Peering in the windows, I could imagine how grand the recitals would have been.
And on to another alternative track. This time the trunk fascinated us all, as it twisted round. Like a giant had picked the trunk up and twisted it to squeeze the very last drop of sap, then left it for children to walk along. As children do.
Until the time comes to head home.