Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

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Hopton Hall
Walk Statistics
Date 16 February 2014
Start Hopton Hall
Time 1hrs 00mins
Distance 1.00 Miles
Grid Ref SK 255 532
Weather Bright and Sunny with just a few clouds
With No One
Notes
1. The Statistics for this walk are not included in the totals for the year.
2. There are no Peaks Climbed in this walk.

Today was bright and sunny ... the first fine day for ages. I was hoping to visit somewhere to see Snowdrops this year but I thought time was running out with all the heavy rain and high winds that we had been experiencing lately. Luckily today was a nice a bright day ... just right for taking photographs of Snowdrops.

Hopton is only about a 15 minute journey by car for me. It is south west of Wirksworth and at the northern end of Carsington Water (a vary popular place for tourists, walkers and bird enthusiasts). The village has had a long association with the Gell family over the years. The Gell's had extensive lead mining interests in the Wirksworth area and they lived at Hopton Hall. Notable people include Sir John Gell who was a Parliamentarian in the English Civil War and Sir William Gell who was an archaeologist. Nearby is the famous Hopton Incline of the Cromford and High Peak Railway (now disused and part of the High Peak Trail and Pennine Bridleway).

Hopton Hall From The Car Park
Hopton Hall From The Car Park

Hopton Hall is an 18th-century Grade II listed building. The Manor of Hopton was originally the seat of the de Hopton family. It was acquired by the Gell family in 1553. The house has its origins in the 16th century when it was built by Thomas Gell as a two-storey manor house. It was extended and remodelled by Philip Gell in the late 18th century.

First View Of The Snowdrops
First View Of The Snowdrops

The estate of some 3,700 acres (15 km2) was broken up in the 20th century. A very large part of the estate was sold to Severn Trent Water Authority for the creation of Carsington Reservoir (where construction started in 1979 and finished in 1992). The house passed out of the family in 1995. The present owners have opened their formal gardens and lake to the public during the summer as well as in February/March for the lovely display of Snowdrops. There are approximately 1.2 miles (2.0 kilometres) of signposted paths.

A Peep Out Of The Wood
A Peep Out Of The Wood

I arrived at Hopton Hall at 10.45am (the gates open at 10.30am) and the car park only had a few cars in it. This was great as there would only be a few people wandering around. I was conscious that there may have been loads of people as this was the best day for weather for quite a while. There is a trail around the grounds which I kept to during my walk. The trail first goes through a small wooded section where there is a good amount of Snowdrops to view. The path is mainly well paved with stones. However there are small sections which have wood chippings instead. The ground was surprisingly quite firm underfoot after all the rain we had experienced recently.

Snowdrops In The Wood
Snowdrops In The Wood

At this time of the year the sun is quite low so there are many shadows. There are times when you want to take a photo with the sun shining on the Snowdrops and some person just stands there for ages casting a shadow!! I know you have to have lots of patience.

After the woodded section the path crosses in front of the back of the house as well as crossing the main drive which enters into the Hall grounds. In the borders at the back of the house are some Aconites.

Aconites In The Borders Behind the House
Aconites In The Borders Behind the House

The path then enters the walled garden.

The Walled Garden
The Walled Garden

In The Walled Garden
In The Walled Garden

A Statue In The Walled Garden
A Statue In The Walled Garden

The path then winds around the gardens and passes a dovecote.

A Dovecote In The Gardens
A Dovecote In The Gardens

The Walled Garden
The Walled Garden

Close to the hall is a very large statue of a bird of prey. It took me a bit by surprise as I was not expecting something so big.

A Giant Statue Of A Bird Of Prey
A Giant Statue Of A Bird Of Prey

I eventually ended up in front of the hall where there is quite a large lawn.

Hopton Hall
Hopton Hall

Hopton Hall
Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Hopton Hall
Hopton Hall

Close to the front of the Hall is a small wood with hundreds and thousands of snowdrops. It was a lovely sight.

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall



Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

Snowdrops At Hopton Hall
Snowdrops At Hopton Hall

This was an excellent short walk around Hopton Hall amongst the Snowdrops ... and in lovely sunny weather. I would recommend to anyone. But just remember the short time that the Snowdrops would be in flower ... usually between February and March.

Route - Hopton Hall Snowdrop Trail

Hopton Hall Map
Hopton Hall Map

PICASA WEB ALBUMS Link To Hopton Hall Snowdrops Photos ... [shashin type="albumphotos" id="171" columns="3" size="180" crop="y" order="source" caption="y"]

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