The Road Less Taken at Leeds Castle

It would have been a hundred times better of an experience coming to Leeds Castle had the forecast been accurate (sunny and clear skies, not partly sunny, not partly cloudy, only bright yellow sun), but it was not even close. In fact, I don’t recall the sun even making an appearance the whole day. Obviously, the infamous England weather has not registered with me yet.

You have to be at the castle gates by 3 o’clock to get inside that way, but we quickly found out that there is another way to get in the grounds. Not far from the entrance was a footpath that will lead you to the castle grounds. It was through a grassy meadow where a flock of sheep was quietly grazing. There was a paved path a few feet on the right, but the grass quickly proved to be a shorter route. The only downside to taking the short route was that it was inundated with sheep poo, not to mention it was also muddy as it had been raining the past days. So you could imagine a lot of sidestepping going on — it was like a poo maze, if there was such a thing! Unfortunately, I was not always successful keeping my shoes clean.

I thought I’ve already seen most of the dangers of shooting at night, who would have thought stepping in sheep poo in the dark was one of them? Coming back from the shoot this windy night, there was only one way back to the car and it was the same path, only this time it was completely dark. With the aid of an almost useless pen light, there was hardly a way of telling what you’re walking on. I found out later on that the soles of my shoes were completely covered with sheep poo with an equal smattering of mud.

While we’re on the subject, did you know that in Wales, they recycle sheep poo and turn them into paper products, and even air freshener? The fresh droppings are boiled in a specially-made pressure cooker at over 120ΒΊC in mountain water, then washed repeatedly for several days until it has lost half of its weight. (Sheep trivia: they only digest 50% of the cellulose fibers it eats).

So the next time you send someone a greeting card, I would not recommend licking the envelope. πŸ™‚

Don't let that puppy-eyed (or sheep-eyed) look fool you. I think these fuzzy animals leave poo all over the grassy meadow for a reason (aside from the fact that they have no private toilets) - to get back at humans for invasion of privacy.

Looks like he was ready to pounce on me, but he was much too sheepish to continue.

I found these flags by the refreshment kiosk. The Union Jack was officially acknowledged as an alternative name for the Union Flag by the Admiralty and Parliament in the early 20th century. The term 'jack' refers to the flag that is flown from the bowsprit of a ship, often denoting nationality.

Forecast was sunny and clear today but it had been quite the opposite the whole day. And to add to that, it was cold and windy too. This was the view from the side of the castle.

This is the best I could do with my 24-70mm without backing up too far. I still quite like how it turned out but wished I had not cut out the 2 arches on the left. It was too windy (and cold) that night that I did not want to change lenses.

The arches on the bridge that I had left out on the picture above. I like the smoothness of the water here. You can tell how windy it was that night with some motion blur on the trees.


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