A love of nature is often synonymous with the vegetarian lifestyle; we vegos tend to share a passion for animals, enjoyment in being in the great outdoors, and a respect for the natural world around us.
I’ve been a bit quiet recently as my lovely mum was visiting from Australia for a few weeks. The last time she was in London back in 2010, we did all the touristy things (Big Ben, The London Eye, The Tower of London…) so this time around we decided to relax a little, take it slower, and explore more.
We spent a lot of time enjoying nature in surprisingly glorious weather both in London and around the south-west of England where we took a two-week road trip.
Having spent more time behind a lens than a kitchen counter these past few weeks, I decided I would do something a little different and share some of my favourite snaps and stories from the road in a little four-part mini-series featuring Richmond Park and Kew Gardens in London as well as England’s West Country and The New Forest.
Hopefully you won’t mind this deviation from the norm…
London is not just the land of fancy bridges and clock towers; there are countless beautiful parks, gardens and nature reserves all throughout the city. One of the better known nature reserves is in the picturesque suburb of Richmond in London’s south-west.
Famed for its wild deer population, Richmond Park is the largest enclosed space in London and the largest of the city’s Royal Parks.
I had been to Richmond Park before and had spent the day roaming the vast, open fields and sitting by the huge central lake. I believe I officially became the First Person Ever to Not See a Deer in the park; seriously, there’s over 600 of them… HOW DID I MISS THEM?
This time, the illustrious deer did put in an appearance for us, even if we didn’t see many…
Okay, one. We saw one. But he had a bird friend on his back, which was adorable and totally made up for it.
After ticking the deer-spotting box, we spent the next few hours strolling through the Isabella Plantation; a stunning 40-acre woodland garden bursting with colour from its evergreen Azaleas.
Being the middle of spring when we visited, the flowers were at their peak and I was honestly blown away with every corner I turned bringing a scene even more spectacular than the last.
The plantation features not only Azaleas but large collections of Rhododendrons and Camellias, as well as many rare plants. Cue hundred of photos of flora…
If you’re a botany buff, you’re looking to get back to nature, or you just want to something to do in London that’s a little out of the ordinary, I highly recommend the Isabella Plantation. It’s glorious.