We were very lucky with our Summer this year with some beautiful weekends of sunshine and clear skies. Although being in Anthony’s studio flat wasn’t ideal on hot days, it forced us to go out and explore and as a result, allowed us to discover Castle Park.
We popped into Marks and Spencer on our way and filled a cooler bag with picnic food – (I’ve never had a picnic where I haven’t packed excessively). Having stocked up on way too much food, we found a nice spot in the shade overlooking the water and laid out our picnic blanket and lunch.
The weather was perfect and there was a group of people practicing their circus skills so we had the added bonus of live entertainment.
We eventually dragged ourselves away to explore the grounds.
St Peter’s Church is beautiful from the outside and appears to be a normal church, it is not until you get closer and peer inside that you notice it’s mainly ruins after being badly damaged during World War II.
Although the circumstances are very sad, the ruined inside makes it appear quite romantic and magical, and I think it actually adds to the charm of the place.
The Summer is the perfect time to visit the church when the flowers are in full bloom, creating the perfect backdrop.
The garden is the result of a collaboration between homeless charity St Mungo’s and Jo Malone, with the funding coming from the sale of Jo Malone’s annual charity candle (this year it’s the ‘Peony and Moss’ candle). The homeless volunteers are able to gain qualifications in gardening and landscaping through their involvement in the scheme, so not only does the project create a beautiful space for all to enjoy, it also helps to transform people’s lives.
Anthony found a bench nestled in the corner of the church grounds while I explored the garden with my camera, crouching between all of the flowers trying to capture everything.
Even as a non-gardener, I was able to appreciate the work that must go into both designing and maintaining the garden. Every flower was thriving and added beauty and vibrance to a mini oasis in a busy city.
After exploring the garden, we passed through the gate and found another equally tranquil space for us to stop and relax.
We found a spot half in the shade and half in the sun, and made ourselves comfortable.
I wasn’t sure that I was going to enjoy a hot weekend in a city but it turns out that there was nothing to worry about as we found the perfect patch of green to relax in and make the most of the last bit of Summer.
I could even have a paddle when the heat got too much!