A year in Greenwich Park: January

Well January was a funny old month weather wise wasn't it? And I think I captured most of it on various days. It started with heavy frosts and blue skies, and gorgeous light. Over the month I've settled on a more regular route, discovered new parts of the park and bumped into people I know at times and so had company on my journeys. So six months into this series and I'm still making new discoveries, that's something I never expected, but it shows how things can be the same and yet change.

A heavy frost and a sunny morning in Greenwich Park
The crunchy type of frost underfoot that's pretty and delicate too

My most regular route takes me parallel to Maze Hill and I've been intrigued by these properties whose back gate opens onto the park. How special is that?

A boundary wall inside Greenwich Park
Imagine opening your back door into Greenwich Park

And as well as the view, I'm also rather taken by the brick wall.  Imagine having this view though.

And this would be your view across Greenwich Park

Onto the new discovery. In the bottom right hand corner one day I stumbled across this rather fancy gate, which I later discovered leads to the Queen's Orchard. It's shut for the winter - I know, boo! - but given the date in the ironwork, and it's name I'm taking it as a Golden Jubilee tribute. Which means that the last time I was in the section of the park, it wasn't there. 

I can't wait for it to open in the Spring and have a nose around, and learn more about it.

The Queen's Orchard in Greenwich Park - a new discovery for me this month - but one with a fantastic gate

I mentioned before about the light this month, it's been amazing that I've made it to work on time as I keep finding new vistas to snap. The one below is a reminder of just how close to the City you are.



I also spotted some welcome colour - the yellow of the flowering witch hazel, a funny looking plant and one most of us are more used to seeing in a bottle or a gel.

Another new discovery, witch hazel in flower in Greenwich Park, bringing a welcome blast of yellow

Another boundary wall of the park has also held my interest this month. It wends and waves its way along Maze Hill. I've taken many pictures of how un-straight it is, and where it's been repaired and this is the best of the lot.

The brick wall boundary from outside Greenwich Park

Ah. And then there was the snow. Or the excuse of the snow. For the first time in a long while the threat of snow didn't bother me. With a walk to work, and the chance to take some snowy pictures, I was almost quite looking forward to it. Hurrying home in the flurry of wet snow on the Thursday night, I did the sensible thing and got my sensible boots out of the car in readiness for use the next morning.

The only thing was, it didn't materialise. 

This was the snow.

The morning after the snow in Greenwich Park


I couldn't believe this former hater of the white stuff was disappointed. But these frozen puddles almost made up for it.

Frozen puddles at the top of Greenwich Park
Frozen puddles in Greenwich Park

Like mini ice rinks - untested by me though - they're something I've not seen before, although I did see some unfrozen versions back in November.

And if the weather hadn't already given me enough, then came the fog.

And then there was the foggy mornings in Greenwich Park, which brought great photo opportunities

And eery walks through the park when you really couldn't see much in front of you. And when all of a sudden a neon-clad runner would appear out of nowhere. At times I'm not sure who was more shocked.  Later in the month the frosts returned and gave this bush a covering. It made me smile and almost looks like its gone grey overnight.

Frost frozen on bushes in Greenwich Park

There's been another new development too, scaffolding on the Royal Observatory, which you can spot in the distance between these trees.

A new development, there's scaffolding on the Royal Observatory

So with all these new routes I've missed seeing some of my regular dog walkers, but I've bumped into people I know and at times have had company on my walk through the park, or stopped for a chat. It really is quite a social place, even for its commuters.  And as I said at the start, quite a month, who'd have thought that for January!