Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
On Saturday I went for a visit to the Butterfly House in Williamson Park, Lancaster. I hadn't been there since I was little so it was really nice to visit again! We arrived about 1pm and headed straight to the café as we were starving! It was quite busy and we had a bit of a wait for our food but we didn't mind too much. Once we'd eaten we headed straight through into the Butterfly House. I've visited a few places like this before including the Eden Project in Cornwall and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh but the Butterfly House is a different experience. The actual butterfly room is fairly small, heated to replicate a tropical environment. On first entering it seemed like there wasn't much to see but then we realised how well the butterflies disguised themselves and after that we started to see them everywhere! There were some really gorgeous patterns and colours and they are so delicate and fascinating to watch - one even came and landed on my arm!
After spending some time in there we then moved outside to the large aviary where a beautiful collection of birds flew around freely. I love photographing birds so this section was fun for me! The aviary also led to a small house called the Mini Beast House which included snakes, mice, frogs, chameleons, geckos, salamanders, and more! My favourite in there was the chameleon - he was beautiful with such vivid colours but still managed to blend into his surroundings easily.
There is also a small garden area which houses rabbits and guinea-pigs in large outdoor pens. The rabbits were huge - about the size of a small dog! After walking around all the sections of the Butterfly house and its surroundings, we then walked out into Williamson Park where Ashton Memorial stands. It was built in 1909 as a tribute to Lord Ashton's late wife. It's a stunning building which seems to fit into the landscape really nicely and overlooks the rest of Lancaster. Apparently it is a popular spot for wedding ceremonies and I can see why! I would love to shoot a wedding there - fingers crossed I will get chance to one day! We didn't go inside as there was scaffolding up but we walked all the way around the outside then back up to the park entrance. There was so much more of the park to explore, including a woodland walk and another walk down to the pond but we ran out of time unfortunately.
Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park
Blast from the past - then and now! I visited the Butterfly House a few times when I was little. One time I can remember quite well was this visit shown in the top photo, with my Grandma and Grandad and my cousin Megan (who is taking the picture). We sat on the steps of Ashton Memorial to have a picnic - I decided to try and recreate the picture on my recent visit, and somehow I'm even sitting in the same position without realising it! Revisiting the Butterfly House brought back many happy memories from my childhood, and hopefully there will be many more visits in the future too!
I would definitely recommend visiting Williamson Park as there's loads to do for all ages and it makes a nice, easy day trip out. I enjoyed my afternoon there as there were plenty of good photo opportunities - especially for a nature lover like myself! If you'd like to visit you can find out more about Williamson Park here.