Into the Woods

Angus beachNicola here. After the beach and the sea, a woodland is probably Angus’s favourite place for a walk. I’m not a dog, obviously, but I can imagine just how exciting it might be for him; so many sights, sounds and particularly smells that are different from the garden or the street. There is something special about the woods in lots of different ways: places to run, places to hide, secrets and surprises just around the corner.

In the fairy stories, woods are often scary places. I remember Hansel and Gretel as one of my least favourite fairy tales because of the sinister cottage in the woods. And doesn’t Little Red Riding Hood meet the wolf in a wood? Woodland is portrayed as a wild, dark place that is full of danger. The same thing happens in other books from Harry Potter, to Lord of the Rings, to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. So often a wood is a threatening place. Often we get lost there.


Ashdown deerIn both my recent books, House of Shadows and The Phantom Tree, woods play a prominent part in the story. They are really characters in themselves. Both of the books feature real forests as inspiration and in both cases the woods can be places of enchantment as well as danger.

Park paleAshdown Woods are small by forest standards but they pack a lot of history into a small area. Originally created in 1204 (1204!!) as a hunting forest, the woodland had a park pale around it – a bank and ditch with a fence on top to keep the herds of deer from roaming free and prevent poachers from coming in to steal the game. Astonishingly you can still see where that bank was. It remains as an earthwork in the fields to the south of the estate. I've tried to capture it in the photo. Upper Wood is a remnant of that medieval forest and it feels like something from out of a fairy tale. There is a tranquillity and a sense of ancient –ness about it, perhaps because some of the trees are a thousand years old and you walk there imagining all the people who walked the same path. The herds of deer are still there too – and the badgers and foxes.

In the 17th century the woodland changed shape when the house was built and avenues were cut through the trees to frame the view.  Charles II and Prince Rupert of the Rhine came to ride, hunt and dine there. The woodland, which had been felled to make ships for Cromwell’s navy, was restored and some of the beech trees date from this period. During the Georgian and Regency period we have records of theatricals performed on the lawns at Ashdown with the woods as a backdrop. So this is quite a tame wood really although in House of Shadows it holds lots of secrets.

Savernake Forest, the setting for The Phantom Tree, is a different matter. This is a proper forest where you can get lost for hours Savernake oak at a time – and I have done.  Again there are trees that date back a thousand years and have seen many things; The King Oak and Queen Oak were named for Jane Seymour and Henry VIII since Jane’s ancestral home of Wolf Hall was in the forest. There are stories of ghosts and hauntings.  Although in the summer there are wild strawberries growing there and butterflies in the sunny glades, there is definitely a dark side to Savernake.

Castle Tioram 3The way that a landscape can be setting and character in a story is wonderful because it can add so much richness. As an author I was inspired from the first by writers who are able to conjure up a vivid background, authors such as Mary Stewart, and Daphne Du Maurier, who made Cornwall seem such a mysterious and evocative place.

Having written two books with a rural setting perhaps I need to try the seaside for the next one. Angus would enjoy the research! And if you would like to see the video that accompanies House of Shadows and gives some behind the book insights, you can find it here.

Do you have a favourite setting for stories, whether it is the city, the sea or the country? Is it different for historical and contemporary books? And are there any authors you particularly enjoy who write so vividly about a special place?

80 thoughts on “Into the Woods”

  1. I don’t know about a favorite setting, but as a child reading fairy tales, I had a different reaction to woods and forests than you did. Maybe it was because I grew up in a city, surrounded by concrete and bricks with only an occasional green oasis, but I thought of forests as wonderful, enchanting places where magical things could happen. I still love a walk in the woods, especially if the woods are thick enough to keep me from seeing the signs of “civilization” only a few yards away.

    Reply
  2. I don’t know about a favorite setting, but as a child reading fairy tales, I had a different reaction to woods and forests than you did. Maybe it was because I grew up in a city, surrounded by concrete and bricks with only an occasional green oasis, but I thought of forests as wonderful, enchanting places where magical things could happen. I still love a walk in the woods, especially if the woods are thick enough to keep me from seeing the signs of “civilization” only a few yards away.

    Reply
  3. I don’t know about a favorite setting, but as a child reading fairy tales, I had a different reaction to woods and forests than you did. Maybe it was because I grew up in a city, surrounded by concrete and bricks with only an occasional green oasis, but I thought of forests as wonderful, enchanting places where magical things could happen. I still love a walk in the woods, especially if the woods are thick enough to keep me from seeing the signs of “civilization” only a few yards away.

    Reply
  4. I don’t know about a favorite setting, but as a child reading fairy tales, I had a different reaction to woods and forests than you did. Maybe it was because I grew up in a city, surrounded by concrete and bricks with only an occasional green oasis, but I thought of forests as wonderful, enchanting places where magical things could happen. I still love a walk in the woods, especially if the woods are thick enough to keep me from seeing the signs of “civilization” only a few yards away.

    Reply
  5. I don’t know about a favorite setting, but as a child reading fairy tales, I had a different reaction to woods and forests than you did. Maybe it was because I grew up in a city, surrounded by concrete and bricks with only an occasional green oasis, but I thought of forests as wonderful, enchanting places where magical things could happen. I still love a walk in the woods, especially if the woods are thick enough to keep me from seeing the signs of “civilization” only a few yards away.

    Reply
  6. Thanks for your comment, Lillian! It’s lovely to look at woods in a positive way, I think, because so often horror stories are set there and they are made to feel like dangerous places. Yet they can be so beautiful and, as you say, they are places of escape from the city even if you’re in the middle of it!

    Reply
  7. Thanks for your comment, Lillian! It’s lovely to look at woods in a positive way, I think, because so often horror stories are set there and they are made to feel like dangerous places. Yet they can be so beautiful and, as you say, they are places of escape from the city even if you’re in the middle of it!

    Reply
  8. Thanks for your comment, Lillian! It’s lovely to look at woods in a positive way, I think, because so often horror stories are set there and they are made to feel like dangerous places. Yet they can be so beautiful and, as you say, they are places of escape from the city even if you’re in the middle of it!

    Reply
  9. Thanks for your comment, Lillian! It’s lovely to look at woods in a positive way, I think, because so often horror stories are set there and they are made to feel like dangerous places. Yet they can be so beautiful and, as you say, they are places of escape from the city even if you’re in the middle of it!

    Reply
  10. Thanks for your comment, Lillian! It’s lovely to look at woods in a positive way, I think, because so often horror stories are set there and they are made to feel like dangerous places. Yet they can be so beautiful and, as you say, they are places of escape from the city even if you’re in the middle of it!

    Reply
  11. I also grew up on fairy tales with scary woods. But the woods that I knew as a child, were not really scary at all. My father’s people had a farm with a fairly large wooded section. The short cut to the back fields was through the woods. I remember them as a very calm and tranquil place, with sun shining through the foliage. The scariest thing that I remember was an even shorter cut through the woods that involved walking over a log to get from one side of a small creek to the other. After I mastered that there was nothing to fear but ticks (smile).
    Thanks. Your post stirred some lovely memories for me.

    Reply
  12. I also grew up on fairy tales with scary woods. But the woods that I knew as a child, were not really scary at all. My father’s people had a farm with a fairly large wooded section. The short cut to the back fields was through the woods. I remember them as a very calm and tranquil place, with sun shining through the foliage. The scariest thing that I remember was an even shorter cut through the woods that involved walking over a log to get from one side of a small creek to the other. After I mastered that there was nothing to fear but ticks (smile).
    Thanks. Your post stirred some lovely memories for me.

    Reply
  13. I also grew up on fairy tales with scary woods. But the woods that I knew as a child, were not really scary at all. My father’s people had a farm with a fairly large wooded section. The short cut to the back fields was through the woods. I remember them as a very calm and tranquil place, with sun shining through the foliage. The scariest thing that I remember was an even shorter cut through the woods that involved walking over a log to get from one side of a small creek to the other. After I mastered that there was nothing to fear but ticks (smile).
    Thanks. Your post stirred some lovely memories for me.

    Reply
  14. I also grew up on fairy tales with scary woods. But the woods that I knew as a child, were not really scary at all. My father’s people had a farm with a fairly large wooded section. The short cut to the back fields was through the woods. I remember them as a very calm and tranquil place, with sun shining through the foliage. The scariest thing that I remember was an even shorter cut through the woods that involved walking over a log to get from one side of a small creek to the other. After I mastered that there was nothing to fear but ticks (smile).
    Thanks. Your post stirred some lovely memories for me.

    Reply
  15. I also grew up on fairy tales with scary woods. But the woods that I knew as a child, were not really scary at all. My father’s people had a farm with a fairly large wooded section. The short cut to the back fields was through the woods. I remember them as a very calm and tranquil place, with sun shining through the foliage. The scariest thing that I remember was an even shorter cut through the woods that involved walking over a log to get from one side of a small creek to the other. After I mastered that there was nothing to fear but ticks (smile).
    Thanks. Your post stirred some lovely memories for me.

    Reply
  16. Your blog today reminded me strongly of perspective. Sometime in the last year I read an account of a family who fled into the interior of their country and lived there undiscovered for many, many years. When they were discovered, one of the men was awed by the behavior of one of the daughters who traveled alone some distance to dig by hand another cellar for winter storage of their harvest and who was alone in the woods at night to accomplish the task. When he commented on her behavior, her response was shock that he would think she had anything to fear from the woods. Something along the lines of “What could there possibly be there to fear?” All a matter of perspective. LOL

    Reply
  17. Your blog today reminded me strongly of perspective. Sometime in the last year I read an account of a family who fled into the interior of their country and lived there undiscovered for many, many years. When they were discovered, one of the men was awed by the behavior of one of the daughters who traveled alone some distance to dig by hand another cellar for winter storage of their harvest and who was alone in the woods at night to accomplish the task. When he commented on her behavior, her response was shock that he would think she had anything to fear from the woods. Something along the lines of “What could there possibly be there to fear?” All a matter of perspective. LOL

    Reply
  18. Your blog today reminded me strongly of perspective. Sometime in the last year I read an account of a family who fled into the interior of their country and lived there undiscovered for many, many years. When they were discovered, one of the men was awed by the behavior of one of the daughters who traveled alone some distance to dig by hand another cellar for winter storage of their harvest and who was alone in the woods at night to accomplish the task. When he commented on her behavior, her response was shock that he would think she had anything to fear from the woods. Something along the lines of “What could there possibly be there to fear?” All a matter of perspective. LOL

    Reply
  19. Your blog today reminded me strongly of perspective. Sometime in the last year I read an account of a family who fled into the interior of their country and lived there undiscovered for many, many years. When they were discovered, one of the men was awed by the behavior of one of the daughters who traveled alone some distance to dig by hand another cellar for winter storage of their harvest and who was alone in the woods at night to accomplish the task. When he commented on her behavior, her response was shock that he would think she had anything to fear from the woods. Something along the lines of “What could there possibly be there to fear?” All a matter of perspective. LOL

    Reply
  20. Your blog today reminded me strongly of perspective. Sometime in the last year I read an account of a family who fled into the interior of their country and lived there undiscovered for many, many years. When they were discovered, one of the men was awed by the behavior of one of the daughters who traveled alone some distance to dig by hand another cellar for winter storage of their harvest and who was alone in the woods at night to accomplish the task. When he commented on her behavior, her response was shock that he would think she had anything to fear from the woods. Something along the lines of “What could there possibly be there to fear?” All a matter of perspective. LOL

    Reply
  21. I would say that it is usually obvious if an author is writing about a place they know or a place they’ve only seen online. (There are exceptions; I once read a series by an American author that was set in Australia even though she’d never been, and couldn’t find a single fault with it!).
    I don’t have preferred settings. It can be scary to move away from locations you’re familiar with, but I just read a book set in Nigeria, and the author painted such a personal perspective of it I loved it.
    Mind you, I do love London!

    Reply
  22. I would say that it is usually obvious if an author is writing about a place they know or a place they’ve only seen online. (There are exceptions; I once read a series by an American author that was set in Australia even though she’d never been, and couldn’t find a single fault with it!).
    I don’t have preferred settings. It can be scary to move away from locations you’re familiar with, but I just read a book set in Nigeria, and the author painted such a personal perspective of it I loved it.
    Mind you, I do love London!

    Reply
  23. I would say that it is usually obvious if an author is writing about a place they know or a place they’ve only seen online. (There are exceptions; I once read a series by an American author that was set in Australia even though she’d never been, and couldn’t find a single fault with it!).
    I don’t have preferred settings. It can be scary to move away from locations you’re familiar with, but I just read a book set in Nigeria, and the author painted such a personal perspective of it I loved it.
    Mind you, I do love London!

    Reply
  24. I would say that it is usually obvious if an author is writing about a place they know or a place they’ve only seen online. (There are exceptions; I once read a series by an American author that was set in Australia even though she’d never been, and couldn’t find a single fault with it!).
    I don’t have preferred settings. It can be scary to move away from locations you’re familiar with, but I just read a book set in Nigeria, and the author painted such a personal perspective of it I loved it.
    Mind you, I do love London!

    Reply
  25. I would say that it is usually obvious if an author is writing about a place they know or a place they’ve only seen online. (There are exceptions; I once read a series by an American author that was set in Australia even though she’d never been, and couldn’t find a single fault with it!).
    I don’t have preferred settings. It can be scary to move away from locations you’re familiar with, but I just read a book set in Nigeria, and the author painted such a personal perspective of it I loved it.
    Mind you, I do love London!

    Reply
  26. That’s such an interesting thought, Jeanette. Thank you! Yes, perspective can make such a huge difference to anything we fear, love or hate, I suppose. There is definitely something about the way in which woods are so often portrayed in stories as being wild and dangerous that can lodge itself in the imagination without always there being justification!

    Reply
  27. That’s such an interesting thought, Jeanette. Thank you! Yes, perspective can make such a huge difference to anything we fear, love or hate, I suppose. There is definitely something about the way in which woods are so often portrayed in stories as being wild and dangerous that can lodge itself in the imagination without always there being justification!

    Reply
  28. That’s such an interesting thought, Jeanette. Thank you! Yes, perspective can make such a huge difference to anything we fear, love or hate, I suppose. There is definitely something about the way in which woods are so often portrayed in stories as being wild and dangerous that can lodge itself in the imagination without always there being justification!

    Reply
  29. That’s such an interesting thought, Jeanette. Thank you! Yes, perspective can make such a huge difference to anything we fear, love or hate, I suppose. There is definitely something about the way in which woods are so often portrayed in stories as being wild and dangerous that can lodge itself in the imagination without always there being justification!

    Reply
  30. That’s such an interesting thought, Jeanette. Thank you! Yes, perspective can make such a huge difference to anything we fear, love or hate, I suppose. There is definitely something about the way in which woods are so often portrayed in stories as being wild and dangerous that can lodge itself in the imagination without always there being justification!

    Reply
  31. I agree about writing about places you’ve never been, Sonya. I would never even attempt it, although perhaps that’s just me being timid. I’ve read several authors who have captured a place really well even though they have only researched online. I’m full of admiration for them on that. But it’s about so much more than just the physical setting, isn’t it. With London, for example, it’s about the streets and the buildings but also the noise and the people and how madly busy it is, plus the different smells in the air and that sense of excitement but also indifference… I think you really need to experience a place to write about it vividly but that’s just how I’d feel about it.
    It’s great to try different settings as well, even though we all have our favourites. The Nigeria-set book sounds fascinating. It would be a shame to miss out of a great reading experience by not giving something new a try even if we so often are drawn to certain time periods and backgrounds.

    Reply
  32. I agree about writing about places you’ve never been, Sonya. I would never even attempt it, although perhaps that’s just me being timid. I’ve read several authors who have captured a place really well even though they have only researched online. I’m full of admiration for them on that. But it’s about so much more than just the physical setting, isn’t it. With London, for example, it’s about the streets and the buildings but also the noise and the people and how madly busy it is, plus the different smells in the air and that sense of excitement but also indifference… I think you really need to experience a place to write about it vividly but that’s just how I’d feel about it.
    It’s great to try different settings as well, even though we all have our favourites. The Nigeria-set book sounds fascinating. It would be a shame to miss out of a great reading experience by not giving something new a try even if we so often are drawn to certain time periods and backgrounds.

    Reply
  33. I agree about writing about places you’ve never been, Sonya. I would never even attempt it, although perhaps that’s just me being timid. I’ve read several authors who have captured a place really well even though they have only researched online. I’m full of admiration for them on that. But it’s about so much more than just the physical setting, isn’t it. With London, for example, it’s about the streets and the buildings but also the noise and the people and how madly busy it is, plus the different smells in the air and that sense of excitement but also indifference… I think you really need to experience a place to write about it vividly but that’s just how I’d feel about it.
    It’s great to try different settings as well, even though we all have our favourites. The Nigeria-set book sounds fascinating. It would be a shame to miss out of a great reading experience by not giving something new a try even if we so often are drawn to certain time periods and backgrounds.

    Reply
  34. I agree about writing about places you’ve never been, Sonya. I would never even attempt it, although perhaps that’s just me being timid. I’ve read several authors who have captured a place really well even though they have only researched online. I’m full of admiration for them on that. But it’s about so much more than just the physical setting, isn’t it. With London, for example, it’s about the streets and the buildings but also the noise and the people and how madly busy it is, plus the different smells in the air and that sense of excitement but also indifference… I think you really need to experience a place to write about it vividly but that’s just how I’d feel about it.
    It’s great to try different settings as well, even though we all have our favourites. The Nigeria-set book sounds fascinating. It would be a shame to miss out of a great reading experience by not giving something new a try even if we so often are drawn to certain time periods and backgrounds.

    Reply
  35. I agree about writing about places you’ve never been, Sonya. I would never even attempt it, although perhaps that’s just me being timid. I’ve read several authors who have captured a place really well even though they have only researched online. I’m full of admiration for them on that. But it’s about so much more than just the physical setting, isn’t it. With London, for example, it’s about the streets and the buildings but also the noise and the people and how madly busy it is, plus the different smells in the air and that sense of excitement but also indifference… I think you really need to experience a place to write about it vividly but that’s just how I’d feel about it.
    It’s great to try different settings as well, even though we all have our favourites. The Nigeria-set book sounds fascinating. It would be a shame to miss out of a great reading experience by not giving something new a try even if we so often are drawn to certain time periods and backgrounds.

    Reply
  36. When you were taking about places that are also characters, I immediately thought of the “lost” walled garden in “The Secret Garden.” I never see a walled garden OR a picture of one without thinking of that garden.
    As to the woods: I grew up with one, Although i grew up inside the city of St. Louis, there was some overgrown truck-farming land one block east of our house. These new-growth woods were the size of the not-very large city park which now occupies that space. (The change to city park has made it look both larger and smaller!). All the children played there, with all the imaginings that children can bring to the woods.
    Yet it was wild enough that a fox and vixen traveled through the suburbs to have their den and kits there year after year. (I don’t know how they found it in the first place. But they were carted off to a nature preserve that year and were back the next year, and so on.)
    This woods may have been the home of the opossums and raccoons we sometimes found in our yard in the early morning.
    So I have given you my literary woods (NOT a woods, but a garden) and my real woods, an overgrown farm inside a city limits.
    I guess I don’t know normal things.

    Reply
  37. When you were taking about places that are also characters, I immediately thought of the “lost” walled garden in “The Secret Garden.” I never see a walled garden OR a picture of one without thinking of that garden.
    As to the woods: I grew up with one, Although i grew up inside the city of St. Louis, there was some overgrown truck-farming land one block east of our house. These new-growth woods were the size of the not-very large city park which now occupies that space. (The change to city park has made it look both larger and smaller!). All the children played there, with all the imaginings that children can bring to the woods.
    Yet it was wild enough that a fox and vixen traveled through the suburbs to have their den and kits there year after year. (I don’t know how they found it in the first place. But they were carted off to a nature preserve that year and were back the next year, and so on.)
    This woods may have been the home of the opossums and raccoons we sometimes found in our yard in the early morning.
    So I have given you my literary woods (NOT a woods, but a garden) and my real woods, an overgrown farm inside a city limits.
    I guess I don’t know normal things.

    Reply
  38. When you were taking about places that are also characters, I immediately thought of the “lost” walled garden in “The Secret Garden.” I never see a walled garden OR a picture of one without thinking of that garden.
    As to the woods: I grew up with one, Although i grew up inside the city of St. Louis, there was some overgrown truck-farming land one block east of our house. These new-growth woods were the size of the not-very large city park which now occupies that space. (The change to city park has made it look both larger and smaller!). All the children played there, with all the imaginings that children can bring to the woods.
    Yet it was wild enough that a fox and vixen traveled through the suburbs to have their den and kits there year after year. (I don’t know how they found it in the first place. But they were carted off to a nature preserve that year and were back the next year, and so on.)
    This woods may have been the home of the opossums and raccoons we sometimes found in our yard in the early morning.
    So I have given you my literary woods (NOT a woods, but a garden) and my real woods, an overgrown farm inside a city limits.
    I guess I don’t know normal things.

    Reply
  39. When you were taking about places that are also characters, I immediately thought of the “lost” walled garden in “The Secret Garden.” I never see a walled garden OR a picture of one without thinking of that garden.
    As to the woods: I grew up with one, Although i grew up inside the city of St. Louis, there was some overgrown truck-farming land one block east of our house. These new-growth woods were the size of the not-very large city park which now occupies that space. (The change to city park has made it look both larger and smaller!). All the children played there, with all the imaginings that children can bring to the woods.
    Yet it was wild enough that a fox and vixen traveled through the suburbs to have their den and kits there year after year. (I don’t know how they found it in the first place. But they were carted off to a nature preserve that year and were back the next year, and so on.)
    This woods may have been the home of the opossums and raccoons we sometimes found in our yard in the early morning.
    So I have given you my literary woods (NOT a woods, but a garden) and my real woods, an overgrown farm inside a city limits.
    I guess I don’t know normal things.

    Reply
  40. When you were taking about places that are also characters, I immediately thought of the “lost” walled garden in “The Secret Garden.” I never see a walled garden OR a picture of one without thinking of that garden.
    As to the woods: I grew up with one, Although i grew up inside the city of St. Louis, there was some overgrown truck-farming land one block east of our house. These new-growth woods were the size of the not-very large city park which now occupies that space. (The change to city park has made it look both larger and smaller!). All the children played there, with all the imaginings that children can bring to the woods.
    Yet it was wild enough that a fox and vixen traveled through the suburbs to have their den and kits there year after year. (I don’t know how they found it in the first place. But they were carted off to a nature preserve that year and were back the next year, and so on.)
    This woods may have been the home of the opossums and raccoons we sometimes found in our yard in the early morning.
    So I have given you my literary woods (NOT a woods, but a garden) and my real woods, an overgrown farm inside a city limits.
    I guess I don’t know normal things.

    Reply
  41. I love walking in the woods but one of my favorite places to walk is in the next county to mine here in Southern Ireland. It’s an arboretum and it’s in honor of J F Kennedy, former president of USA, who’s ancestor’s came from Co. Wexford. It’s a beautiful place and usually once or twice a year I visit and amble along in absolute peace and bliss. Definitely food for the soul.
    The seaside is another place I love so if you write a book in that setting Nicola I’ll be first in line for it:):):)

    Reply
  42. I love walking in the woods but one of my favorite places to walk is in the next county to mine here in Southern Ireland. It’s an arboretum and it’s in honor of J F Kennedy, former president of USA, who’s ancestor’s came from Co. Wexford. It’s a beautiful place and usually once or twice a year I visit and amble along in absolute peace and bliss. Definitely food for the soul.
    The seaside is another place I love so if you write a book in that setting Nicola I’ll be first in line for it:):):)

    Reply
  43. I love walking in the woods but one of my favorite places to walk is in the next county to mine here in Southern Ireland. It’s an arboretum and it’s in honor of J F Kennedy, former president of USA, who’s ancestor’s came from Co. Wexford. It’s a beautiful place and usually once or twice a year I visit and amble along in absolute peace and bliss. Definitely food for the soul.
    The seaside is another place I love so if you write a book in that setting Nicola I’ll be first in line for it:):):)

    Reply
  44. I love walking in the woods but one of my favorite places to walk is in the next county to mine here in Southern Ireland. It’s an arboretum and it’s in honor of J F Kennedy, former president of USA, who’s ancestor’s came from Co. Wexford. It’s a beautiful place and usually once or twice a year I visit and amble along in absolute peace and bliss. Definitely food for the soul.
    The seaside is another place I love so if you write a book in that setting Nicola I’ll be first in line for it:):):)

    Reply
  45. I love walking in the woods but one of my favorite places to walk is in the next county to mine here in Southern Ireland. It’s an arboretum and it’s in honor of J F Kennedy, former president of USA, who’s ancestor’s came from Co. Wexford. It’s a beautiful place and usually once or twice a year I visit and amble along in absolute peace and bliss. Definitely food for the soul.
    The seaside is another place I love so if you write a book in that setting Nicola I’ll be first in line for it:):):)

    Reply
  46. No, they don’t frighten me at all. I love woods, and enjoy exploring new ones, whether it’s the Sierras in California or tropical jungle. But my “home woods” is the one where I grew up, where I almost feel like I know the individual trees. Of course we don’t have 1,000 year old oaks like England does, I think everything was logged during colonial days, either for charcoal, or fuel for smelting or, or to clear land for farming.

    Reply
  47. No, they don’t frighten me at all. I love woods, and enjoy exploring new ones, whether it’s the Sierras in California or tropical jungle. But my “home woods” is the one where I grew up, where I almost feel like I know the individual trees. Of course we don’t have 1,000 year old oaks like England does, I think everything was logged during colonial days, either for charcoal, or fuel for smelting or, or to clear land for farming.

    Reply
  48. No, they don’t frighten me at all. I love woods, and enjoy exploring new ones, whether it’s the Sierras in California or tropical jungle. But my “home woods” is the one where I grew up, where I almost feel like I know the individual trees. Of course we don’t have 1,000 year old oaks like England does, I think everything was logged during colonial days, either for charcoal, or fuel for smelting or, or to clear land for farming.

    Reply
  49. No, they don’t frighten me at all. I love woods, and enjoy exploring new ones, whether it’s the Sierras in California or tropical jungle. But my “home woods” is the one where I grew up, where I almost feel like I know the individual trees. Of course we don’t have 1,000 year old oaks like England does, I think everything was logged during colonial days, either for charcoal, or fuel for smelting or, or to clear land for farming.

    Reply
  50. No, they don’t frighten me at all. I love woods, and enjoy exploring new ones, whether it’s the Sierras in California or tropical jungle. But my “home woods” is the one where I grew up, where I almost feel like I know the individual trees. Of course we don’t have 1,000 year old oaks like England does, I think everything was logged during colonial days, either for charcoal, or fuel for smelting or, or to clear land for farming.

    Reply
  51. Oh, Sue, wasn’t the garden in The Secret Garden completely magical? Such a vivid and beautiful description.
    I love that you all adopted the wood of your childhood and peopled it with your imagination – and that it had wild animals as well. That’s lovely.

    Reply
  52. Oh, Sue, wasn’t the garden in The Secret Garden completely magical? Such a vivid and beautiful description.
    I love that you all adopted the wood of your childhood and peopled it with your imagination – and that it had wild animals as well. That’s lovely.

    Reply
  53. Oh, Sue, wasn’t the garden in The Secret Garden completely magical? Such a vivid and beautiful description.
    I love that you all adopted the wood of your childhood and peopled it with your imagination – and that it had wild animals as well. That’s lovely.

    Reply
  54. Oh, Sue, wasn’t the garden in The Secret Garden completely magical? Such a vivid and beautiful description.
    I love that you all adopted the wood of your childhood and peopled it with your imagination – and that it had wild animals as well. That’s lovely.

    Reply
  55. Oh, Sue, wasn’t the garden in The Secret Garden completely magical? Such a vivid and beautiful description.
    I love that you all adopted the wood of your childhood and peopled it with your imagination – and that it had wild animals as well. That’s lovely.

    Reply
  56. The arboretum sounds wonderful, Teresa. I think we are really lucky to have them. I take Angus for a walk in one that is only a few miles down the road and seeing it through the different seasons is lovely; as you say, real peace and food for the soul.
    It looks as though I should definitely write a “seaside” book!

    Reply
  57. The arboretum sounds wonderful, Teresa. I think we are really lucky to have them. I take Angus for a walk in one that is only a few miles down the road and seeing it through the different seasons is lovely; as you say, real peace and food for the soul.
    It looks as though I should definitely write a “seaside” book!

    Reply
  58. The arboretum sounds wonderful, Teresa. I think we are really lucky to have them. I take Angus for a walk in one that is only a few miles down the road and seeing it through the different seasons is lovely; as you say, real peace and food for the soul.
    It looks as though I should definitely write a “seaside” book!

    Reply
  59. The arboretum sounds wonderful, Teresa. I think we are really lucky to have them. I take Angus for a walk in one that is only a few miles down the road and seeing it through the different seasons is lovely; as you say, real peace and food for the soul.
    It looks as though I should definitely write a “seaside” book!

    Reply
  60. The arboretum sounds wonderful, Teresa. I think we are really lucky to have them. I take Angus for a walk in one that is only a few miles down the road and seeing it through the different seasons is lovely; as you say, real peace and food for the soul.
    It looks as though I should definitely write a “seaside” book!

    Reply
  61. Even “newer” woods can be special can’t they, Karin. There is a 20 year old wood near us that has grown to absolutely lovely. And I adore the idea of different sorts of woods too – tropical rain forests. Yes!

    Reply
  62. Even “newer” woods can be special can’t they, Karin. There is a 20 year old wood near us that has grown to absolutely lovely. And I adore the idea of different sorts of woods too – tropical rain forests. Yes!

    Reply
  63. Even “newer” woods can be special can’t they, Karin. There is a 20 year old wood near us that has grown to absolutely lovely. And I adore the idea of different sorts of woods too – tropical rain forests. Yes!

    Reply
  64. Even “newer” woods can be special can’t they, Karin. There is a 20 year old wood near us that has grown to absolutely lovely. And I adore the idea of different sorts of woods too – tropical rain forests. Yes!

    Reply
  65. Even “newer” woods can be special can’t they, Karin. There is a 20 year old wood near us that has grown to absolutely lovely. And I adore the idea of different sorts of woods too – tropical rain forests. Yes!

    Reply
  66. I am hugely fond of Forests myself. I’m an American Ex-pat in the UK. I’m married to a lovely Englishman. The first place he took me just before we married was the New Forest. It was magical. Now I live on the Sussex Coast near Brighton, between the South Downs and the Sea. I love the idea of “place” acting as almost a character in itself because in my day to day life the natural world around me is so integral to my existence. Oh, remember DuMaurier’s “Frenchman’s Creek”?
    My favourite settings always seem to involve water and Forests and mountains. Although, if a book is placed in either New Orleans or Cornwall or the Scottish Highlands, I will buy it for that reason alone.
    Wonderful post. You’ve made me think about places I love.

    Reply
  67. I am hugely fond of Forests myself. I’m an American Ex-pat in the UK. I’m married to a lovely Englishman. The first place he took me just before we married was the New Forest. It was magical. Now I live on the Sussex Coast near Brighton, between the South Downs and the Sea. I love the idea of “place” acting as almost a character in itself because in my day to day life the natural world around me is so integral to my existence. Oh, remember DuMaurier’s “Frenchman’s Creek”?
    My favourite settings always seem to involve water and Forests and mountains. Although, if a book is placed in either New Orleans or Cornwall or the Scottish Highlands, I will buy it for that reason alone.
    Wonderful post. You’ve made me think about places I love.

    Reply
  68. I am hugely fond of Forests myself. I’m an American Ex-pat in the UK. I’m married to a lovely Englishman. The first place he took me just before we married was the New Forest. It was magical. Now I live on the Sussex Coast near Brighton, between the South Downs and the Sea. I love the idea of “place” acting as almost a character in itself because in my day to day life the natural world around me is so integral to my existence. Oh, remember DuMaurier’s “Frenchman’s Creek”?
    My favourite settings always seem to involve water and Forests and mountains. Although, if a book is placed in either New Orleans or Cornwall or the Scottish Highlands, I will buy it for that reason alone.
    Wonderful post. You’ve made me think about places I love.

    Reply
  69. I am hugely fond of Forests myself. I’m an American Ex-pat in the UK. I’m married to a lovely Englishman. The first place he took me just before we married was the New Forest. It was magical. Now I live on the Sussex Coast near Brighton, between the South Downs and the Sea. I love the idea of “place” acting as almost a character in itself because in my day to day life the natural world around me is so integral to my existence. Oh, remember DuMaurier’s “Frenchman’s Creek”?
    My favourite settings always seem to involve water and Forests and mountains. Although, if a book is placed in either New Orleans or Cornwall or the Scottish Highlands, I will buy it for that reason alone.
    Wonderful post. You’ve made me think about places I love.

    Reply
  70. I am hugely fond of Forests myself. I’m an American Ex-pat in the UK. I’m married to a lovely Englishman. The first place he took me just before we married was the New Forest. It was magical. Now I live on the Sussex Coast near Brighton, between the South Downs and the Sea. I love the idea of “place” acting as almost a character in itself because in my day to day life the natural world around me is so integral to my existence. Oh, remember DuMaurier’s “Frenchman’s Creek”?
    My favourite settings always seem to involve water and Forests and mountains. Although, if a book is placed in either New Orleans or Cornwall or the Scottish Highlands, I will buy it for that reason alone.
    Wonderful post. You’ve made me think about places I love.

    Reply
  71. Hello, Rose! Oh, I do envy you living on the South coast! The New Forest is so lovely. One of the last few proper UK forests left. Woods, water and mountains… Yes! I’m so glad the post reminded you of places you love!

    Reply
  72. Hello, Rose! Oh, I do envy you living on the South coast! The New Forest is so lovely. One of the last few proper UK forests left. Woods, water and mountains… Yes! I’m so glad the post reminded you of places you love!

    Reply
  73. Hello, Rose! Oh, I do envy you living on the South coast! The New Forest is so lovely. One of the last few proper UK forests left. Woods, water and mountains… Yes! I’m so glad the post reminded you of places you love!

    Reply
  74. Hello, Rose! Oh, I do envy you living on the South coast! The New Forest is so lovely. One of the last few proper UK forests left. Woods, water and mountains… Yes! I’m so glad the post reminded you of places you love!

    Reply
  75. Hello, Rose! Oh, I do envy you living on the South coast! The New Forest is so lovely. One of the last few proper UK forests left. Woods, water and mountains… Yes! I’m so glad the post reminded you of places you love!

    Reply

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