Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex

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One step up from municipal parks are the grand house and estates which have been acquired by the local council for the community. The first Hylands House was built in 1730 for Sir John Comyns and has been extensively modified by subsequent owners before coming into the hands of the Chelmsford City Council. Today the house was being used for a wedding, and quite a few of us stopped to admire the gorgeous outfits of the wedding guests, who all seemed to be dressed in blue.

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The park itself covers 232 hectares (574 acres) and is huge and clearly well maintained, so you can walk here with the dog and hardly see anyone else.

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To cater for the dog-walking community, there is a special dog-friendly cafe in addition to the more general cafe.

Closer to the house was a formal garden, full of colour and texture, and the wierdest pear tree!

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© Helen Gray 2020