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Friday, May 16, 2008

Come with me to a magical realm...

Come with me to a magical realm, to a castle high atop a hill. Travel along a country road in a remote land, and travel up the path that winds up the side of hill, and at the top, find paradise! Where might you find such a wonderland, full of magic? South central Ohio, of course, just east of the Hocking Hills!

My sons and I have visited Ravenwood Castle twice now, once in 2006, then again last summer. Each time, we came for a special weekend so that they could have magic lessons and at the end, a magic show in a small stage set in the woods. This is the coolest place! It's actually considered a bed and breakfast, but you can rent rooms inside the castle, cottages in the castle "village," and little cottages at the bottom of the hill. That's where we stayed! We love this place so much that I wanted to share our visit there! For a link to Ravenwood's official website, go to the bottom of the post.

Below is the entrance to the fairy tale village, a collection of old church camp cabins from the 1930s, all refurbished with a bathroom, kitchen sink, small fridge, and microwave. I remember the first time I came to the entrance to the village. Walking through the archway was like walking into another time and place. Isn't the purple cottage beautiful! That's where I really wanted to stay.
However, we stayed in the Snow White cottage, the same place as last year, but this year there was a new color on the outside, and fresh new linens on the bed. Let me tell you, that bed was very plush and comfortable!
Here is a mural behind the bed.
And here is the pretty bed, fit for a princess in teal blues and pinks! The boys slept on the futon.
Here is a pretty babbling brook that was directly behind the cottage.
Look what I found next to the little bridge that crosses the stream!
Next to the castle is a village of more cottages. There were several to choose from. This location is wonderful as it is next to the castle where breakfast is served each morning in a grand dining hall, outfitted with stained glass windows, medieval banners, a big fireplace, and of course, a knight in armor! Or at least just his armor! Here is the cottage I really wanted to rent, but it was already taken. We found out later that's where the magician and his family stayed.
Here is the cottage that I would have loved to stay in if I were rich! It had an upstairs and downstairs, and I heard it had a heart shaped jacuzzi tub in the tower! Don't you just love all the flowers? The pathways on the property were lined with flowers and all kinds of interesting things!
The castle dog Raven, and lord of all he surveys, is always there to greet you. Or not. He likes to sleep too. He is a friendly and gentle giant, protecting his castle from intruders. Or not. He would rather lick you.
Come take a walk with me through the castle grounds and let's see what we can find!
Wow, what's that on top of the castle? It's own castle hawk! Oh, just a replica made of stone, but cool anyhow.
Here is an interesting lantern next to one of the doors leading into a room at the side of the castle.
I love this sad little broken gargoyle. He just looks so miserable, but he has a quality about him that I just adore, despite his missing ear and toes and teeth!
Behind the castle is a maze and a statue of Pan playing his flute. If you're lucky, you'll be able to take breakfast on the enclosed porch overlooking the maze.
My youngest son took this pic. I loved the little worn fairy. She would be perfect in my garden or my living room! Until I saw her, I didn't realize they did shabby chic at the castle!
Here is a pretty little vignette between cottages in the castle village.
There were the most beautiful flowers growing on the walls on the castle grounds! I don't know what kind of flower this is, but it was gorgeous. (Rhondi at Rose Colored Glasses says it may be a trumpet vine. Thanks Rhondi!)
And here is another beautiful flower. I don't know what it is either, but it was striking! (It's a day lily. Thanks again, Rhondi!)
Thought I'd end with a picture of my boys, enjoying their day outside, soaking up the sun. They are sitting next to a big checkerboard patio where people can actually play checkers with big round discs! It's so lush and green here!
To learn more about Ravenwood Castle and their special weekends, you can go to http://www.ravenwoodcastle.com/ . It's affordable too! The Hocking Hills is a vacation wonderland and full of different places you can stay, mostly in cabins which have hot tubs outside! It is full of winding roads and soft rolling hills. There are many places to hike too, including Old Man's Cave. It's about a 5 hour drive for me since I don't like to drive main highways and prefer smaller roads, but it has always been well worth the trip.
Hope you enjoyed your trip through Ravenwood Castle!


10 comments:

BittersweetPunkin said...

Wow...I adore all those buildings...what a lovely place to stay! Thats right down my alley....

Thanks for the comments...Dan is a huge part of my life....(STILL)..I did a blog post when my DH broke the news to me that he passed away...the photo on the footer of my blog is Dan on his boat-the Minstrel..just a few months before he passed away. I am so happy to know that you loved him too....

Hugs,
Robin

Deb said...

Hi Kady, that was a great trip, and you're quite the tour guide. I loved how you explained everything and it's seemed as if I was really there. It's a very nice place to go. Thank you so much for your kind words, I know everything you said was true. It's just me, I've tried and failed so many times I just want to see it through. Whenever I mention being on a diet to any of my family members now, they don't even comment any more,they just look at me. It's like I've been crying wolf. I feel that I have to redeem myself, for me. Anyways Kady, thanks again and I hope you have a great weekend, my family is celebrating our youngest grandson's, 1st birthday tomorrow. I hope I can get some great pictures to show. Deb

Donna Lynn said...

Kady, I want to go here now so badly! This is just the most beautiful place, what a great place to take your boys! Man your boy is a big one too...you know what I go through with food around here then!

Great post it was like looking at the best travel magazine ever!
XXOO,
Donna Lynn

bj said...

So magical ! Thanks for the tour...
hugs, bj

rosechicfriends said...

Hey There...WOW what great place. I had never hear of it. Sounds and looks like something from the British Isles. And I am so glad you had such a great time with your boys.

Have a blessed day!
Lorena

Rhondi said...

Who would have thought such a magical place was in Ohio. I'd love to see it myself someday. FYI I think the first flower you showed which was on a vine is a trumpet vine and the scond is definitely a day lily. Hope you have a great weekend.
Hugs, Rhondi

*Rose~*~Scarlett* said...

Ooo! I wanna go! I love the arbor. Great photos! That asparagus is so funny too...
And I would fight you for a Reese's!
Nikki

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a fun looking magical place! I love all of the different colored cottages.
Penny

FrenchGardenHouse said...

What a great place, it looks absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for taking us along with you. I bet you had such a great time there. Love the grounds, the green and the flowers!
xo Lidy

Rue said...

Hi Kady :)

I'm checking this place out! The best thing about it, besides the beauty, is that it's so close by :)

Thank you for sharing it!
rue