Have you always been an admirer of ancient castles and wanted to visit one? Castle Gould located in Sands Point Preserve was built in 1904 and is a 100,000 square foot replica of Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. Prepare to spend some time here, for there is much to see, aside from the castle.
The Preserve is home to Falaise Mansion, one of the remaining original historic houses on Long Island, as well as beautiful Hempstead House, and Mille Fleur estate. There are several nature trails in the woods, and down the hill there is a beautiful rocky beach. From the hill, where the castle is situated, a sublime view opens up of the ocean and distant Connecticut.
It took me a couple of hours to explore the immense grounds. There are strategically placed benches everywhere, and even tables to have lunch, that allow you to absorb the beautiful views and peaceful atmosphere along the way.
At the Hempstead House rose garden, it was easy to drift into the past, sipping a cup of tea from golden china, just like the residents of this magnificent place used to do (mine was Starbucks paper cup, but, hey, sometimes you’ve got to use your imagination).
I took a walk through one of the trails. It thrives with wildlife – birds, rabbits, even a raccoon crossed my path. There is a pond, which is surrounded by flowers and trees; its stillness reflects the sky and makes the view worth of a painting. Don’t miss an old ruined building hiding behind the trees on the way out.
The beach, to which I got by walking a trail, stretches for a good distance, making it a pleasant beach walk, and a rocky shore offers an endless variety of colorful pebbles, that I like to collect and put in a glass bowl, as a coffee table decoration. What can be a better reminder of a trip than a nature made souvenir?
As you thread the water with your feet, watch out for crabs! There are plenty of those little and not-so-little guys over there.
Sands Point Preserve is dog friendly, as long as you keep your friend on a leash (I mean the dog, although you can keep your friend on a leash too).
Here is all you need to know about visiting Sands Point Preserve:
May 28, 2016 to September 5, 2016 it is open from 8am to 7pm. For the rest of the year’s schedule visit the link below.
Admission is $10 per car (parking lot is on the Preserve).
Driving Directions from Points East:
Take Long Island Expressway to exit 36 (Searingtown Road/Port Washington). Make a right at the light onto Searingtown Road. Take Searingtown Road north, it will change into Port Washington Boulevard and then into Middle Neck Road. The Preserve will be on the right.
Driving Directions from NYC:
Take Long Island Expressway to exit 36 (Searingtown Road/Port Washington). At the light, make a left and go under the Long Island Expressway heading north. Take Searingtown Road north, it will change into Port Washington Boulevard and then into Middle Neck Road. The Preserve will be on the right.
For more information visit Sands Point Preserve Conservancy Hours and Directions
or call 1(516) 571-7901
Don’t forget to tell me about the trip!
Yours, Natasha Pea.