Designed by amberfff, Kinglet Sound is a recently opened Full region offering visitors the opportunity to escape to a late summer setting where there is a plenty to see – although a little effort in exploration is required order to reveal everything!
To me, the region’s name evokes a location in North America, a place in the wilder, perhaps more northerly aspects of the east or west coat of the United States, or perhaps – if at a slightly higher latitude – just over the 49th parallel north; although there is a fair mix to the region that suggest some of the inspiration for it may have been drawn from elsewhere. The setting is predominantly rugged in nature, with cliffs raising the land to the south and east and through the middle of the region, before allowing it to fall gently away to lower grasslands and sands in the north and the west.
A gorge cuts its way diagonally through the landscape from a set of falls to the north-east, slicing its way south and west to the coast. It has also managed to branched to the north, breaching the lower-lying land to form a large body of water, thwarted in its efforts to reach the sea on that side of the island by a low-lying wall of rock. This wall, in part natural, also in places has the look of being carefully built up by unseen hands to expressly prevent that side of the island from being completely overwhelmed by water.
Caught within the bounds of the rock, the lake forms a place for people to relax and enjoy themselves. Decks are built out over the water to offer places to sit, while boats and floats offering more intimate places to snuggle are watched over by swans. On the sands, picnic spots await company, while further places to sit and enjoy company are to be found on the seaward beaches on the far side of the low rocky divide. These face a small island tucked into the north-west corner of the region that holds an altogether more tropical look, and what appears to be a venue for music and dancing.
The landing point for the island sits on the uplands, close to the gorge that splits them almost into two. Here, on one side of the divide sits an octagonal pavilion in a field, horse grazing quietly around it, a track from the bridge linking it with the rest of the uplands snaking away down a gentle slope to the shaded lowlands alongside the lake. This trail, crossing the bridge, also runs by the landing point and into a little circle of commercial style properties surrounding a fountain.
Primarily places to eat and / or drink, these little properties are all complete with décor, and together with the seating and other touches outside of them, both welcome exploration and offer places to sit down or for photography. A little south of them, and visible beyond a curtain of trees from the landing point, the ruined wall of what might have once been a very large structure invites investigation. Reached via another path, it stands as a backdrop to another cuddle spot and overlooks a further music venue sitting on the headland that in turn offers an view across the gorge to the highest point of the island.
Reached by crossing the single bridge spanning the gorge, this high table of rock has paths curling around it, one rising to the low-slung ranch house occupying its flat peak. Fully furnished, the ranch house is open to the public and offers further seating both indoors and out – including a fine look-out point extending over the cliffs, and another right at their edge.
However, the ranch isn’t the only point of potential interest here. As well as going up, the path cutting into the cliffs also descends, offering a path down to a ribbon of sand and the base of the rocks. The sand curls around to the west and then north, offering further places for couples to slip away from the rest of those visiting the island. Follow it far enough and it will turn to a grassy path that passes under a rocky arch back to reach the north side beaches. When taking this path down and around the base of the cliffs, keep an eye out for a couple of burning torches; the inquisitive might find they betray a secret within the cliffs.
All of this is still only scratching the surface of the region’s richness; there are paths and trails around the landscape I’ve yet to mention, both coastal and inland. Follow the sound of a faint guitar as the tune of Greensleeves is played, and it might lead you by way of path and sand to where a little garden cosy sits amidst a copse of trees showing the first hints of autumn with their golden leaves.
Offering an entirely natural look, a rich environment to explore (although it’s a bit of a shame that the “secret” aspect of the region referenced above doesn’t offer one or two little snuggle spots / points of interest) and with multiple opportunities for photography (and a Flickr group through which to share images), Kinglet Sound comes wrapped in a perfect sound scape to present a setting well worth visiting – and supporting by way of a donation at the landing point.
With thanks to Shawn for the LM!