It was back to a wintry setting for me recently after an invitation of region Holder Tolia Crisp to visit a seasonal offshoot of her Frogmore estate regions: Winterset Hollow.
Designed by Tolia and her go-to landscaper, Dandy Warhlol (Terry Fotherington), the region is intended to offer a Swedish-style winter setting – as its name suggests.
A Frogmore Christmas Region from Tolla Crisp and Terry Fotherington. Enjoy your stay in our Swedish inspired winter village.
– Winterset Hollow About Land.
By dint of my viewer hiccupping, I arrived within the region with my viewer settings reflecting the environment of the region I had just departed – a night with a Moon low in the sky. It was actually a set of environment settings which suited Winterset Hallow, and so I retained it for some of the photos taken as I flycammed through the region and have included them here.
With the landing point located towards the centre of the region, this is a place blended into the surrounding snowy mountains to present the idea of a town deep within the rugged Swedish countryside, one perhaps cut-off from the rest of the world by the snowbound weather.
A long central cobbled street climbs (or descends, depending on your point of view!) through the middle of this blanketed town as it sits as if within a deep valley, houses and small places of business on either side. At the top end of this street is the local chapel, providing it with a commanding view back down over the town and its old fountain. Sitting with its water frozen, the latter is also overlooked the local coffee house.
All of the business are furnished, with many of the houses either fully or partially furnished, offering many points for exploration (and escaping the snow!), although for those who prefer, there is outdoor seating as well. At the far end of the street compared to the chapel, a pair of holy-wrapped street lamps mark the steps descending to where a covered bridge spans a frozen body of water to where more steps slope down to what might – but for the snow – be a country road.
The broad expanse of snow curves north to come to an end before woodland with trees frosted with snow, naked branches reaching upwards and a narrow path winding between them. This path leads the way to where a pond has been converted into a skating rink, and else well-defined paths path onwards through the trees to snow-covered farmland tucked beneath the rocky arm on which the little town sits.
To the south, the road continues to arc around the foot of the town, passing between it and a shoulder of a hill on which a trio of cabins sit. From here, and in summer, the road climbs the southern hills before ending in another tree-enclosed trail above the town. However, for winter, this rising road has perhaps been converted into a ski run complete with lift rising upslope beside it. at its upper reach, the slope offers a large deck built out over the hilltop, providing clear views of the surrounding mountains.
Whether you view the slope leading up to it as a road or not doesn’t matter; the deck, set with tables and with food and hot drinks on offer, propane heaters warming the air to make it a welcoming look and feel. Across from it, the little ski lodge provides snowboards for those wishing to make a fast descent back down the hill.
Beyond the deck and ski lodge, the winding path runs between the tree to where a large, partially-furnished house sits above and separated from the rest of the town. Perhaps it is a private dwelling or perhaps it is a guest house; either way, it faces a footpath dropping down a short slope to where smaller houses flank a playground and the path connects back to the town’s chapel. before dropping away again to reach the northern farmlands under their blanket of heavy snow.
Rich in detail (and admittedly, a little heavy on viewer performance even with the recent improvements), Winterset Hollow offers a lot to see and photograph – including the local wildlife – and makes for an engaging visit, rich in a sense of the season and to enjoy.
My thanks to Tolia for the invite!
- Winterset Hollow (Pinewinds, rated Moderate)