Hiding amongst the delightful gardens are a collection of stories that have enchanted children and adults for generations. Designed to encourage children to explore and discover the natural world, this short walk through Carrick Hill’s parkland uses classic tales to encourage the imagination
The trail incorporates British classic tales that reflect Sir Edward and Lady Hayward’s era. When they gifted the house and gardens to the public, their wish was that it would be a place for all to enjoy. The Storybook Trail is free for all visitors and you can explore at your own pace.
Setting out along a sandy track that weaves past ponds and through groves of trees, you can discover the following features on this trail:
Boardwalk & Frog on a Log
This overlooks the pond. Seating is provided on the boardwalk. Fish swim in the pond and ducks often float on it and a frog spurts water into the pond
Wind in the Willows
A boat floats on the pond which is inhabited by ducks. If you glance back at Carrick Hill House it looks strangely like Toad Hall. About the story: Written in 1908 by Kenneth Graham and dramatised by A.A. Milne as Toad of Toad Hall it tells of the adventures of four creatures who are friends; Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad.
A Hobbit House is built into a bank of ground. This is Bagend where Bilbo lives and a dragon lurks. About the story: Written in 1937 by J.J.R.Tolkein. Hobbits are half our height with brown hair on their feet and live in holes in the ground.
Three Billy Goats Gruff
A small, curved wooden bridge painted red spans a dry creek. This is the troll bridge. About the story: Three Billy Goats Gruff is a Norwegian folk tale that was translated into English by Sir George Dasent in 1859.
A large spreading tree with seating beneath. A Harry Potter moment! About the story: The quidditch tree is from the Harry Potter series of books written by J.K.Rowling. The first book of the series was written in 1997. Harry Potter is an orphaned boy who discovers he is a wizard.
The Secret Garden
A lawned area is bordered on one side by terraced gardens with steps leading up to gates which stand slightly ajar. A robin is on a wind vane in the garden and the key is nearby. About the story: When Mary finds a key she unlocks the gate into a secret garden full of fun and adventures. The story was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911.
The Jungle Book and Animalia
Complete with Mowgli’s camp, Howling Wolf on the Council rock, plus elephants, tiger and zebras. About the stories: The Jungle Book was written in 1894-5 by Nobel Prize winner, Rudyard Kipling. A young boy, called Mowgli, is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. Animalia, a hidden land of beasts and birds, was written and illustrated as an alphabet Australian by Graeme Base and published in 1986.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
A lamp post is half hidden in the trees and Aslan the lion waits nearby. About the story: Book two of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, published in 1950. While playing hide and seek four children pass through a wardrobe into a magic land called Narnia.
The Magic Faraway Tree
A ring of log seats are placed under the tree with a door at the base of the trunk leading the imagination to ponder where fairies live. About the story: A popular series of children’s books written by Enid Blyton between 1939 and 1951. Three children find a gigantic magic tree in an enchanted wood. Magic lands appear at the top of the tree and the children can visit but can’t stay long for fear of being stuck when the magic land changes.
A large rope spider’s web in a frame is safe for children to climb and play on. Wilbur the pig is nearby. About the story: Written by American author E.B. White and published in 1952, it tells how Charlotte the spider devised a clever plan to save her friend, Wilbur the pig, from the usual fate of nice fat pigs.
Children’s Storybook Trail Patron: Mem Fox
Thank you to the trail contributors:
Springfield Small Charities, Carrick Hill Foundation, Friends of Carrick Hill and School Library Association of South Australia