Craigdarroch Castle.

Mum and I walked to Craigdarroch Castle, about 25 minutes from our hotel. We both felt better for the walk; it woke us up, and Mum had been in the car for a long time yesterday, visiting Port Alberni.

The castle was originally the family home of coal baron Robert Dunsmuir who had emigrated from Scotland with his wife and children.

The castle has been beautifully restored having had several uses in the last century such as a military hospital , Victoria college and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

There was much focus on the family and descendants of Dunsmuir which Mum and I found fascinating. The wood panelling and beautiful stained glass throughout had us both gasping.

It really is quite a folly, placed in a well heeled residential area. It’s quite a tourist draw although it’s a way from downtown.

Having read a helpful review on Tripadvisor we visited Government House 5 minutes away, walking through the gardens to a pretty cafe where we sat on the terrace to eat sandwiches and pea soup along with a salad which included flowers. It felt very rural, and the customer service was extremely friendly. The washroom was enormous and included an easy chair so we went in together, warning the ladies waiting as we exited that they would need to know each other very well if they copied us!

We then walked back to downtown, stopping at a fascinating quilting shop, then a chocolate shop where we had a hot chocolate drink each.

A good day.

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