A Walk Through Campus

April 19, 2018
Jaime Clifton
Hatley Castle

As you enter campus, leaving the busy road behind, towering trees surround your path. The air feels fresh as a distant ocean breeze rustles up the hill. Nearby, is an old growth forest filled with fallen logs, dense green moss, and countless ferns. If you listen closely, you can hear trickling water running along the forest floor. Before you make your descent down a long, winding hill, you are welcomed to the traditional lands of the Lkwungen and Xwsepsum ancestors and families by a 25-foot totem pole called S’ael. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a deer or two before entering the grounds of Hatley Park. To make your way towards the vine-covered Edwardian Castle, you walk down the grand Neptune Staircase adorned with large blossoming planters. By this time, you’ve probably seen half a dozen peacocks and maybe even a rabbit or two.

To the right of the castle are the Italian Gardens. Neo-classical architecture and hundreds of flowers frame the distant Olympic Mountains towering over the sparkling ocean view. As you walk deeper into the site, you come across the tranquil Japanese Gardens. A curved bridge leads the way to a pavilion surrounded by a small pond teeming with tiny blue dragonflies. As you make your way past a wooden waterwheel, you can smell the fragrant blossoms from the sunlit Rose Gardens up ahead. Beyond the gates, you see a quaint cottage, historic greenhouse, and lush orchard. As you leave the gardens grounds, you sample a handful of blackberries growing in the Galloping Goose Trail before heading towards the ocean. As you walk along the pathway, you come across a historic fish ladder that connects the garden ponds to Esquimalt Lagoon. Blue herons can be seen fishing along these shores. As you prepare to leave campus, you take a narrow path through the thick old growth forest. And while you’ve certainly seen some of the most breathtaking sites of Royal Roads, you’ve barely cracked the surface of this 565-acre campus.

Rose Garden