Monday, 31 August 2015

Knaresborough Holiday:: Days 4 - 5

Day Four::

Ahh breakfast on the patio, I can hardly begin to express how lovely this was as a way to start the day. Tuesday was a bit of a lazy beginning, we left the house at 10am and headed for York!

Our first port of call was the Jorvik Viking Centre. The Parents were very excited about this, they hadn't stopped talking about it since the moment we decided on Yorkshire as a holiday destination. There was a bit of a wait in the queue as we hadn't pre-booked any tickets (although when we left later on the queue was almost all around the square so we got there just at the right time!!), but soon we were in and on our way round.
I didn't take any photos whilst inside the centre, it was all too interesting and involved (or banned), but my favourite part was the car ride through a Viking village and meeting the inhabitants. One of the most lasting memories actually was the smell, as they pump in different smells around the centre to try and represent the smells that may have been present in the original villages- very lasting in the nose!

After the Jorvik centre it was a free for all as to where we went and we just wandered aimlessly around York which was quite nice. There was lots of different sections to visit down little side roads, markets, street food stalls, banks of shops, historical passageways...

The Shambles is quite a famous street in York, and is on their signposts as a place of interest. It is a very quaint row of shops, all oldy-worldy with crooked buildings and timber framed shop fronts. It also seems to be full of chocolate shops (yay!).

We had our lunch from one of those street food places. Mine was a brilliant butternut squash and chickpea cous cous concoction and was very tasty.

Wandering around York again we made our way towards The Minster, although didn't end up going in (it was a little bit pricey for all of us to enter) and just wandered around the grounds admiring the stonework and amazing carvings.

I especially love the intricate attention to detail that is present around the windows and doors of cathedrals/abbeys/churches etc. They really go all out on windows with the stained glass and ornate shapes around it.

We also popped in to The Treasurer's House in York which is owned by the National Trust. It started out as three different houses for people associated with the Minster, but were merged into one big house by a chap called Frank Green who was a wealthy industrialist and an avid collector of various objects. He renovated the houses to suit his collection, and knocked down lots of walls to create a great hall in the middle of the building with a minstrels gallery at one end. Unfortunately this then meant that on the first floor you couldn't walk from one end of the building to the other as the upper floors were separated by this grand hall.

An imposing building that looms over York is York Castle, otherwise known as Clifford's Tower. This is just a shell now but is steeped in history and gory tales to do with the attached prisons and law courts. It does still look very menacing up on its hill.

Day Five::

We managed to fit lots of little things into this day, quick ins and outs. The first stop was to Knaresborough's Wednesday market (where The Mother and I found some fantastic fabrics sold by a very charismatic man who insisted on throwing the fabrics over his stall to show us the best ones, hiding the fabrics that we actually wanted).
Then we had another Dad request to go to Theakston's Brewery. We were sort of wondering about whether or not to go on the tour around the brewery, but ended up pootling around the shop looking at pint glasses and different types of beer (not really my thing).

The main part of the day was taken up with going down Stump Cross Caverns. You take yourselves around the pathways, and it was quite literally a case of paying the fee, whopping on a hard hat and tripping down the 64 steps to the beginning of the tour. We did get dripped on quite a bit, and it was a good thing we did put on hats as in some places the roof comes down really low. The Brother is quite tall so kept bumping his head on the ceiling which was quite funny.

The stalactites and stalagmites were amazing and beautifully lit to showcase them (does anyone else have a specific way of remembering which way around the names go? Mine is stalactites hold tight to the roof, and stalagmites, might just reach the ceiling).
My favourite type of rock formations were the curtains which are a sort of sideways stalactite where the water drips down and round a shape rather than straight from the top.

For children there was a story about the fairies of the cave and this little mini cave made me laugh with the mushrooms and fairy palaces that had been created.

Outside in the car park, the views over the Dales were spectacular!! The caves are right on the top of a peak so you can see all the way around and for miles and miles.

The evening was very lovely. It had been quite windy during the day, but by the evening the breeze had died down and the sky was so clear that a bright white moon shone and lit everything up. The Parents and I went for a short wander along the riverside, along past the old checkered Manor house I mentioned in my last post, underneath the Aqueduct and slightly round the corner to view it all lit up. It was very pretty.

See you tomorrow for my last little bit of the holiday!

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