Monday, 31 August 2015

Knaresborough Holiday:: Days 6 - 8

Day Six::

Hello hello, and welcome to the final leg of our holiday journey. The weather is still behaving beautifully and things are still pretty relaxed at this point. The Mother and I took our own little stroll to a nearby arts and crafts centre, although it wasn't what we thought it was so we left pretty sharpish and made our way through a nearby park which housed Knaresborough Sculpture Park with all sorts of bizarre wooden sculptures in. My favourite was the carved squirrel and an owl, although there was a very weird giant worm thing made out of bits of thick twig rising up from the ground that I didn't quite understand.

We have heard quite a lot about Skipton, as I believe it is the current home of Lucy from Attic 24, plus it was where the film Calender Girls with Helen Mirren and Julie Walters was set- I love that film, have any of you seen it? We did keep out half an eye in case anyone we recognised walked past, although didn't see anything so visited Skipton Castle instead.

It was a really well preserved Medieval castle and you could go around quite a lot of it. There is the sweetest Tudor courtyard in the middle of the castle which was added by Lady Anne Clifford I think. She restored it from a proper impenetrable castle with four metre thick walls (that withstood a three year siege during the Civil War) to a more homely castle- if there is such a thing- where the rooms were made bigger by taking away or 'slighting' the walls to make them thinner. There were political reasons for doing this as well, Cromwell didn't want the castle to be as impenetrable as it had previously been so renovations were only allowed if the castle walls were made to be breached, and the roofs able to collapse if hit by canon balls.

The Chapel wasn't in such good condition, but you could still see where the walls had previously had colour on them. Light blue and red seemed to be the main colours.

Out of the castle walls there is the current Skipton Church which is quite impressive. Lots of beautiful carvings around the door and lovely stained glass windows.

Very close to Skipton, and somewhere I know that Lucy from Attic 24 frequents quite regularly, is Bolton Abbey. The site is a little similar to Fountains Abbey that we visited on day three, set in a beautiful valley next to a river with lots of lush green around it.

We started out by having a picnic lunch next to the trickling river whilst watching the Grebes having a wash on some rocks in the middle.

Then wandered around towards the Abbey. You have to go up a steep field from the car park to go down again to the ruins, and they have a lovely memorial waterfall at the crest of the hill.

The Abbey actually has two personalities. At one end you have the ruins that are so distinctive to everybody, and at the other end you have a current and in use church.

The church end is in an original section of the building, but for some reason it isn't as dilapidated as the ruined end, and has been restored. Lots of the original features still remain like a beautiful painted panel at one end and intricate carvings in the stone work. There were some amazing glass windows which cast beautiful lights onto the stone behind.

Funnily enough the original entrance into the church wasn't completely finished and they have since had to built on an extra bit, almost like an enormous posh porch for the original entrance to lean on as it had begun to fall over. You can see in the above photo where the columns from the original entrance goes behind the current wall where they have had to build up a support.

Walking on from the abbey, you can cross a bridge over the river (or attempt the stepping stones) and enter a lovely forest walk through the lush green trees.

This felled tree was catching everyone's eyes, and when you look closer at the bark you can see why! Lots and lots of coins! This is no ordinary tree, it is a magical money tree. A lot of the coins were so badly eroded that you could no longer tell what they used to be. I wonder how old the oldest one in there is and who started it?

It was a beautiful and scenic end to the days outing.

Day Seven::

We went boating!! All week we had been looking enviously at the lucky people punting up and down the river in their hired boats, and finally on Friday we gave in and myself, Dad and The Brother hired one of our very own. The Mother and The Sister aren't really small boat going people so they were in charge of the main photography aspect of the trip, safe as they were on dry land.

Dad was in charge of rowing, The Brother was steering and I was there to look decorative, wave at the unfortunates on the riverbank and take on-board photos- all highly important jobs!

It was brilliant fun and we got some fantastic views of our little section of Knaresborough. (The photos with the dates on were taken on Dad's camera as it was small enough to fit into a sealable sandwich bag in case of emergencies- ie, capsizing.)

See our lovely house in the above photo? We are the brick turret house on the left, and the two white houses next to it have actually been knocked through to make one long house, although it still looks like two houses from the front. The white house on the right is the one that has the cliff face as the back wall and you can sort of see it disappearing into the side of the cliff there as well.

After we finished rowing up and down the river, weaving in and out of the bridges and other punters, we drove to Brimham Rocks for a picnic lunch.

It was very very high up and was good fun looking at how precariously lots of the rocks appeared to have naturally stacked themselves. Dad and The Brother spent a little while clambering up to the top peaks of the rocks, in a very manly fashion, whilst the ladies climbed the easy bits and took photos of the pretty heather against the natural grey of the stone.

It was actually very busy up there and there were lots of people climbing all over the place and admiring the view.

We left just as the rain turned up so that was brilliant timing, and The Mother successfully navigated us to the last point of interest (she is the main navigator, we don't go in for new fangled things like SatNavs), The Darley Mill Centre.

The main reason for our going here was the tearoom, so that is where we immediately headed. To get to our seats we had to walk past the fridges and cabinets full of cakes and other sweet treats so our mouths were already watering before we had even sat down. I went for a chocolate tiffin which was absolutely delicious and very filling.

The centre is now predominantly an enormous shop, selling little knick-knacks as well as curtains, cushions, towels, furniture, picture frames, mugs, gift ideas.... Lots of different things. It does still keep quite a few of the original features though and the wheel on the outside of the building still turns, although isn't connected to the wheels and cogs still visible on the inside of the building.

Day Eight::

Our travel day. We usually try to stop off somewhere interesting to break up the journey home and have a sort of last hurrah if you like, however this time around the traffic wasn't very good so we ended up double service stationing (along with everyone else who was travelling on our chosen motorway) which wasn't worth getting the camera out for. We eventually arrived home without going anywhere special, much to the delight of the cats as they were peckish and needed a monkey to feed them their tea.

So our holiday is over, as is my daily review which I hope you enjoyed. I do love going back over the weeks photos and reliving the memories before reality kicks in and work starts. This isn't the last you will hear of my holiday on here however, as Elvis gets his say and I also haven't shown you what my creative project was this week!! All to come over the next couple of days. See you soon. xx

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