Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Little Barugh Holiday:: Days 6 - 8
Castles. That's mainly what we did on this holiday; castles and abbeys. It seems there is an abundance of both in Yorkshire- it was obviously the place for important or religious people to be living- especially considering the hundreds of castles and abbeys we didn't visit! I wonder how long it would take to go around them all? Day six, Thursday, started with one such castle- Pickering Castle to be exact. There isn't really a lot of this left, but it boasts magnificent views out over the town, and has the novelty of being above the steam railway so every now and then puffs of smoke appear above the trees below as the trains pull out of the station.
The castle is 13th century and has had a multitude of uses as a fortified castle, royal hunting lodge, holiday home and stud farm, and started out as a simple wooden motte and bailey fort, gradually being upgraded to stone over the generations. You can go into a couple of rooms in the remaining guard towers, which are now inhabited by nesting Pigeons who stare at you rather balefully when you burst in to their tower.
Hopping back into the car we made our way out towards the moors and Hutton-le-Hole, a very very quaint little village. There isn't really a lot here besides grazing sheep and a few picturesque cottages; there are a couple of tea rooms, a gift shop, a pub (which served excellent ham, egg and chips!) and some open artist studios/artisan shops. One thing it does have though, is the Ryedale Folk Museum.
The museum showcases how people lived in times gone by, with shops and houses going right back to an iron age roundhouse!! You start more towards the present day, and can look around a blacksmith forge, chemist shop, general stores shop, and saddlers workshop from the 1950s, gradually working your way deeper in to the past.
There is also a farming section with lots of old farm tools, a shepherds hut, old pig sties, gypsy caravans, vegetable plots and farm animals. For 50 pence a bag, you can make some chickens very happy and very fat by hand feeding them corn through the fence. The cockerel wasn't very good at that though, kept pecking at fingers rather than corn!! The hens were much more civilised and gracious about the whole process.
There is also a special museum building you can visit, which houses the Harrison Collection of English everyday antiquities and curiosities. It seems that Edward and Richard Harrison had an absolute obsession with salvaging everything they could find that was quintessentially English and old, from enormous Christmas gingerbread moulds, to wig powdering tools, cooking implements, chairs, ration books, burial jars, weaving tools, clay pipes and drinking beakers. They filled the attic in their house with pretend shop windows and many of the items they have collected you can find in the shops and houses, as well as in this museum. It is an absolutely monumental amount of 'stuff'.
After taking a trip though time (it was a bit like stepping out of Dr Who's TARDIS), it seemed only natural to spend the evening pretending to be Romans in the sheltered Roman-esque courtyard at our lovely holiday home, watching the sun go down over the roof of the opposite building. A rather peaceful ending to the day.
One day at the beach was not enough for me, and I begged and begged to be allowed to go to another beach to hunt for more treasure and breathe in the salty air. Although I enjoy the beaches here in East Sussex, they are pebbled and there aren't large stretches of sand to wander along and marvel at. The other's eventually gave in and we drove down to Filey beach.
There was a threat of heavy rain that morning, especially as we had woken to the news on the radio of flash floods and half a month's worth of rain dropped in a few hours in other parts of the country. Our little oasis of Yorkshire hadn't had any rain yet, but the clouds were apparently working their way towards us so beach combing would have to be relatively quick. The sea front was also very empty apart from a few dog walkers, or well wrapper up hikers and we meandered un-disturbed along the sand. I collected lots and lots of lovely sea glass, along with the prettiest bi-valve shells with pastel stripes (I've had an idea for these you see), some much larger and impressively thick shells, and Dad even found some fossils! It was a magnificent treasure haul and I'm pretty sure my nagging had paid off and everybody enjoyed themselves.
We got back to the car just in the nick of time as the heavens opened and the rain started to pour down. Lots of very under-prepared people outside suddenly found they were incredible wet, whereas we were smugly gently steaming ourselves in the warmth of the car.
Not quite ready to leave the seaside yet, we drove round to Flamborough Head and Lighthouse. The weather was atrocious high up on the top of this cliff and we could barely open the car doors due to the wind buffeting them shut again. Once out, we struggled to put together a car picnic but eventually managed to gather together (without getting blown away) pork pies, bread and butter, tomatoes, crisps and even some scones and jam (with cream)- a real feast!! Whilst we munched, the weather started to brighten again and the rain stopped although the winds continued which I imagine they often would so high up. We decided to brave the weather, and all but The Mother went for a quick walk around the light house to admire the view down over the chalk cliffs and choppy sea. Apparently you can sometimes see Seals and Porpoises playing in the bay, and at certain times of the year, the cliffs are full of Puffins nesting.
By the evening, the weather had recovered its good nature and the sun had come out again, just in time for us to wander down to the orchard and field at the bottom of our holiday home to watch the sunset. We also had access to a special little sun room built overlooking this view and popped in to sit in comfort until the sun had nearly completely disappeared over the horizon. It was a fitting end to our lovely holiday.
Our holiday breakfast routine was a little rushed and subdued on this final day. The majority of the packing had been done the night before, but there were still the last few items to stash away, beds to strip, the rooms to restore to how they were on arrival, the visitors book to write our glowing review in and the final photographs to take. Then the keys were handed back to our still smiling landlady and we drove out of the gateway for the last time (perhaps we will come back to this lovely holiday cottage again?).
So thank you for following my little holiday journey, I hope you enjoyed looking at my photographs from the places we visited, perhaps it will inspire your own holiday to Yorkshire.
The collection of photos below were taken through the week of the house and I thought you might like to see little snippets of the warm, homely interior. My bedroom was called the Duck Bedroom as it had been built up into the roof and some of the beams and angles of the sloping roof were so low you had to bend to move around. It wouldn't have suited The Brother or The Sister as they both tower above me, but in true Goldilocks style, it was the perfect little bedroom for me as I didn't need to 'duck' so often.
The Brother made crumble (his first attempt!) on two occasions with the apples picked from the orchard. It was absolutely scrummy and probably all the more delicious for being organic and hand picked- food always tastes nicer when you have picked it and chosen the fruit yourself doesn't it?