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

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!