28th Feb 2014 - 2nd Mar 2014 - England/Wales day trips
Yorkshire and the Dales
Surprise birthday weekend for M though I suspect he may have guessed where we were going.
Early start and off by 0600 for the 4 hr drive to York. Easy to navigate York itself and soon found our way to the first destination - The National Railway Museum - follow the signs to the main train station and its just around the corner and well signposted. All parking available and there is also a 'roadtrain' available between York Minster and the Museum. Its free to get in but they do ask for a donation which we gladly gave as it is worth an entrance fee. The biggest train museum in the world and according to something i read 'full of fascinating stuff thats its interesting to all and the eyes wont mist over'. The train enthusiast could spend all day here and the rest of us can easily survive 2-3 hours. Reasonably priced cafe as well. Make sure you cover the whole site as there are bits and pieces everywhere. replica of Stephenson's 'Rocket' of 1829 and the 'Mallard' which set a world speed record, a Japanese bullet train etc etc.
Then mid afternoon walked around the City Walls which follow the lines of the original Roman walls - just wandered really and walked past Cliffords Tower which is what is left of York Castle. Then down by the river and along and eventually back to the car.
Flat tyre changed and on our way towards Leeds East Premier Inn. Not as easy to find as we thought but eventually got there. After several years of trying to get Premier Inn's £29 per night rooms I finally got them for a Friday and Saturday night. Went to the pub next door for dinner - the English chef sick so only option was the Thai restaurant upstairs. And how lucky were we. Best Thai food I have had outside of Thailand - lovely ambiance and great tasting food at reasonable prices. Called the Brown Cow and Dragon.
The following day was muddled weather wise. I had thought about the Settle to carlilse railway as had seen it featured on many a TV programme and it looked amazing but as it would take all day we decided to get fresh air and spent the day in the Dales itself. We made our way to Keighley to go on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Drove through some lovely countryside to get there - car park which was free. £11 per adult and a mixture of steam and diesel trains. Easy to spend a whole day on the railway - runs thru Bronte Country. Haworth which is a stop on the line was the family home of the Bronte from 1820 to 1861 and the daughters - Charlotte, Emily and ? - wrote their books including Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Parts of The Railway Children were also filmed on the line at Oakworth. We took the first train which happened to be diesel and went all the way to the end of the line - about 45 mins. Had a wander around the Exhibition Shed - not my thing but M enjoyed and then a drink at the cafe located in an old carriage and back to Keighley on the steam train. i had wanted to get off and wander around Haworth but we were running out of time and I prefered to go further into the Dales and do the waterfall walk.
The most beautiful of drives from Keighley to Aysgarth - everything I had always thought the Dales should be and someof the most stunning of English countryside. Narrow country lans, little villages, hills, green pastures, a snow flurry and rain had us arriving in Aysgarth. Got decked out in the rain gear and decided to walk to the Upper Force and then to decide based on weather whether to do the bigger walk. Fortunately within 20 minutes the rain stopped so we continued the walk I had researched. http://www.walkingenglishman.com/dales33.htm
Good thing M was better at reading these sorts of maps than me as i am not used to private land being part of public pathways. We set out thru Freemans Wood - very muddy under foot but the sun was out. Slow going at times but very enjoyable. rated as an easy walk and a good rating but for the mud. However I do quite enjoy sloshing thru as makes it feel like a read adventure. The pass underneath the old rail bridge was pretty impassable with mud - the depth of it as well as probably sheep and cow bits in as well. M decided to scramble yo the steep bank to see the other side and once up the top beckoned me up having a great time watching me slither all over the place and the camera was at the ready. The downwards side almost worse save for a fence which i clutched with all my strength to save sliding down the whole way. To then come across a high fence I had to get across - the other side having no foot holds. Fortunately that meant M couldnt video me climbing over - he takes great pleasure in filming or photographing me in less than elegant circumstances - not that anyone who knows me would ever consider me dainty or elegant. Made it over in one piece and with remarkably good grace. Met the local farmer who had all the sheep following him. Then out of woods and across the fields that were waterlogged - lost our way a bit but then found it again. Then found eventually Lower Force and then onto Middle force as the sun was starting to go down. It was all just so beautiful - could live here if I had to stay in England permanently but I dont have to. The walk was so relaxing and the sun warm on our backs and I felt truly content.
On the way back M pulled into a pub in a small village - no previous knowledge of it but just looked nice. Called Old Hall Inn - was full up at 1800 and cosy and comfortable. We struck it lucky as fabulous food - game pie for m and a buger for me - just delicious.
Left mid Sunday morning to go back south - sad to leave as yesterday in particular was lovely - the walking and stunning countryside and good food and my love - what more could I want in life.
|1191 Words | This page has been read 460 times||View Printable Version|