Had a fabulous day out at Howe Stean Gorge near Pately Bridge in Nidderdale, N. Yorkshire, easier this month. The cafe hangs out over the gorge and has glass in the floor so you can gaze down at the gorge below, whilst drinking your coffee.
Theres activities that you can book but we just did the gorge walk which was great fun. Its narrow and can be slippery – theres ropes to help you – theres caves and tunnels – you have to be reasonably fit. The photos below help tell the story. The scratch marks you can see on the rocks on one of the photos are made by otters-unfortunately we didn’t see any.
On Wednesday I visited Coldstones Cut near Pately Bridge Yorkshire. What a very interesting place. Its Yorkshires biggest and highest public artwork.
It was so windy and wild and quite exhilarating. Below are the explanation boards and a link to the website.
Below the sculpture and quarry is the original site of the Toft Gate Lime Kiln
Nidderdale is one of my favourite dales. If you love walking, history, rivers, wildlife, nature, picturesque towns and villages its the place to be.
Had a lovely afternoon at Fountains Abbey, near Ripon. Really nice cafe/restaurant. Typical National Trust shop and entry price! I thought £13.50 was rather steep for entry to say the least. Very keen to get you to join the Trust but I will not ever do so whilst they allow FOX HUNTING on their land. It disgusts me!
In 1132, 13 monks came here to start a simpler life. Over 400 years later, when Henry VIII demanded the closure of the Abbey, the monks left behind the most complete Cistercian abbey remains in the country.
The abbey’s beginnings
The abbey was founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine monks from St Mary’s in York. They’d grown fed up of the extravagant and rowdy way that the monks lived in York and so they escaped seeking to live a devout and simple lifestyle elsewhere. This was how they came to Fountains.
By the time three years had passed the monks had become settled into their new way of life and had been admitted to the austere Cistercian Order and with that came an important development – the introduction of the Cistercian system of lay brothers.
Introduction of the lay brothers
The lay brothers (what we would now call labourer) relieved the monks from routine jobs, giving them more time to dedicate to God rather than farming the land to get by. It was because of the help of the lay brothers that Fountains became so wealthy through wool production, lead mining, cattle rearing, horse breeding and stone quarrying.
“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. For this reason the brethren should be occupied at certain times in manual labour and at other times in sacred reading.“
It wasn’t all plain sailing
Bad harvests hit the monks hard and they also had to deal with raids from the Scots throughout the 14th-century, which led to economic collapse. This was only made worse by the Black Death which struck the country in 1348.
Despite its financial problems, the Abbey remained important. The abbacy of Marmaduke Huby (1495 – 1526) marked a period of revival and the great tower built by Huby symbolises his hope for the Abbey’s future.
The Abbey was abruptly closed down in 1539 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII, and the abbot, prior and monks were sent away with pensions.
Fountains Abbey today
The estate was sold by the Crown to a merchant, Sir Richard Gresham. It remained in private hands until the 1960s, including William and John Aislabie who designed Studley Royal water garden of which the abbey became an integral part of. The National Trust bought the estate from the West Riding County Council in 1983.
The information here was taken from the National Trust website
Had an absolutely fabulous day at Studley Royal Deer Park. The weather was perfect. Cool and autumnal but brilliant sunshine. Did a four mile circular walk taking in beautiful views, plenty of deer, birds, water and awesome trees.
I originally went hoping to see some rutting deer, but all was quiet. It looked like all the herds were already established. I think rutting is at its height in October, so maybe I was too late. I did get some nice photos though, including a white hart.
Saint Mary’s church.
The deer .
Ripon Cathedral in the distance.
Some shots around the park.
And my walk.
My soul has been filled again until next time.
I’m a humanist so I regard my soul as my inner being – the place where all the components that make me me live. My soul has felt a little degraded recently along with my confidence. Not sure why …………….could be an age thing! But today, today its been rejuvenated. How???? Very simple……….my trusty Virago 535 and the Yorkshire countryside. What more could you want?
A 67 mile round trip to Malham in North Yorkshire. Originally, I decided to go and see the peregrines at the Cove. Peregrines at Balham Cove, So loaded my bike with my heavy camera rucksack with my Canon 7D with large zoom attached and set off. However, when I got there, after a lovely cup of coffee and carrot cake, I took the path I thought led to the Cove, but yet again my memory mis-served me and it was the path to Janets Foss. So didn’t need the rucksack! Doh!
It was a lovely walk though. So peaceful, gorgeous sunny weather and lots of birdsong.
The wild garlic covered the floor, a missile thrush sang its heart out, a dipper in the stream was gathering food for its young residing in a hollowed out tree trunk and a woodpecker drummed in the distance.
Janets Foss wasn’t as full as normal but this border collie was enjoying the cool water.
Don’t know what a zebra was doing in the Yorkshire Dales! This pub supplied a welcome cold drink and although I didn’t partake the food looked gorgeous. I will be back.
A very short walk just over 2 miles, but can be easily extended by carrying on across the road after Janets Foss and following the footpath to the cove.
I love my adopted county and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
The spring is nearly dried up but the irises still bloom every year where it used to bubble above the surface.
Tetley loves to gallop through the buttercups and the hawthorn is looking rather gorgeous this year.
Had a lovely walk with Mike and Tetley today at Aysgarth Falls in the Dales near Leyburn. The river Ure winds its way through Wensleydale, tumbling over limestone at Aysgarth. There are a number of waterfalls but Upper, Lower are accessible but the Middle can be viewed from a platform.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park information centre there has a shop and cafe. The scones are absolutely amazing. I had a cherry and sultana one with jam and cream. I actually struggled to finish it, which is unheard of
AND there was so much cream that I didn’t need it all – again unheard of!
This walk is taken from the http://www.walkingenglishman.com Fantastic website for walkers.
I eventually made a decision and bought a new bike. Its a Suzuki Intruder M800 and its my little Black Beauty!
Ok so its not so little, but it’s surprisingly easy to handle and i can get both feet on the ground which is a big plus for me! It is now adorned with a screen – the wind drag is awful without one – and some lovely leather saddlebags. Now all I need is some sunshine, but fat chance of that at the moment. I was out on Saturday and got absolutely drenched to the skin!
Anyway back to the title of this post – Wildlife on a bike”……………………. Well I see a lot of wildlife “on” bikes, but the more attractive kind is not riding a bike! I rode from LS16 through Otley and up over Asquith Moor recently, stopped to have a scan with the binoculars and was rewarded with curlews and lapwings.
These are the best photos I have of lapwings- they are not very well focused and I haven’t any of curlews.
Here are some views over the moors.
I’m a Londoner and am proud to have been born there but Yorkshire is definitely gods own county and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else – thanks for adopting me Yorkshire.
This is a short walk I did with a friend and the again with my husband and dog back in March this year, when the weather was actually nice!!!
Start from the village of Hampsthwaite just outside Harrogate and start off with a cup of tea/coffee and something nice to go with it at Sophie’s village cafe – also a BB. You can sit outside and watch the world go by or there’s a garden around the back.
Make your way from the cafe to the left of the village green for a short walk along the road towards Birstwith. You will walk past a path on your right leading to the village church which we will visit on the way back. Further on up the road you will pass a layby then you will spot a barn on your right and a footpath sign. Cross over the field and walk by the side of the river – this is the Nidderdale way. Everything is quite straightforward then. You eventually walk by the side of a food factory and cross over the road at Birstwith. We the made our way onwards past a weir and some open land….
Alongside the river again and you will reach an old pack horse bridge. You can cut your journey short here by crossing over the bridge walking up the hill, turning right and follow Nidderdale way back on the other side of the river.
We continued on alongside the River Nidd on our right until we had to climb over a wall and walk to our right along a little toll road past an old railway cottage and a little further on we crossed over the field just beyond the cottage and joined an old dismantled railway line.
There’s a field on the right where there were some gorgeous horses. At the top of the hill turn right down hill towards a small copse of trees. You will pass through a farm yard which isn’t a farm any more but stables. After this you will bear right past a small cl caravan site down to the river again. Follow the river until you get back to Birswith and get back on the road. Turn left to go to the pub which is well worth a visit for the beer and the food. Had been recently refurbished when we went. We had a nice lunch.
Thats it really just follow your steps back past the food factory and return to Hampsthwaite. However take that path that I mentioned earlier to have a look at the church and graveyard its very interesting.
And back to the village green.
I have always loved animals and nature but have only just found a love of birds and birdwatching. This coupled with more time for walking and photography, is brought together in this here blog! It will serve as a diary/log of what I have done and seen with a display of some of my better photos.
It may interest others to know about the walks and wildlife/birds that are around where I go.
Please feel free to browse and comment and maybe share some of your walks and nature sights.