Monday, 22 September 2014

Middleham, home of Richard III, Coverdale and Wensleydale

Our fourth day in the dales and time to go deeper inland, up to Middleham, the home of Richard III, last king of the House of York.

We awoke to cloudy skies, thinking our luck had run out with the weather, time to get the woolies out of the suitcase.

The alarm clock was outside on the windowsill, just in case we fancied a lie in!

Here he is in mid crow, cheeky little beggar!

I've never been this far inland in Yorkshire, and found the landscapes breathtaking.  It didn't take too long to get to Middleham, which is a big racing town.  We got stuck in traffic behind these beautiful race horses

We parked up on the cobbled market square, and headed into King Richard's home, his favourite residence, Middleham Castle
The castle is in the town, so it's difficult to stand back and photograph it.  It is run by English Heritage, so we enjoyed free entry with my corporate membership.

There is a small exhibition in the shop, and I spotted this, a replica of a fabulous 15th century jewel which was found just outside the castle walls in 1985.  The original is in the Yorkshire museum

  Excuse the flash, I hardly ever use it but had no choice in this instance.

I spotted this statue of Richard III as we entered the castle.  It is rather haunting and ghostly as it appears to be white marble, but honestly, I think this is a rather Shakespearean portrayal, and I don't like it.  There is a basilisk hanging on his back and around his neck, and he is standing on a dead boar (his own heraldic symbol I believe) whilst a rat winds round his feet.
 However, despite the statue, the castle is interesting.  You can climb all the way to the top (hurrah! I love a good climb).

Blue skies just peeping through, but what a great view

More castle shots 

 I do love the fact that the stone steps we walked on and the doorways we passed through were the very same ones that such an infamous king also once used

I've discovered the timer on my camera, it was touch and go whether I got to this window in time, OH had chosen the window nearest the camera

After a picnic lunch, we set off for a drive around the area, heading nowhere in particular.  Spotting signs for Coverdale, and being big fans of David Coverdale, we had to stop and take photos. We even bought Coverdale cheese at a local cheesemakers!

We ended up in the small town of Hawes, in Wensleydale.  A pretty little place with lots of tourists, expensive clothing shops selling real Harris Tweed (in fetching shades of purple too!) a ropemaker (we went in and had a look) and lots of eating places.  

 Unfortunately, we didn't think much of the cream tea.  It looked beautiful but was whipped cream, and the jam was very runny and way too sugary.  It was cheap though, and the tea was nice!  That Tweed jacket was £250 if I remember! 

That's it for day four.  


  1. Castles and bling and cheese! What could be better?

    1. Hi Vix, that would have made a great title for this post! Thanks for commenting xx

  2. Middleham Castle looks fantastic, love that almost free-standing wall with the arched windows, and your pic done with the timer! I've been to Hawes and Kettlewell, albeit many years ago - that part of North Yorkshire is lovely. The colours of that tweed jacket are delightful, but I still wouldn't pay £250 for it! xxx

    1. Hi Curtise (and I'm saying your name properly in my head now!) I nearly fell over at the prices, but it was the real deal. I'd rather snap up a second hand bit of tweed, I'd feel more comfy wearing it too! xx

  3. Just loving the cockerel - little devil. I would say cocky but that's a bit naff!

    1. Hi Maureen, thanks for visiting my blog! Ha ha, yes, he was indeed cocky! He was a right little character and posed quite nicely for me on lots of photos.

  4. Loved the description and pictures of Middleham. I share your opinion of thr statue of Richard. The sculptor certainly makes her opinion of him known, doesn't she. A basilisk, indeed! Couldn't they have done better than that?


Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I'd love it if you left a comment too!