The previous day I had discovered that our sneaky little alarm clock had a family, but he continued to frequent the doorstep on his own, not wanting to share the treats. I wandered out into the farmyard after I had seen two hens and assorted chicks at the door of the other holiday cottage. They spotted me and quickly ran over to see what I had to feed them!
They were to call at our door every day after this until we left.
We set off towards Richmond, to visit the castle. Again, the day started with mist, but sun was promised.
Richmond Castle was suitably grand, and imposing, must have put the frighteners on anyone when it was built back in the 11th century.
Of course, there were steps all the way to the top, so I had to go and investigate.
Nice view from the top
I even climbed up into one of these rooftop turrets
It was a long way down, over 60 steps, but obviously gravity helps with the descent!
Love the entrance through the wall
...and the castle walls in general
Some parts of the castle have deteriorated quite a bit
Lovely view of the river Swale from the castle, albeit a little misty
The Swale is a lovely river, it appears to be quite shallow, and babbles along over stones and slabs of rock so is quite accessible for paddling and general poking about in water type pastimes...
...or timer related photos, where we are out of focus because the camera is angled towards the river bed!
Gah! I propped it up on my handbag and some other stones, not well enough it seems!
From the castle we drove the mile or so out to Easby Abbey. The journey, allegedly, could be done underground many years ago. I subsequently read a rather scary ghost tale of the little drummer boy who was sent to sound the way when the tunnel was re-discovered in the 1800s. If you walk the official walk between Richmond and Easby, a stone marks the spot where his drumming stopped. Thankfully, I was blissfully unaware of all the ghost stories attached to Easby when we visited. It was also a blisteringly hot afternoon by the time we got there, so at least the atmosphere wasn't spooky.
The crack in that wall to the left on the above photo really is huge! The whole wall is leaning away.
Another timer shot, his 'n' her arches
Easby is smaller than other abbeys we have visited, but has a lot of rooms
There were plenty of locals exploring the ruins, and enjoying the surroundings. As Easby is free entry I'm not surprised, if I lived nearby I would be there every day!
The following day, and our last day in the Dales, we decided to take it easy and stay local to the holiday cottage.
I've wanted to visit Ripon cathedral for a while. Interestingly, it is supposed to be where a certain Charles Dodgson got the idea to write about a young girl disappearing down a rabbit hole! His father was a canon of Ripon cathedral in 1852 and Charles Dodgson visited frequently. Inside the cathedral are beautiful medieval carvings which include some depicting rabbit holes and mythical creatures. I chose not to buy a photography licence to take photographs inside the cathedral, but as it is free to visit, we left a donation. Read more about Ripon cathedral here
Ripon cathedral has a very interesting crypt. It dates back to 672 AD, is the oldest Anglo Saxon crypt in the country and is from one of the first Christian churches in England. St Wilfred, who built the crypt, modelled it on what he believed Christs tomb would have looked like. St Wilfred is buried in Ripon cathedral.
We met a very interesting guide in the cathedral, who happily shared his knowledge with us and pointed out all the hard to find details which we would have missed. He showed us the rabbit hole carvings on the misericords, and other little details. We spent a good half an hour chatting to him.
Outside, we had a little wander round the cathedral, and I spotted the gravestone below.
I like Ripon, it is in most parts pretty, and a busy little place. It is allegedly England's oldest city, having been one for over 1300 years. There is still some Tour de France ephemera around, as you can see!
After a picnic lunch, we set off for Studley Royal again for a relaxing last afternoon in Yorkshire. We headed up the hill from the car park at Studley Royal, to the beautiful church of St Mary.
and then a final wander along the river Skell
We didn't want to leave, but we'll be back.