Category Archives: Skipton

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 14 – There be Wales!


Sept 14 – There be Wales!


Not a lot of pictures taken today. Despite the map saying the driving time would be a little less than four and a half hours, it took much longer to get to the Travelodge at Pencoed in South Wales than that. At least it felt that way. Lots of roadworks, reduced speed limits.

We arrived at the hotel shortly before 3:00 pm – just before check-in time. The desk clerk suggested we walk over to the Harvester Restaurant for a drink while we waited.

Since we were bursting in need of the loo, we took him up on the offer. Best of all, the toilets were just inside the restaurant doors so we could get relief before getting a drink.

We were meeting our friend, Anne, here at the restaurant for supper at 6:00 so we got a menu so we could look it over while we drank and take it back to the room. Make it easier to decide what we wanted for supper.

Checked in to the hotel. The room was upstairs (the first floor) but we’d climbed stairs every place else so far on our trip. Unfortunately, the room didn’t have electrical outlets near the bed so we hauled out the North American extension cord we brought from home and pressed it into service. Hubby’s CPAP machine isn’t much good without electricity.

We headed back over to the restaurant shortly before 6:00 as we wanted to be there when Anne arrived.

While we waited in the bar side of the restaurant for her arrival, another patron struck up a conversation with us. I found him very hard to understand so his companion had to translate a lot for us.

Sept 14
Anne and me

We brought bottles of real maple syrup in maple leaf shaped bottles with us to give as gifts to our UK friends and family, so once settled at the table, we gave Anne’s to her. Thrilled to receive a bottle of the sticky treat, she presented us with a Welsh Lovespoon in return.

All too soon, our wonderful evening ended. We waited with Anne until her taxi arrived, said our goodbyes again, and returned to our hotel room.


#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 13 – Steam Train Day


Sept 13 – Steam Train Day

Most of today’s adventures were via steam train or on foot. The only driving took place between our accommodations and the steam railway station at Embsay.

We arrived in plenty of time for me to wander around the platform and take lots of photos.

Sept 13
Don outside Embsay Station

The number of people with dogs on the platform surprised me. You don’t get out there without buying a train ticket first. Seeing my camera, these two posed for me. How could I resist taking their picture? Look at the faces.

Sept 13
A pair hamming it up for the camera

The platform bridge afforded the best views of the station building and the train.

Sept 13
Embsay Station from the platform bridge
Sept 13
The train from the platform bridge

The early morning train we rode was busy due to a bus tour making the journey. Still, we settled into a pair of ‘unreserved’ seats and waited for the train to leave. We ended up opening the small upper window for air because with the sun beating in, it turned the carriage into an oven!

The gentle swaying of the carriage almost lulled me to sleep so it was good that the train ride only took half an hour.

After de-training at the Bolton Abbey Station, we watched them bring the engine to the other end of the train, readying it for the return journey to Embsay.

Sept 13
Taking on water for the boiler
Sept 13
Signal House at Bolton Abbey Station

After that, we took the footpath to Bolton Priory.

Walking under the main road was the safer alternative.

Sept 13
Footpath under the busy A59 road

We visited the Priory in 2013. They charge a fee to park your vehicle there but if you’re on foot, it’s free.

While my husband tackled the stepping stones, I opted for the footbridge over the river.

Sept 13
Don walking over the stepping stones on the River Wharfe
Sept 13
Bolton Priory

We walked back to the train station with an older couple who rode the same outbound train we did. Once again, I took advantage of the extra time to take photos.

Sept 13
Bolton Abbey Station

I think I’m glowing… I know I was definitely HOT! By now the wisps of hair I’d hoped to control had escaped the confines of the headband, but overall, it worked well.

Sept 13
Me outside Bolton Abbey Station waiting for the train back to Embsay

When we arrived back at the guest house in Skipton later that afternoon, a black VW filled our space in the car park. I spied a couple of places out on the same side of the street as the guest house so turned around so I could snag one. I ended up further down the block than I wanted, but that spot was much easier to get in to. Drive in and back up closer to the vehicle behind. I don’t parallel park at home, so I’m not doing it on the opposite side of the road from the opposite side of the car.

I spotted this treadle sewing machine from our window and took a picture with my phone but I took a photo of it with my DSLR when we left for supper.

Singer treadle sewing machine across the street from Highfield Guest House
Singer treadle sewing machine across the street from Highfield Guest House

We ate at the Devonshire Inn again. Afterwards, we walked along the canal, stopping to chat with a local sitting on the deck of his narrow boat reading a crime novel.

Later in the evening, we got a thunderstorm. A real fire and brimstone one. Not wanting to miss the light show outside, we turned out the lights in our room and opened the blinds.

Tomorrow will be another driving day. We’re headed to South Wales.



#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 12 Bankend to Skipton


Sept 12 – Bankend to Skipton

Today we’re headed south into England. Reclaim a bit of land for Scotland, although I’m not sure how threatening our appearance is and will they give up some turf for the Saltire.

At least today we had a car. Good thing since we were driving to Skipton (some 125 miles from Bankend).

Since we didn’t get to visit The Devil’s Porridge Museum yesterday, we opted to stop in on our journey south.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be again – no place to park in their small car park. Not knowing Eastriggs that well, and the location of other places to leave the car, we didn’t stay. Disappointed, especially since my friend, Chris Longmuir recently released her latest historical crime novel Devil’s Porridge set at the large munitions factory located between Eastriggs and Gretna during WWI.

We saw this castle from the main A66 road on last year’s trip and with it’s proximity to the motorway decided we would visit it this year. Remember my earlier post when I mentioned perks to being an Historic Scotland renewal member? Not only do we get into Historic Scotland sites free of charge, but also English Heritage ones. And Brougham Castle is one of their properties.

Sept 12
Brougham Castle

Severe flooding in Cumbria in the latter part of 2015 and early 2016 took out a huge section of the Brougham Old Bridge. Signposted from the main road, when we got to the right turn onto Moor Lane, we had to navigate around the road closed sign. Just before the bridge on the right, is a small parking area.

Sept 12
Brougham Old Bridge

It’s rare I get to feel tall, but I did today. Even I had to ‘mind my head’ to pass through this doorway.

Sept 12
Standing with the palms of my hands flat on the underside of the door frame
Sept 12
The warning sign
Sept 12
River Eamont and area from the top of the castle

No visit to a ‘manned’ property is complete without a trip into the gift shop for a memento or two. I always buy a guidebook of the property so I can look back at it later. Well, I even found this little guy… Isn’t he cute?

Sept 12
“Robbie” Raven

For those of you who have read The Secret of Hillcrest House you’ll know that a crow figures in the storyline. So, I figured being the wacky eccentric author that I am, I needed a crow… raven.

Guidebook, raven, a few other goodies, and a jute bag to put everything in bought and we headed further south to Skipton.

Today was the first chance I had to take a photo of our second rental car.

Sept 12
Our second rental car – “Monty” Mondeo

When we arrived at Highfield, the car park (2 vehicles only) was full. Follow on around the corner to a pay and display one. Of course, we got there too early for overnight parking.

Checked into our room, we walked back for the car having been told the one vehicle would be moved by the time we got back. The white Fiat now parked on the street, Monty had ‘off-street’ parking. You can see his left front wheel and fender in the photo below.

Sept 12
Highfield Guest House (our room has the reflection of the street light in the windows)

I researched a few places where we could eat supper once I connected to the Wi-fi, but in the end, decided on The Devonshire Inn (a Wetherspoon Pub).

Sept 12
Devonshire Inn

After fish and chips with mushy peas, washed down with a couple of pints of 1664, we wandered back to the guest house by way of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Sept 12
Narrow boats moored along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Tomorrow we’re taking the Steam Train from Embsay to Bolton Abbey. Should be fun.