Sunday, 28 July 2013

My Yorkshire Holiday - Part III

On the Tuesday of my week in Ripon, an uncle and aunt of mine came up from Sheffield to spend the day with me, something I had been looking forward to very much. This lovely couple are in their early 70s and both very fit and active, mentally as well as physically. Like me, they love to walk - and walk we did!

The original plan was to walk along Ripon canal and the river Ure to Newby Hall. Last year, I'd already been to Newby Hall with my sister (you can see the pictures on this post), but I certainly did not mind going there again, especially since I expected the wonderful gardens to look rather different now in the July sunshine than to what it was like last year in May, when it was so cold we really could not go out without wearing our padded winter coats.
 
Ripon Canal
Ripon Canal
Ripon Canal
Ripon Canal. Some people live on a canal boat permanently, others just rent for a holiday.

Well, it turned out that we never actually made it to Newby Hall this year. The reason? A misinterpretation of the OS map my uncle had with him. On that map, it looked like there was a path along the river and then a place where the river could be crossed to reach Newby Hall's grounds. In reality, the path along the river was there alright - but no way to cross the river except for by boat or swimming, neither of which was an option for our small group of four.
The canal and the river Ure meet at some stage. What you see here is the Ure.

It was so warm the sheep were seeking the shade of the trees.
Not much undergrowth at this bit; I could not take pictures at the djungle-like parts, since it was so dense all I could do was move forward and stick to the path as best as possible!
Look at the plants behind me. They are taller than I (5'8''), even if you can't see it properly there.
Finally, the path left the river and lead along some fields...
...and across this vast pasture up to the village.
Instead, we kept walking along the river, the path sometimes so overgrown with huge djungle-like undergrowth that it was hard to detect it, until we reached the beautiful village of Roecliffe. Wikipedia says it has less than 250 inhabitants, and by the looks of it, each one of these lives in a very pretty cottage.


There, we found "The Crown Inn", a five star country pub and inn that has won many prizes - and, as far as we could tell, deservedly so. Their website is here if you want to know more.

When we arrived, it was 1.45 pm, and the kitchen was closed. The friendly waiter told us that the chef had already gone home. Our faces must have been so full of despair (by that stage, all of us were really longing for something to eat - we'd been walking miles in difficult territory and in the heat, equipped with water, yes, but no food) that he took pity on us. We said we didn't want a cooked meal, a slice of bread would be fine or even just a bag of crisps along with a nice cold drink, and he disappeared. Moments later, he returned to tell us that he'd gotten hold of the chef and he'd make us sandwiches, but really just sandwiches, nothing else (which is what we'd wanted anyway).
After a short wait, what arrived at our table was not "just sandwiches", but full meals with salad and freshly made chips - wonderful!
We thanked the waiter as if he'd saved our lives (which, in a way, he had), and after finishing our excellent meal, walked into Boroughbridge to take the bus back to Ripon.

Altogether, on that day we probably walked somewhere around 10 miles. That does not sound much, but one of our group was not used to much walking at all, plus there was the uncertain path and the warm weather people in Yorkshire are not quite used to.
It was an adventure, and a lovely one at that! Sometimes under the huge plants overgrowing the river path I felt like one of the tiny people that populated my childhood imagination, the kind that build houses in large mushrooms and use leaves for umbrellas.

14 comments:

  1. What a wonderful day out and excellent service at the Crown. (And a photo I hadn't seen on Photobucket - did you see my comment on Pb by the way?).

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    1. Yes, Graham, and I replied to it there.

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  2. Oh, my! 10 miles in the heat - you would have had to carry me part of the way! I'm glad you got some excellent food to regain your strength! Beautiful photos!! xoxo Silke

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    1. My uncle and aunt and I would have walked back, too - but we knew it would have been too much for my niece, so we took the bus back.

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  3. I know how hot it must have been and I doubt that I could have done more than 3 miles in the heat.
    I am glad that you found such a friendly pub, usually service in England is a lot less accommodating.

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    1. Friko, so far I have almost always come across friendly and kind people in pubs, tea rooms and restaurants. For instance, when I am with my mother-in-law, whose hearing is not as good as it used to be (she's nearly 80), everyone is very patient without being condescending.

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  4. Oh how wonderful, that they made that food for you!!!
    Richard and I had walked all over London once, we reckon 8 miles or so, and I was told we would have "tea" with his Aunt Marjorie. I thought it would be hot tea with a few biscuits! When we walked in (and like you, I was so hungry!) and saw all the food spread out on the table, I wanted to cry with the joy of it!
    Wonderful post, Meike. You made me feel as if I was walking with you on that warm day. I only wish I could have had that great meal with you. It looks yummy. English chips are heaven on a plate!

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    1. It really was a wonderful day, Kay, and we were so grateful to the chef who agreed to make us sandwiches in spite of it actually being his time off.
      We did not meet any other people along that path - everyone else probably thought it was too hot to do much walking ;-)

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  5. What a special day! Sometimes getting an unexpected adventure is even more fun than the things we plan out.

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    1. That's exactly what we all said!

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  6. OH Wonderful walk! How kind of the chef to come back and fortify you for the return. Ten miles sounds like ALOT to me, Meike! Hurrah for you all
    Lovely country
    xx
    julie

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    1. The longest part was the bit along the river. After the meal and rest at The Crown, we walked for another 2 miles or so into Boroughbridge. I guess we all slept very well that night ;-)

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  7. I'm glad you got such nice weather for your holiday - and that the Inn was so obliging. I can well understand that when arriving there you were in need of a meal as well as some rest!

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    1. It was a fantastic day, and I shall forever hold The Crown Inn of Roecliffe in high esteem!

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