18.05.2015 - 18.05.2015 10 °F
A peaceful place to while away a couple or so hours is between York and Penrith. Fountains Abbey, although a ruin, has towering walls, enormous arched frames that once held stained glass and a history dating to 1132 when Benedictine monks were given the land on the River Skell to build a new abbey. The monks built a medieval water mill that is still functional, using water from the river. The mill continued to operate, despite Henry VIII forcing the closure of the abbey in 1539.
The grounds offer pathways to stroll and climb, water gardens to admire, a variety of birdlife including white swans and views from many angles of statues, the abbey, the lakes and then move on to a deer park and Five ( of the original seven) bridges. The "Surprise View " looks down on the magestic grounds.
The Yorkshire Dales then took us over hills, down dales, around many a tight bend, wove through multilple sites where narrow streets with a scattering of buildings comprised a town. Bridges that were sign posted as 'Weak' forewarned drivers who dared to cross and others pointed out the obvious, single lane only! Well there was no way anyone could dispute that! Every so often Rob would find a lay bye, I'd leap out and create some digital memories, and we'd try not to lose our place in the traffic of 4 wheel drives, speeding audis, porsches, tractors towing hay or bike riders pedalling along....on may I remind you narrow roads measuring approx 1 and a half car widths. There were a few moments where we called for divine intervention.
Part of the journey went through Wensleydale following the River Ure. No cheese was purchased or consumed at this point. The sheep were noticeably long haired...to cope with the chilling wind. We noticed the trees have not regenerated many leaves yet, maybe they are waiting for warmer weather.
In Garsdale the sheep and ponies were free ranging .... including on the roads.
Having left Perth with water restrictions and struggling to keep a garden alive, to my delight springs of water can be seen simply rising out of the ground, all over fields, roads and paths. They create streams of their own. All livestock have an abundance of lush green food, our farmers would drool.
A quick right turn up the M6 to Penrith meant we arrived at 4:10, right on schedule to book into The Blue Swallow. Cynthia and Peter who run this B&B are both very warm and welcoming. Peter carried our suitcases up 3 flights of stairs to No 5, where we have an attic view. A little drizzle has fallen, but again nothing to stop us from getting out and about. We walked into town and ate at The Indiagate for dinner. A leisurely wander home again highlighted a few things we'd like to go back and see when they they are open.
Tomorrow we are off to Windemere to see a) Beatrix Potter (Denise's description) or b) the Nutcases (Rob's description) home, tourist site..... I just know I will leave with a Jemima something!!! I won't admit to Rob if I hear the animals talking to me!