Friday, 19 August 2016

eastern delights

Given that I am a West Coast girl at heart - sunsets and warm Gulf Streams - venturing East isn't usually on the cards.  So the last couple of days brought some unexpected and lovely surprises on our family jaunt out east.


Lovely sunny day on our first visit to Peterborough and a great walk through the parks to the lovely Selina's Cafe for the bestest banana bread ever
with the loveliest family


Yet another first - a wonderful day in (also sunny) Lincoln - starting with the cathedral
and so exciting -  turns out George Boole, arguably the father of computing as we know it, was born in Lincoln
 Yummy lunch in the cloisters
 and the usual great crumbling tomb - headless this time!
 Then the most beautiful dancing reflections from the stained glass windows up high
 and outside into the sun and the lovely old houses
 and town
with my trusty companions
always managing to sniff out a good coffee house when we see one and take a look how lovely this one is inside - Makushi.  Next time we're going to try out their brunch!
 Some Hug(h)e(s) scandal uncovered here eh ? . . .
 and I did rather love that doggie in the window
and the old-school Gents!
so a lovely happy family excursion - and here's to the next one!!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The quest

Such fun today - finally finding the incredible Motte and Bailey castle that is Bailey Hill, in the lovely sunny Bradfield.  Probably one of the best surviving examples in Yorkshire, according to our walk leaflet.
So off we set on this walk from Low to High Bradfield with a bit of a diversion to find Bailey Hill.  Mike enjoying a bit of shade from the sun.
Very quickly we were in the lovely graveyard of St Nicholas Church which I've featured many a time before, such as in this October 2011 blog post.  This sweeping view always takes my breath away.
 and this time sheep were safely grazing (and sleeping!)
which of course brought to mind a bit of Bach
and while you listen, take a look at the grave of poor Joseph Beaver!  Did the engraver die too?  Wasn't there enough money to complete the wording?  But I suppose it says it all . . .
Anyway, onward we go - above the church and off the walk route and, after a pretty walk through woodland undergrowth, we rounded the corner to find this massive motte and bailey castle - so perfectly formed with it's moat all the way round.

 maybe just look at Mike in relation to the 'castle' to get a feel for the size of Bailley Hill
And naturally this was a bit of a homecoming for Mike Bailey meeting his namesake hill - ha ha!

To read more about this amazing ancient monument see this article on the Historic England website:  Bailey Hill motte and bailey castle, High Bradfield.

Anyway, we move down the hill towards Lower Bradfield with a final view back of the Church
Over a series of impressive steep and ancient stone stiles
 with views right over to those wonderful purple heather-clad moors
and bringing us down to earth - literally - a cuppa at the cute little Cafe in the tiny Post Office.  Sat outside on the sunny bench watching the Council busily and noisily re-tarmac the roads!  (And spot the Tour de Yorkshire remnant from that wonderful day in 2014 - read about it here from a Grenoside perspective.
Lovely blogpost here on Cafes to Contemplate about the Flask End Cafe you might like to read.
So that was it - lovely sunny day, great amble and real wow factor on finding Bailey Hill!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

coast to coast

Such a lovely whirlwind roadtrip across our Northern hills last weekend - starting right at the very tip of the East Riding of Yorkshire - Spurn Point
We hired bikes from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trustthen after a great reviving coffee at the Bluebell cafewe brave three set forth along the sands of the great North Sea

with a bit of hard slog over the sandhills where the path collapsed in the great tidal surge of December 2013.
and we needed to keep a close eye on our watches . . .
 but, bikes parked, we had plenty of time to picnic on the beach
Falafel King's best all the way from Sheffield
and we even had a beautiful Kestrel pose just for us
Thrilled that Spurn Lighthouse has now been renovated and opened to visitors just this Easter for the first time.
Loved the curvy doors
and the great staircases
Fab views, just like looking down on a map
 but beyond to the Point we must go
Never realised lobster shells started off this beautiful shade of blue!  However, after a few hours in the back window of the car, the shell quickly turned reddish!!
So - bikes returned, it was off up the East Riding coast, with stops along the way . . .
and the odd Milton Keynes cow
first a dip into Easington
Then the coastal erosion at Mappleton - getting very like a geography lesson for one of our party!  But intriguing to read of all the coastal villages already lost to erosion on this Holderness Coastline.
and the most amazing fish and chips from Bridlington's amazing chip shop 149 - only the UK's best - which we ate on the prom, of course!!
as well as seeing no ships
until, that was, we reached the lovely little harbour
as the sun slowly set
and we made our way through Hockney's Wolds to our amazing Bed and Breakfast for the night at Greenwick Farm just outside the village of Huggate.

Saturday 6 August 2016

And what an amazing last minute find that was - luxurious and such a fabulous breakfast the next day and this view to die for
but onwards and upwards and our driver awaits. . .
We meander a while in the glorious gentle landscape of the Wolds, rich in colours, lush crops and curious stone gate portals!!
and don't you just love these old white wooden signposts - and this one to the lovely Thixendale, another of Hockney's favoured sites for painting.
miles of cornfields
and it if wasn't for my faithful diarist (eat your heart out Boswell) I'd have forgotten all the lovely details - like the amazing fun haystack sculptures we saw at various farms along the coastal route
so as you will have spied, we were now en route to Haworth, via tortuous traffic jams around York.  But finally we make our destination - the Bronte Parsonage
with a peek into the church
and a tour of the parsonage
Since we last visited a few years ago they have acquired the actual Bronte family table where Charlotte and Emily wrote Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.  There is an 'E' etched into it which they believe was Emily's handiwork!
an actual dress of Charlotte's
and a meander down Haworth's lovely hilly street in search of food
followed by a quest to find Top Withens, only to be scuppered by a plague of horrid pesky flying ants in that lovely purple heather
So now it was a quick evening back in Sheffield with a midnight Olympics catch-up to see the British Women's Hockey team beat Australia, then to bed and a zip over the Pennines, west this time, to the Wirral - as my scribe will confirm ....

Sunday 7 August 2016

taking Grandma for a yummy Sunday Lunch at the good old Fox and Hounds
then a wonderful leg stretch from Red Rocks to West Kirby, gazing over the Irish Sea, past Hilbre Island and as far as the Great Orme in Gwynedd.  Magical as always.
before driving back to Sheffield in the sunset.

Monday 8 August 2016

Awoke, arose and off to the ever lovely Tamper for lunch before the London train
and a final #HerdofSheffield photo opportunity on the way to the station
with the added revelation that these piano keys must have always been here in the pavement, when the Hubs were first built as the National Centre for Popular Music - how amazing!  Can't believe none of us had ever noticed that before!!
So that's the end - and what a lovely happy time it was. 

And what's more, it felt like the perfect extension to our USA roadtrip in July from Minneapolis to Seattle and Vancouver - which I must write up next ........ watch this space.