Jo’s Monday walk : Canalside in Skipton

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What drew me to Skipton, in the Yorkshire Dales, for our wedding anniversary?  Heaven knows, I’m no cricket fan (sorry, Freddie!)   Why boats, of course!  This little market town is at the heart of a network of canals where I could walk the towpaths to infinity. (well, Liverpool is 99 miles away- that’s infinity to my husband’s way of thinking, but then he’s a cricket lover)

Skipton sits on the River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool canal.  Perfect for walking.  York is a mere 38 miles away.  Is that too ambitious?  It was only an overnight stay, so boundaries would definitely have to be set.

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In any case, the canal basin seemed like a good place to start.  I had an ancient town guide to hand and one of its recommends was a walk along Springs Canal.  This takes you around the back of Skipton Castle and promises fine views.  Unfortunately it was dull, verging on damp, at the time so my photos are much less splendid than I would have liked.

Continuing past an old sawmill, the walk weaves through Skipton Woods, a leafy stroll, and a favoured promenade since Victorian times.  It’s an atmospheric place, yet busy with dog walkers.  A circuit takes you past the Round Dam and parallel to the Long Dam, before climbing steps to follow the top edge of the wood, back into town via The Bailey.

At this point you might want to visit Skipton Castle.  Dating back to 1090, it is a wonderfully preserved Medieval castle, with an early Tudor courtyard.  I’ve visited the castle before, but not the neighbouring 14th century Holy Trinity Church.

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Emerging onto the High Street, I found the market in full swing.  I hadn’t come to shop, but there was ample opportunity and I enjoyed the lively atmosphere.  More to my taste, the ‘ginnels’ and narrow alleyways linking many of the side streets.  I couldn’t resist a few brollies for Meg, but then it was time to eat.  And just to prove that I don’t only eat cake…

A saunter down delightfully cobbled Sheep Street offers plenty of choices.  The Three Sheep Tea Rooms has remarkably fine cake, and I can vouch for the pear and apple chutney.  Even though I managed to squidge some down my white trousers!  Time to get back to the canals.

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The day was brightening beautifully, and I crossed over Belmont Bridge to join the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool canal.  Few things delight my heart more than a narrowboat.  Wreathed in smiles I set off, reveling in such beautiful surroundings.

There are all manner of diversions along the way.  Curious wildlife inspect the prowess of the boat crews.  “Hold steady while I take this selfie!”  “Watch out for those cows!”  Just when all is going smoothly, lock gates present a challenge.

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So much to love!  Smiling faces on board, and on the towpath.  Boat names.  Pretty gardens to admire.  A slow, peaceful way of life.

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All too soon I have to return to the canal basin, for one last linger.  Watching the canal boats depart for their half hour trips, I strike up a conversation with a couple, over a drink outside The Boat House.  They used to own a barge in Belgium, and are as enamoured with the narrowboats as I am. It obviously suited Freddie Trueman too.  He made his home in The Dales and the dynamic statue by Graham Ibbetson is a fine tribute.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my anniversary walk with me.  It’s been a pleasure to take you along.  Time now for my second cup of coffee!

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Many thanks to you all again for sharing and caring this week.  The weather’s been great and I’ve barely been indoors.  Got to make the most, don’t you?  I have some wonderful walks to share.  If you’d like to join in any time, it’s pretty easy.  Just click on the logo or take a look at my Jo’s Monday walk page.  You’ll be very welcome.

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Who knew a walk round a pumping station could be so interesting?  Thanks a lot, Violet Sky!

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Take a ride through some lovely countryside with Lady Lee?

Thekkady Jeep Safari

My good friend Leya is joining us with some real enchantment this week.  Please pay her a visit :

The Enchanted Monastery

In case you were in any doubt, Debbie shows us just how beautiful is Corsica :

Stroll around Ile Lavezzi

No place like Glasgow!  Just ask Anabel.  She knows!

Glasgow’s Clyde

Got to love Jackie’s energy!  Toronto is another good-looking city :

Summer in the City

Liesbet knows I love waterfalls.  They always make a walk worthwhile :

Hiking to Tannery Falls

You could say Drake is a black pearl.  What do you think?

A pearl without a hard shell

Laia reflects on life in beautiful Switzerland.  Wish I was there!

A walk along the Lake Leman

Please welcome Hanna to my walks.  She’ll show you a little of life in wonderful Copenhagen :

An Entertaining Stroll in The Citadel

I didn’t have Elaine down as a wicked temptress, did you?  But just look at the evidence!

A blustery afternoon in Largs

You couldn’t find a greater contrast than our Becky, in the Algarve.  Blue skies and beautiful wildflowers :

A stroll down memory lane, also known as PR5

Lovely Gilly has found  a calm and peaceful place this week.  Come with us and enjoy!

Buckfast Abbey

That’s it for another week.  It’s a Bank Holiday next Monday and I don’t hold out much hope for the weather.  I’ll still be here though. And smiling! Take care till then.

 

 

Six word Saturday

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Yorkshire just keeps on having fun!

Making the very most of a fine spell of weather, I’ve been out and about lots this week.  And look what I found!  You may remember that Saltburn-by-the-Sea loves its yarn bombing.  They’ve been at it again!  Everything from Yorkshire lavender to Geoffrey Boycott.

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They’re an endearing bunch of characters.  You might even recognise the odd one.  Click on the galleries for a closer look.

And you’ll not go short of a bite to eat, or drink.  Tea, or something stronger?

Got to feed the workers and keep their strength up.  Good old Yorkshire values.

There’s even a little architecture to admire.

Naturally, some people just want to play, and who can blame them?

It all adds up to pride in …

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I told you it was fun!  Great while it lasted but I think it’s going to be wet this weekend.  Never mind.  We can still smile.

Hope you have a good one.  And don’t forget to pop in on Cate with your six words.

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Scampston Walled Garden

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2016 marks the 300th anniversary of landscape artist Lancelot “Capability” Brown, whose designs changed the face of of 18th century England. Born in Northumberland in 1716, he learnt the skills of horticulture and husbandry from the age of 16, as an apprentice on the Wallington estate.  His vision was extraordinary and over the course of 40 years he moved gardens away from formal design to a style that is unmistakably his.

Brown persuaded the rich and famous to invest in landscapes which were beautiful, productive, and would take a century to mature. He designed on an immense scale, moving hills and making flowing lakes that resembled artificial rivers.  His work frequently produced an Arcadian idyll.  Sadly I have never visited Stowe in Buckinghamshire, his best known work, but he was involved in the design of over 250 sites throughout the UK.

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Scampston Hall in North Yorkshire sits beside the busy A64 road.  Wandering serenely across the estate you might never know.  A lazy sheep or two blink, and turn their backs.  The grounds at Scampston were redesigned by Capability in the 1770’s.  They bear all the hallmarks of his work.  A ‘ha ha’, or sunken fence, to confuse the eye, carefully planted trees and an expansive lake that resembles a river running off into infinity.

Oddly enough, I didn’t come to Scampston in search of the Palladian Bridge, but I think that Paula might like it for her Traces of the past.  The lure of the Walled Garden is the ‘new European garden style’, designed in 1999 by Piet Oudolf.  1999 no longer feels new but I did find enchantment in the drifts of Molinia grass.  Here is a small sample of what you might find.

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There’s much more, of course.  You can do some hedge trimming, or even have a cream tea.

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But you can’t beat Capability and a few Marsh Marigolds, can you?

I’m not sure if Scampston Walled Garden fits with Jude’s Garden Challenge, but I know she’ll like it.  That’s reason enough, isn’t it?

Jo’s Monday walk : Scarecrow fun in Kettlewell

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This week photo quality has lost out to Fun.  I’m hoping you won’t mind though, because it’s all in a good cause.  The village of Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales is throwing open its doors, from 13th to 21st August.  I know it’s short notice, but you won’t regret a visit.

The scarecrow festival has been running here for more than 20 years, and it must have been in its infancy when I last visited.  Coming over the tops from a rain-soaked Malham, sunlight beamed across the valley.  An afternoon of smiles had begun, and what a cast of characters!

It is the most picturesque of villages, and the surrounding scenery could steal any show.  A field just beyond the village has been earmarked for parking, at a cost of £3.  Smiling villagers direct traffic, and sell trail leaflets for a further one pound.  The map shows the route to follow through the village, with the added bonus of a riddle to solve on the reverse.  For a prize, of course.

Food is widely available, and everywhere a gentle Yorkshire sense of humour prevails.  There are village matrons, with a refined glass or two.  A maypole, with scarecrow children dancing, and Red Riding Hood, tucked quietly in a corner.  Someone always ends up in the stocks, and someone else gets eaten, while a soldier looks gravely on.

The festival has grown hugely since my last visit, but still retains warmth and intimacy.  I chat freely as I wander.  ‘Isn’t it lovely to be here?’  One lady says she lives in Skipton, at the head of the Dales and just a few miles down the road, but has never thought to come before.  This time the whole family are here, and having a great day out.

One of my best memories is the lovely bridal scene outside St. Mary’s Church.  Now the doors of the church have been flung wide, and inside the bishop awaits.   He’s in wonderful company.

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There are many crowd pleasers and figures from popular culture, and all within the most beautiful setting.

There is the prettiest of village greens, and beekeeper’s rule, you’ll be glad to note.  Hard to stop smiling, isn’t it?

‘Star Wars’ is a obviously a village favourite, along with ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, of course.

‘Ding, dong, the witch is dead!  Which old witch?  The wicked witch.’  I hope you’ve had as much Fun with this stroll as I did.  It’s not at all the walk I intended to post today, but the timing makes it imperative- just in case you should be in the neighbourhood.  I’ve only shown you a fraction of the whole but I hope it’s enough to whet your appetite.  The proceeds all go to the school and village funds.

Even if you miss the festival, you will still receive a warm Kettlewell welcome.  This website guides you round the village, accompanied by a wealth of historical facts.  And now, I really must have some breakfast!

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Many thanks to you all again, for your good company and contributions this week.  If you’ve never joined in with a Monday walk before, I’d love you to do so.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo.  Now, settle in for a terrific read :

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Debbie was swift away this week, with a stunning coastal walk :

Maidencombe to Babbacombe 

Meet Judith, as she shares some lovely woodland walking in France :

A Path Through the Woods

Jackie does history again, coupled with a nice bit of sculpture :

Canary District

High in beautiful Andorra is a fine place to be with Drake :

Morning mood on the edge

You all know Cindy?  Glorious photography is her middle name :

Eastern Sierra High

Do you find Meg’s graffiti disturbing, or not?  Don’t be a fool like me- click on the gallery!

Vignettes from a morning walk- 7 

Pretty and peaceful with Jaspa, in the capital of Slovenia :

The Streets of Ljubljana Old Town

Anyone fancy meeting Jude in Coffee House Passage?  Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Scrobbesbyrig/Shrewsbury : Town Trail Part 2 

Get set for pagodas and shopping!  That’s Cathy in Myanmar for you :

City Walk : Yangon’s Colonial Treasures 

Anyone for waffles?  Don’t mind if I do, Susan :

Walking Brugge, Belgium, Without Regrets

Mesmerising colours in Kathrin’s walk this week.  I know you’ll love it :

Garfield Peak Trail, Crater Lake

That’s it for another week.  I hope you have a good one.  Next week I’ll be showing you a little more of what took me to The Dales.  The ladies from Monday Escapes are about again, if you’d like to join them.  And, of course, I’m up for the Daily Post challenge.

 

Six word Saturday

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‘Pictures of Lily.  Lily, oh Lily!’

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Keeping it simple, because I won’t be here to respond to comments till late in the day.  It was our wedding anniversary yesterday and I’ve whisked him away to the Yorkshire Dales (or perhaps, he’s whisked me?).  Normally I’d receive a bouquet, with lilies, but I wasn’t here to receive them. Instead I’ve been keeping an eye on some lovely ones that we planted in our garden a few weeks ago.  There are 3 different shades and I’ve been watching them steadily unfurl.  Fingers crossed, the last bronzy ones will be open on my return.

Anyone remember ‘Pictures of Lily’?  The Who.

Happy Saturday!  Don’t forget to share six words with Cate.  See you soon.

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Where would you rather be?

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Pounding in to shore,

Wind whipping, shaping the waves.

Power, meet beauty!

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Paula must have known that she was tempting me with this week’s theme.  The weather played its part beautifully.  I know that there are finer seascapes, but this one is mine- my north east of England coast.

Now, please go and be spellbound at Thursday’s Special.

Jo’s Monday walk : Burton Agnes

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I promised you a gentle stroll this week, far from the bustle of the city.  Burton Agnes, in East Yorkshire, will deliver in spades.  I can find you a bench or two to loiter on, and maybe a game of chess or snakes and ladders.  Too taxing?  You can do what I did, and simply stand and smile.

There’s much to smile about at this Elizabethan stately home.  The elegant facade looks over a sweeping expanse of the Yorkshire wolds, but the owners have retained a sense of playfulness in the gardens.  They are a joy to behold.

When I was there they were setting up a grand marquee for the July jazz event.  The weather was steamy, as it rarely is in England, and the ice cream vendor was in full flow.  Or should I say scoop?

You’ll know by now that I have a thing for water lilies and reflective surfaces.  I could have played all day.

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Gryphons, lions, statuary, all come as standard in these formal gardens.

But come on!  We’ve mosaics and a rose garden yet to explore.

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Can you see what lies beyond the rose arbour?  Anyone for chess?  Or draughts?  Maybe the ladies would be better at snakes and ladders.

The rooms lead one to another, with tantalising glimpses of distraction.  The reflections soon entrance me all over again.

The roses smell wonderful and I bury my nose deep into their luscious beauty.

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‘I’ve found an elephant’, says the other half.  Really? And a very endearing creature he is too.

It’s such a delightful garden, with so many aspects.  Do you remember the wire mesh gardener tending his veg?  He’s here too.

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I believe there’s an Open Day for charity, so I can join Jude’s Garden Challenge this month.  I expect she’ll be disappointed there’s no cake, but I have a good reason.  This was the second garden we visited that day and we’d already eaten.  It was quite a long way from home, but well worth the journey.  I’ll show you the other garden soon.  That was a water lily bonanza!

A closer look at these gardens and instructions on how to get there are on the website.   I’m off to put the kettle on for breakfast.

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Many thanks to all of you for being such loyal supporters.  Every week I’m delighted by the contributions you make to my walks.  If you’d like to join me and haven’t done so it’s easy enough.  The details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.  If I spot a good walk when I’m reading posts, I’ll simply ask if I can include it.  We have some great ones again this week.

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Starting with some beautiful gardens from Lady Lee :

Packwood Gardens

Cathy takes us to a stately home in the US, as well as it’s lovely garden :

Winterthur Museum, garden & library : a Delaware country estate

I’m discovering that Jackie is rather fond of history!

A history lesson

A hot, prickly walk from Ana.  And keep an eye out for rattlers!  Heavens!

The trail to Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park

Liesbet uses camping as a means to an end- ‘roaming about’, of course :

The Art of Being Flexible (and Realistic)

I always like something a bit different in my walks.  How about this one?  Thanks, Shazza!

Llama Trekking in the Lakes

A great one for the bird watchers from Denzil this week (paying attention Becky?) :

Het Zwin Nature Park on the Belgian Coast

This is a country I’ve always wanted to visit, and a very beautiful post from Maris Travels :

Walking in the Japanese Alps

The Pyrenees are equally beautiful, especially if you’re with my good friend Drake :

A bit higher level of walking

Warsaw street life and a fantasy of umbrellas – it’s Meg, of course!

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Meet newcomer to my walks, Stephanie and the crew of S.V. Cambria, with a bit of a mystery :

A Walk on the Wild Side/Downtown Ocean Falls

Yvette embraces summer with her usual enthusiasm, and beautiful Crepe Myrtle :

Street Shots (#summer2016 a to z Letter S) summer walk with Jo

Come and be nosy with Susan (and me) while we look over a few fences :

Walking Cherbourg, France

Some people keep on dangling serious temptation my way.  You know who you are, Carol!

A Morning in Port Douglas

Becky and birds are synonymous, aren’t they?  Even in Lymington, it seems :

Didn’t get very far because of the birdies

That’s it for another week.  I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did.  Now, where can I take you next week?  Take care till then.