England

Jo’s Monday walk : A whizz around Beverley

Many of you had never heard of Beverley in East Yorkshire when I shared my recent visit to its magnificent Minster.  I’m back this morning to give you a whistlestop tour of the town.  Hold on to your hats!

It was another of those whims of mine that took me there on a coach trip one September day.  The journey seemed tortuous and I wondered why I was putting myself through it, but immediately I set foot inside the Minster I knew that it had been worthwhile.

I glimpsed the spires as we drove into town and as soon as the coach doors opened I was off and beelining for it.  I found the Tourist Information office on Butcher Row en route, and grabbed a map with details of the Beverley Town Trail.  Patience not being my middle name, when I realised that it gave a choice of 4 local walks I threw up my hands and just got on with the job.  Straight down Highgate brought me to the gates of the Minster.  It was a grey old sky, not bringing out the best of the old stone, yet the building had presence.

Bowled over by Beverley will take you inside, if you missed it.  Glancing at the map when I came out, I continued around the outside of the grounds to Minster Yard South.  I was quite surprised to find a grassy paddock with cows grazing contentedly, here in the middle of town.  I knew that it was a market town, but still, a little strange?  The white phonebox set a smile on my face as I continued onto Eastgate.

I detoured, as directed, on Friary Walk for a look at the former Friary, but this was planted firmly in the midst of a housing complex, and I did not loiter.  Back towards Wednesday Market- what an endearing name for the square, peaceful on a Thursday, with pavement cafes and coffee drinkers enjoying the mild temperatures.  On along Butcher Row, taking more notice this time of an interesting mix of shops and eating places.

I stopped occasionally to consult the trail guide, which was full of fascinating snippets of information.  Medieval Beverley was a wealthy town with a diverse population of skilled workers.  Carpenters, armourers, printers, locksmiths, weavers, hatters, brewers, ropemakers- the list is impressive and comprises 39 different medieval guilds.  Do you know what trade a fletcher pursued?  No- nor me! (He made arrows)  The trail encourages you to look for signs of each, but time was precious.  I was heading for Saturday Market and a handsome Market Cross.

It surprised me to read that Beverley was once the 10th largest town in England, and one of the richest, based on the wool industry and the pilgrims who came here to venerate its founder.  The town dates back to 700AD, when St. John of Beverley founded a monastery on the site of the Minster.

Market Cross sits most elegantly at the heart of the square known as Saturday Market, surrounded by attractive buildings.  Did you notice two more white telephone boxes?  Saturday is the main market day here and I can imagine traffic coming to a standstill.  Just beyond the square you can see the tower of St. Mary’s Church, and that’s where I headed next.  As luck would have it, closing was at 4, giving me half an hour to explore.

St. Mary’s was founded in 1120 and the foundations of the early Norman building are still visible in places.  A notable feature of the church are the stone carvings.  The Minstrel Pillar is shown below but I missed the carving of a rabbit dressed as a pilgrim, dated around 1330 and said to have been the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit.  (You can see him on this link)  The vestry ceiling is painted to represent a map of the heavens, and reminded me of Polish churches I’ve seen.

Amazing to have such a beautiful church and the Minster in one small town.  The ceiling of the chancel is quite breathtaking and I was thrilled to be able to get close to the 28 wonderfully carved misericords.  And who can resist that humble donkey, waiting in the wings?

Take a breath!  The misericords next…

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My time in Beverley was running out, and looking at the trail guide it seems I’d covered most of the 4 walks.  I was disappointed not to have found the Beck and its shipping heritage, but a bonus was the logically named North Bar Within and North Bar Without.  They sandwich North Bar, the earliest brick built town entrance in England.

Heading back to the coach, there was just time to stick my nose in the Coronation Garden, formerly owned by St. Mary’s Church, which explains the headstones.  The benches were empty but I couldn’t stop.

I grabbed a takeaway coffee and a few munchies and subsided onto the bus home, via the Humber Bridge.  But that will have to wait for another time.  I’m off to the Algarve on Wednesday and not sure exactly when I’ll be posting again.

Did you manage to keep up?  I hope you enjoyed it.  I’m onto my second cup of coffee and I’m hoping you’ll do the same.  Put the kettle on and have a good read.  All of these are worth it so please do visit them.  Thank you so much to everyone who’s taken part and kept me company all these weeks.  I’ll be popping in on you when I can.

Starting with an introduction- meet Nadja and her scene stealing photos of Austria :

The Maltese Valley

Fantastic memories of one lovely lady, from another!  Thanks so much, Becky :

An evening stroll for Jo

What would you expect to find at a zoo?  Violet had a bit of a surprise :

At the zoo

I adore dates, and here’s Jackie teasing me with date cake!

Matrimonial cake

Are you an early morning jogger?  Ju-Lyn has the nicest surrounds to tempt you out of bed :

Guess who I met at the Singapore Botanic Gardens?

Candy has some really lovely walks in Brittany.  This is just one of many :

A walk around Landerneau

Kathrin is determined to hike Half Dome one day, but this looks just as good!

North Dome Hike

Carol’s finally finished her English adventures.  What next?  I think I know :

The Last Afternoon

Woolly has a wonderful way with our feathered friends :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk38_Balyang-Sanctuary-2

Bringing a bit of desert heat our way, I wish I was looking over Drake’s shoulder :

In the sand

And with even more sand in the picture, this is a real beauty from Karen, if a little strenuous!

The Three Beaches Walk

Putting up a gutsy performance and us dilettantes to shame, I’m ending on a real high with Lexie :

High Tatras High

Ending on a high is always a good way to go.  Take good care of yourselves, and I’ll be back before you know it.

Six word Saturday

Playing with shadows in the woods

A nostalgic look at Autumn because I shan’t be here for most of it.  Nice to remember it at its best, in dappled sun and shade (and each with six words, if you run the gallery).  Dawn is sharing Festival of Leaves if you’d like to join in.

Next week I’m off to the Algarve again, for quite a long spell this time.  I won’t be posting for a little while as I shall be without Internet.  Sighs with relief!  I have one more walk for you on Monday.  Have a great weekend, and a wonderful Autumn, and I’ll be back when I can.

Meantime, Debbie is sharing some superb photos of Vietnam.  Join her for Six Word Saturday?

Bowled over by Beverley

If you mention The Minster in my part of the world, people automatically think you are talking about York Minster.  I had been told that Beverley Minster could hold its own in the beauty stakes, and set out one day to verify this.  I was already rapt in the intricate details when I learned that the Percy Canopy dates from around 1340, and is regarded as a masterpiece of the decorated Gothic style.

More importantly, the atmosphere in the church was warm and welcoming, and I didn’t feel like an intruder, which so often seems to happen.  I entered through the Highgate Porch and was struck by the vastness of the building and the height of the Nave.

I was immediately captivated by the carvings that adorned the walls of the North Aisle.  In the Middle Ages, Beverley was headquarters of the musicians fraternity in the north of England.  These detailed medieval carvings illustrate the period.

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The minster owes its origin to St. John of Beverley, who founded a monastery here in 700AD.  He was bishop of Hexham and then of York before founding Beverley, and his bones still lie beneath a plaque in the nave.  The organ dates from 1767, the beautiful wood carving added in 1880.

I know that Jude would absolutely love it here because she has a thing for misericords, and there are no less than 68.  In medieval times clergy were required to stand when praying.  The Normans tried to make life a little easier by providing a misericord- a shelf on a hinged seat, just enough to perch on.  The name comes from ‘misericordia’, meaning pity, and decorating them with relevant carvings became an artform.

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The High Altar is in regular use for Holy Communion, and behind it there is a beautifully carved altar screen.  Accessed through the Quire, in the south east corner of the church, St. Katherine’s Chapel is a place for quiet contemplation.

Although I was in awe of this lovely building, still I felt comfortable there, and would love to return.  Even the modern art work did not feel out of place.  The Beverley Minster website has a self-guided tour, both useful and informative.

Pedestrian?  I really don’t think so, though the minster did form part of one of my walks.  Join me next Monday?

Jo’s Monday walk : Ruswarp to Whitby (and back)

Memory is a strange thing, isn’t it?  I was sure I’d walked this walk with you, from Ruswarp to Whitby and back again.  I even remember telling how I was like a drowned rat when the skies opened on the way back.  Sitting in a puddle, eating a cheese sandwich and looking out of the pub window at the rain is not my idea of fun.  The Guinness was good, but it was a sunny riverside setting I had in mind.  Apparently my memory lies.  Nowhere could I find that original post!  Nor photos to accompany it.  Strange tricks memory plays!

I walked this way again recently, with a sunnier ending, and this time I’m determined to share it with you.  It’s tinged with sadness today, because it’s a year ago that Dad died.  There was nothing he liked better, if he had company, than to whisk them into his car and off over the Moors to Whitby.  Fish and chips and a pint and he was happy with life.  He couldn’t walk far but was always fiercely independent (in a soft, gentlemanly way).  The last time we were there together he parked the car on the cliff top.  Somehow we ended up down at street level, and then were faced with the challenge of getting back up there again.  I seriously doubted we’d ever make it but, with many pauses, we did.

Ruswarp is a charming village, a little over a mile inland from Whitby, along the River Esk.  The Esk Valley Railway runs through the village and sometimes you’re treated to the sight and sound of steam.  By the riverside you can hire rowing boats and canoes, and take canoeing lessons.  This gentle walk is signposted off the main street and follows a stone pannierway, known locally as Monk’s Trod.  Watch out for a bit of an uphill haul as you leave the river and approach Whitby, on the Esk Valley Walk.

You have a couple of choices for leaving the walk to enter Whitby.  Last time I followed the Cinder Track but this time I opted for West Cliff.  Either option will bring you close to Pannell Park and from there you’re close to the seafront, and the monument to the bombardment.

This is where Dad parked, close by the monument to James Cook, looking across to Whitby Abbey and near to the whalebone arch.  I remember the relief with which he subsided onto a bench when we made it back up that cliff.

I was lucky to be heading downwards, admiring the views on the way.  Into the ‘Screaming tunnel’, alleged to have been used by Dracula to frighten his victims, and out the other side.  Best done in daylight.

Down on the harbourside the seagulls are in raucous control, while St. Mary’s church looks down with the serenity of centuries.

The swing bridge remains locked in position, while Whitby is full of its usual bustle.  To escape the crowd for a while we duck into our favourite little eating place, tucked away in the quiet of Sander’s Yard.  Healthy food, you’ll note! (I won’t show you his chips)  And  I only looked at the cup cakes.

Leaving the bucket and spade brigade behind, it’s time to carry on, past the marina and down to the very end of the car park.  There you will find a footpath that runs between the railway and a boatyard.  Hold on- you’re in for a treat!  Look what’s coming!

It’s always a sight to gladden the heart, and I watch it disappear into the distance before turning my gaze back to the river.  At this point we have lovely views back to Whitby, while ahead lies the 120 foot high viaduct, built to carry the Whitby-Scarborough railway.  The route was closed in 1965 and the Cinder Track walking and cycling path I mentioned earlier now runs across it.

The River Esk was used to power corn mills in the village of Ruswarp, though the last closed in 1962.  The weir built to channel water into a mill-race has been adapted to power a hydro-electric project on the south bank.  As I follow the river, suddenly I can hear a whooping and a hollering.  Looking over the hedge I’m amused to see what looks like a scene from ‘Swallows and Amazons’.  The schoolkids are having a whale of a time.

I’m almost back to my start point when there’s the hoot of a whistle behind me.  Spinning round I’m delighted to see the engine racing along, black steam pouring from its funnel.  Steam trains don’t stop in Ruswarp, but slow at the level crossing where our trail ends.

Five minutes later and we’re back on the riverbank, where we began.  I hope you enjoyed coming along with me.

Yesterday we did what Dad would have wanted.  The family got together in a pub that he liked, and we talked and we laughed.  It was easy to imagine him there with us.  Today it’s all just memories.  God bless, Dad!

 

Thank you all for your company.  I hope you can find a little more time to visit these walks that people have kindly contributed.  If you’d like to join in, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  I’ll make you very welcome.  Time to put the kettle on now.

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Let’s start with an introduction.  Melodie lives in Manchester and she loves tea :

Hike around Edale, Peak District

You’ll enjoy Jude’s stroll in the YSP.  I certainly did!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park : Part Two

Maybe you should bring a blow-up boat for this walk with Violet :

The Fishing Islands

Jackie’s raring to go, as ever!  And well supplied :

Chuck Wagon

Fitbits are all the rage, aren’t they?  Marsha has it under control!

How to Get an Easy 10,000 steps in Sedona, AZ

Sometimes you can simply overdo it.  Believe me, Liesbet, I know!

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM- Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque

Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque

Janet shares some fascinating details of this National Park :

The Badlands 1

The Badlands 2 

While Lady Lee is living the good life!

Being pampered in Das Kranzbach

You have to get up early for peace and quiet in Singapore, but you’ll be welcome to join Ju-Lyn :

Running to stillness on Orchard Road

Kathrin’s planning on some physical hiking in Yosemite.  I’d love to join her :

Places in California : Q is for…

While Woolly has some fun with the birds :

Jo’s-Monday–Walk-Wk38_Balyang-Sanctuary

I’m ending today with my lovely friend, Gilly, showing us yet another side to beautiful Firenze :

A walk in the Oltrarno

Many thanks to you all, and wishing you a great week!

Six word Saturday

Do you have a cartoon hero?

I was passing our local art gallery the other day and chanced to look inside.  An exhibition of cartoon illustrations lured me in and took me all the way back to my childhood.  There’s something so captivating about cartoons, whatever your age.

Rupert was my absolute favourite as a child and the highlight of my Christmas was a Rupert annual.  I was so pleased to find this video to share.

Wishing you a happy Saturday.  Don’t forget to share six words with Debbie.

Jo’s Monday walk : Coverham Abbey

Coverham Abbey lies on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales in a serene and beautiful spot.  This 13th century former monastery was home to the Norbertines, but was badly damaged in an attack by the Scots in 1331.  Despite this monks remained in residence until 1536, when the abbey was dissolved and converted to a private residence.   In the 18oos Coverham Abbey House was constructed, incorporating some of the monastic features.  The original gatehouse partially survives, along with church ruins around which the garden has been sympathetically designed.

The drive swerves around to a grand entrance, and there you are, looking through the ruins of the church.

The charming knot garden was designed in 2003, but based on a  simple knot drawing in a locally discovered book dating back to 1484.

Not sure what more to expect, you round the corner to be confronted with a pair of carved stone effigies.  The knights are thought to be likenesses of the sons of Helewisia, the foundress of the abbey.

Beyond these, a sequence of delightful garden rooms, with a backdrop of sheep and fields.  A ‘faux’ wall divides opinion.  I quite like it, but my designer husband shakes his head in disapproval.

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Guarding the front of the house, two slender, alert hounds, nose deep in a thrilling concoction of cosmos and tobacco plants.

And around the corner, dining ‘al fresco’, with a colourful touch, and the most perfect of views.

Did you spot the old gatehouse, over the fence, or were you too bedazzled by the sunflowers? They were the most spectacular shades!

I’m going to finish with a flourish, because I like to.  Beyond that ‘faux’ wall lies a vegetable garden with an old conservatory.  Remember my dahlias from Six word Saturday?  I found a few more!

Not too much walking involved this week because it’s a garden visit, but there are ample opportunities in the surrounding hills and vales.  My visit was through the Open Gardens scheme, and there you’ll find all the details you need.

I don’t know if you’ve been counting squares lately?  I needed another 9 to take me to the end of September, and I believe I’ve exceeded that.  Go and have fun with Becky!  She’s loving Square in September.

Just got time to thank you all for your wonderful contributions and support.  Please do find time to read these if you can!  You may make some new friends.  I’m going to pop the kettle on now.  Join me next week?  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

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First this week, I’d like to introduce you to a lady called Candy.  Please do say hello :

A circular walk around Le Quillio

You know I love a marina!  Come and join Violet for a lovely little stroll :

Following the PE&NS RR!

Big, beautiful Wyoming skies from Janet!  How’s this for a sunset?

End of day

Liesbet continues to explore the neighbourhood.  This week it’s down New Mexico way :

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM – Los Alamos

Jackie’s always ‘full of beans’, it seems :

Cowboy beans

Poor Ann Christine!  Loaded with cold and now the computer crashes.  She needs a soft landing place :

Can I please come in for a crash landing…

Kathrin takes us 2,000ft up to look down on sunny California :

Mission Peak Hike

Have you met the Rambling Wombat?

Bangalley Head Walk

Denzil’s spoiling us this week.  Choice of ten!

10 Woodland Walks

Here’s a lady you all know and love- it’s Jude, of course!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park : Part One

A favourite lady in a favourite city- Becky with some superb views :

Discovering Porto’s panoramic views

And let’s not forget one of my favourite gents.  I’m pretty sure Drake is not a vertigo sufferer :

High line

Surf’s up over at Woolly’s and he’s captured some great shots :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk37_Surf-Coast

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Italian Lakes.  Find a little peace and sanctuary there with Mari :

Lake Orta’s Walk of Silence & Meditation

Just made it this week!  So many flowers!  Hope you enjoyed it, and have a great week everybody.

 

Six word Saturday

Out on the wiley, windy moors…

We’d roll and fall in green

I couldn’t resist one more romp on the moors before the heather lost it’s glow.  It was a day of low cloud and mist as we clambered up the hillside, startling sheep.  A long pause on the tops, to get our breath back, and on past the boulders.

Then plunging back down… and up again!  Alarm bells sounded when I saw the ford sign. Would the water be high?  But I needn’t have worried.

The last slog back up the hill, though, was almost a step too far.  Good thing I was surrounded by beauty, somewhere along the Esk Valley Way.

Hope you fill your Saturday with beauty.  Debbie usually does!  Why not go and join her with six words?