Monday, 7 October 2013

Outside



We've been blessed with some very beautiful autumnal sunshine these last two weekends. It has rained during the week but stayed obediently dry and warm at the weekend - which is when it counts - and it makes me want to be outside. On the Sunday before last we spent the day at Kirkstall Abbey, a little corner of Leeds I am extremely fond of as you can forget you're in the middle of a huge city and pretend you're in the countryside, something I like to do. The kids enjoy it there  - in fact Bella often requests we go, she loves it so much - as they are allowed to climb freely all over the ruins (not the high parts though!) and they can run and jump and clamber to their hearts' content while I wander around happily, tuning out the sound of the nearby airport and main roads and look at the trees. It was so bright, the glare made my eyes ache, but I loved every outdoorsy moment of it.


My parents have been staying with us over the weekend and they left today. We enjoyed a long, leisurely few days with them; the kids' school was closed on Friday as they had a training day, so we had three whole days to potter and it felt a bit like a bank holiday weekend. They live on the South coast, where I grew up, and come up every couple of months to see us, and I treasure those visits. On Saturday we visited Bolton Abbey, a ruined Priory set right on the River Wharfe, about an hour away from Leeds and very close to Skipton, where Yarndale was hosted. 


I think it's pretty spectacular, both the Priory and the surrounding countryside.


We've made an effort this year to get out of Leeds as much as possible and make the most of the Yorkshire countryside. I know everyone feels this about their local area, but I think the Yorkshire Dales are one of the most beautiful parts of the UK and when we ever move away from here it will be the Dales I miss, not Leeds. I really do have a place in my heart for this part of Yorkshire. 


There are many different walks that set off from the priory, labelled "easy" to "strenuous" and we went with the shortest, easiest walk, a circuitous two miles around the river, through woodland and over bridges, stopping at a well placed cafe for lunch. Angus is not a great walker. He'd rather paddle and throw stones in the river.


Or navigate.


Bella is usually to be found holding my mum's hand or running on ahead. 


The woods are especially full of interest and excitement at this time of year, what with conkers and acorns to collect, mushrooms to admire, and fords to paddle through, which is helpful when little legs gets tired and need distracting.


I was fascinated by the money tree. A fallen tree from a storm in the 1980's, it was pushed to one side out of the way of the path. I thought at first it must be some kind of sculpture, but I think the coins have been added gradually by people passing by over the last three decades.


I think it looks quite reptilian.


You are treated to views of Bolton Abbey from different angles as you follow the walk, and each one seems more beautiful than the one before.


On Sunday we gardened. My mum raked, cut back, and pruned while I planted bulbs and pulled up the long-dead sweet peas.


My Dad climbed our apple tree to reach the highest fruit (making me exceedingly nervous) and threw down the apples for us to catch, much to the hilarity of Bella and Angus. I don't think they realised trees could be climbed, city children that they are. The rest of the day passed in a gentle blur of a visit to the park, steak and Stilton pie followed by marmalade bread and butter pudding, then ended with knitting, television and a slight food-induced sleepiness.


Happy days.


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40 comments:

  1. Happy days indeed. Bolton Abbey looks a wonderful place to visit and your photos are just gorgeous. I kind of love your yellow welly boots too.
    Marianne x

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  2. So lovely, as always Gillian. I would be worried too if my Dad was up an apple tree. I have seen a couple of trees with money stuck into them in the Lake District, they are so weird aren't they! No idea how or where this idea started. Have fun with the apples. xx

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  3. Lovely post. You have such a nice family. I have heard about these money trees and I find them fascinating; I really hope to see one someday.

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  4. Oh how glorious Gillian, October has been so kind with the weather so far and you have captured your day out perfectly. I love to collect bits for our nature corners here there and everywhere as the seasons change. Its all acorn and autumnal leaves at the moment ;o)
    Sounds like you had a delicious dreamy end to your weekend, I do hope that you get a chance to encourage Bella and Angus up a safe tree. I do with Alice whenever we go back to South Africa, my childhood would not have been the same if I didn't have tress to climb xxx Penny Have a great week ahead x

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  5. What a lovely post! You really do live in such a beautiful place. The marmalade bread and butter pudding sounds yummy. And what a gorgeous bowl of apples!

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  6. You really have been making the most of the weather. The Yorkshire Dalesreally are a beautiful part of the country... I wish I lived closer! There are money trees in Derbyshire too, on the walk along the river Dove. At my last school we used to take our year 6's on residential up there and they were always totally fascinated (as was I). We sometimes used to try to add our own coins but it takes more force than we could ever muster, which makes me more curious about how they are made!

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  7. Seems like a lovely way to spend time with your family. I love both Kirkstall and Bolton Abbeys and have spent enjoyable time at both, Maybe we'll be able to come next year. Take care.

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  8. Yep, our outside has been good the last few days hasn't it! Looks like you had a brilliant time! :) x

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  9. What a beautiful way to spend the weekend with your folks. Gorgeous photos. You really are so fortunate to be surrounded by so much history over there x

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  10. These are beautiful photos! Especially the ones with the sun rays. You live in (near) such a wonderful place!

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  11. I love the dales. It's still my first choice for a few days away. We had a lovely time last year at Brigham rocks, so much to see! Lovely sunny post. Xxxx

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  12. Such beauty and your photos are amazing!
    I have never visited Yorkshire but I have a deep longing to and soon.
    Sounds like you had a perfect time
    love jooles xxx

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  13. I love Kirkstall Abbey. It's so atmospheric but there is nowhere like the Dales. Fell in love with them when we moved here 16 years ago and that love has never waned. We live near Brimham Rocks. It's the most magical place. Jacqui x

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  14. Such beautiful pictures, we really have had the perfect seasons this year haven't we ? The money tree is quite amazing. We drove past Bolton Abbey when we came up to Yorkshire for Yarndale and it looks the most spectacular place in such an amazing setting. Its on my to do list next time I'm there.
    Kate
    Kate

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  15. I used to go to Kirstall a lot when I lived in Leeds. I think it was my only slice of culture during my four years there (apart from a museum visit. Is the giant Moose still there?). I love ths kind of weekend during the Autumn and you have captured it beautifully. I have yet to tidy back my garden and plant out my bulbs. That may be today's task. It's another bright and sunny day here in St Ives.
    Happy days indeed, Gillian.

    Leanne xx

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  16. Thanks for posting the beautiful autumnal photos, Gillian, and the close-up of the money tree. I never heard of folks collecting coins in such a way! My mom collected some branches of plant that she called a money tree that had roundish leaves like flattened translucent pearls :)
    Gracie xx

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  17. I agree with you, Gillian! The Dales are truly my favourite part of England. My year spent in York as a student, with my first car, opened my eyes to the stunning beauty of Yorkshire. Bolton Abbey was one of my favourite spots too.

    Happy autumnal week to you. The clement weather certainly makes it easier to embrace the onset of autumn!

    Stephanie

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  18. Lovely post Gillian! I do not know that area at all, but it looks fabulous. Have a brilliant week! Sarah xo

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  19. I love the Dales too - Fountains Abbey and Brimham Rocks are my favourite spots (although a few 'heart in the mouth' mummy moments when the smalls are on top of a huge rock!). Lovely pictures x

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  20. What a lovely looking Abbey. We will have to get there one day. It looks like you all had a very enjoyable day out. Loving the yellow wellies too! xoxo

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  21. Aren't we lucky living in such a beautiful county, I love Bolton Abbey too, I'm sure you have been to Fountain's Abbey and Rievaulx Abbey too, if not you must take a venture over...Elisa xx

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  22. Oh we went to Bolton Abbey a few weeks ago and I didn't see that money tree! I must go back and find that, it's beautiful. x

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  23. Sounds like such a wonderful weekend. I'm a southerner moved to Yorkshire too, it's such a beautiful county :) xx

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  24. The Yorkshire Dales is one of my favourite places, I'm so lucky to live so near, we visit often. There's a few money trees at Bolton Abbey now, I was fascinated by them when I first saw them. Glad you've managed to make the most of the lovely weekend weather and get out and about.

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  25. ooh Bolton Abbey looks amazing, what a gorgeous setting. Ah yes, we have to pick our apples too... though there's no way I'm climbing the tree, it's huge! lovely photos x

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  26. What a wonderful post, thank you for sharing your happy memories...the abbey is so picturesque, your walk looked so lovely...and the tree with the coins, I find it enchanting! Chrissie x

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  27. Hello! A beautiful recount of an idyllic weekend. Glad you had such a lovely time. xxx

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  28. What wonderful photos, especially of the Abbey. It looks as though you have had a fantastic few days. And I know exactly what you mean about distracting tired little legs. If it is interesting enough they do forget how tired they are.

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  29. Fabulous photos - thank you so much for sharing. Hope to be able to visit your area some day.

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  30. I love weekends like these ... so special to spend gorgeous outdoor time with your family ,,, glad you all enjoyed it ... Bee xx

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  31. Sounds like my kind of weekend. I had the same irresistible urge to get out and make the most of every last ray of sun and warmth before the cold weather sets in. x

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  32. I love the light in these pics, Gillian - evocative of all that's lovely about autumn. E x

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    1. PS Sent you an email this am as well. Hope I've used the right address - it's not the one at the top of your page. Let me know if you didn't get it and I'll resend. E x

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  33. What a great post and fabulous photos. Such a beautiful part of the UK. Glad you enjoyed it:)

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  34. I love your photographs. Bolton Abbey is a fantastic place to visit. We should go there more often but it's not so easy to navigate with a buggy across the fields. I could do a stop off in the cafe and a short walk by the river....looking forward to seeing your future posts.

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  35. Gorgeous photos, it looks like a beautiful place to visit. That money tree is amazing! xx

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  36. Thank you for sharing your day out really cheered me up. You are a very lucky lady

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  37. What beautiful countryside. You should be on the payroll of the Yorkshire Tourist Board!
    Michelle M

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  38. Looks so lovely! I'm sad I didn't get to see more of Yorkshire when we lived in the UK. My husband used to travel there for work a lot and always raved about the beauty. x

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