25 August, 2012

The draw of the Yorkshire Dales

We've just come back from a superb, relaxing holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. This area of the UK is stunning and has some amazing sites and places to visit. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Jervaulx Abbey is a ruined 12th century Cistercian monastery. The ruins are quite magical -- peaceful, carpeted in wild flowers, and surrounded by beautiful scenery and grazing sheep. There is also a lovely tea room across the road where you can sit outside and munch yummy cakes. Perfect after a visit to the abbey.
  • The Forbidden Corner is billed as "the strangest place in the world" and this is indeed an apt description. It's an extensive folly in the grounds of a stately home. Originally built by the home owner for his children, the Corner was opened to the public in 1994 and was a runaway success. Our kids loved exploring the grotto, the mazes and hidden passages, and the surprise water fountains -- be prepared for a soaking!
  • The small town of Richmond, where we stayed, is well worth a visit with its castle, interesting shops and river walks. We were especially enchanted by the remains of nearby Easby Abbey -- another set of picturesque ruins that the kids enjoyed exploring.
In fact, we had such a great time in the Dales that we chatted, idly, about the possibility of moving up there. The peace and quiet, the rural landscape, the slower pace of life, the prevalence of local businesses are all really attractive. Yet there are downsides. My husband spent the week frustrated by the (very) intermittent mobile internet connection (he couldn't check out the weather forecast or opening hours using his iPhone). Property isn't quite as cheap as you think it will be -- the area is desirable and the prices reflect that desirability. You need to drive to access almost any amenity -- a large supermarket, a cinema, etc., etc.

Perhaps relocation isn't an option for us urbanites after all...

On the last day of our holiday my husband announced (only slightly tongue in cheek) that he was looking forward to getting back to his own bed and his internet connection. I agree wholeheartedly about the bed -- there's nothing like your own. As for the internet connection -- well, I'm just about to publish this blog post and  catch up on my unread email. What do you think?

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