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Jim Hogue | profile | all galleries >> 2009 trip to England 19-20 August tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

2009 trip to England 19-20 August

Aug 19

Up early to a gorgeous day.

As I mentioned earlier, I generally avoid the touristy sites and tried to plan a way to visit sections of Hadrian’s Wall that were locations “less trod upon” while not overly strenuous on my 60+ years old body. This is how I did that.

Based on tips from my 1978 AA’s Hand-Picked Tours in Britain,” we started our “Hadrian adventure” by visiting the Lanercost Priory for breakfast and a tour. This whole area is a beautiful part of Britain and this was really the first time I’d visited the area. Visit the artist shop and look at the ancient frescoes, very faint but interesting to observe.

Then we moved to a location on Hadrian’s Wall called the East Bank Turret, which is approximately a mile from Lanercost Priory through Banks. Very scenic views and very deserted of tourist when we arrived. The road parallels Hadrian’s Wall into Birdswald. There’s a preserved fort at Birdswald but we gave it a pass.

We went into the village of Gilsland. There’s a nice stretch of wall there, about a mile in length. The wall is across the road from a car park and the walk is pleasant in nice weather.

Weather began clouding up but still bright.

We “sight saw” most of the day but the weather became increasingly bad so we drove to our B&B, Bessiestown. It is out in the country and whatever my expectations were; the B&B exceeded them.

Margaret and Jack Sisson were our hosts and were generous to a fault. We had planned on eating out, but opted to eat dinner in and Margaret assured us that despite our late arrival she could accommodate us for dinner so we stayed in. I had a fish dinner and I loved it.

After our dinner my wife and I started playing cribbage in the solarium and another couple, Stewart and Marilyn asked if we could teach them to play and we did so until late in the evening, 11:00PM. Jack (bless him) provided us with ice for our drinks and life was complete!!

Breakfast the next morning was great. I’m afraid I’ve probably unintentionally insulted more than one host on this trip by not eating as much as they think I should have. I’m not a big eater and I fill up fast so I leave some marvelous food on the plate simply because I’m full, not that I don’t like the food.

Aug 20

We left amid drizzling showers but the weather began to improve to become mostly cloudy with some bright patches. We drove down the M-6 heading towards Askrigg in the Yorkshire Dales. We’d never visited when we lived here and I don’t know why, it’s beautiful.

We pulled into Sedbergh and toured the town. Very busy, the streets were full, mainly tourists. Nice village, I took some photos of “Sweeney’s Barbers, no appointment needed”, I’ll pass, thank you.

Left Sedbergh and stopped at the “Moorcock Inn” for lunch. Nice comfortable pub, cat friendly as there were two cats sitting on the bar when we arrived.

We pushed on to Askrigg and located the Apothecary B&B but as we were early, we decided to explore the countryside. The weather was brightening and I took photographs at every turn. What beautiful countryside, especially on a nice sunny day. It was just breathtaking.

We visited Aysgarth Falls and that’s another site I recommend. I stole the following description from another website “Near the village of Aysgarth the River Ure tumbles over a series of broad limestone steps which are known as Aysgarth Falls. Although not particularly high the waterfalls are one of Wensleydale's most famous beauty spots (having been featured in the Kevin Costner film "Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves"), with a pleasant riverside walk linking the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls.”

Went back to the Apothecary House and met Sylvia (call me “Sylvie”) there is little I can add to the many favorable reviews on TA. Sylvia was indeed the most interesting person we met on our entire three-week trip. She showed us to our room, "Mind the step and mind your..whack! head" (too late!) and said she would meet us downstairs for tea and cake after we settled in. We told her that we didn’t really want any tea but I quickly learned that you don’t say “no” to Sylvie, besides she had to brief us.

So, we went downstairs for tea and cake (homemade lemon cake, it was delicious!) For the first time on our trip we received a safety briefing, including different methods of evacuation in the event of fire and other “housekeeping” rules.

We told her of our Herriot fascination and she told us that the exterior of the famed “Skeldale House” was literally a few feet away from her house. Apparently the cast never went inside the house and they only shot exterior views of the house during filming. And the local pub was used as “The Drovers Arms” pub scene in the Herriot TV series.

What can I say about Sylvie? She was incredibly knowledgeable about almost everything in the area. She recommended some walks (we took one of her suggested walks through the village the next morning that was very enjoyable)

Our room was gorgeous including that low beam, and the view from our window was breathtaking. During our stay Sylvie told me that she only took my reservation because she'd never met an American from Texas. I'm glad she did. Our two-day stay was incredible made more so by Sylvie's breakfasts.

Her fruit starters were unique to any B&B we stayed at during this vacation (don't EVER ask for porridge, she doesn't make it!!)

I felt guilty if I failed to consume everything she put in front of me, as if I was displeased with her meals. To the contrary every meal was tasteful both visually and in the consumption, I just couldn’t eat it all!!! Sorry, Sylvie!!
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Yorkshire dales.bmp
Yorkshire dales.bmp
Entrance to Lanercost Priory
Entrance to Lanercost Priory
view from entrance to Lanercost Priory
view from entrance to Lanercost Priory
Entrance to Lanercost Priory  from the otherside
Entrance to Lanercost Priory from the otherside
Entrance to Lanercost Priory  from the otherside
Entrance to Lanercost Priory from the otherside
Lanercost Priory
Lanercost Priory
Ancient frescoes
Ancient frescoes
Ancient frescoes
Ancient frescoes
Ancient frescoes
Ancient frescoes
Inside Lanercost Priory
Inside Lanercost Priory
Our cows eat aerials  Lanercost Priory
"Our cows eat aerials" Lanercost Priory
Gate at Lanercost Priory
Gate at Lanercost Priory
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