Let’s get back to York! When I left last time, I had touched on the first part of my walk through York’s history, beginning at Micklegate, and, to be honest, not much further. As I mentioned at the end of the post, my next stop was St. Mary’s Abbey in the Museum Gardens so that’s where we’ll pick up. I had been to the abbey ruins previously on a school trip, but I was more interested in being out of the classroom than the story at the time! Returning to it now I can appreciate it more, and despite essentially being a ruin in a park, what the remains represent is fascinating.
Follow the winding driveway all the way to the end and you’ll reach Sizergh Castle. Well, you’ll reach the National Trust gift shop first, and then the castle, but you know what I mean! Despite being owned by the National Trust, Sizergh is still the home of the Strickland family, and they still pop back on occasion I’m told. It hasn’t always been in the hands of the Stricklands though. Sizergh Castle began life with the Deincourt family and remained that way until 1239 when Sir William de Strickland married Elizabeth Deincourt. And that, they say, was that.
Take a trip down the western side of Windermere and down a few narrow roads, and you’ll reach Wray Castle. Built in the 1840s, this new-gothic creation was the brainchild of James and Margaret Dawson, a Liverpudlian couple, who moved to the Lake District because, well, why wouldn’t you? Unlike other castles I have visited throughout the course of writing for this blog, Wray is a bit of a fib. It emits an air of old-world majesty and you could be tricked into thinking it was once lived in by Dukes and Earls of times gone by. The tarmac surrounding the building kind of dampens the charm, but it is still quite an imposing construction.
It’s time to welcome my first guest blogger to Holme & Away! After inviting the ‘Twitterverse’ to get in touch with me about their favourite local sights, The Ditsy Explorer, a.k.a. Peta Bradwell, messaged me about Netley Abbey. It sounds like a magical place, but I’ll let her tell you more about it…
The vast majority of my Cumbria-based posts to Holme & Away are focused on locations in the Eden Valley, and the eastern side of the Lake District National Park. This time, I am venturing out and heading over to the West Coast of Cumbria, to the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. It is practically on the opposite side of the county to myself and sits roughly 18 miles south of Whitehaven.
A few weeks ago, I made a visit to another local attraction and historical gem, Lowther Castle. I have already visited the parkland surrounding the Castle when I went to Lowther Show, and I thought it high time that I visited the shell of the building that remains. In 2017, they opened a new exhibition taking the visitor on a journey from its Medieval beginnings to present day. Let me tell you, it is hugely interesting, and so I shall tell you its story… very briefly. The whole thing would take days!
I’m kicking off 2018 with a visit to some slightly bizarre locations. Long Meg and her Daughters, and Castlerigg are two fairly well-known stone circles in Cumbria, and can be found near Little Salkeld and Keswick respectively.
We’ve now reached the end (nearly) of 2017, and I have one last ‘real’ post to go before my festive hiatus. A few weekends ago, my friend, Amy, and I visited Lanercost Priory, near Brampton. The site has been a place of worship since the 12th Century, and it is now presented as a mix of ruin and functioning church. Like most places in the vicinity of the Scottish border, such as Carlisle Castle, it has a rocky history of raids and hardship; and, like Brougham Castle, there have also been a handful of royal visits.
Head out to the outskirts of Penrith and you’ll find Brougham Castle, a medieval castle based on the site of the Roman fort of Brocavum. Very shortly after the land was acquired by Robert de Vieuxpoint in 1214, the castle was built to defend England from the Scots, and also at times from other members of the English nobility. The River Eamont which runs beside the castle used to mark the border between England and Scotland, before the boundary was moved further north by William Rufus in 1092.
As part of my birthday celebrations and presents, I was treated to a weekend in Liverpool with my sister. She’d bought me tickets to see Steps at the Echo Arena which was absolutely incredible, as well as a huge nostalgia trip!
We did also get the chance to wander along the waterfront and potter around the Museum of Liverpool for an hour or so. Liverpool is such a fantastic city, and it’s brilliant for shopping too. I may have spent one or two pounds in John Lewis!