Thursday, 18 November 2021

Harrogate, Hull and London, 2021

Last month I finally managed to get to the UK after 1 year and 8 months (who's counting?). Even though I have lived abroad for almost 27 years, I have still managed to see my parents, and then just my dad, at least two or even three times a year. Corona put a stop to that. Then my niece was getting married and entry to the UK was permitted once again, so it was time to be brave, fill in a lot of forms, pay for several corona tests and get on that plane! I am so glad I did it.  
Our first port of call was Rudding Park on the outskirts of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, where the wedding was due to take place. We were lucky enough to be staying at the Rudding Park Hotel for a few days. This rather luxurious hotel occupies a Georgian manor on 300 acres of parkland. It was a joy to walk around the surrounding parkland and golf course on the morning of the wedding. The wedding itself was beautiful!
The following day we took a trip to Mother Shipton's Cave and Petrifying Well in Knaresborough. The petrifying well, also known as a dropping well, is the oldest tourist attraction to charge a fee in England and has been in operation since 1630! The water of the well is so rich in sulphate and carbonate that artefacts are put in the well to be "petrified". The place is also associated with the legendary soothsayer Mother Shipton. According to legend, she was born in the cave and grew up around Knaresborough. As she grew older, her prophecies became known throughout England. She foretold the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the Great Fire of London.
The town of Knaresborough is perched high on a cliff above the River Nidd. Our visit to the ruins of Knaresborough Castle offered us an amazing view of the river and railway viaduct, above. The castle was first built by a Norman baron around 1100 and was controlled by various people until it was taken by Parliamentarian troops in 1644 during the Civil War and largely destroyed in 1648. Some of the surviving areas of the castle keep wall bear impact scars left by musket balls fired during the Civil War siege.
Then it was time to move on to Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the place where I grew up and where my dad still lives. I thought I pretty much knew the area but when dad suggested a walk in Paull, a sleepy village south east of Hull, on the north bank of the Humber Estuary, I discovered a place I have never been to before. We enjoyed the coastal wetland and the surrounding grassland and farmland and spotted a few birds as we strolled.
Another gorgeous new find was Tophill Low Nature Reserve, which is located on the site of an active water treatment works, operated by Yorkshire Water. The reserve consists of two artificial reservoirs and features 12 hides spread across a 300 acre site that flanks the River Hull. It comprises a variety of habitats with grassland, marshes, ponds and woods supporting over 160 bird species across the year. It was a delightful place to visit!
There was time for one more outing before leaving for London. We took a walk through the tiny village of Brantingham. The village has significant historic houses, including Brantingham Hall and Brantingham House, which overlook the duck pond in the centre of the village. A cast iron water pump raised up on a brick platform can still be seen on Spout Hill and a sheep wash, or washdyke, which was used regularly until the 1950s to wash sheep prior to shearing, is situated just beyond the church. The church itself is 12th century in origin and restored by the Victorians in the late 19th century. Unusually, it is not situated in the centre of the village but a little way up a wooded dale, affording it one of the most picturesque settings of any church in the Yorkshire Wolds.
As we left Brantingham I stopped to take a look at the war memorial, above, which was erected in 1922 in memory of 14 local men who gave their lives during World War I. The memorial and surrounding wall were constructed from materials reclaimed following the demolition of Hull's Victorian Town Hall. It has been described as "one of the most lovably awful things in the East Riding". I am not sure I disagree.
Then it was on to London to see our family there, though I always make time for a little sightseeing as well. We joined a Beatles "In My Life" tour run by London Walks and led by Richard Porter, holder of the "Beatles Brain of Britain" title. We saw the film locations for "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!", the registry office where two of the Fab Four got married and the house where Paul lived with his glamorous girlfriend, actress Jane Asher. It was in that house that John and Paul wrote "I Want to Hold Your Hand". We ended the tour at the legendary Abbey Road studios and crossing, above.
There was time for just one more thing! We booked a slot at The Museum of Brands in Notting Hill. The museum examines the history of consumer culture from Victorian times to the present day. It features over 12,000 original items including household goods, bottles and cans, packaging, sweets, posters, toys and games, all set out in chronological order in the form of a "Time Tunnel". I thoroughly enjoyed looking at brands from bygone years and seeing names that are still recognisable today. It was great fun to see the toys I used to play with in the 70s and the records I listened to in the 80s. Altogether, a wonderful trip down memory lane!
PoCoLo

18 comments:

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Wow - the UK has so many beautiful areas. This post is filled with so much beauty. Thank you

Tamar SB said...

How lovely to get back for a trip!!

Miss Val's Creations said...

So many scenic photos! Harrogate looks so picturesque. I must have been an extra special treat to visit your dad this time after so long. It was worth the headache to get on a plane. Hopefully the virus goes away someday so travelling can be somewhat normal again.

VeggieMummy said...

What a wonderful place for a wedding - so beautiful and I'm glad you got to see your family again. The kingfisher photos are amazing; well done. I've never been to the Museum of Brands but it's definitely on my wish list now - so many familiar items! Were you not tempted to take your shoes off to recreate part of the iconic Abbey Road photo?!xx

riitta k said...

Beautiful green British views! I am so glad you could travel to the wedding and meet the family. Wonderful memories accompany you for a long time 💚

Fancyingfrance said...

How fabulous that you were able to get to the UK and see your parents after all this time! I love the kingfisher photos. Even though I a spent significant time living in London, I have never made it to Abbey Road, despite being a Beatles fan. Great post!

Joanne said...

What lovely photos from your trip! I am so glad you were able to get back to the UK and see your family. Pinned.

Sharon Wagner said...

You've been sprung! Just like those cute bunny sculptures.

Rob + Ann @ TravelLatte.net said...

Sooo much to love in this post! Being a branding guy, I just loved hearing about the Museum of Brands! Had no idea there was such a thing, and it went right to the Bucket List. As did the Rudding Park Hotel, another place we had never heard of. Sounds - and looks - like you had a great trip, made even better by the chance to visit family. :)

Cosette said...

How lovely that you finally got to visit your family again and add so much fun things to the trip.

Treat and Trick said...

How lucky you are to be united with your family and thanks for sharing your wonderful trips...

Jayne said...

So lovely that you were able to share a very special day with your family back here.
One day we shall have a cuppa together when you are over! x

NCSue said...

Marvelous photos! You had a great trip. Thanks for sharing it at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/11/autumn-beaty-remembered.html

Shiju Sugunan said...

Glad you could travel after the long wait. Amazing photographs!

Tom said...

...what a delightful post. I enjoy many BBC shows and I find the architecture of building shown to be intriguing. The museum would be at the top of my list. Thanks for joining the party, enjoy your week.

Fun60 said...

The weather seems to have been kind to you. It is years and years since I've been to Hull. It's definitely on my list. I also enjoyed the Museum of Brands, so many memories.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a fun post Lisa . I am an Anglophile at heart and love learning about Great Britain, especially England, Had never heard of Mother Shipton and the petrifying well -- how fascinating. And I loved your other explorations as well -- especially the birds(that Kingfisher is beautiful). I am so very glad you got to make this trip. Thank goodness for (almost) normal times.

Life Images by Jill, West Australia said...

oh I am so glad you were able to return to England for the wedding and see your family. This pandemic has been so difficult for families separated across borders and oceans. It looks like you really enjoyed your trip. Stay safe, happy travels, and thank you for visiting my blog this week.

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