We headed out of the cottage midmorning for a drive up to a little village called Reeth. Took a little over an hour because the roads are just so narrow and winding. This is real James Harriott country with sheep roaming wild in the rolling hills of Yorkshire. Grouse dart to and fro in front of the car as we slow down and sometime even stop and reverse to allow oncoming traffic to pass. The weather is as it always is here, raining through the sunshine. Wait five minutes, it will change again. We were high in the hills driving through the scenery when the clouds parted and we were treated to the full view of a rainbow whose arc started on one hill and stretched across the valley to connect the opposite. Straight from heaven; breathtaking!
We arrived in Reeth, literally the middle of nowhere, and enjoyed a pint and a nice lunch at a The King's Arms, a pub that is known as one of the "dog friendly" establishments. Eden was thrilled and immediately became Eden the puppy. She also enjoyed her very first gingerale and sudden felt very grown up.
We strolled the street of Reeth (there is only one very short one) and then travelled on the Bolton Castle. What a treat! This castle was completed in 1399 and housed the family and decedents of Lord Richard le Scrope, Chancellor of England to Richard II. It is living history and includes stories including the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots and a Civil War seige. Today you can freely wander the ruins of this spectacular castle. The kids were given costumes to wear so they could pretend to be the mid-evil children that once roamed the halls of Bolton Castle.
They climbed the winding stone staircase, narrow and steep, to the very roof and stood looking out over the Yorkshire Dales, a view I am certain they will not soon forget from the looks on their rain splashed faces.
They giggled nervously as they looked through a grate In the floor at the dungeon which housed a "prisoner" chained to the wall. Noah jumped at the chance to practice his archery skills in the courtyard and even had opportunity to hold a barn owl in the Armoury.
We spent the afternoon in mid-evil England. Learned from and loved the experience and then headed back towards Brearton for a wonderful dinner the The Hare and Hound in Burton Leonard. It was a delicious meal and some refreshing spirits, of which Matt and Dad indulged happily. We gorged and were so satisfied by the end of the day. The kids were absolutely wonderful all day. Full of smiles, interested in what they saw and genuinely polite and lovely to all they met. We could not have been prouder. They even sat patiently for two hours in a very nice restaurant, ate all their dinners and giggled quietly together as the adults relived the day. We are very lucky parents and grandparents indeed.
As I have already said, Matt and Dad "enjoyed" the pub and so it was agreed upon that I would be the driver on the way home. And so unfolded my first experience with driving on the wrong side. What a crazy country! Why must they do EVERYTHING backwards? Nonetheless we made it back to the cottage in one piece, without incident and I got a round of applause from all passengers once we were neatly parked and the ignition was off. Phew, it was quite exhausting really.
We are now well fed and ready for another good nights sleep. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
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