Stokesley and Helmsley, North Yorkshire

I sometimes wonder how coach companies make up their trips. The other month I did a trip to Richmond and Durham. The Richmond stop was 90 minutes to take in the market. As the market comprised of about 5 stalls and the town was tiny I chose instead to spend it wandering around an old castle. Much more fun. Stokesley was similar but sadly without the castle. This time we were given 2 hours to spend there on market day. The thingI’m beginning to realise is that unless it’s a special kind of market (xmas, craft fair etc) they are all pretty much the same. Stokesley is a beautiful town but there’s nothing there to see. The centre comprises two streets of shops mostly tea shops and charity shops. It passed the time but not sure I’d want to go back.

We had three hours in Helmsley on the other hand and yet I could easily have stayed there two days! Again the idea was market day and shopping but the town also has a castle, abbey ruins, a bird of prey sanctuary, Duncombe Park house and the walled gardens all for visiting. I’d never heard of the town until I saw it on the brochure yet its only an hours drive. I wish I could drive so I could go back. It doesn’t have a train station and very limited buses from York. I may have to work out for myself a long weekend there.

I loved the shops – here there was a variety. Lovely gift shops, art shops, antiques and so many tea shops (this is not actually  a bad thing). I ended up spending an hour and half wandering the castle ruins (quite a lot for something 1000 years old) and the shops and had a pleasant afternoon. Again though this was sold as a market trip. I wonder if it’s me that’s unusual and all people are interested in is markets and shopping? I’d personally rather have a mix of things. If you are able I’d highly recommend this town.

Travelling the UK the A-Z way

A couple of years ago I set myself a fun challenge to see if I could visit a city, town or village etc in the UK starting with each letter of the alphabet. I had a bit of a break in travel but have been making up for it lately. I’ve noticed when writing this list up I’ve pretty much stayed in England so maybe I need to re-name it and then try and do another using Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland and Eire???

There are a few letters where I’m struggling to find somewhere so any recommendations would be most grateful 🙂

I’ve made a few other lists that would take a bit longer- a place from each County in the UK and again in each of the Western Countries of Europe. There’s no real reason behind it except a bit of fun and a way of seeing a bit more of my own country and Europe.

This is where I’m at so far:

A – Ambleside, Cumbria

B – Bourton on the Wold, Gloucestershire

C – Chester, Cheshire

D – Durham, County Durham

E –

F – Flamborough, East Riding of Yorkshire

G – Grasmere, Cumbria

H – Haworth, West Yorkshire

I- Ilkley, West Yorkshire

J –

K – Keighley, West Yorkshire

L – Leicester, Leicestershire

M – Moreton on Marsh, Gloucestershire

N – Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

O – Otley, West Yorkshire

P –

Q –

R – Ripon, North Yorkshire

S – Stratford, Warwickshire

T –

U –

V –

W – Windemere, Cumbria

X –

Y – York, North Yorkshire

Z –

 

An afternoon in Leicester

My friend recently moved back to Leicester after being away for many years. I decided to have a coach trip down for the afternoon. But what do we do when we need to fit in a good catch up, entertain a 3 year old and it’s the day before payday??? Hmm maybe we didn’t choose the best day.

A quick look around Tripadviser showed there were actually lots of things to do when you’re at the right side of payday but we settled on looking at the Jewry Wall and going to see the new King Richard III exhibit (and bones)

Jewry wall museum is a lovely (and free!) little place on the outskirts of the city centre. Inside there are some original mosaic Roman flooring that has been found as well as original Roman wall murals. And outside the wall itself is part of a discovered Roman baths – the outlines of which can be seen in the photos below. It’s tiny and doesn’t take a huge amount of time to wander around but it is very informative and there’s a good little spot for children to play, build their own mosaics and colour. A good way to pass an hour.

With promises to see if we could find more castles and princesses for our young friend we wandered towards the Richard III visitor centre. While dithering over whether our funds would stretch that far our own little explorer decided she was going to visit the Cathedral instead. Her instincts proved great for us as it turns out that’s where the actual remains of Richard are buried (on his own sheepskin blanket according to the guide). The visitors centre is divided into one floor documenting the War of the Roses and the other floor the history of the dig as well as the original grave site. But as we only really wanted to see the bones we decided to leave it for another day.

Things we didn’t get chance to see – lots of other museums, botanical gardens and the one I want to see when I have actual cash – the Space Centre

Durham, County Durham

The second part of my trip with Blue Sky coach travel was an afternoon in Durham. We had longer here and finally the sun had come out. Initially I didn’t like it. I went on a Saturday, people were out in force and I couldn’t find anywhere to eat. I suffer from severe anxiety and all the above are triggers for me to have panic attacks. It took me about half an hour to finally find somewhere quiet enough to feel relaxed – The Cafe on the Green next door to the cathedral. One of those places that have no concept of simple food & charge £6.50 for a sandwich but it suited my needs. Refreshed and less stressed I went to see the main reason for my visit – Durham Cathedral or The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham to give it it’s full name. The place is huge and is now a World Heritage site and originally founded in AD635. I find it fascinating how many of our ancient structure are still standing, even more awe-inspiring to see some of these still in use. I wasn’t allowed to take photo’s of the inside sadly.

Also disappointing was the closure of Durham castle, another place on my must see list. Apparently they were hosting a Bavarian cultural exchange and beer-fest hence the closure. I saw one or two scantily clad bar ‘wenches’ going inside. I wonder if all Bavarian barmaids really do wear such tiny clothes??? Seemed very stereotypical so not sure how much of the cultural exchange was true and how much was there for the students to just have a party??? So it looks like I’ll have to go back and visit this place again too to see the castle. There are also lots of signs to HMP Durham but as it’s a prison still in use I wasn’t so keen to go have a look at that!

 

Richmond, North Yorkshire

This week I had my first trip with Blue Sky coaches, a lovely small family run tour operator. They were an absolute dream to travel with and will definitely be using them again. The trip was a day out to visit Richmond markets and Durham. I took so many photo’s though that I’ve split my day into two blogs.

We only had an hour an half in Richmond so it’s really difficult to say if i liked it or not. Plus the weather was overcast. The outdoor market didn’t look that great to me so I opted to use the most of my time visiting the 11th century castle instead. The views from the castle ruins are staggering and I don;t think I really do them justice with my photos. The castle was originally built to subdue the unruly North of England it is one of the greatest Norman fortresses in Britain. After a few weeks visiting North Yorkshire (being a West Yorkshire girl) I’m sorely tempted to add it to my potential future places to live when I finally ever sell my house. I’m lucky that my work sports & social club gets me into any English Heritage site for free but if you don’t have access to anything like that I would heartily recommend getting an annual pass to them or to National Trust. We have so many beautiful places here to see 🙂

I don’t think I had enough time to truly decide what I thought of the town & be able to see what else it has to offer so I think it’s a place to add to my list of places to re-visit one day for a longer look

Whitby 2016

This weekend I took myself off for a day out in Whitby. I’ve lost track of how long its been since I last went so it was almost like seeing it new again. I chose to go up by coach and the first leg Leeds to York was quite ordinary however once you get past York and out into the North Yorkshire moors the views are really quite breathtaking. The villages are beautiful. I’d actually quite like to get a day hopper ticket and stop off at these villages for some more exploring.

I spent most of my time exploring the abbey ruins, inspiration and setting for Bram Stokers Dracula. It’s now an English Heritage site and they’ve looked after it really well. I was surprised by the amount of land protected as well as the actual abbey. There were some priests on the day discussing ancient labyrinths and how they were used as thinking tools with the monks often walking around them as they pondered life’s mysteries. Of course I had to have a go 🙂  You had the option of being given something to think about as you walked but as I like to practise mindfulness and the Now I preferred to just enjoy my surroundings.

I had a little wander around Old Town peering in the shops (not enough cash for what I really wanted so an excuse to go back!) and had the most wonderful cake at Marie Antoinette’s cake shop before exploring the marina and the rest of the town. It’s a beautiful place and getting there involves yet more amazing scenery so somewhere I want to go back again sooner rather than later.

Middleton Park #Leeds 2016

I love to go walking in our local park. To me it’s South Leeds hidden treasure. There are a lot of deprived spots in our part of town and then in the middle of it all a beautiful park. Originally the park was home to the mines but these have since been filled in. However you can still see in some areas where these mines were especially if you follow one of four trails in the park. There’s also a lake, tennis courts and the most beautiful bluebells and woodlands. The volunteers at the park are always finding events to put on and I’m looking forward to the annual free Shakespeare show by Oddsocks in July.

Here are some photos for you to enjoy:

Haworth 1940’s festival 2016

I love going to Haworth and their festivals. This is my third time for the 1940’s one. Bit different this time as I’d gone with a group of friends rather than just one so I didn’t cover as many things as before. As usual there’s stalls with vintage clothing, the bandstand for some tea dances and a fly over by spitfires.

We had a bit of an adventure this time getting there. Opting to arrive by steam train our train was cancelled after the steam backfired and injured the boilerman. Then an accident on the way back when I tripped on the stairs of the train station hurting my shoulder. Oh and squashing my cupcakes and damaging my ego 🙂

The bits in between were fun. It’s always nice to hang out with friends and I can’t wait for the next one. Maybe next time I’ll finally get myself sorted out early and be able to go in period clothes.

EuroDisney (Nov) 2016

I wrote a blog on this page a year ago saying I’d been stuck in too long and needed to start getting out and about again. Then barely did anything. I’ve written on one of my other sites about having money problems and learning to budget and so with those lessons learnt I am going to try again and get out more 🙂

To start with by the end of the month I should have booked a short trip away to EuroDisney for November. My son is grown up and my friend doesn’t have kids so it’s a grown up having fun event and a pre-cursor to hopefully going to Orlando in 2020.

I’ve actually been a few times. One of the things on my bucket list is to see all the Disney parks in the world (I’m just a big kid at heart). So far I’ve been to Paris, California and Orlando. At the time of writing that leaves Hong Kong & Tokyo still to do. I’d have to do a lot more budgeting and saving up to reach those so they are on my ‘Someday’ list.

I’m still to this not sure how I managed to go to some kind of Disney park yearly but while my son was growing up for nine years in a row I did it. Despite being a single parent I saved up and we got to go to one of them every year. At the minute I can’t seem to get from one month to the next without running out of money. If I could go back in time I’d pay attention to how I actually managed to budget so well 🙂

I don’t care if you’re 4 or 44 there is something for everyone at these parks. I happily buy into all the shmaltz and cheese. I love the rides. I love the kids faces when they meet characters. I’m not so keen on how every other food stall is a McDonalds but you can’t have everything!

If I can be really well behaved I am thinking of either a mini-trip to Amsterdam or Edinburgh mid-way through the year but I really will have to get in control and save properly to manage both. But we’ll see. I’ve been doing my de-cluttering. I’ve sold some old books and DVDs on a cashback website. I’ve put some other bits on local Facebook selling pages. Every little helps when you’re holidaying on a budget.

Fingers crossed now I can keep this page more updated and get to see some wonderful sights in the coming future 🙂

A spiritual Day Out

The other week I attended a number of spiritual workshops over in Shepley, Huddersfield. Lots of crystals, angelic meditation and interesting results.

First up we had aura sprays. This is something I’ve never given much thought to in the past. We started with a meditation in which we were invited to meet our angel. My first thought was of Gabriel simply because I like the guy who plays him in Supernatural (me? shallow? sometimes…) but during the meditation I started thinking about Uriel instead. Not one I remember knowing about (my angel knowledge is a bit rubbish something I should probably work on)  but he stands for new ideas and knowledge and helps heal resentments and forgive people. All things I need as I go along my own journey.

Afterwards we were then given a pendulum, some essential oils, small crystals and water and got playing. I managed three sprays in the end – one to attract love, one to guide me on my path and one to attract the home I would like to live in (ideally in a place surrounded by like-minded people).

After the break we then moved onto manifestation. I loved this the most. Whether you want to be spiritual and do this with crystals and meditation or you have different beliefs and choose to skips those parts it’s a pretty fun way to think about what you want in life. In its simplest terms – it’s cutting up pictures of what you want and sticking them to a cork board. Me and a friend couldn’t get over how enjoyable it was to simply sit for a few hours playing with scissors and glue like we did as children.

Our final part of the day will appeal to some and not others as we had a talk about Atlantis, angels and crystal skulls. More meditation including an attempt at a past life followed by some healing. It’s an area I know little about but was fascinated with and want to explore more of. I’ve picked up a couple of Diana Cooper books so that’s my reading for the next few weeks

One thing I asked for was abundance. Ideally an abundance of love and money (who doesn’t). What I’ve noticed is that this is happening but not as I may have thought it. It may be my body language is changing as I welcome positive changes but I’ve noticed an increase in strangers talking to me, I’ve felt lighter in myself so this may be projecting outwards towards others. People keep giving me small gifts. Even though my monthly food group has a no birthday gift policy (there’s 8 of us it’s too expensive) last week I was given a few pressies. I’ve been invited to join in new groups forming and the funniest was during a time of great trauma (I ran out of teabags! For anyone who knows me this is bad). the next day a friend arrived complete with tim of tea. Whether these things happen all the time and I’m only just noticing I don;t know but even love in small doses lifts the spirit

I’m also finding coppers and 5 pence pieces everywhere. At the workshop I was told Tigers Eye crystal is good financial luck and if you carry some in your purse it will never be empty. This is certainly true as these small coins are currently everywhere! Hopefully the small love will manifest into a larger one and mr Right will turn up and the pennies will turn into pounds but what I am receiving at the minute fills me with joy.

I will be attending a crystal healing course at the end of July to be able to do more of this for other people as part of moving towards being a (spiritual) life coach. maybe I’ll see some of you soon for to play with the scissors and glue 🙂

Previous Older Entries

Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: