Sunday, 24 July 2016

Our own “Grand Tour”

Sunday (24th) was the last day of our hire car so we made use of it by flitting around the North York Moors a bit.


On our way to see Bolton Abbey we stopped off at Bolton Abbey Station. No longer on the main line it now operates as a trust with trains running on high days and holidays.


There were some nice little treasures including this signal box …….


……… and rolling stock comprising two carriages and a diesel engine. As time was of the essence we declined a ride and headed for Bolton Abbey.


The scenery around the area was wonderful. The village and surroundings in impeccable condition.


Lovely as the area is (and many wont agree), apart from the abbey ruins and it’s attached complete portion and the delightful river walk, there wasn’t a great deal other than the usual touristy tea shops and general stuff trading off the name and parting patrons from their money. Including £8/car parking which, if one drove a little further, could be had for nothing.


However, a most interesting diversion in the abbey grounds was this Birds of Prey display. Eagles, vultures and falcons in beautiful condition, the owner was rightly proud of his collection and was intending to fly them later in the day. Sadly, time was pressing.


Our next port of call was the illusive Saltaire which had twice slipped from our grasp. The “village” did indeed live up to it’s famous reputation. It was built by the vastly wealthy Victorian industrialist, Sir Titus Salt, to house his workforce in, what was, Arcadian splendour compared with the normal lifestyle of workers of that period. There was no expense spared with most buildings, including the church which houses the family mausoleum. 


In the entrance is a marble statue of the man who believed that his workforce was his best asset but also, it seems, thought quite highly of himself as well!


The church inside is a shining example of Victorian ecclesiastical décor.


Down by the River Aire the park still provides the public space and amenity it was designed to do and cricket is still being played of course!


The streets of workers cottages, which were well ahead of their time, are still wonderfully presented today. The larger end dwellings are obviously meant for managers.


The back yards are small but still enclosed with stone walls. The only difference today being the plethora of wheelie bins which clutter the alleyways. Each street is named after members of Salt’s family although we couldn’t find a James or a Douglas Street anywhere!


The Victoria Hall is very impressive ……….


…… so too are the “London” lions which grace it’s outer corners.


The ‘Sir Titus Salt Hospital’ was undergoing some exterior renovation so sadly the full impression couldn’t be had.


Talking of impressions – the ‘Alms’ houses, surrounding an area of lawns and rose beds, were truly special.


After Saltaire, we drove onwards and northwards to the fabulous scenic area of Malham Cove with it’s limestone cliffs and ………


…… and pavements.



Two more views of this most spectacular scenery – these photos certainly don’t do it justice.


As the weather was closing in on us we chose not to venture out towards Malham Tarn so decided to take a photo of it in the distance.


On our way back towards Settle we came across our own little bit of limestone pavement which, although now raining quite heavily, James took time to walk on.


Although the weather was closing in fast we could still enjoy the far reaching views as we descended into the valley towards the pretty town of Settle.

Our fleeting tour of the Yorkshire Moors was very enjoyable indeed and we will have to find more time in the future to return to experience it’s glory.

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