Category Archives: Days Out

Bank Holiday! A visit to Rievaulx Terrace

Hello lovely people!

It’s May! The sun is shining, the skies are the clearest blue and we have a three day weekend. What could be better? I hope you’re all soaking up the sunshine and enjoying this little break.

For me, I’m playing host to my lovely family who have come to stay. My parents are so important to me so I wanted to make sure they had a lovely time.

Yesterday, we had a little trip to Nunnington Hall which was just as beautiful as ever. I’ve visited here before – see here for more!

What came next was really rather special. We decided to continue driving for 8 miles to find Rievaulx Terrace. None of us had been before so we were really excited to be outside, exploring in the beautiful sunshine.

The Rievaulx Terrance was created by Thomas Duncombe II between 1749-57. It took one hundred men, eight years to finish. Incredible! He wanted it to be a place where he and his guests could see a distant view of the medieval abbey ruins in the valley below. He also placed two classical temples at either end of the terrace. This terrace was one of the earliest triumphs of the Picturesque movement for landscape gardening.

We walked through the woodland forest which was so tranquil. You could only hear the birds and the wind. There is something quite beautiful about that and the feeling it creates. Along the woodland are different sculptures as part of an exhibition. My favourites were the little owls in the tree and the hedgehogs.

When you come to the end of the woodland, you walk out onto a lush, green terrace. Just hiding at the bottom is the first of the classical temples: The Tuscan Temple.

The temple is closed to visitors, however the windows and mirrors provide you with view points. There is rich plasterwork inside, a painted roundel of a winged goddess. The tiles are 13th century from nearby Byland Abbey.

Arthur Young who visited in 1770 said: “Ruins generally appear best from a distance.” I have to say, I completely agree with him. I didn’t know what I expected from this place, but I was completely overwhelmed and in awe.

Every step you take reveals more of the ruins from below. It completely took my breath away. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen.

Photographs will never be able to do it justice. A photo can’t capture a feeling. Yet, I do hope it shows some sense of the wonder that this place creates and embodies.

Continuing the walk along the terrace brings you to the second temple: the Ionic Temple. Just when I thought this trip couldn’t get any better, we went inside.

Here the Duncombe family would have fed and entertained their guests. The interior is lavish and oozes elegance. I honestly have never seen anything like it in my life. I probably will never see anything like it again.

The frescoes show mythological scenes and are the creative work of Italian painter Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis, dated around 1753. The centre of the ceiling shows Aurora, Apollo and the Muses. It is beauty defined.

This day meant so much more than seeing beautiful places. It was time for my family and I to relax, breathe and restore and value our time together. The view and the temples were an added bonus. It was exceptional.

I wish you all a wonderful bank holiday. Enjoy the sunshine, you all deserve it!

Big love all xxx

Advertisements

22 Comments

Filed under Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

York Minster

Hi Lovelies!

I do hope you’ve all had a peaceful week. As April draws to a close, I found myself needing a weekend to recover and relax. Sometimes we all need that time to just stop and reflect. After a very lazy morning on Saturday, I decided to pop to York. I absolutely love it there: the cobbled streets, the eclectic mix of different shops and the beautiful Minster. (I am ashamed to say I’ve probably walked past it, looking up, at least a handful of times!)

As you approach the Minster, it is clear to see that it’s a magnificent piece of architecture. I really do feel like it’s incredible that buildings have stood through momentous historical events. Of course things change them, people and weather mainly, but they still stand tall and strong.

The Minster was built over 250 years, starting in 1220 and finishing in 1472. The first thing that got me was the fact that generations of people worked on this building to never see the end product. This building was the centre of so many lives, just as it is today.

My absolute favourite aspects were the many medieval stained glass windows. The detail, the stories and the conservation are just mind blowing. I found myself completely taken with them as I looked around. I personally liked The Great East Window. This is the size of a tennis court so it really isn’t a surprise that it caught my eye. More than half of the England’s medieval stained glass is at York Minster.

From the outside the glass looks divine, but it is once you are inside the pictures come to life. When the sun shines in it must create a rainbow like reflection. I also loved the glass which shows the Tudor Roses. Again, massive in size and colour, it sits proud at the top of the Minster.

Along with the glass, the ceilings are also incredible in design and colour. It feels so grand, so impressive. It’s awe inspiring to be within there. As I was walking around there was music playing in preparation for the Evening Song service. It was like a heart beating.

I found myself feeling incredible moved as I walked around. I had tears in my eyes for so many reasons. The numbers of men and women who died to save us in many battles and conflicts. The beauty that building creates even after a fire threatened to destroy it. The moment of reflection to think about my own loved ones and put everyday trials into perspective.

York Minster is the beating heart of the city. It is astounding in so many ways and I feel truly grateful to have seen it. After all, I am a firm believer in it is how a place makes you feel that stays with you longer than the sights of that place. This place with certainly stay with me.

Here’s to May everyone! I can’t quite believe it.

Big love. Xx

25 Comments

Filed under Days Out, Photography, Places, UK

Treasurer’s House, York

Hey guys!

Happy March! Just when I thought spring was fast approaching, more snow came. However, that did not stop me exploring this weekend in York.

I absolutely love York; it’s such a beautiful place. The shops are quirky and there is something interesting around every corner. (Not forgetting the Harry Potter shop which I did of course visit!)

I braved the snow and the biting cold to visit Treasurer’s House. I didn’t even know it was there. From the outside, it looks like quite a humble home. I didn’t quite realise what massive surprise lay behind these doors.

Purchased in 1897 by Frank Green, this property became a lavish show home, filled with antiques, art and furniture that he loved.

The house was so impressive that Edward VII and Queen Alexandra (the Prince and Princess of Wales at this point) requested to come and visit and stay. That’s saying something!

The rooms are incredible and eclectic. The size is quite overwhelming. Each room showing a different period of time; a different idea and perspective. My favourite was the rather amazing Blue Drawing Room.

The Tapestry Room was also just awe inspiring. I loved learning about how some tapestries were found behind the walls by pure chance. I find it incredible that tapestries can survive hundreds of years. It’s amazing.

This may sound strange but whilst I was there, I felt completely hidden. Despite being in the centre of York, surrounded by the Minster and many many people, I felt like I was just at peace really. I loved it.

If you’d like more information, look here. It’s definitely worth a visit. There’s a cute little cafe there too and a ghost tour!

I’ve also had chance to finish reading this months Read The Year Book too, so stay tuned for that post!

Sending you all my warm thoughts!

Big love xx

14 Comments

Filed under Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places

Croft Castle and Parkland

Hey Everyone.

February is whizzing by and the snow drops tell me that spring is well on its way. Sometimes we all need a day of peace and tranquility to regroup and recharge. For my parents and I that was this weekend. We decided to visit Croft Castle and Parkland in Yarpole, Herefordshire.

From the outside you can see just how impressive it is. It’s quite a rarity to see a castle standing in its entirety, especially one as old as this. The castle dates back to before the Domesday Book, with the Crofts making a family home there.

Due to descendants of the Croft family, you are limited to what you can see within. However, I did really like beautiful rooms we could see. My favourite room had the most beautiful wallpaper. The gold really stood out; very grand.

One of the most fascinating items in this room was a grand clock. However, this one had eyes. I’ve never this before in my life.

For me, the parkland outside was more incredible than the castle itself. We decided to do the ancient tree walk. I was completely blown away. The suns came out (which always helps) but the trees were just amazing. The oak below is over 500 years old.

These trees create a beautiful landscape. To think they began as a small seed and now hundreds of years later they are these wondrous masterpieces. I just felt so overwhelmed.

I genuinely fell in love with the grounds here. Normally, I’m a property person. I appreciate the land but I adore the interior, the lives it represents and the time periods. Yet, I found myself more and more at peace and full of admiration for the land.

This window of family time was really quite lovely. It’s so easy sometimes for life and jobs to get in the way. It’s also really nice to have a change of pace sometimes. We live in a beautiful world. We need to treasure and nurture it for future generations.

Enjoy the rest of February, spring is nearly here!

Big love xx

23 Comments

Filed under Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK

Harry Potter Studio Tour!

Hello Everyone!

Wow. January soon came and went. We are now into February which feels like quite a shock really. Anyway, I hope you’re all doing well.

Today’s post is rather exciting. After two years of waiting, this weekend I finally managed to get to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. There aren’t enough words for how amazing this was. I was completely awestruck. I grabbed myself a Harry Potter passport and I was off on a magical adventure.

Without ruining any of the surprises, I just want to share with you some of my favourite bits (which could be difficult because I love every second.)

Firstly, The Great Hall. That was amazing. The magical ceiling, the carved animals, the character costumes. It’s really a sight to behold.

Next, Dumbledore’s office. That was just as mysterious and eclectic as it seemed in the films. It’s really quite small which makes it even more fascinating.

The Weasley Burrow was also really amazing to see up close. I walked around quite silently really. It was so overwhelming to see the magic right before my own very eyes.

Platform 9 and 3/4 is very special. I remember being desperate as a little girl, wishing for my letter so I could go and experience everything my favourite characters were experiencing. Seeing it 20 years after the first book was published, it still filled me with absolute wonder. The little girl in me was screaming. Dreams can come true.

Seeing Privet Drive really surprised me. It’s so small! Now, in reality, it’s obvious that it should be. I was still quite taken aback though. I’ve no idea how the cast all fit with the cameras too.

Next was Diagon Alley. Wow. Just wow. The shops, the cobbles. I could feel all the energy oozing from the floor. It’s incredible. To stand where those amazing actors have stood is just something else. My favourite was the Weasley shop; full of life and colour.

Lastly, and most amazingly was the castle. The home of Hogwarts for so many years. It took 8 weeks for the team to make it and you could see how the characters were placed within. It’s another world, literally.

A dream come true. A childhoods desires explored. Magic coming alive and being real. There’s not enough words for how incredible this place is. Every turn is a surprise, every moment is a joy. I am so so glad I’ve seen it. It’s a must for any fan. It’s a way of keeping the magic alive. Once it’s in you, it stays forever. I never want to lose the feeling I have whenever I read the books or visit a place linked. It’s so special. Get your ticket. Unleash your inner wizard!

Big love xx

58 Comments

Filed under Days Out, Harry Potter, London

A Winter’s Stroll

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well and keeping warm in this biting weather! Whilst it’s snowing outside, I’m sat here feeling quite grateful. Yesterday I managed to have a lovely walk around the grounds of Nostell Priory. It was one of those days where it’s crisp and fresh but the sun was peeking out behind the clouds. The complete opposite to today’s weather it seems!

It all sounds rather romantic. However, I’m a firm believer in needing beautiful scenery, fresh air and the opportunity to step back and recharge yourself. This was my opportunity to do just that.

I find being by water particularly calming and this was no different. It was quite nice seeing the ice sporadically spread across the ice. I also loved seeing the ducks and swans gracefully mooching across the lake.

Another thing I spotted was the vast variety of birds and squirrels. It all just felt rather tranquil. I’m embracing the thought that winter is nearly over and spring is surely on its way. The snowdrops were starting to make an appearance; surely a sign that spring is approaching us.

I wanted to share this with you because I wish that you all have a moment to yourselves to enjoy the simple things, to recharge, as I have. Blow those cobwebs away and breathe it all in. I feel recharged and ready for the next week ahead.

Big love xxx

18 Comments

Filed under Days Out, Exploring, National Trust, Photography, Places, Seasons

A Wishing Tree

Hi guys!

November really is flying by and the festive season is fast approaching. This weekend I visited Nunnington Hall which is a stunning Yorkshire Manor House.

Whilst I loved the house with its stunning display of miniatures, my favourite part was The Wishing Tree. Call me naive, but I didn’t really know anything about wishing trees before now. However, I’ve learnt a little more and I’m really quite taken by it.

A wishing tree is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are believed to have religious or spiritual value. There are many all around the world but this was my first experience of seeing one. The colours of the ribbons were really lovely. It stood out, attractively, in the crisp autumn day.

With the Wishing Tree at Nunnington Hall, you attach a piece of ribbon and make a wish. Now, I can’t say what I wished for, but I really enjoyed taking part in this small aspect of culture and tradition. But above all, I hope all the wishes of my lovely followers come true.

I was also able to get super close to this handsome fellow! He was right by my car door!

Big love xxx

24 Comments

Filed under Culture, Days Out, National Trust, Photography, Places, UK