Its no way to start a blog post and something I never thought I would have to write. Once again both my blog and Instagram have been silent. A few days ago a dear friend passed away after a short illness. Then a couple of days after, I received more sad news. Another human friend had suddenly passed away whilst travelling around mainland Europe. My furry blue heart has been struggling to process this. For the first time in four years, my photographer put down the camera and simply turned into a robot. I’ve spent the last five days lying in bed hiding from the world, not even wanting to see my photographer. But as Winnie the Pooh once said “how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. I’m trying to keep my focus on the good things in life to help me get back to some normality. Sadly, I haven’t felt up to leaving the house, never mind going on an adventure. So until then I’ll be sharing my summer holiday, then afterwards hopefully I’ll feel like more of an adventursaurus again.
My Yorkshire road trip took me through the moors and across to a small village that my photographer has wanted to stay in for a while now. It’s an ancient and really famous place, Middleham. The town was founded in Roman times. But, the most famous resident was King Richard III. Nowadays, there aren’t any kings. Instead there are lots of horses. Race horses to be exact. I love horses and couldn’t wait to have the chance to run about in a big field with them.
The market town is ancient and I was happy to have the opportunity to stay in a cottage which dates back to the 1850’s. I booked up last minute with Sykes Cottages. It was very close to the historic main square, which in fact is more of a triangle shape. Needless to say I was happy to explore from my stone, end of terrace house. The only downside of staying in the centre of an old village, there is no car parking. I had to drag my (overfilled) suitcase on a five minute walk up a hill. But that anger immediately turned to joy when I entered and found the cottage to be better than I had imagined. It came complete with a log burner, a bay window and small garden where I could watch the world go by.
In contrast to my usual dump my suitcase and head out exploring. I decided I would sit in the front garden and enjoy the sunshine. It was so peaceful, except for the occasional tractor zooming by. I could have sat there all afternoon, but my photographer was getting bored (humans take a lot of entertaining). Middleham has a surprising number of things to see.
I started with a short walk down hill towards a field of really friendly, giant horses. My photographer said they were on holiday to recover from all of their hard work racing. They had a huge holiday field with a great view of the first of Middleham’s two rivers, River Cover. I walked a short distance along the riverside and it was lovely to see the village from afar. Sadly, I had to abandon my walk because some nosey cows took a liking to my photographer! We made a run (well fast walk to stop the cows doing a stampede) back towards the horses. As lovely as the riverside is, I would suggest it is avoided. Not only to keep the cows safe, but humans as well. Please don’t go if you have a dog.
Back in the village I took a right at the main square. It is the road to the Forbidden Corner, which I sadly didn’t have time to visit. Once again surrounded by the countryside, I decided to walk all the way up to the gallops. Where if you are lucky you might spot a couple of race horses training. I went late afternoon when all of the horses were finished for the day. But, the main reason I walked up the road was to go and see a rather famous castle.
Once the seat for the Neville Family between 1270-1485. They also own Raby Castle, which I have been lucky enough to visit. Perhaps the most notable member of the family was King Richard III, who used Middleham as a base to rule the north. I love hearing about history, mainly for the dinosaurs. But, I found Richard’s rule to be really interesting even though it lasted only two years. He is the man who put the princes in the tower, was the protagonist for a Shakespeare play and his bones were dug up in a car park in Leicester.
You can go into the castle but sadly due to time constraints I didn’t go in. It is a great place to watch the sunset though and you can walk around the majority of the perimeter. It does start to get a little bit creepy in the dark though, something tells me a castle that old is haunted.
It is hungry work exploring a village. So I headed back to the main square in search of food. I know I was staying in a cottage with a kitchen. But, cooking is hard word when you only have short blue arms. The main square in Middleham has four pubs, which caused me to struggle to choose where to eat. I finally chose the Richard III because of the décor inside. I was pleasantly surprised to find a pub which does such a good veggie Balti in the middle of the countryside.
Feeling content and rather full of food I chose to head back to my cottage for an early night. Sadly, Yorkshire has been affected by the TV mast fire. So my photographer and I chose to play dominoes and cards to pass the time. Though I won’t be playing cards with them again as they cheat! I headed off to bed nice and early because I wanted to wake up and see the horses walking up the roads at the unheard of hour of 6am! Check it out in my mini-vlog below.
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