If I had to choose my favourite place in Yorkshire, without a doubt I would choose Leyburn. Located a short 9 mile drive away from Richmond’s castles and crowds. The best way to get to Leyburn is by driving through the moors. It is the best to drive this in September – mid autumn when the hills turn purple from the flowering heather.
Leyburn is a quintessential English Market town surrounded by the Wensleydale hills. Surprisingly, the area is a whole lot less cheesy than it sounds. Luckily for me, I visited midweek when the market wasn’t on. Making car parking and wandering about slightly less chaotic. Unfortunately I didn’t realise it was building up to auction day. So I headed straight up to the auction house to reserve myself a new friend. My photographer said a sheep wouldn’t fit in my backpack when I went on adventures, sadly this adventure didn’t result in a new friend. Maybe next time …
I will admit I visit Leyburn two or three times a year. But sadly I haven’t visited since the pandemic began. My main aim was to visit my favourite café and sit in the window seat to drink coffee and watch the world go by. Unfortunately, Serendipity hadn’t survived the pandemic and the shop was completely empty. Luckily, two doors down was a new tearoom (YAY!). So I decided to have an early lunch whilst it was quiet. The menu at Posthorn Tea and Coffee House is small but filled with delicious things. I had a baked potato covered in local Wensleydale cheese and chutney. All washed down with a cafetière of Colombian coffee which had a delightful lemony aftertaste. (no photos because a certain hungry photographer couldn’t wait to steal my salad!).
Yorkshire in the sunshine is a rare but beautiful sight. So instead of having a snooze in the backpack whilst my photographer wandered around the shops. I decided we should head up to the Shawl. The shawl is named as legend has it, Mary Queen of Scots lost her shawl in her 1568 escape from Castle Bolton. Hidden behind the houses is a walk which is just under 2 miles and can take you all the way to Wensley and Bolton Castle if it is adventure you seek. Luckily, I travel with a human who often has similar crazy ideas. Today was one of those days. Shortly into the hike, my photographer veered off course, having spotted a huge empty play park.
Normally, I won’t talk about play parks, so I come across as a cultured dinosaur. This park deserves a special mention as it is one of the only disability friendly parks I have been too. This doesn’t mean accessible gates and flat paths. The park has accessible slides, a wheelchair accessible roundabout, seated spinney swing ride and a range of swinging chairs. The park has fun things in the park suitable for everyone. I just love how accessible it is, even for dinosaurs!
The old wooden assault course is still there and is as challenging as ever. We had a lot of fun trying out everything, I enjoyed the trampoline and slides the best. Everyone loves the playground and it shows as everyone has kept the whole area nice. Leyburn Town Council have done an incredible job and as a travel blog aiming to prove anyone can travel I will always recommend this park. Both my photographer and I spent a wonderful couple of hours here. The view from the shawl is beautiful and made the day even better. I should mention how to get there. The path via Grove Square to the caravan park is better for wheelchairs and those with walking difficulties. But, those of you feeling extra adventurous there is a path from R. Campbell & Sons up Shawl terrace. It leads to the edge of the shawl (the photo of me on a bench). Please be careful if you take this route as there is a steep drop with no fence and a few naughty sheep. Sadly, Leyburn wasn’t the area I was staying in but I cannot wait to return soon.
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