A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lords of the North (UK trip 2/9)

Hawes, Sunday 25 June 2006

Middleham Castle Dawn broke around 5am, but most of us didn't arise until after 10. Our family friend M, his new wife J, and their friends JA and BA arrived in Hawes after we did, and had had a horrific flight over so everyone needed the rest. And today was a good day to sleep in. There's been a steady drizzle all day.

This afternoon we drove to Middleham, the Neville castle that was the favorite of Richard III. Much of the exterior is extant, and one could get a good feel for what it must have once been like.

Reenactors at Middleham Castle There were also reenactors set up this weekend, including someone portraying Richard (while he was still Duke of Gloucester), and Lords Stanley and Percy. They had a question and answer session with the crowd which was quite amusing. And the views from the tower were quite breathtaking, offering a splendid view of the surrounding countryside.
Richmond CastleAfter Middleham, we drove to Richmond. After stopping to do some quick shopping for jackets (since the wet weather was chilling some of our party) we went into the castle. There was somewhat less of the interior than at Middleham, but there were beautiful views into a garden and out over the river - Richmond stands at the top of a cliff. It was rather peaceful there, as our party were the only visitors and it was rather quiet. We sat and looked out over the Great Court for a while, taking in the crisp, clean air and the serenity of the setting.

Bowes CastleAfter a quick stop at a fish'n'chip shop, we hit the road again and drove to Bowes Castle. The only thing there is the shell of a keep, and it's tucked away behind residences and is unstaffed. However, it was M's 400th castle, so we stayed for a few.

Brough CastleThen back on the road to Brough Castle. Like Bowes, there isn't much left - just the outer wall and a few bits of inner structure. There was, however, a prodigious amount of sheep dip (prompting some of our party to nickname it Sheepsh*t Castle) and we had to tread carefully.
Beware of red squirrels?On the way back to Hawes via a B-road, we saw the ruins of Pendragon Castle, and a warning sign that read "Red squirrels". I guess the castle must be under siege or something.
We arrived back in Hawes around 8pm, and our only options at that point were pizza, or Indian takeaway, so we had some of both. The streets were busy, however, with folks celebrating England's win over Ecuador today in the World Cup.

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