Despite the awful weather and a week of the lurgy we made ourselves chuck some things into our battered little caravan and on Saturday trundled North for a long planned stay in the Yorkshire Dales. And blimey it was the best thing we've done for ages!
The sun came out and we visited Woody's childhood holiday haunts at the amazing Brimham Rocks and the very charming Pateley Bridge (where I reckon we had the most delicious fish & chips ever). I couldn't get over the scale and space the rocks covered, acres and acres of weird and wonderful geological monuments with the most astounding views across Nidderdale and beyond. It was absolutely breathtaking.
It was the most perfect day of watching the tide creep in, boys making new friends, eating more fish & chips and feeling the sun warm us right through. Never thought we'd be spending a day on the beach. I feel so lucky that we did.
We spent the Bank Holiday exploring a stunningly green gorge (which was a bit hair raising with an overactive 6 year old if I'm honest) but unforgettable. Later we visited a place I've read and studied about for years but haven't ever got to visit before.
Fountains Abbey was one of the greatest monastic houses in Britain during the Middle Ages. At university I was completely absorbed by the whole world of the Cistercian monks and how their English houses came to dominate.
My dad grew up in the city with a small Cistercian monastery underneath his school with finds and even skeletons being dug up on his estate. His stories sparked my interest in medieval history and I did my first ever bit of archaeology at that tiny site as a volunteer, so seeing its big sister was pretty overwhelming for me.
The boys mostly enjoyed hurtling around and exploring, but that's what got me started too so all good.
We had such an amazing three days. Even the rain came at the right time, just as we were settling down to bed and for our journey home.
A brilliant Bank Holiday. Hope yours was too. xxx