Saturday, 8 February 2014

A Short Break in Yorkshire.

Having found a 2 for 1 deal at a B&B  near York we dutifully downloaded the Guardian Voucher and booked for 6th and 7th February.  We had a relaxed start and drove to York on Thursday and had a very pleasant potter in this beautiful city and then headed for our B&B in Low Catton near Stamford Bridge (Corner Farm).  We were very warmly welcomed and found it extremely comfortable with excellent breakfasts.  Even better it was across the road from the pub selling very quaffable Theakston's and serving excellent food.  After a lazy breakfast yesterday we set off on the very pleasant drive through the Howardian Hills to Helmsley.  As we left Stamford Bridge we were able to put the 4x4 to the test on a flooded road which no other cars were attempting.  On our return the road was closed!  The day before we had driven over the River Derwent and it had bust its banks and flooded fields on either side.  We drove on through Helmsley, intending to call later, and parked at St Gregory's Minster at the entrance to Kirkdale.  After exploring the church we set off on our planned walk through the dale with a return by the parallel dale of Hagg Wood.  Unfortunately we fell at the first hurdle as the ford over Hodge Beck was impassable as the river was in spate.  Not to be deterred we returned to the road crossed by the footbridge and continued on the correct side of the river.  It was good to hear the wild mewing of a buzzard as it wheeled above the valley and we could hear the screech of a jay from the woods.  Woodruff leaves were in evidence and the leaves of wild arum were emerging from the winter soil.  Hazel catkins were everywhere.  After our walk we repaired to Helmsley for a welcome cup of tea.  Soon it was time to return to  Low Catton and the excellent Theakston's over the road!
The next morning we again enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading for Burton Agnes and the woodland walk full of snowdrops.  It cost £5.50 each for the entrance but well worth it, I had never seen so many snow drops before; swathes of them..  All in all we enjoyed an excellent three days and we were very fortunate with the weather.

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