Email for June 22:
We were waited on this morning by Claire, the home owner. We declined the full English so she wouldn't have to come early and cook. But she served us granola, yogurt, fruit, toast, etc. This really is a lovely home and we seem to have it to ourselves again. (For the record, the only B&B we booked OFF AirBNB was the only one we had problems with!)
Then we were off to explore again. We started in Knaresborough which is the next town over. I really loved it there. It was a really cute town built around a river and an old viaduct. We went to Mother Shipton's cave which claims to be the oldest tourist location in England. The main thing to see is the cave in which Mother Shipton was born and the nearby spring-fed falls which turns anything into stone. Mother Shipton was a famous prophetess in England that prophesied the London Fire among other things. The falls was crazy. It's just a giant sheet of stone under which they hang things. The spring water is so full of calcite, it turns anything into stone in just about 3 months. The whole place was quite bizarre and kitschy, but it was cool seeing the falls and the things turned into stone. Also, they own one whole side of the river, so we walked all up one side of the river in Knaresborough, left the attraction at the other side of town, crossed over the bridge, and walked all the way back through town on the other side. It was beautiful.
From there, we headed to Fountains Abbey, which is an old 12th century monastic cathedral that is now a ruins with grass all through it. This was one of my favorite places when we came in 2005. It was beautiful this time as well. We walked all around. Tom took many pictures. And we walked around Studley Royal which is the "water park" (as they call it, but it means very rectangular ponds with small stair step waterfalls) next to Fountains Abbey.
After Fountains Abbey, we drove just about twenty minutes away to a place called Brimham Rocks. This place was AMAZING! It was these amazing geologic structures all through a big park made of a rock called gritstone and we were completely free to just run and climb all over them. We scrambled up several of them, and Tom climbed up some of the taller ones. It was awesome! This is definitely on our list to take our kids to when we come back. It's known for a stone called "The idol" that is a giant bulge on top of just a tiny piece left under it, but the giant formations were just as amazing. There were natural caves, giant playgrounds, and sweeping views of Yorkshire.
After we were done playing and climbing, we headed to the original Betty's café, which is actually right in Harrogate (not York!) and traditional afternoon tea as Betty's is famous for (I got hot chocolate with mine and Tom got the ginger lemongrass herbal tea). And now we're back in our empty mansion again after another great day!