Exterior of Brabins Shop and Cafe, Chipping

Day 2. Ribble Valley highlights

After a traditional Lancashire breakfast at The Inn at Whitewell we were soon ready to see more of the beautiful Ribble Valley.  Our first stop of the day was just up the road in the charming small village of Chipping.  Narrow winding country lanes lead into the village centre, its attractive stone cottages bedecked with …

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Upton House, Warwickshire

Upton House and Gardens, Warwickshire

The weather forecast was good so we planned a visit to Upton House and Gardens near Banbury in Warwickshire.  Arriving around 2.00 p.m. on a glorious summer's day the main car parks were already full but we were directed to an overflow parking area in a field which was only a short walk from the …

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Croft Mill Aparthotel, Hebden Bridge beside the canal

Day 1. A short break in Calderdale

It was a long time since I last visited Hebden Bridge, a small market town nestled in the south Pennines, eight miles from Halifax.  We travelled there by car, making our first stop at Shibden Hall one mile outside Halifax.  This half timbered Tudor fronted house dating from 1420 is set in Shibden Park covering …

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Day 4. Littlehampton and Petworth House

The sun was streaming through the windows as we pulled back the curtains of our hotel room.  The Premier Inn Worthing had been a good choice with its seafront location and our three night stay had been very comfortable.  The Coastliner 700 bus service which we had used to get to and from Brighton continues …

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Nostell Priory, Wakefield

Nostell Priory, Wakefield

Setting off early one weekend we decided to visit Nostell Priory on the outskirts of Wakefield in West Yorkshire.  Approaching Wakefield we stopped off for breakfast rolls and coffee at the Union Rooms in Batley which is just around the corner from a Mill Outlet so we had a quick look in there before moving …

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Christmas at Lotherton Hall

Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience

The weather may have been dull and dreary but what better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than to attend a festive event.  When an invitation dropped into my inbox to preview the Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience, I was excited to find out more. The Lotherton Estate is situated in the north of …

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Christmas Baubles at Harewood House

Harewood House at Christmas

As we'd recently had the pleasure of viewing the exquisite toys and dolls on display at the Ilkley Toy Museum we couldn't resist the temptation of seeing them once again whilst they were on loan to Harewood House. Harewood is a stately home in North Yorkshire, located mid way between Harrogate and Leeds and it's …

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Kingston Lacy National Trust building

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy is an elegant country mansion set in attractive formal gardens and extensive parkland.  The former home of the Bankes family, Sir John bought the estate in the 1630's, Sir Ralph then built the house in the 1660's and it was then updated and transformed by William in the 1830's until 1981 when Ralph …

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Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle Gardens and Village

My friend suggested a drive out into the Yorkshire countryside and a visit to Ripley Castle.  Ripley is situated 3 miles north of Harrogate.  It is also the preferred starting point of a 53 mile circular walking trail known as 'The Nidderdale Way' which passes through some delightful Yorkshire beauty spots including Brimham Rocks.  We …

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Day 3.  Kingston-upon-Thames to Richmond

A 20 minute rail journey from Clapham Junction lies the south west London town of Kingston-upon-Thames and our starting point for today. The large town has some attractive Tudor buildings and a small market selling fruit and vegetables takes place in the central market square at weekends.   The town has a good range of shops including …

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