We are finding it very difficult to leave Skipton and keep finding excuses for staying … just one more day.
After having spent more than a week of sunshine here already, discovering exciting things to do, it could have been Tuesday afternoon or thereabouts and the conversation went something like as follows:
"We must have seen everything in Skipton now so how do you feel about moving on tomorrow?”
“Yes! Let's do that before we get asked to do so. ……. No wait a minute! We haven’t visited the castle yet and we’ve been promising it ever since we arrived. It would be so silly to miss that opportunity.”
Skipton Castle reduced in height after the Civil War
The Inner Courtyard
So on Wednesday we visit Skipton’s medieval castle and later, when we arrive back aboard:
“That was wonderful wasn’t it? My goodness …… All that history. We’ll have so much to think about when we’re travelling quietly along tomorrow. What’s that you’re reading?”
“Oh it’s just a leaflet I picked up at the castle. It’s about the nearby Embsay to Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. I love old steam engines don’t you? Wouldn’t it be lovely to travel on it, especially in this beautiful weather.”
“Yes it would ……. But we did decide to move on tomorrow.”
“Yes I know we did, but d’you reckon we could stay just one more day? We won’t get a chance like this again you know.”
‘Beatrice’ our little 1945 tug
Embsay Station, just north east of Skipton
Bolton Abbey ruins
The Nave of the old Priory Church, now the local parish church
The next day we spend a most memorable day at the ruins of Bolton Abbey Priory. In the warm sunshine nearby we eat our picnic lunch on the green sward kept short by the grazing of local sheep and within the curve of the meandering River Wharfe we idly watch young children feeding hungry Mallards and assiduously skimming flat pebbles across the smooth surface of the water. It’s good to be there and marvellous to be alive as the gentle breeze coolly wafts and sighs over us through the Perpendicular windows now by dereliction like large open eye sockets, through which Jackdaws and House Martins fly unimpeded.
Later, on the walk back from Embsay Station we discover a kissing gate to Skipton Castle Woods, which we didn’t know existed till then. It would be so silly to miss a day of relaxation in there wouldn’t it?
So the following day, with the weather beautiful once more, we put off the dreaded decision once again and in stead amble along the local Spring Canal, with the castle’s north battlements looming impregnably high above us on the right and enter Skipton Woods beyond. We did have such a wonderful day.
But by the way. A long time ago when we first arrived in the little town I had promised myself that it would be a good opportunity while we were here to repaint the starboard side of ‘Futurest’ that had been so badly scuffed over the year. Also the rear end of the roof, over the Engine Room and the Boatman’s cabin needed re-raddling, so with any luck I could do that at the same time. But every day the Sun had beat relentlessly down making the roof far too hot to contemplate anything else after its initial preparation.
However yesterday the Sun was obscured behind cloud for most of the day making it ideal for painting so in spite of earlier plans to sail then, it was silly not to take advantage of the lull and I was able to complete it. We would definitely sail the next day though. But today and even as I write this now, the gardeners much needed rain comes down, which would make it so unpleasant to navigate and difficult of course to manage all the swing bridges on our proposed route.
So today rather guiltily we’ve decided definitely that ……
….. we’ll move on tomorrow.