L.L. Diamond

News, Blog, and Stories

From Edinburgh, we drove down and stopped in Durham to visit a friend. For those who may have never heard of it, Durham is a beautiful city steeped in history. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the cathedral and the castle. Archeology gives evidence that Durham has been a settlement since 2000 BCE, so it is definitely deserving of the title World Heritage Site.

Once we met up with my friend, Jude, in the market square, we followed her up the hill to the cathedral. We had tea at a lovely tea shop where we could sit outdoors and enjoy the scenes of not only the cathedral on one side, but the view of the castle up the hill on the other.

We took a tour of the cathedral, but unfortunately, photographs are not allowed inside, so I cannot show you my own photos of this spectacular building. You’ll have to look it up online and find some yourself. 🙂

After spending a few hours in Durham, we finished our trek to Yorkshire. We stayed in a small village near the town of Ripon, which was a neat place and afforded us the opportunity for any shopping we might need.

Outings while we were in Yorkshire consisted of driving through the Dales, Hardraw Force, Fountains Abbey, Middleham Castle, and Pateley Bridge. I will save Fountains Abbey and Middleham Castle for their own posts, but will elaborate on the rest.

The Dales are a good bit like the Peak District. It’s a beautiful area with a lot of scenic views, though the roads are narrow and bordered by rock fences–again like Derbyshire.

Hardraw Force is reputed to be England’s largest single drop waterfall with a fall of 100 feet. It’s on privately owned property, so once you find the little village of Hardraw. The parking is hidden behind the Green Dragon Inn. You pay and enter through the little ice cream parlour and from there it’s a short walk. If anyone finds the spot familiar, it was used in the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood. It’s where Maid Marion sees him bathing/swimming.

Lastly, Pateley Bridge is a lovely little village/town nestled in a valley in the southern part of the Dales. It is picturesque, quaint, and boasts of the oldest sweet shop in England–of course, we had to stop in! We spent the day roaming the town and ate at one of the local pubs. I will say that the food in the north was mostly the same, but amazing. We were so impressed.


Next stop…Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

2 thoughts on “Durham and Yorkshire

  1. Anji says:

    Hi Leslie. I love reading about your travels here in the UK and it’s even better to see that you’ve actually visited my neck of the woods. I can’t claim to be a native of Yorkshire, but I’m married to a Yorkshireman and have lived here most of my life. We did however, have two years in Durham in the 1980s, and it’s a place we grew to love very much. In those days, you could still take a car up to Palace Green by the Cathedral and Castle. Did you know that the Castle is part of the University? Some students are lucky enough to actually live in there from what my husband has told me. He was an undergraduate there many years ago.

    Ripon and Pateley Bridge are both only a few miles from where we live in Harrogate. The sweet shop is a wonderful place, isn’t it? We always have to call in whenever we stop off there. The “stone fences” you mention are more usually called “dry stone walls” as they’re built without the use of any cement or mortar. A skilled waller builds the wall using the natural shape of the stones available to create a strong structure. It’s something my husband is quite good at and most of the boundaries of our garden have been built by him in that way.

    What you said about the Dales and the Peak District is quite true. I once posted some pictures of a local beauty spot, Brimham Rocks, on Facebook. Abigail Reynolds said it reminded her of The Darcys of Derbyshire and so, of course, I now think of that every time we go there. More recently, I had the privilege to be one of Pamela Lynne’s betas for Sketching Character. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that book, but there’s a scene where Darcy and Elizabeth run through the woods of Pemberley. There are woods at Brimham Rocks that we walked through just after I’d read that chapter so that place now has a double JAFF connection for me. Did you manage to fit in a visit to Brimham while you were in the area? It’s only a few miles from Pateley Bridge and not too far from Ripon.

    I’ll be looking forward to your posts about Fountains Abbey and Middleham Castle. Fountains is a place we know really well and have taken many of our friends there when they’ve been visiting from other parts of the country. I’m sure it didn’t escape your notice that it’s another World Heritage Site.

    Thanks again for sharing your travels with us.


    1. Interesting about the dry stone walls. I didn’t know the terminology, just that they scared me when my husband was going faster than I liked! LOL!

      The similarities between Derbyshire and Yorkshire were pointed out by a Yorkshire native that lives near us. When I said once that I wanted to go to Derbyshire, he said that we should go to the Dales because there are a lot fewer tourists. I laughed and explained that we’d do the Dales too, but I still wanted to go to Derbyshire.

      The day we went into Pateley Bridge was so we could visit my niece. She mentioned that we should go to Brimham Rocks (They often go with their dogs), but it was our last day and we spent most of it with her. We did pass it on the way back to Kirkby Malzeard where we were staying.

      It’s a beautiful area. You’re lucky to live there! 🙂

      Thanks, Anji!


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