Yesterday had all the hallmarks of being a bit of a dud, actually. We both of us felt full of head cold and utterly exhausted, in that way that only emerges after a few days of complete relaxation.
If we’d been in Wales, we’d have stayed in and started a jigsaw. Unfortunately, the weather was just a hint too fine to justify our staying in…but also just cool and damp enough to make any efforts outdoors uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, off we headed, to Helmsley – a first time visit for both of us. Course, we mistimed it magnificently and rocked up at the castle (unbooked no less!) with only 40m minutes to go. (My fault, I dragged up into a camping supplies shop for blister proof socks. I swear, I’m like a (considerably MAGNIFICENTLY less fit) female Achilles – anything that can hurt my feet, will! Even well worn shoes!).
So we satisfied ourselves with a view from afar. The ruin of Helmsley Castle was very majestic and we did get a 360°, albeit from a distance, as we walked through the parklands.
Due to its fame, we had to get a Ryeburn ice-cream – he’d the vanilla, I’d the raspberry meringue. Heaven in frozen form, regardless of the chilly day!
However, it’s fair to say that we were not quite satisfied with our days adventures. Arriving too late to view a ruin, eating ice cream in 6° temperatures – were we losing our touch?!?
And then out of nowhere, we saw the sign!
And in only 2miles, we’d find ourselves at an ancient monument – Rievaulx Abbey. Naturally, I’d never heard about it but when has that ever stopped us from exploring?
The walk towards the abbey was absolutely stunning. Pheasants, flowers and fairy stairs! All uphill but oh how gleeful we were at the thought of the return journey.
We wandered up, we wandered down. We walked far further than the 2.4miles on the sign. As we approached the road we saw a sign promising us that the Abbey was merely a(nother!) mile away.
Later, we checked – 2.4 miles by the road and at least 3 miles over hill and dale!
Seeing the Abbey was wonderful, but honestly, it was the walk that raised our spirits. Out of the gloom, we’d found an unexpected sunlit path.
And although we hadn’t achieved exactly what we’d set out to, we felt so fulfilled as we headed back into Helmsley, finding out bits snd Puebla about the Abbey for as long as our phones had signal.
And as a reward, pie and chips! Outdoors obviously, sat near the car, but a dinner of champions no less!
Next time, we’ll ‘do’ the town properly. But for today, it’s quite enough!
And I’m never trusting to a sign again – ordinance maps are clearly the only way to go!