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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Things to do in Knaresborough for the day

Knaresborough, in Harrogate North Yorkshire, is a pretty market and spa town about an hour away from Leeds. It is probably most famous for Mother Shipton's cave. (We went when Ellie was little, she was frightened...we didn't go back!) A couple of months ago we spent a day exploring everything there is to do there. Here are our best things to do in Knaresborough.

Firstly I will say If you are driving in to have a day in Knaresborough, I recommend the York Place car park. It is just £1.60 for the day and a 10 minute walk from the centre.

Things to do in Knaresborough - Knaresborough town windows trail


Things to do in Knaresborough - Knaresborough town windows trail



There are some gorgeous painted bricked up windows around the town in Knaresborough. I only found out after coming home that you can download a guide to follow the trail of them and they all depict characters and events from the town. Bricking up windows in Georgian houses is a common feature as it was done to avoid window tax or make houses more symmetrical. Next time we visit I will definitely get the guide and find all of the windows on it.

Things to do in Knaresborough - Knaresborough Castle

You know me and Castles, so when spending a day in Knaresborough I was always going to come here wasn't I?! Knaresborough Castle is a medieval ruin sitting at the top of the hill overlooking the River Nidd. It's a lovely place to walk around and has gorgeous views.

Things to do in Knaresborough - Knaresborough Castle ruins

Things to do in Knaresborough - Knaresborough Castle ruins



I have a photo of Ellie sat on the mosaic by the Castle as a toddler so it is nice to see it again all these years later.


Things to do in Knaresborough - Knaresborough Castle mosaic



If you are lucky the Knaresborough Castle ravens will be out for you to see. I would love to stroke one but apparently they are not too friendly! The ravens are huge and look so stunning. It's not often you get to see them up close either.

Things to do in Knaresborough - Knaresborough raven sat on the Castle ruins



Things to do in Knaresborough - River Nidd riverside walk

If you've ever seen any photographs of Knaresborough the River Nidd riverside will be it.


Things to do in Knaresborough - River Nidd viaduct



You can walk along to the aqueduct where there's rowing boats and a cafe. On a warm Summer day it will be lovely to rent a boat and paddle along the river, or sit with a drink and watch everyone else doing it.


Things to do in Knaresborough - boats on River Nidd



It is really beautiful and so picturesque down there. I imagine no matter what time of year you visit it will always be pretty there.


Things to do in Knaresborough - River Nidd viaduct



You can also walk along the river the opposite way. There is not a lot down there but it's a nice walk.


Things to do in Knaresborough - River Nidd



 

Things to do in Knaresborough - the town

If you're spending the day in Knaresborough there is plenty to do in the centre. Lots of shops, cafes, bars and pubs. Market day is a Wednesday and definitely worth a walk around. Although we didn't go to go shopping we did come home with a couple of punnets of strawberries from the fruit and veg stall!

Have you been to Knaresborough before?

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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park photo diary

The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park has been on my radar for a while now. In Ripon it's not too far from Leeds. So one early Saturday morning I was up and on my way to spend the day there.

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park - The views

The views in the park are absolutely amazing. Lush greens with bright pops of colour from the flowers and water features to see along the way. Despite other people milling around it is peaceful, tranquil and relaxing.

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park bench overlooking the park

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park wooden bridge between flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park wooden bridge over stream

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park bluebells in grass

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park lake surrounded by trees and red flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park lake with floating lily and band stand

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park stone bridge over lake

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park wooden bridge over greenery



Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park - The flowers

Whilst I think flowers are gorgeous and love having them in the house or seeing them out and about, I don't have a huge knowledge of them. I can't tell you the names of many at the Himalayan Garden, but I can tell you they are stunning! Beautiful flowers in every shape, colour and size. A warm Saturday though means the air is thick with pollen. So don't forget your hay fever medication before you set off.

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park flowers



Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park - The sculptures

I love the sculptures you find around the park. They are well placed in amongst the flowers and scenery, there are loads there but these are my favourites.

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park owl sculpture

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park dancers in lake sculpture

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park lily sculpture

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park wing sculpture

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park chairs sculpture

Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park Buddha sculpture



Is the Himalayan Garden somewhere you would like to visit? Tell me about a Saturday day out you've had recently?
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Thursday, 9 May 2019

Discovering Beaumont Park Huddersfield

Beaumont Park is somewhere I have been wanting to visit for a while and I finally got to explore it recently. It is in Huddersfield, so not far from Leeds, and is a perfect example of a traditional Victorian park. After a busy week at work I love nothing more then heading off outdoors somewhere new. Woodland walks are my favourite as there is something so peaceful and calming about being surrounded by trees. The park is the perfect place for this with winding paths through woodland walks, between huge rock faces and has a hidden gem too.

Beaumont Park - the walks

Beaumont Park - tree lined winding paths

Beaumont Park - stone steps up through the woods

Pretty winding paths and steps lead through the woodland of the park and between the high rock faces. It is quite a hilly place and I can imagine some parts will be slippery on rainy days.



Beaumont Park - walking between the rock faces

Beaumont Park - standing at the bottom of the rock face

Beaumont Park - the hidden gem


Beaumont Park castle ruins


If there is anything I love almost as much as a woodland walk its exploring a new castle or ruins. Beaumont Park has me covered! Hidden in the park are the gorgeous remains of the castle. I love that you can explore all the remains, walking through them, around them and over the top of them.

Beaumont Park walking though the castle ruins


As you can see from the photographs our visit is a couple of months ago now. The trees are bare, the leaves are crunchy underfoot and it is chilly and crisp. I can't wait to again soon and see the difference the seasons make. I'm expecting leafy green trees and cute woodland flowers. Maybe even more ivy over the castle gate.

Have you ever been to Beaumont Park? Where is your favourite woodland walk?
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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Roundhay Park with the Tesalate towel

It is the school holidays here in Leeds and in typical British style the weather and road closures have been spoiling our plans! We have been sent a Tesalate towel and a day out at the Seaside with it would be perfect. Fortunately, Roundhay Park is nearby and saves the day.

About the Tesalate towel

The Tesalate towel is a large, absorbent, quick drying towel that is sand free too. They come in a huge range of vibrant designs that both women and men will love.

Tesalate towel - Paradise Found laid out on floor

The towels are lightweight and compact. Despite being a full size towel they fold up neatly into a tiny bag.

Tesalate towel - Paradise Found laid out on floor with bag

Tesalate towel - rolled up in bag

My Tesalate towel review

I have the Paradise Found design Tesalate towel, a super bright tropical print towel with flamingos, flowers and palm leaves. The colours are gorgeous and they instantly remind you of summer holidays. I do like that the reverse of the towel is a monochrome geometric print. It's almost like two towels in one! When it is inside its bag it is small and lightweight, the kind of thing you can throw in your bag and forget about.

Tesalate towel - laying it out on grass in park


Although I couldn't try my towel out on the sand I could use it as a picnic blanket. Roundhay Park is the perfect place to take a seat and watch the swans on the lake or the world go by. It's a windy and cold day but the ground is dry, so no damp soaks up in to the towel. The towel keeps me clean and stops that annoying grass tickle that you think might be a spider every two minutes.

Tesalate towel - sitting on towel in park

A quick shake and all the grass and gravel falls straight off. I obviously can't confirm the towel is sand free but definitely think it will be after using it in the park.
Our towel has been through the washer and out on the line to dry. The colours are just as vibrant and it dries really quickly.


Tesalate towel - shaking towel by lake


I love how small and lightweight the towel is it won't take up much room in my suitcase or beach bag and definitely won't take up much of the luggage allowance weight either.
I can't wait to take our Tesalate towel on holiday. It is going to be perfect to lay on in the sun lounger or down at the beach. As it is so absorbent and quick drying it will be great for the in and out of the pool days. There is nothing worse than laying on a soggy towel is there? I'm really looking forward to not having a beach bag full of sand too.

As well as being a great beach towel it will make a great picnic blanket for dry days here. I can picture us sitting in parks for a picnic with it or pulling it out at festivals for a sit down between bands or while we eat.

You can grab a Tesalate towel here and they are £49 or £79 for a towel for two.

Is a Tesalate towel something you would like for travelling or days out?
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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Spending a day exploring Manchester

*AD - GIFTED* Manchester is one of those cities near me that I nip in and out of but never really stop and look around. A Saturday boozy bar crawl with the girls. Check! Catching a gig at the Arena or O2 and straight home. Done! Shopping in the Trafford Centre. Got the t-shirt! But have I ever had a walk around the city really taking in the sights? No. There are some great hotels in Manchester , but if you live nearby like me, it's easy to spend just a day exploring Manchester.

Exploring Manchester - sight seeing

We started our day of exploring at Piccadilly Gardens, up near the Northern Quarter. It is a large square with shops, restaurants and bars surrounding it. Right in the centre of it are these fountains. In the warmer weather I can imagine it being a great place to sit and soak up the sunshine whilst watching the world go by.

Exploring Manchester - Piccadilly Gardens fountains

Manchester Town Hall in Albert Square is another definite must see when exploring Manchester. Albert Square is full of gorgeous gothic buildings and statues and again there are plenty of places to stop and eat or grab a drink. The Town Hall is currently undergoing reservations but it is well worth the walk to see the outside and spend some time in Albert Square.

Exploring Manchester - Manchester Town Hall

I really love the statues and water feature in the square. They look gorgeous against the backdrop of the city.

Exploring Manchester - Albert Square water feature

Exploring Manchester - Albert Square statue


Manchester Cathedral is my favourite sight in the city. A stunning cathedral and gardens, with blossom trees in bloom at the moment, and lots of quaint pubs surrounding it.


Exploring Manchester Cathedral



Exploring Manchester Cathedral gardens


Exploring Manchester - shopping

If you don't want to spend the day sight seeing you can spend a full day exploring Manchester shops. From the amazing vintage and charity shops, to big high street names (including the most enormous Primark) to the renowned Selfridges and it's glass tunnel. There really is something for everyone there. Perfect if, like us, the weather is forecast to be sunny and it turns out to be freezing when you get there, you can nip and buy a sweater.

In between walking to the places we wanted to see there was plenty of time to look in all of the shops we wanted to visit too.

Exploring Manchester - Selfridges glass tunnel


Exploring Manchester - food & drinks

Manchester is definitely a foodies heaven. There are bars, restaurants and cafes wherever you look. Whether you're looking for small independent places, big chain names or a little coffee shop it can be found.
While exploring Manchester this weekend we had a delicious brunch, an amazing dinner, a couple of bar stops for a drink break and a good old Starbs for the walk back to the metro station.
I'm going to be sharing our brunch and dinner soon so keep checking back to find out where we ate.

Exploring Manchester - Starbucks coffee

Both me and Ellie had a great day out exploring Manchester. It is definitely a city I would like to see more of so we'll definitely be visiting again soon.
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