1st – 2nd December – Fountains Abbey and Ripon, North Yorkshire   Leave a comment

Margaret’s older brother Martin and his wife Jean have retired to Australia. During his working life he has mainly worked in the UK, Japan and Australia. Their daughter Caroline, who has married a major in the British army, now lives in Ripon, North Yorkshire. Martin and Jean had flown over to the UK to spend some time with Caroline, as her husband is currently stationed abroad.

As they have been living in different countries, Janis and Anita have never met their cousin Caroline and Anita has never met her aunt and uncle (except as a tiny baby), so we planned a  reunion. Margaret only met Caroline for the first time at her wedding some six or seven years ago.  Amber was keen to come but Janis couldn’t find anyone to look after Kara at the weekend and stayed in Poole, so it was Anita, Amber, Margaret and I that made the 320 mile drive on Saturday morning.

We stopped at my brother’s place in Derby on the way up and arrived at Ripon in the early afternoon. It was a glorious, if cold winter’s day, our first port of call was the impressive ruins of Fountains Abbey. Founded in 1132 by Cistercian monks, the Abbey became one of the most influential and impressive monasteries in England. it was destroyed during Henry VIIIs dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. It is now a World Heritage Site.

With all the ways you can manipulate a digital image, I wish there was an easy way to stop a building ‘falling backwards’ when you use a wide-angle lens.



Amber at Fountains Abbey


Margaret at Fountains Abbey


The ruins of the church




Fountains Abbey church tower


The Chapter House


Amber is walking backwards for Christmas


The light was fading as we walked around the extensive gardens


Bay Tree Farm, our charming, if cold, B&B

Later we drove to Caroline’s place in Ripon and met up with the family. Later, in spite of the sub-zero temperatures we walked into town and had a very pleasant meal at a pub. Martin and Jean, who had only arrived the day before, were clearly suffering from jet lag, so we left soon after the meal. I was pretty tired too, after five plus hours behind the wheel.


L-R: Jean, Caroline, Margaret, Amber, Anita and Martin


The central square in Ripon at night


Ripon at night with the Cathedral just visible at the end of the street


Margaret and her brother Martin


Amber using a lit candle to do an ET impression

On Sunday we visited the beautiful Ripon Cathedral and town center before warming up in cafe. We later headed for Leeds in an attempt to meet up with my old University friend Nigel, but due to various factors that didn’t prove possible. We arrived back home at about 6pm, after a tiring but most enjoyable weekend.


Carvings on the pews at Ripon Cathedral


Ripon Cathedral

Posted December 4, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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