Our final full day in Harrogate, we were up early again and I had another full English, though this time without the eggs. Sam had just the eggs, on toast. And we helped ourselves to the tea and coffee. We had another National Trust place on our list to visit. To the north west, beyond Ripon, lie Brimham Rocks. Here huge and peculiar formations of rock poke from the ground, perfect for climbing.
The sky was a dark blue, and scattered with fluffy white clouds. Some huge boulders looked precarious, as if one slight push would send them tumbling after thousands of years of erosion. Each interesting new tower invited us to climb it, scrambling into the nooks and crannies, jumping and pulling to get to the top, each peak afforded sweeping views of the Yorkshire dales.
The climbing abated when we stopped for tea and chocolate hobnobs. Excitingly for me, but probably not for many other people, I spotted a millipede, I’ve seen then many times before but never in England. Beyond the shop and tea stall a path takes you around the top-most peninsula. Past the dancing bear formation, around to the Druids writing desk, a huge twisted plinth leaning out over the edge. Then the amazing balancing rock, an enormous boulder precariously standing on the smallest point you can imagine.
We climbed another formation for glorious views to the north. Large black crows skipped about the rock next to us, and the sun was warm, cutting through the crisp spring air. The fields shone green, dotted with the occasional sheep.
Further round, now circling the tea room, the land turned to heath, and a pair of grouse were spotted fighting in the growth before spotting us and flying away. Atop another rock, we had just enough signal to make a phone call. It being Mothering Sunday, we called our mums, although it seems there was only enough signal for one call at a time, when Sam began her chat I would be consistently cut off. From here we could see Harrogate and the mysterious Menwith radomes at the US air base. We picnicked on the rocks and returned to the car. Before heading home we took a drive through the dales, through Pateley Bridge, Hebden and Grassington, down to Skipton and back to Harrogate.
The rest of the day was quiet, we relaxed, I watched football on the TV, we slept and then went for dinner at the hotel restaurant. A hearty tasty meal to end the trip.
On Monday I wheeled my suitcase to Harrogate station and headed into work on the train, three hours through the rolling green of East Anglia with all its power stations. Sam stayed in town for her conference, which lasted until Thursday, she changed hotels and had time to properly visit Betty’s for tea and cake.