Friday, June 28, 2013


We headed to Manchester on Saturday and fitted in a visit to Howarth in Bronte Country on the way. It was very special to visit the Howarth Parsonage where the Bronte sisters lived for most of their tragic short lives and wrote their books. I loved both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre when I read them years ago. Sadly, I wasn't able to take photos inside as I would have loved to have shared the embroidered samplers and the embroidery bits and pieces, their painting boxes and especially the many examples of their writing, clothing and furniture.

The countryside near Howarth is just as I imagined it would be in the books.

We then headed to Manchester and had 3 days there checking out the sights. It was rainy on Sunday so we headed to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. This is in a group of buildings originally used for the cotton and other industries and they have some amazing displays there. I enjoyed the talk about the cotton industry and how the machines carded, spun the cotton and then wove the fabric.

There were lots of other machinery and transport on display too. It is an amazing museum for kids as there are so many interactive displays.

On Monday we visited the Tatton House gardens. The house was closed but the gardens were beautiful.

In the afternoon we went to the Imperial War Museum North which is an amazing building with some wonderful and very moving displays.

On Tuesday we went on the Manchester Ship Canal cruise, which was one of the reasons for coming to Manchester. It was very interesting and we travelled from Manchester to Liverpool through quite a few locks and under some amazing bridges that lifted up or swung away so we could pass through the canal. The history of this very industrial canal was very interesting.

We then spent a few hours in Liverpool, where the dock area had been made into a very lovely space for visitors with museums and shops all nearby. We then headed back to Manchester on the bus. It was a long day but very interesting.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

York and Castle Howard

On Tuesday, 18 June, we headed to York. The last time we were here we were in our 20's! It was very special to come and visit this lovely city again. We started our visit with delicious morning tea with scones, jam and clotted cream! We then headed into York Minster for a guided tour. It is an amazing cathedral and it was wonderful to hear about its history.

 One of the main windows, which is mostly medieval glass, is being restored. Because of this we were able to see these pieces close up in a special exhibition. Normally you can't see all this detail.

We then visited the Treasurer's house which was very interesting.

 This is a picture of some very old stumpwork which was framed in one of the rooms.
You can do free walking tours of York so we joined the afternoon one. It was very interesting and informative.

On Wednesday, we headed to Northallerton to look up a bit of family history. We also went to Aldborough, which is where Bruce's great.......grandparents were married. It was amazing to go into the church and see the town where they had been.

We also visited Richmond and Thirsk, which were both nice towns. On Thursday we headed to Castle Howard, which was wonderful. It is an amazing castle and it is extra special as Brideshead Revisited (both the 80's and the recent version) was filmed here.

Friday was very wet so we had a bit if a lazy day and just visited Scarborough again the afternoon.