There are few things in life which are better than a big walk, good company and a pub lunch in a country pub. Taking a day off is as good as a holiday or so they say and I'm inclined to agree, sometimes you just need a day away from the world, a day to be with nature, a day to stand and stare as long as sheep and cows as WH Davies reminds us we need to in his poem (one of my personal favourites) leisure.
Fountains Abbey isn't too far away if you live in the North East of England, a mere sneak over the border into North Yorkshire and a prettier alternative to Lightwater Valley which you'll find in mostly the same direction but you'll more of a contented sigh than a scream at the former of the two.
Fountains Abbey consists of a cistern abbey, a Georgian water garden and a deer park, steeped in history, beauty, peace, and tranquility, it's the perfect place to take time off away from the hustle and bustle of real life for a few hours and with very little in the way of phone signal you'll be able to justify not answering calls or checking messages, well just for a little while anyway.
I find sometimes I miss my big girl, I see her nearly every day but I don't often get to spend quality time with her, especially without Looby also being there but Looby, infested with cold germs had decided to spend the day at home with Iain and so off we went.
Abigail is perpetually hungry as most teenagers are so we just kind of stumbled upon the Galphay Inn near Ripon. I'm so happy we did because we were welcomed by an open fire and a gastro pub which is both dog friendly and child friendly. If you're ever on your way to Fountains Abbey and you see the board at the side of the road gesturing you down to the Galphay Inn take a chance and do it, don't eat at Fountains Abbey, whilst Fountains Abbey is lovely and dog friendly you can't take your dog into the cafe so why not have good hearty food at very reasonable prices where your dogs would be welcomed with open arms, the staff fussed over Holly and Petunia and to me that's dog friendly. I have to say that one of my problems with the National Trust is that they set themselves out there as dog friendly but not one of their properties has space in any of their cafes for people with dogs, this is fine in summer, I don't at all have a problem with sitting out in sunshine but what are you supposed to do in the rain or mid-winter, I'd say the National Trust are more dog tolerant than dog friendly but that's just my personal opinion.
One thing the National Trust does excel at is beauty, tranquility and history all within reach of most peoples doorsteps, I pay just over £9 a month for a family membership so that Looby and I can have days out, Paul and Abigail can have days out and if we're all having a family day we can use it together. Fountains Abbey has all of the above qualities, you can almost feel the history seeping through your skin like osmosis and when you leave you feel enriched and full (possibly from all the cakes the NT are so good at making).
And so we come to the photos of quite a lovely day out.