Views of Yorkshire

One of the things that struck me about Yorkshire on our recent trip was the amazing views, and how it was a place that like Norfolk benefitted from large skies.  It was our first time holidaying in Yokshire, but I don’t think it’ll be our last, especially as our journey from London was relatively pain free. 

North Yorkshire national park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park was stunning, so much so that at one point I stopped the car, got out and enjoyed it firsthand, without the windscreen in front of me.  The undulating scenery, the traditional dry stone walls and really fresh, unadulterated (and un-pollute) air. 

Yorkshire - almost a big skied as Norfolk

While it’s large-skied like Norfolk, it’s very different.  There’s proper hills for one thing, and not just in the National Parks. The next two photos are ones MOH took as he paused during his daily bike ride.

North Yorkshire views and undulating hills

But with hills come great views.  And the patchwork effect of fields.

And the view from the top

Our trip wasn’t all about reconnecting with nature, although there were many garden visits, there were trips to the nearest town of Ripon too. Our cottage - or rather converted barn - was outside the village of Kirkby Malzeard and though it was a well stocked village, complete with local shops, pubs and a fish and chip shop, the barn and the farm it was on were remote enough to be cut off in bad weather, although I’m sure that doesn’t deter the Yorkshire folk, but to a townie like me, well yes… <shudder>

We’d chosen the area around Ripon quite at random, and because it was a good base to explore our -or rather my - must see places of RHS Harlow Carr and Castle Howard, but Ripon itself shouldn’t be overlooked. It has some interesting architecture. 

Architecture in Ripon, North Yorkshire

The stone arches on the building above immediately caught my eye, and then I noticed the detail of the arches above the windows on the upper floors.  That’s some fancy building, hey?

It wasn’t all about looking up though, as we wandered around I spotted these elaborate tiles in a shop doorway, which I can only presume are originals. The motif at the top reminds me of the pattern on a fireplace in my previous house.  

smaller details too - tiles in a shop doorway
The Market Square in Ripon

It was easy to imagine the market square transforming itself into a bustling hub on market day, even on the Sunday when these photos were taken there was plenty of activity, and it’s certainly an attractive town centre isn’t it?

The Market Square in Ripon North Yorkshire

I’ve much more to share from our Yorkshire Break, including a peak around the barn we stayed in as well as some fine Yorkshire products, and of course some garden visits. 

As I said earlier in this post, it’s a place that I’m sure we’ll return to in the future. I’d be keen to see more of Harrogate, but where would you recommend, and why? 

Looking up in Porto at facades and roofs

Ah, just look at those blue skies - I was editing my photos and could almost feel the heat from our trip in October, either that or I had the central heating up a notch or two higher than normal. We've had blue skies here, but they've been distinctly lacking in heat haven't they?

I've already shared some of my tile pictures from Porto, and they are the most obvious part of its charm but as we wandered I was looking up and started to notice some strange going ons on the roofs of Porto. Like many cities many properties are unable to expand outwards, in London there's a trend to dig down, but it seems in Porto for many years the attraction has been to extend up. 

But not just extending, we also spotted plenty of roof lanterns, there's three in the photo below - and yes, you can only just see the top of the third, it was on a relatively busy junction and I didn't get too many chances to get the best shot and live to tell the tale.

Spotting glass roof domes as we wandered around Porto

I couldn't help but wonder what they were like on the inside. It wasn't long before we walked past our first facade, and in our short time there it turned out we would walk past many.  I had to do a double take to see where the rest of the building was, but the giveaway was the very top floor and being able to see the sky through the openings. 

building facades In Porto

Even with the graffiti many of the facades are still beautiful, and by retaining the frontage it's most likely what's led to the higgledy-piggledy-ness nature, which is spectacularly charming. I'm sure the recent years and hardship haven't helped many in Porto and of course for some the buildings will also fall into disrepair. 

There was evidence though of building projects which is always a good sign, we know that from redevelopment in London too. The hardship isn't restricted to any one area, although clearly some have been more affected and less affected than others. 

multi-storied buildings in porto with some interesting roof additions

There's a mix of materials used too, just look at the yellow, red and black building below. I think its unusual to have the darker colour at the top, but - and I know it's a smaller footprint - but it doesn't dominate does it? 

narrow streets and extending upwards

Even on the more touristy waterfront there's also upward extensions - my favourite part of the photo below is the pink drainpipe on the black roof extension - quirky isn't it?

Pastel building facades on the river douro front

Also on the waterfront, snuggled alongside the bridge over to Gaia was this small three storey property - obviously the colour caught my eye, but look at the tiles on the property next door.  In Porto, any colour, any tile pattern really does go!

A small and pretty yellow house on the waterfront

I lost count of the number of these shed-like extensions, many clad with corrugated steel, some weathering beautifully.

Extending upwards in Porto

I'm a big fan of looking up - and in Porto it really did pay it was much more rewarding than I ever expected it would, and we noticed parts of the city that I suspect passes many people by.  

A wander through the pretty village of Orford

We've been enjoying some lovely weather again in London these last few days and it's been great. I'd *almost* forgotten what summer felt like and I suspect if the weather continues it wouldn't be too long before there were moans of it being too warm. We're a fickle bunch aren't we? Sadly though the forecast is for rain and another storm to head our way, but I'm hopeful that we'll have a great autumn, not only because I want there to be some tomatoes to harvest, but also because, well the world just seems a happier place when the sun's out.  

Cliched I know, but true.

I thought while the sun was still out we should take a walk around the pretty Suffolk village of Orford which we visited for the first time on our recent break. It has traditional cottages as you'd expect, is well known for its nature reserve and has the blue-est of quaysides as my first couple of photos show.  

At the quay in Orford in Suffolk

Our visit was shorter than we'd hoped as this was what turned into our day of almosts.  We parked at the quayside car park and headed off to explore, quickly discovering that Orford Ness nature reserve was closed on a Monday, we were ok with that though as I think if we'd really wanted to visit that's information we would have been sure to have known in advance.  

You can't get fresher fish than this

After a walk along the shore we headed into the pretty village admiring the traditional cottages and quirky architecture to see what there was to see and to work out what to do next.  The traditional row of cottages caught my eye for their postcard looks, but also because of the grass right up to the front door. With my practical head on I couldn't help but think that it would be a right faff in the winter with your shopping walking across the grass. It seems that some of the residents must also think that as it was clear that these weren't always the main entrance to the property.

Cottages in Orford with the green right up to their front door
whitewashed cottages with roses growing up it in Orford Suffolk

Roses and hollyhocks accompanied the whitewashed cottages and over the road some quirkier architecture popped its head over the hedgerow.

quirky architecture in Orford with a clocktower popping over the hedge

Typically cottage garden plants spilled onto the narrow pavement which ran alongside the greens. I'm always asking MOH what plants are to test him as we wander past, especially now he's more interested in gardening - maybe that's an age thing?!  And I did that as wandered past the Valerian below; it's a plant I know he knows, but one he normally can't remember so imagine my surprise when he came straight out with it!  Usually we have to do the "it begins with V" and my best clue "think of an Amy Winehouse song" which usually clinches it as he likes his music (and I'm rather proud of my clue as I'm rubbish with who sang what).  So there you go unscientific proof of something I'm sure, though I'm not sure what.

Valerian growing alongside the pavement in Orford Suffolk

The village had some great brick walls too.  I know that's not the usual thing to look at, but well faced with this wall surely you must start to see the attraction... or is that just me?

and spilling out of brick walls
a yellow line to protect the flowers - and the villagers sanity no doubt

Ah yes, remember what I was saying about there being some good brick walls.  Here's another.  

I found another brick wall to admire

I was keen to see what was on the other side but MOH looked at me like I was slightly mad, well more than usual anyway and quickly ushered me along the lane.  Quickly distracted I spotted a cut through and decided we'd head up there instead. And guess what we found?

The village allotments.

Peeking into the allotments in Orford Suffolk

I didn't go in there either, but it's the village that has everything.  Even allotments.  But sadly for us no fish and chips after 2:30 pm - and guess what time we decided to stop for lunch, yes 2:35 pm.  You couldn't make it up.  And you know that thing when someone suggests fish and chips by the coast - which everyone knows makes them taste even better - well then you just can't get it out of your mind. It became our quest too and so we headed back to the car and drove onto Aldeburgh, certain we'd be more successful there.

Turns out our optimism was short-lived as the fish and chip shops didn't reopen until 6pm, so resigned to the fact there wouldn't be fish and chips for lunch we headed to a cafe instead. Another slightly surreal experience as despite having cornish pasties in the display cabinet we were only allowed to buy cake - surreal also because I'm complaining about that!  Turns out that because it came with salad we couldn't have it, it was only for sale from the adjoining sister shop. So we had tea and cake and left.  See, a day of almosts.  I almost had a cornish pasty.

While eating the cake though we'd cracked a master plan for fish and chips, we'd buy some on the way back to the cottage as by the time we mastered the diversion en-route, surely the chippie would be open. And no doubt it would have been, in fact it might even have shut by the time we mastered the detour. We looped it three times and still couldn't find the road we needed. Being increasingly short of patience, plan C was put into place and the car took us to Southwold. Surely there'd be fish and chips there.

There was. Along with a bit of a queue. And so finally we got our fish and chip takeaway and sat overlooking the sea with our coastal fish and chips and a rather large tub of tomato ketchup.  Pure bliss.  And mission most definitely accomplished.