A wander around Snape Maltings

For today’s post we’re off out and about. We’re off to Suffolk in fact, and as well as travelling there we’re going back in time. We had a few days there a couple of years ago and as I’ve been looking through my photos, these are another rediscovery. It was our first time at Snape Maltings, which now is full of shops and such like. You might remember the velvet yellow sofa from a previous post, or the embroidery project for the future, which is still very much for the future, but no less beautiful.

But there’s some great walks in the area too, and while our wander features mostly the buildings and sculptures close to the buildings, there’s routes which take you further afield. As soon as we were out of the car, the tiles on this roof called my name. Well, they would wouldn’t they?

arriving at snape maitings and spotting a roof to photograph

Next we, or rather I was fascinated by this sculpture called Myriad, whose clean lines and mirrored sections gave an easy view of the sky above.

A sculpture with a view at snape maltings

It was the sort of place, and the sort of day, where it was easy to wander inside and out. And the more I saw of the main building, the more I knew it was one I would like. And I wasn’t wrong, it was a fascinating place. As well as the shops, sculptures and cafes there’s also a concert venue and exhibition space. I’ve a feeling we’ll be back again, and not just for the shops. In fact our visit was prompted by a festering seed planted by a wedding present ten years earlier.

bricks, tiles and cladding all together stylishly so

No really. Our neighbours bought us a mosaic tea light lantern, which they bought at Snape Maltings. It’s one we still use, and one they’d bought here, so I had a feeling that it would be a place I liked. Completely true, and it goes to show how much first impressions count.

But back to exploring the buildings. Next up was the Dovecote, I don’t remember what it’s current use is, other than drawing admiring glances for the corten steel and brick structure. It’s previous use is pretty easy to guess though.

Another of the exhibits, this one clad in corten steel
The windows at the dovecote have seen better days

The windows. I’d happily have photographed this many which ways, but there’s always more to see - and really there are only so many photos you can take without ending up with at least a few duplicates. But don’t tell MOH that, as it’s something I always deny…

a look at the dovecote from the other side

We had some fun with the final sculpture on this wander. There were three stacks to this one, and the round circular gap was just about head height. And as usual, my reluctant model posed for a silly picture or two. And the silly pictures always make it into our photo year books.

another modern sculpture with a great view

I’ve enjoyed this electronic wander, and a wander through memories made on what was actually quite a random way to choose a day’s activity. Have you been to Snape Maltings, or do you have anywhere equally as random for selecting where to visit?

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.