Allen Banks – part 2 – May 2019

Part 1 HERE

So we’ve had a little rest and Sophie decides we’ll cross back over the bridge and walk along the upper paths to see if there are any bluebells there.

To get to the upper pathways at the top of Staward Gorge, there are stairs in the side of the bank.

Stairs of Hell

These stairs are just the first section, and there were many more to climb, twisting and turning up the gorge. I have to confess that a) I’m not fit enough for this shit, and b) I whinged the whole way up. Sophie, of course, is used to me and my aversion to going uphill so just ‘there there’ ‘d me until we got to the top. 🙂

The views were worth the pain

and in the distance we could just see Ridley Hall, to which these woodlands once belonged

Ridley Hall

Originally a 16th century house, owned by the Ridley family,  it was acquired by the Lowes family in the late 17th century and was replaced in 1743 with a new Georgian Mansion. In 1830 it was purchased by John Davidson (High Sheriff in 1839), a cousin and beneficiary of the will of William Cornforth Lowes.  He made substantial improvements to it and married Susan (see part 1) who landscaped the estate. It’s now a conference and residential centre.

We came across a victorian summerhouse on the upper path

which had four viewing angles when inside it- this one was my favourite as you can see for miles right across the Gorge.

it had a cute roof too

This looked like a really old boy,

Justified and Ancient but no ice cream van. 🙂

And finally, we found some blubells!

Bluebells an wild garlic.

To be honest we were not that impressed, I think the bluebell woods in Durham last year spoiled us for anywhere else! 🙂

So we finished our walk and went off to the nearby hamlet of Bardon Mill

The pottery at Bardon Mill

and there we stopped for lunch.

Diners

After lunch I took Sophie to see a hidden Norman church, so stay tooned for that next time!

44 Comments

  1. They certainly knew where to build a summer house back then. The views were worth the uphill walk, but I feel your pain! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure you’re fit as a flea after all your walks with Ollie! I am really rubbish at uphills!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All my walking (99%) is done on the flat. Uphiil or steps still puffs me out! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems to have been a nice outing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apart from the climb 😀. Cheers Marland.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is understandable!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful place to wander and take pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has a lot going for it, cheers Naomi.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed the story of your hiking adventure in search of bluebells. My favourite part was imagining you huffing up the stone steps with Sophie going there there. I think it’s cute and on hiking trails, I am usually the one doing that with my wife.

    I look forward to reading the post about your search for the hidden Norman church.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Khürt, see you on Sunday then 🙂

      Like

  5. Great landscape pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely! That old tree is out of books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love a good old tree! Thanks Cindy.

      Like

  7. Gorgeous photos! I’m so glad you found bluebells too even is they weren’t spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim, they were better than nothing 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ….mmm…bluebells….(no ice cream van?….we were robbed!)…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I was trying to be clever with a song lyric and probably failed! 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …(I’m not surprised you experienced a blip…what with the lack of pre-Brexit icecream and all)….

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Gosh, I really liked your scenic photos fragg. Can’t choose a fav – well maybe the first – but I I liked em all.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a fab summerhouse!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was lovely, though a bit small really.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you can’t win ‘em all!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, it would have been nice if it had tea making facilities I think.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. The bluebells may have not been what you were hoping for, but the path to them looked enchanting to me … makes me hope we’ll bump into a similar one in our hikes next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Hikes’ sounds labour intensive! 🙂 Have fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We subscribe to the same school of thought: flat good, stairs require a LOT of there-there-ing… Did I use the new verb correctly? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Spot on! 😀 welcome to Fraggles dictionary!

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful images. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Fantastic pics. I love the roof and the ancient tree. The steps too. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting!

      Like

  14. How fun Fraggy. And for sure you got your steps in🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes, cheers Kathy!

      Like

  15. Gorgeous. Sounds like Jayne and me with the Stairs of Hell. While I’m usually keen to ascend stairs and hills, she’ll often just stay at the bottom and watch me go up by myself 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha she has the right idea!

      Liked by 1 person

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