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.
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
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,
And finally, we found some blubells!
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
and there we stopped for lunch.
After lunch I took Sophie to see a hidden Norman church, so stay tooned for that next time!