As I mentioned in my last post, the décor at Rudding Park is stunning and there are all sorts of quirky little touches to be discovered when you start nosing around. I loved this little library, for example. If I ever have one of my own, I'm totally colour-coding my books like they've done here.
The grounds outside are equally impressive, boasting landscaped gardens and lawns that go on for miles. They make you feel like you want to dress up in a long gown and stroll around with a parasol, playing at Lady of the Manor. It even has its own chapel, and it's no surprise that it's a very popular wedding venue. It almost makes me wish that Mike and I hadn't already tied the knot, as this would be such a perfect place to do it.
Welcome to my home! (I wish!)
I could have stayed much longer at this beautiful place - actually, I would quite like to live in it forever, if somebody could arrange that - but the morning was ticking by and it was time to check out. So we bid a fond farewell to Rudding Park, vowing to be back before too long, and set off on our circuitous route home.
The plan was to stop at a couple of beauty spots on the way, and up first was the village of Timble in the Washburn Valley, where my Aunt and Uncle had spent a weekend once. It was so incredibly quiet here. We heard no cars, no people, nothing but birdsong and our own footsteps as we wandered up and down the street, admiring the picture perfect cottages and their lovingly-tended gardens.
The phone inside wasn't working, sadly!
After a short walk and a long cool drink in the garden of a nearby pub, we got back in the car and headed off to our next port of call - Ripley Castle.
While there wasn't time to properly explore the inside of the castle, we thoroughly enjoyed looking at the grounds, as well as grabbing a bite of lunch at the café. I would definitely come back to tour the inside on another occasion, though, as it looks like a fascinating place with a long and colourful history. And I'm quite the history geek, so anything like this is right up my street!
Alongside the castle, there is a winding little path that leads you down to a river, with some lovely views along the way. Perfect for walking off our lunch!
We strolled along for a while, chatting away and enjoying the scenery, but the hour was growing late. And finally, no matter how hard I clung to this wall and vowed that I wasn't going to budge, it really was time to leave this beautiful part of North Yorkshire behind us and head for home.
Oh well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose!
Have you visited North Yorkshire? Any recommendations of beautiful places to see?