In the morning we drove 45 minutes to Fountains Abbey, a large and impressive monastery complex dissolved by Henry VIII, now a ruin, but with some parts well-preserved. This is a National Trust property so we saved handsomely on our annual pass. Despite constant light rain, photography was possible, heightening the enjoyment. Not only is there the fascinating monastery, but also an 18th century water garden – a series of small lakes put in by subsequent owners.
Next it was a quick dash back to Northallerton/Brompton to meet Joan’s cousin and his wife, who had travelled down from Scotland to meet up with us. After lunch we drove to Sutton Bank, a steep embankment not unlike Bellbird Hill in the Sydney Blue Mountains, but with a far far superior view (in good weather at least – we had rain). It is claimed to be the best scenic view in England, and it would be difficult to dispute that. It looks down and into the distance over a gently undulating green landscape. Due to the conditions (rain) we only got a hint of that, but in sunshine it would be superb. We may try again tomorrow. We continued on to Helmsley, a village recommended by Anne’s brother. It was still raining so apart from a coffee and a short stroll around we couldn’t really do much more.
This is the end of the re-constructed version of the blog that was deleted by Google (blogspot). To see the continuation of the story at the second blog, go to jandl2014ukmk2.blogspot.com