Sunday, 6 August 2017

A day out to Knaresborough


So we had a free weekend before we go on our jolly hols to Greece, and decided to head out on a family outing. Our destination of choice: Knaresborough.
Knaresborough is a beautiful historic market town in the borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. It is located on the River Nidd, which you cross over when arriving by train and moving around the lovely little town.

Just a short train journey (roughly 40 minutes) from Leeds takes you from the hustle and bustle of the city across farm land and fields to the beautiful quaint town of Knaresborough.
The town train station is small, comprised of two platforms only, with train lines linking Leeds and York via Harrogate.



As you pull into the station, there is a very well known viaduct to cross on the train.Views of the town from this are wonderful and down by the river you get amazing views of this incredible structure.
There are several rowing boats that can be hired on one section of the River Nidd which was about £6 each person. We decided to skip on this and watch others row along the river, however, I think this would be a lovely activity to do on a warm sunny day when visiting Knaresborough.







So after having a look at the riverside and the boats, we decided to have a look at the park area of Conyngham Hall grounds. Surrounded by large trees there is the large Conyngham Hall, which operates as a business centre. We did not go right up to the hall but decided to have a walk alongside into the open grounds. Here we pitched up on one of the picnic benches to enjoy our mini picnic we had packed for the trip.
Just behind where we sat there appeared to be some ruins. Upon investigation, these ruins were apparently an old farm situated on the hall's grounds. Some parts you could see the layout and the stables /pens for the animals, with other parts a little bit harder to imagine what they once were. Never the less it was still nice to see and have a look around a little bit of Knaresborough history.







After we had refuelled and taken in the sights of the ruins and grounds, we decided to head over to what has to be what Knaresborough is more famous for...Mother Shipton's Cave.
This is a fab place to visit and is steeped in history. There is something for everyone, with the actual trail to the cave and wishing well, to a playground for children. On our visit, there were even various birds to see and hold if you wanted (and pay for).
Now a bit of history on Mother Shipton's cave; it is one of England's oldest attractions, that sees many visitors throughout the years, including a few 'celebrities'. Mother Shipton herself was known for being a prophetess, England's most famous to be in fact. She predicted several large events that happened within and just after her lifetime; these included the great fire of London in 1666, the invention of iron ships, and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. 
Through the trail, you can visit the cave in which Mother Shipton was born, and according to the stories, it was believed that she was a witch, both in appearance and abilities.

There is also a part near the cave called the Petrifying Well, which around the time of Mother Shipton was thought to be magical, with locals not venturing near it. Further down the line people believed that the water in the well had healing powers, and would often bathe in it to feel the effects. The water here has a high mineral content, which leads to items and objects being left to turn to stone. 
If you go up the steps that are behind the Petrifying Well, you will find a wishing well, and this is a must when visiting the attraction. Just remember not to tell anyone your wish as it won't come true!





Mother Shipton

Petrifying Well



So after we visited the cave, there is a small museum and gift shop to explore. In the museum, there are various items that have been petrified, and most of these have been donated by various celebrities and Royalty.
Walking around the attraction site there were also lots of various carved wooden sculptures to admire, you just had to spot them!





We ended our time at Mother Shipton's Cave by taken a stroll back through the town, visiting one of the many eateries on offer. I didn't take any photos during the meal, instead, I chose to take the various sights around the town from Mother Shipton's cave to the train station. Here are a few of what I took below:



 







All in all, it was a wonderful family day out, and I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful town.
Have you visited Knaresborough before?  Where would you recommend for a family day out?

As always leave a comment below, and thanks for reading!

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