Yorkshire Dales,Croft,Kelso, St Andrews

Saturday, a fairly quick and uneventful drive to ‘The Hyning Estate” where we are to spend the next four nights. Stunningly beautiful and renovated to the highest standards, The Hyning Estate offers six self catering cottages. We stayed in the ‘Tack Barn’.  The place is some 350 years old but every modern aspect has been added. The entire place is ‘green’ – triple-glazed with Ground Source Heat Pumps and Solar Panels providing hot water and under floor heating backed by Heat Recovery (MVHR) Systems..  a truly loveable place as the photographs will show.  Before arriving at this place we stopped in Kendal at Booths a grocery store to pick up food for the next few days.  Unknown to us the parking lot for the store was a ‘pay and display’ lot.  A 50 pound ticket was waiting for us  on the car when we returned with our bags.  I tried to contest the ticket but to no avail.  The only good thing I guess was that the ticket was reduced to 25 pounds if paid within 14 days.  Paid the ticket.

Sunday morning off we head on our walk.  A two minute drive to Grayrigg, the local town.  Our host suggested we drive this short distance as walking from the estate is a little muddy.    Well we did this. But honestly the next 30 minutes through farmland was just as muddy- bypassing cows sheep etc.  Finally found a track that led up towards to hill tops.  At a level area on the hills we wandered around for a while looking at the views before continuing up to the top of Whinfell. As usual we felt accomplished but compared to the next day this little venture was nothing!! Altitude was 472 meters (1448 feet)

Monday- drove off to Sedburgh to start off our walk. Sedbergh has a narrow main street lined with shops. From all angles, the hills rising behind the houses can be seen. Oh yes those hills!!! Up we climbed using the ‘Dales High Way Path’. Initially- lets say for the first hour it was strenuous, but once we got to a vague top the walk became more enjoyable.  Infact very enjoyable.  We continued climbing up then down a little then back up until we reached the summit of the ‘Calf’ 676 meters (2217 feet). Here we sat and had our well deserved lunch. Rather than walking back the same way we found another route that took us down from the Calf to low lying ground on the west side.  From here we walked along some beautiful areas through fields and farmyards, all of which were public footpaths.  We stopped in one farmyard as the farmer was washing his car and wanted to have a lovely chat with us.  After this chat we got to a very small road/lane and walked back into Sedburgh.

Tuesday – after yesterday’s ordeal we decided something a little less strenuous would be good. So we headed off to Arnside (by the sea) for a loop around  the coast  for 10.68kms.  The tide was out when we arrived and all around us were signs of ‘danger beware of quick sand, and fast rising tides.’ At the Coastguard station, there was a notice that they had saved in  the last three years 408 people!  So we walked along the beach and around the head. As I said the tide was way out- a good few hundred yards out. The beach was not really sand but rather a soft muddy content.  Before long sirens started to wail and I assumed this was a fire brigade call.  We continued along the beach and reading a sign carefully we found out that the siren was a warning that the tide was now coming in.  There was like very Path that took us along the coast and in to the trees so we followed this until we reached signs for Silverdale.  We knew this was the point to turn inland and complete the loop back to Arnside.  Heading back we headed up to Arnside Knott.  On reaching the top we sat and had lunch before continuing on our trip back to the car.  Had a nice welcoming beer at a pub two minutes from where we had parked the car.  That evening we had a nice barbecue while the cows watched us- lamb chops not beef, so I think they were happy!!!

Wednesday – packed up early and drove off towards the ‘Borders’ in Scotland.  Before however getting to Scotland we had one important stop to make at Croft in Yorkshire. RAF Croft airfield – The airfield was opened in 1941 for use by the Royal Air Force (RAF) but by 1942 the aerodrome had been taken over by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as part of No. 6 Group RCAF.  Bernadette’s father was based at this airfield during World War 2 as a Bomb Aimer in the Halifax bomber aircraft.  He flew 42 bombing missions out of this base.  Today the base is better know as the Croft Circuit- a racing track.  We drove up to the track and some of the old runways are still present.  We drove into Darwent, a small town not far from Croft to find a war memorial  erected for the 434 RCAF Squadron.  A fitting memorial for the 74 aircraft and 493 crew that never returned from this Squadron alone.

Up to Scotland, finding our way through narrow roads to Hownam – Chatto.  The church in Hownam is where my father is buried. Also buried there is my grandfather.  We tieded  up the grave as the weeds around it were too tall.  Payed my respects and said a little prayer to my father.  Chatto is the farm that my father lived at for a lot of his young years.  My grandparents were given it by my Great Grandfather as it was his summer residence.  God knows why it would be a summer residence!!!  Tony was born in Kelso and she a I lived at Chatto for a short while growing up.  To my father he loved the place and as a result wanted to  be be buried in the local village.  It is nice to go back there as it is a very peaceful place.  Driving off we head to Kelso, the Ednam  House Hotel – a beautiful Georgian Mansion located in the Scottish Borders, Ednam House is located right on the banks of the River Tweed.  We had stayed there a number of years back – 2003.  This time we were very disappointed as it had gone down hill and now needs some serious money put in to  it. However it was a place to stay for one night.  A nice meal at the Cobbles pub.

Thursday we leave the hotel and drive towards Melrose. We are having lunch with my 2nd cousin  Sally McQouradale who lives at St Boswells. Before that we had time to go for a walk,  so parked the car at Dryburgh Abbey.  From here we walked along the River Tweed passing the St Boswells Golf Club on the opposite bank.  A few fishermen were in the Tweed in hopes of catching a salmon but  to those I spoke to – not even a bite.  At the end of our outward walk we came across a cemetery.  Sally, had  mentioned to me that her father William Drake May was buried up on the hill.  So we wandered around this cemetery and found that this was indeed where he was buried. It is rather nice now to have found his grave as we have now visited my Great Grandfather’s grave, which included his wife and daughter and now have two of his sons – the third son died in India during the war and is buried there. We had a lovely little lunch with Sally.  Her daughter, Laura and daughter in law, Claire plus their children were there. Also there cute Labradors – two -a one year old and Max around 6.  Off once again, this time to St Andrews.  It was a two and half hour drive to the fairways for at. St Andrews where we were staying. It was a B and B but the room was amazing.  Top floor, very spacious with its own terrace and views over the golf course.  The purpose of staying here in St Andrews was twofold. First to have dinner with Shawn. She lives in Leven about 30 minutes from St Andrews.  We had a lovely dinner with her at the Adamson.  A very nice restaurant.  Needless to stay St Andrews is packed with people, all golfers!!!  After having had a very nice dinner Shawn took us for a short walk around the town to see some of the sights.  Our second reasoning for staying here was to see if I could track down my ‘nanny ‘  She lives here and every year I have had  a Christmas card from her.  Even when Karen had her baby she sent Karen a card.  Unfortunately after knocking at her door with no answer we talked to a couple of neighbours.  They told us that she went in for heart surgery last summer and just never really recovered and died in the summer.  One of the neighbours had know her for over 50 years.  The both said that she was a lovely person – rather sad even though I had not met her since the days that she looked after me.  She was my nanny at Chatto.

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