Day 32 – Saturday, May 26th

A view of the town of Hawes

Castle Bolton

We started the morning (just as yesterday) with a “Full English Breakfast” of fried egg on fried bread, fried tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, ham, sausage, rack of toast, fresh fruit, fruit juice and coffee and tea. No wonder we didn’t eat again until after 6:00 pm!!!

After rolling ourselves away from the breakfast table, we hopped in our car and headed for the town of Hawes, only making one mis-turn in the whole trip. Of course, the trip was on 15 miles, so I guess that isn’t so good after all.

We found a public car park and walked into Hawes looking for an internet café that we had been told about. But, when I asked, I was told that it was only open on Monday thru Friday, so we were out of luck for checking email and posting onto the blog. On the way back to the car to get rid of the computer, we stopped in at a local craft fair. Michael went into the used book room and I headed straight for the arts and crafts. I had wonderful chats with 5 or 6 of the merchants in the rooms and ended up buying some jewelry, a folded paper greeting card, and 4 photo note cards. Michael found 2 books that he couldn’t live without, so we carried all of our treasures back to the car.

We walked up the road to the Wensleydale Creamery and cheese factory, where we took a short tour of the history of cheese in this area and then into the working part of the factory. There were 6 large vats that were in the various stages of making cheese. The first vat started with the milk which is heated to a certain temperature to pasteurize it. Then several ingredients are added to help the cheese to form. Large paddles keep the mixture constantly moving during this process. After the cheese granules have formed , the whey is drained off, leaving the cheese in the bottom of the tub. It is then cut into smaller and smaller pieces, allowing more of the whey to drain off. Once it is mostly dry, it is packed into molds which are then pressed to condense the cheese and remove any last whey. I tried a few samples and found it to be a very creamy cheese with a wonderful light flavor.

We then continued our walk thru the town of Hawes, stopping at the Yorkshire Dales Museum and also going into a local pottery. We visited a rope maker, but were not able to see him making ropes by hand. However, we did get to see the machines that are used to make the nylon ropes. It was amazing to see how the ropes wound from 15 to 20 strands of nylon. There are 5 or 6 cones of nylon cord on rotating disks that circle around to weave a part of the rope. Then those woven strands pass thru another opening where they are woven into the final rope. There was one machine that was making a larger rope with a core of several large nylon strands and then being covered with a design formed by the smaller colored cords.

We got back in our car and drove to Castle Bolton, which is where Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner. The castle was built in 1379 and didn’t look all that big and impressive when we were driving up, but it was amazing once we got inside. Much of it is in ruins now, but you could still see the architecture and design that went into it. We spent quite a bit of time taking photos from inside the castle, and then a bunch more at the top of the castle. The Castle gardens were also interesting with a large herb garden (Michael and I kept rubbing the leaves on our fingers and then smelling to confirm which herb it was). There was also a maze built from low hedges and it was fun to watch people trying to wind their way thru it.

We were starting to get hungry at this point, so we made our way to the “Fox and Hounds” pub in West Burton. We had greatly enjoyed our lunch from yesterday, and decided to check out their dinner menu. We arrived at 5:00 to find out that they don’t start serving dinner until 6:00, so we had a pint of ale and spent some time talking to Donna, who was behind the bar. We both decided to have typical “pub fare”, so Michael had “Fish and Chips”, and I had something called a “Cumberland Curl”. This was a sausage (about 12 inches long) curled in a spiral and placed inside the cavity of a giant Yorkshire Pudding. The whole thing was covered with brown gravy and was served with Chips and Peas. It was a wonderful meal, even if I did end up leaving some of it!!!!

We returned to our B&B, watched a movie and proceeded to stare out our window at the beautiful dales.

Cumberland Curl

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