Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

One of the best places in Yorkshire to spend any weekend…

Fountains Abbey National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992
Fountains Abbey
National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992

Beautiful conditions for a walk at Fountains Abbey this weekend, so we have been on both Saturday and Sunday to make the most of this lovely weather and take some snaps along the way – I don’t think anyone has taken photo’s here before!

The National Trust are managing a national treasure here!

Fountains Abbey National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992
Fountains Abbey
National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992

 

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

A lovely spot indeed, and what better way to get there than in a demonstrator Discovery from Land Rover Ripon – I really want one of these!

Land Rover Ripon lent me a Discovery for the morning - what a great vehicle!
Land Rover Ripon lent me a Discovery for the morning – what a great vehicle!

We walked our legs off around the deer park this weekend, taking in the beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife.

Sheep grazing on the walk don to the Abbey
Sheep grazing on the walk don to the Abbey

There is a lot to see for groups, with an activity centre, playground and picnic area, I can imagine returning in warmer weather to sit and watch the world go by.

L1001529

A great place for a school trip I should think – if only I was 40 years younger!

After descending the hill to the west entrance, the magnificent Fountains Hall can be visited.

Fountains Hall
Fountains Hall from the West Entrance

Fountains Hall

The house was built by Stephen Proctor between 1598 and 1604, partly with stone from the abbey ruins. It is an example of late Elizabethan architecture, perhaps influenced by the work of Robert Smythson. After Proctor’s death in 1619, Fountains Hall passed into the possession of the Messenger family, who sold it to William Aislabie of neighbouring Studley Royal 150 years later.[1] Fountains Hall became redundant as the Aislabie family remained at Studley Royal. It was leased to tenants and at one time parts of it were used for farm storage.

The hall was renovated and modernised between 1928 and 1931, and the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) often stayed there as guests of Lady Doris Vyner, wife of the Marquess of Ripon and sister to the then-current Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

During the Second World War, Fountains Hall and other estate buildings were used to house evacuees. Studley Royal became the wartime home of Queen Ethelburga’s School from Harrogate and the school’s sanatorium was at Fountains Hall. The stable block and courtyard, was used for dormitories while one corner became the school chapel, at which Sunday Evensong was regularly said by the Archdeacon of Ripon. The hall has a balcony although it cannot be used because the staircase is considered unsafe for the public.

Fountains Hall in the winter sunshine
Fountains Hall in the winter sunshine
Fountains Hall in the winter sunshine
Fountains Hall contains some holiday homes let out by the National Trust

 The Vyner Family

Vyner Memorial Window in staircase

 

The Vyners lost a son and a daughter in the Second World War; Charles was a Royal Naval Reserve pilot missing in action near Rangoon. Elizabeth was a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service and died of lethargic encephalitis while on service in Felixstowe, Suffolk. There is a sculpture remembering them which can be seen as one comes out of the house down the stone steps.

Elizabeth Vyner WRNS – Died on Active Service June 3rd 1942 Aged 18 years. Also her brother Charles De Grey Vyner Sub Lieut (A) RNVR Reported missing from Air Operations Off Rangoon May 2nd 1945 Aged 19 Years.

We will remember themWe will remember them

Once you have mavigated the Hall, it’s time for a cuppa and a look around the Mill – this is where the monks milled their wheat and contains many working models and a waterwheel.

Stop and have a look around the Mill
Stop and have a look around the Mill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then it’s time to walk around the Abbey, although you will not be alone if it’s a sunny day like today!

The Abbey from the Mill
The Abbey from the Mill

Fountains Abbey is one of the most photographed sites in England, for good reason.

Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, Saturday 31st January 2015 Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4 1/2,000 sec, ISO 800
Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire,
Saturday 31st January 2015
Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4
1/2,000 sec, ISO 800

Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains AbbeyBut there is a lot more to this place than the ruined Abbey.

The Water Garden at Studley Royal

Don't lose your footing walking across here
Don’t lose your footing walking across here
Beautiful
Beautiful
Pavillion in the water garden
Pavillion in the water garden

The water garden at Studley Royal created by John Aislabie in 1718 is one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden in England. It was expanded by his son, William who purchased the adjacent Fountains Estate. The garden’s elegant ornamental lakes, canals, temples and cascades provide a succession of dramatic eye-catching vistas. It is also studded with a number of follies including a neo-Gothic castle and a palladian style banqueting house.

St Marys church in the Studley Royal Estate

The Anglican church of St Mary’s was the religious masterpiece of architect William Burges.

St Marys church
St Marys church

The richly decorated Victorian Gothic church was commissioned in 1870 by the first Marquess and Marchioness of Ripon to commemorate the Marchioness’ brother who had been allegedly murdered in Greece.

St Mary’s Church was one of two, late Victorian, memorial churches in Yorkshire, built by the family of the First Marquess of Ripon in memory of Frederick Grantham Vyner. The other is the Church of Christ the Consoler at Skelton-on-Ure, and the architect of both wasWilliam Burges. Vyner was murdered by Greek bandits in 1870 and his mother, Lady Mary Vyner, and sister, Lady Ripon, used the unspent ransom, gathered to obtain his release, to build two churches in Vyner’s memory on their respective Yorkshire estates. Burges’ appointment as architect was most likely due to the connection between his greatest patron, John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute and Vyner, who had been friends at Oxford. St Mary’s, on Lady Ripon’s estate at Studley Royal, was commissioned in 1870 and work began in 1871. The church was consecrated in 1878. As at Skelton, Burges’ design demonstrates a move from his favoured Early-French, to an English style.Pevsner writes of “a Victorian shrine, a dream of Early English glory.” The interior is spectacular, exceeding Skelton in richness and majesty. The stained glass is of particularly high quality. St Mary’s is Burges’ “ecclesiastical masterpiece.”[3]

So what is stopping you? I can’t recommend Fountains Abbey enough, have a look at the National Trust website and make some time to get there this year, I will finish with some more photos and I look forward to snapping more deer and the open spaces for my next visit to Studley Royal.

Water gardens of Studley Royal, Fountains Abbey Saturday 31st January 2015 Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4 1/1,000 sec, ISO 800
Water gardens of Studley Royal, Fountains Abbey
Saturday 31st January 2015
Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4
1/1,000 sec, ISO 800

Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey

Chair in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Chair in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Multi colours at Fountains Abbey
Multi colours at Fountains Abbey

Multi colours at Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

 

 

OK, I could not resist including some of my photos from a visit earlier in Autumn 2014, and Boxing Day also…thanks for reading and let me have your comments.

 

Dublin for Dummies

I have been to Dublin numerous times, and it must be time to return there soon.

A city that can teach you a thing or two, always a tourist destination to tick off the list, I have rounded up some tips and pictures from previous visits to remind me of this amazing place.

Trinity College, Dublin

Worth a look, this is what Wikipedia has to say.

Trinity College (Irish: Coláiste na Tríonóide), known in full as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin,[7] is a research university and the soleconstituent college of the University of Dublin in Ireland.

The college was founded in 1592 as the “mother” of a new university,[Note 1] modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and ofCambridge, but, unlike these, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations “Trinity College” and “University of Dublin” are usually synonymous for practical purposes. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland[citation needed][clarification needed], as well as Ireland’s oldest university.

Originally established outside the city walls of Dublin in the buildings of the dissolved AugustinianPriory of All Hallows, Trinity College was set up in part to consolidate the rule of the Tudor monarchyin Ireland, and it was seen as the university of the Protestant Ascendancy for much of its history. Although Catholics and Dissenters had been permitted to enter as early as 1793,[8] certain restrictions on their membership of the college remained until 1873 (professorships, fellowships and scholarships were reserved for Protestants),[9] and the Catholic Church in Ireland forbade its adherents, without permission from their bishop, from attending until 1970. Women were first admitted to the college as full members in 1904.

Trinity College is now surrounded by Dublin and is located on College Green, opposite the formerIrish Houses of Parliament. The college proper occupies 190,000 m2 (47 acres), with many of its buildings ranged around large quadrangles (known as ‘squares’) and two playing fields. Academically, it is divided into three faculties comprising 25 schools, offering degree and diploma courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As of 2014, it was ranked by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as the 138th best university in the world, by the QS World University Rankings as the 71st best, by the Academic Ranking of World Universities as within the 151–200 range, and by all three as the best university in Ireland.[10][11][12] The Library of Trinity College is alegal deposit library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million printed volumes and significant quantities of manuscripts (including the Book of Kells), maps and music.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) aims in all its activities to create for the public an enjoyable and engaging experience of contemporary art. It achieves this through a dynamic and changing programme of exhibitions and education programmes based in its home at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and working with partners nationally and internationally. As the national institution for contemporary art IMMA is committed to supporting artists’ work, and works with artists and partners to support the development, understanding and enjoyment of contemporary art in Ireland.

Dublin, Feb 2008, Museum of Modern Art You have to hand it to him Nikon D200, 55mm, f4.5. 1/250 sec, ISO 200
Dublin, Feb 2008, Museum of Modern Art
You have to hand it to him
Nikon D200, 55mm, f4.5. 1/250 sec, ISO 200
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. The Royal Hospital was founded in 1684 by James Butler, Duke of Ormonde and Viceroy to Charles II, as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for almost 250 years.
The style is based on Les Invalides in Paris with a formal facade and a large elegant courtyard. The Royal Hospital in Chelsea was completed two years later and also contains many similarities in style. The Royal Hospital Kilmainham was restored by the Government in 1984 and opened as the Irish Museum of Modern Art in May 1991. For further information on the heritage of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

Roly’s Bistro

This is somewhere worth having a meal at –

http://www.rolysbistro.ie/about-rolys.html

Food is good and varied, service can be a bit patchy as the place is too busy for its own good – or has been whenever I have been there

Roly's Bistro, Dublin
Roly’s Bistro, Dublin

 

 

Evergreen Lodge, Yosemite National Park, California

California is amazing,

Yosemite National Park has to be one of its highlights.

Family trip to Yosemite National Park, summer 2007, part of a California extravaganza.
Staying three nights at the Evergreen Lodge, in a (bear-proof) cabin.

We all love a National Park.

And Yosemite National Park, California, USA is about as good a National Park as you can get!

Evergreen lodge, Yosemite California
Evergreen lodge, Yosemite California – a great place to stay.

 Lots to do on foot, on wheels and in water!

The Evergreen Lodge cannot be recommended highly enough as a base actually at the edge of the Park, for families looking to explore and stay a few days.

Lazy tourists, Yosemite
Lazy tourists, Yosemite

For those who want to do some walking, hiking and exploring, the above lazy day-trip on a low loader is not the right way to see Yosemite!

What you want to do is get out there and swim with your kids in the creek……..

swimming in the creek - and in the rain!  Yosemite National Park
swimming in the creek – and in the rain!
Yosemite National Park

Or taking a sunset safari in an off-roader with some strangers to sit and drink wine, looking out over california skies of every colour…

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California
Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California
Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California
Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California
Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California
Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California
Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California
Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

There is so much natural beauty around you, from the landscape, to the wild-life, big and small!

little critters...
little critters…
This bear cub was up a tree in the park and being helped down by the rangers with some honey
This bear cub was up a tree in the park and being helped down by the rangers with some honey

The Evergreen lodge is welcoming, safe and clean. A great base for a family trip, we stayed in a wooden cabin and ate and drank in the clubhouse nearby.

Evergreen Lodge, cozy haven from bears
Evergreen Lodge, cozy haven from bears

What you really come to Yosemite for is the scenery, and it will take your breath away, believe me!

The open space, the joshua tree, the parched sun roasted rocks and the amazing forest and cliffs that soar above the valley bottom are amazing.

The Yosemite Park web site is a good place to start.

Evergreen lodge, Yosemite California Evergreen lodge, Yosemite California Yosemite Evergreen lodge, Yosemite California Yosemite Yosemite Yosemite

Yosemite
Yosemite
El Capitan, Yosemite
El Capitan, Yosemite

This place is one of beauty and inspiration. Yes, it is teaming with tourists, and yes, you do need to plan your activities and take some time, rather than running through it in a couple of hours.

Just think how long it has been here, and how lucky you are yo have been; even if the bears didn’t get you, they may do next time!

 

Viva Las Vegas!

Wynn, Las Vegas
Wynn, Las Vegas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was reminded today by Tom on twitter of just how horrible Las Vegas is – and the fact that I took the family there as part of a major trip mainly around California, but also sneaking in Palm Springs and Vegas seven years ago now in 2007. An amazing holiday, with a bling-encrusted finale.

Viva Las Vegas!

Las Vegas bags
Lass Vegas bags, ready to come home

Here are some shots anyhow, I think they were taken on a small samsung digital camera, certainly it was before I had an iphone – which ws I think launched that year.

Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas Las Vegas

I remember one of the most amazing parts was the drive to Vegas across the desert, and the surreal 3 days that followed. I would be very keen to revisit to with a decent camera; sadly there is nothing too creative about these shots- which says all you need to know about Las Vegas; the one visit is probably all I will need in my lifetime.