Our September visit to England continued as we departed the Peak District and set off for Barnard Castle in County Durham. On the way we made a stop at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in the village of Haworth, West Yorkshire.
The Bronte family arrived in the parsonage in 1820 and the sisters spent most of their lives there. The area inspired many of the novels written by the Bronte sisters. Today, the parsonage is a museum operated by the Bronte Society. Founded in 1893, it is one of the oldest literary societies in the world.
From Haworth we continued our drive to Barnard Castle. The town of Barnard Castle is located on the River Tees in County Durham, just north of Yorkshire. To our surprise, the town was much bigger than we anticipated. The accommodation I had booked turned out the be one of the most beautiful places we have rented over the years in our travels. The cottage was part of an old mill and was positioned right on the edge of the River Tees. The view from our veranda was breathtaking. If any reader is travelling to Yorkshire or County Durham and is looking for an amazing 1-bedroom cottage to stay in, contact me and I will provide contact information.
Another absolute treasure located on the edge of the town is the Bowes Museum. The museum was actually built for that purpose in the 19th Century by John and Josephine Bowes. The couple were collectors who built the museum to share their art with the public. Aside from a world class collection of fine art, china, silver, furnishings and other items of decorative art, the museum houses the amazing Silver Swan. Crafted out of silver, the automaton dates back to 1793. Once a day, a museum employee gives a little talk about the swan, then winds up the 3 mechanisms and the swan performs. It first preens its back then plucks a fish from the water and swallows it.
The £14.00 entry fee to the Bowes Museum is good for unlimited entry for the following year. We took advantage of this great offer to visit the museum twice during the week we stayed in Barnard Castle.
With cool, rainy weather during the week, we opted to spend some of the time just relaxing in our beautiful cottage. We did spend one day tracing some of my wife’s roots in Yorkshire. On another day we took a drive to the highest pub in the British Isles. Tan Hill Inn is located high in the North Yorkshire Dales. Dating back to the 17th century, the Inn is warm, cozy, and serves great food and ales – exactly what you want from an English Pub!
On our drive back to Barnard Castle, we stopped at Brough and nearby Brough Castle for a short visit.
About a 10 minute drive from our accommodation was Egglestone Abbey – worthy of a sunrise shoot!
And of course, I had to do a sunset shoot of the imposing Barnard Castle itself.
After a delightful, and somewhat restful visit to Barnard Castle, we were off for the next part of our adventure – cruising canals in a narrowboat … stay tuned!