Friday, August 24, 2007

24 August: Raby Castle (and socks)

Yesterday was a lovely day, so I had a little trip out. Raby Castle is not far away, and I have never been to the castle or the gardens. Sadly, the kiosk attendant didn't challenge my request for an OAP ticket.

In fact, the gardens were pleasant, but a little bit dull. This was the fanciest part, with a view across the little valley to the castle.

The deer in the park were obligingly posing for photographs. The wall in the background of this picture is the outside of the gardens, and there are wonderful fruit trees trained on it, all loaded with pears and apples.

Huge old trees stand in the park - this chestnut has very textured bark.

Part of the moat has water, fed by a small stream. Plenty of ducks live on it, and the deer and cattle trample parts of the bank when they go to drink. I didn't photograph the cattle, as they were not only enormous, but also horned, and were lying quietly in the sunshine - no need to upset them.

There was an extra charge to go into the castle, and a look at the guide book in the gift shop convinced me that I didn't want to go in. Visitors were strolling about on the south-facing terrace which overlooks the lake , and round the west facing entrance to the inner courtyard - I waited till they had moved on before I took this picture from across the moat -

It would perhaps have been more enjoyable in company, although most of the couples I saw there were sitting dourly reading the paper (some of them just in the car park!). I took my own picnic, as had most other people, although the stables tea-room seemed to be doing a good trade. The shop had the usual selection of fancy key-fobs, expensive mugs, and strange music CDs. For a change, the toilets were unvisited, but I did have a look round the adventure playground, partly to see if the grandchildren might enjoy it on a future visit, and partly to see if there were any swings I could play on. No swings, and the death slide was in use.

The latest pair of socks - yes, I'm bored of socks, but there was this ball of Socka wool I bought at the Woolfest, which needed to be knitted up. Lovely subtle colours, sufficiently subdued for DH. Wonder how he got that scrape on his shin?


KAZ said...

Isn't it nice to have a 'little trip out' - just 'cos you feel like it?

Granny J said...

That's a very Castle-Looking castle you visited there! Just like the picture books, in fact!

stitchwort said...

kaz - not arf!

granny j - yes, and in pretty good condition too. It's occupied by Lord Barnard - I think the family have been there for many generations.

PI said...

Now where is Raby Castle I wonder?

stitchwort said...

pi - just off the A688 a few hundred yards north of Staindrop, County Durham, midway between Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle.