UK Road Trip

September 7, 2014 —Thirsk and the Dales

After breakfast Ward and Marylee left to take the train to Durham to look at the Cathedral and to attend another Church of England service.  The Dustrud’s are in Liverpool taking an all day Beatles tour.  We got in the car and drove to Thirsk, which is where Alf  Wight (aka James Herriot, author of the books about his life as a vet who practiced in the Yorkshire Dales) lived and had his practice.  The drive from York to Thirsk was only 34 miles, but took an hour.  In the first ten miles there was a roundabout about every half mile, but after that the drive was simpler.   The World of James Herriot, which is what the museum is called, is wonderful.  The home and office rooms are the real thing and the furnishings are the ones that were there in the years from about the 40s to the 90s when he and his family lived there.  There was a TV studio that contained equipment from the time of the filming of the BBC show “All Creatures Great and Small.”  We toured the museum for about 2 hours, then bought some souvenirs and also bought a map that showed the villages and the area in the Dales that Herriot traveled to on his house calls to animals.  TheHerriot Trail went though the Wensleydale and the Swaledale, but we didn’t go to the Swaledale.  We stopped first in East Witton, where we took pictures of a church and lots of sheep.  Our next stop was Middleham, where we saw the ruins of a castle, and we drove west as far as Askrigg.  Askrigg is where the outside photos of Skeldale house were shot and used for the TV production (not his actual home).  We stopped here for lunch about 2:30, but they had stopped serving food at the pub at 2:00.  On to Carerby, where we stopped at the Wheatsheaf Inn, where Alf  Wight honeymooned with his wife in 1941.  Couldn’t get food in the pub here, either.  We’ve almost depleted our store of road snacks.  Next we went by the Bolton Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned until she was executed at Fotheringhay Castle.  Then on to Leyburn, where we found the Bolton Arms, a pub that served food all day, and we each ordered a bowl of potato soup around 3:30.  Our last stop was in Wensley, where we believe we found the church that was used for James and Helen’s wedding in the TV series.  You can tell by the photos below that it was a beautiful day for sightseeing.  We headed back to York and got there around 5:30.  We rested up a bit and then walked with Marylee and Ward toward the city looking for a restaurant.  The Fulton Arms had such loud music that we passed it by, and the next pub didn’t serve food on Sunday.  We were lucky, though, because we found an Indian restaurant where we had some very nice food.  Jay had #43 and Barbara had #79 (just like a Chinese restaurant)..  That’s Zal Naga (spicy chicken) and Tandoori king prawns.  Ward had some special concoction and Marylee had chicken curry that stained her best jacket.  We walked home and worked on the blog before turning in.  Our room at Ashbourne House is very modest, but the pillows and bed are great and that’s our top priority.  

James Herriot Museum - his home and church

James Herriot Museum - the sitting room

James Herriot Museum - the air raid shelter

James Herriot Museum - the dispensary

James Herriot Museum - the kitchen

James Herriot Museum - back of house and garden

James Herriot Museum - the TV studio

Thirsk market


Driving through the Dales

Driving through the Dales

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Carperby

Bolton Castle - Mary Queen of Scots imprisoned here

Driving through the Dales

Driving through the Dales - 1-way bridge

© Jay 2020