Explore where you are.
That’s what my parents got us doing when we were growing up.
They had this theory that there was so much of the UK to see and appreciate before we started flying off on jet planes.
Our family holidays took us to Scarborough, Whitby, Northumberland and one VERY rainy trip to Cornwall we don’t talk about anymore…
I have definitely grown up with a love of exploring England. I adore a good day trip – and when theres a bit of sunny weather I jump at the chance to go off and explore. Little lady H was spending Father’s Day weekend with her Dad. So Mike & I decided to head to Knaresborough to see the sights.
Knaresborough is one of those places I’ve seen on postcards (and on trip advisor), and it looks perfect! There are pretty viaducts, rowing boats, cute cafes and It is just as good as it looks in real life. I got all excited and giddy at the cuteness of it all!
We had lunch in a lovely little pub called the Half Moon Free House which serves beautiful cheese boards and local ales. It was the perfect weather for a wander along the River Nidd. From the Half Moon it’s a lovely ten minute walk along the river to get up to the second bridge where you find Mother Shipton’s Cave. It’s as beautifully random as it sounds. Mother Shipton is an ancient prophetess born in a cave near a petrifying well.
To access the weird and quirky world of Mother Shipton’s, it’s £7 for adult entry into the park. It’s well worth it. There are quirky trees, faces carved into logs and a whole sense of eerie magic. There’s a fabulous adventure play area for kids and the paths are wide, even and very pram friendly.
One of the highlights of Mother Shipton’s is the famous Petrifying Well. The cascading waters slowly turn the hanging objects to stone. Over about 4 months a teddy bear goes from soft and fluffy to completely rock hard. It’s incredible to see! There are fantastic audio boxes that are child friendly and explain the whole process.
It’s a bit too tempting to touch the petrified objects when they’re hanging there so alluringly. I won’t tell you if we did… but I can tell you they’re definitely turing to stone.
You can visit the cave where Mother Shipton herself was supposedly born one stormy night. It’s pretty creepy. Around the back of the Petrifying Well there’s a Wishing Well. It’s a hidden pool of water – tradition states you dip your right hand into the water while you make your wish. Then you have to let your hand naturally dry if you want your wish to come true. I loved how unusual it is!
The gift shop is just as quirky and intriguing! They even have a Zoltar fortune teller! Although I found this very realistic Mother Shipton awfully eerie. Her eyes followed you – at least it seemed like it!
After leaving Mother Shipton’s park we of course had to test out the quality of her pub! Which was an excellent end to the walk. We had a wander through Knaresborough centre and I loved how many independent shops there were. We were also partly avoiding hiring a rowing boat during the hottest part of the day because my fair ‘ginger’ skin does not do high heat and water!
We hired a rowing boat by the Marigold cafe. It’s £6 per adult to hire the boat for an hour. There’s something wonderfully and essentially British about rowing a boat up and down a river surrounded by sunshine and trees. Before you question – I did do some rowing too! I even managed to coordinate both oars for at least three or four strokes before I handed back control. I know – so proud!
So yes… Knaresborough gets a definite thumbs up from us! We’re planning to return in the summer holidays and do it all again with lady H! Thumbs up!