Leaving London on a Friday accompanied by hundreds of holiday makers and commuters, escaping the city madness and venturing north to the countryside was an adventure I was yet to appreciate. Initially planning a short visit to catch up on long lost family history and engage with the relatives that for no reason known to me I had lost contact with, turned out to be one of the most beautiful mini breaks I will cherish for the rest of my days.
Breaking free and leaving the big smoke behind me, winding down as the train shunted north and the soothing sound of the railway settled my busy mind with every mile as this masterpiece of modern engineering brought me closer to my destination. I found myself gazing out to the countryside, passing beautiful towns, green pastures filled with live stock, forests, rivers and creeks, as the tracks carved their way through the vast and everchanging country. Destination Barnard Castle, County Durham, the North East of England, a medieval town filled with beautiful churches, a castle as the name suggests, an old ‘butter mart’, grey stone cottages topped with slate roofs and beautifully rose dressed front gardens. The pubs, marvellous restaurants and the village shops all adding to the fairy tale village atmosphere.
On my first day, the howling winds of the north blew the cobwebs away, as we walked through the narrow alleys and ventured into the Bowes Museum to discover the artefacts displayed from all over Europe. A grand building seemingly misplaced in this quaint town but attracting art enthusiasts from near and far to revel in the beauty of this outstanding collection. Venturing out to explore the woodland waterfall before night fall and turning in for an evening meal in front of the fire place.
The sun graced us with her presence on the second day, making way for me to explore some of the astounding beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The air so crisp and clear, the autumn colours so vivid, as the light flirted with the trees’ leaves in a loving dance to the tune of the wind. The sheep on the road side, curious and equally anxious. The views so grand and glorious I was catapulted to another world within minutes of stepping one foot onto the soft, moss covered field. And as I travel back to London in the winter dark I am mesmerised by the beauty of our world. A world so different from anything I am surrounded by today, that I am excited by the possibilities of exploring more of these places on my journeys and look forward to the day I return.