Stokesley, sock dryers and Sunday in Sedgefield…

On Friday, we’d arranged to meet our friends, Malcolm and Margaret in Stokesley, a small market town on the edge of the North Yorks Moors. We wandered around for a little while before meeting them and discovered a pack horse bridge over the river. It’s on an old route from Durham, through Helmsley and on to York. Records date the bridge to 1628. The tea room we’d intended to try was packed out so we repaired to Sadlers, where we had a lovely meal and a long catch up chat. The forecast rain didn’t begin till we’d said goodbye and we made it to the car without getting wet.

The next day, we’d booked an afternoon tea at Ushaw College a former Catholic Seminary, whose college and grounds are now open to the public. It lies on Ushaw Moor, a short 10 minute drive from my Mum’s home, the visit brought back quite a few memories for her. Confusingly, afternoon tea wasn’t served after 2pm so we’d opted for a 12:30 slot. The tea was slightly uninspiring and we partly regretted not using the refectory instead for hot food.

Some of the college is impressive, other parts less so. There was an animatronics installation of an eagle, the stunning refectory, chapel and a display of vestments. I was amused by the display of a sock dryer from the 1950’s, I seem to remember those winters being damp and dreary,  so a sock dryer would be a most useful item to have…

The gardens are small but beautifully managed and we whiled away half an hour round the curved paths.

Sunday lunchtime saw us back at the Pickled Parson in Sedgefield, where last year we celebrated Mum’s 90th birthday. We were recognised, which is always a nice thing and we enjoyed a relaxed lunch (I particularly recommend the deconstructed cheesecake)

Tomorrow we drive down to Stansted for our flight home on Tuesday morning…


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