We travelled up to Middleham to stay at the White Swan Hotel (www.whiteswanhotel.co.uk) and firstly called at Newby Hall (http://www.newbyhallandgardens.com/). Newby Hall has fantastic gardens as can be seen in the photos, and a very fine Georgian hall. The hall itself is entrance by guided your only which is a bit of bind when it’s nice weather so we didn’t bother going in. The gardens though are so expansive, it isn’t a wasted day!

On Monday we went down the road to Masham, mainly to visit the Black Sheep Brewery. On the way though we visited Constable Burton Hall Gardens (http://www.constableburton.com/) which is a private house but really nice quiet gardens which are open to wander around. We also visited Jervaulx Abbey, which is in private hands and instead of the usual preservation policy of places like English Heritage, their idea was to make a wildflower area and make them like the old 19th century ‘romantic ruins’. We also had to make a visit to Brymor ice-cream (http://www.abmoore.co.uk/) – mmmm!! On returning to Middleham we wandered up the hill to Middleham Castle which was Richard IIIs childhood and favourite castle (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/middleham-castle/).

Today, we went over to Richmond. We had a look around the magnificent castle there (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/richmond-castle/) and over to the Green Howards museum (http://www.greenhowards.org.uk/) which is very interesting. It’s a shame the defence review just announced by the Government includes discontinuing this famous part of the army. About a mile from Richmond is Easby Abbey (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/easby-abbey/) which is free to enter and much more complete than many historical properties we’ve visited before. The weather was cracking this afternoon and it was very quiet and relaxing.