Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Helmsley and Helmsley Castle

When you move to a new place, unless you spend a lot of time studying Google Maps like my husband, you really have no sense of place at all.  For several months people would mention village names and local places, and I would vaguely smile and nod while I really had no frame of reference about where these places were in relation to me.  BUT, slowly and bit by bit we are visiting places or driving through places, and the little light bulb comes on for me.  "Ah, so this is Ilkley...".  

Helmsley  was another one of those names that I had heard mentioned frequently, and it lay in the path of our snow day adventure last month.  KJ is always on the lookout for places we can get entrance to with our English Heritage pass, so Helmsley Castle was the perfect spot.

It's a really lovely village.

I think some form of the castle has been here for 900 years.  There were lots of weapons found from when it was a stronghold during the English Civil War, which you can see inside one of the remaining parts of the castle.  There's also a really huge moat, and the tower is really impressive.

The sunshine was nice because it was actually pretty bitterly cold.

We made it down the icy stone steps with no incidents, which always feels like a success on a family outing.

KJ and James stepped into one of the many cafes for hot chocolate while Ella and I checked out the charity shops and the book shop.  I'd say we were all doing our favorite things to do in a village.

There are so many wonderful bookstores scattered around North Yorkshire that it occurred to me for the first time on this outing that I needed to take a picture of them all, especially when I purchased a book.  So from now on we'll have fun records like these:

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