West Surrey Area
Museums & Art Galleries
Cranleigh DFAS on Tour -
The Art, Historic Houses
& Heritage of Yorkshire
Sunday 8th to Thursday 12th May 2016
early on Sunday morning 24 of us met in the Village Hall car park and
set off for our trip to Yorkshire, in our 5-star coach. After a
comfort break and the opportunity to buy lunch at a service station we
arrived earlier than anticipated at Bolsover Castle, in
Derbyshire. We had asked to see their famous indoor riding school
but were told that was not possible as there were events planned across
the day. However, when we arrived there were spaces in the first
event and we were able to enjoy both the riding display and see inside
this splendid Stuart building.
had time to visit the
castle with its newly renovated walkway, built by the Cavendish
family. William Cavendish decorated the rooms in the castle with
its exotic wall paintings, here they even entertained King Charles I
and his Queen. Just off the M1 this is a fascinating place to
Our second stop was in the village of
Bretton, at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where you can see sculptures
displayed on a grassy hillside. Our guide took us around seeing
works by Hepworth and Moore in the stunning surroundings. Several
of us were fascinated by Lucy Ryder and her sculptures featuring hares
which one could touch and feel the texture. This is a place to
spend a day.
We then went on to
the spa town of
Harrogate, where people used to take the waters which came from the
many springs abounding in the town. We stayed in the Majestic
Hotel throughout the trip. It was built in the Edwardian era to
house the many people taking the waters.
second day we were met by our Blue Badge Guide, Mike, who accompanied
us for the next 3 days, providing us with detailed local knowledge and
keeping us to time! We went by coach to the market town of
Pickering and joined the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which has been
preserved since 1967, after its closure under the Beeching Act in the
fifties. It is used for many films, in particular it is the
railway in the Harry Potter series. Unfortunately the steam
engine had broken down, so it was diesel, but the interiors of the
carriages were very smart. The
train passes through the
picturesque North York Moors.
We alighted at Grosmont and the
coach met us to take us into the resort of Whitby famed for its
harbour, the 13th century abbey on the cliff top, its jet jewellery,
cobbled streets and fish & chips!
After this stop we
climbed up again on to the moors and visited the Eden Camp, a former
prisoner of war camp, now a place depicting the history of World War
II. It has many military examples housed in the grounds and
former huts, but it also focuses on the human side of wartime.
3 took us again around the Vale of York. Our journeys on the
coach were memorable, seeing the countryside mostly in beautiful
late-spring weather. We were always comfortable and our driver
exceptional in negotiating all roads and traffic, however
difficult. We then visited Castle Howard still owned and lived in
by the Howard family who have been and presumably still are related to, or
connected with, most of the aristocracy. The guides were helpful
in the main house. It is richly decorated and furnished with some
very important paintings, for example one by Holbein of the father of
Catherine Howard: fifth, and laterly beheaded, wife of Henry VIII. This
house was built in the 18th Century.
an unexpected treat when we made a lunchtime stop in Ripon and
were able to visit the Cathedral and see its 15th Century carved
We had a rather
wet walk afterwards around the sights of Harrogate but
our spirits were not dampened and some people continued on to Betty’s
Café Tea Rooms. They first opened in Harrogate but are now in
several Yorkshire towns.
Day 4, and for some, an important pilgrimage to visit Haworth
Parsonage, home of the Brontë family. The extension on the back
of the parsonage brings the whole story to life and also brings out
that the family were not only talented writers but artists of
landscape, portrait, fauna and flora.
We took the Worth Valley railway from Haworth to Keighley and were
given some helpful background information by one of the guards.
This is the train journey featured in the film ‘The Railway Children’.
We then journeyed to Saltaire, the village created by the mill owner
Sir Titus Salt to provide good housing and a wide range of facilities
for his workers. The actual mill, Salt’s Mill, is now a gallery
and place for buying art products. It houses a wide range of
paintings by David Hockney, who was born and educated in nearby
Bradford. At the time of our visit many were out on loan to other
exhibitions but there was a room of his East Yorkshire tree paintings
and examples of work using his iPad.
Day 5 was our homeward journey but we stopped after an hour to visit
the splendid Hepworth Gallery on the river Calder in Wakefield.
We were able to view Barbara Hepworth’s stunning sculptures and
displays of the tools she used for her work. Outside the building
which most of us found architecturally appealing we had this group
John Wright, one of the group,
photographer throughout and we thank him for this. He moved about
quietly recording our experiences and there are some
great reminders here of this special trip. Our driver, Neil
Howard, was to be thanked, particularly as after a decent drive back to
Cranleigh, we hit the M25 and it was not at its best! He started
the journey saying his task was to keep us safe and comfortable and he
did this very well. Our agents Tailored Travel were very helpful
from assembling our ideas to making them work.
[Finally, we who
had the great good fortune to be participants in this tour would like
to add our sincere thanks to our organiser and inspirer, Liz Trickett,
for all she did to ensure our enjoyment and educate us in
the diverse cultural delights of her native county.]
CDFAS we think these trips help one to feel a real part of our society,
share thoughts and ideas with people and ‘get to know’ each other.
Text by Liz Trickett
Photos by John Wright