On the last full day of our holiday the weather was pretty grim. It rained all day so, other than going down for an evening meal in one of the pubs, it was a time for, reading, relaxing and doing a bit of tidying.
It was a little brighter the next day as we were loading up the car and we spent half an hour or so doing a little shopping, taking some meat from the local butchers and local cheese home with us.
Driving up to Appleby the previous Friday we could see that there were roadworks on the M6 between Lancaster and Preston and knowing that they were still be there as we drove home we decided that as we weren’t in a hurry to get home that rather than spend an hour sitting in a traffic jam we’d turn off and saunter across country a little. So reaching the turn off for Kirkby Lonsdale, that’s exactly what we did.
We pulled in an parked up on the edge of the small town near the Devil’s Bridge and wandered into town centre with old buildings, stone cottages, cobbled courtyards and narrow alleyways. We had a little mooch around the shops and then made our way towards St Mary’s church.
There’s been a church here since Saxon times but the current building is Norman in origin, although it has been substantially altered over the years, resulting in architectural features from a number of periods.
Norman/Romanesque features include the doorway at the foot of the tower
and three round arches with their associated columns, bulkier than the slender Gothic versions, with a couple of them decorated with diamond shaped carvings , like those in Durham Cathedral.
The other arches are later pointed Gothic style.
The Norman column at the western end of the church has a “Green Man” carved on the capital.
Some nice Victorian stained glass in the lancet windows behind the altar
After looking around the church we walked across the churchyard towards the river. “Ruskin’s View” was cordoned off so we descended down the Radical Steps to the river bank. The steps were built in 1819 by Francis Pearson, a local Liberal. The locals came to call them the Radical Steps on account of his political leanings. There are allegedly 86 stone steps, although we didn’t count them. They were rather steep and uneven and probably easier to go up than down.
The River Lune was running high after all the rain the day before., but we able to make our way along the riverside path
Passing this old house (an old mill, perhaps).
After a short while we reached the Devil’s Bridge, which probably dates from the 12th or 13th century, and is now a scheduled ancient monument. The sun directly behind it didn’t make for a good photo, though.
I did, however, get a decent shot of the Lune from on top of the bridge!
Returning to our car we set off and took the road through pleasant countryside towards Settle, where we stopped to pick up some groceries and a brew and a bite to eat. We then headed back through the scenic Ribble Valley re-joining the M6 at the Tickled Trout. Half an hour later we were back home. It had been good to get away for a short break. The weather had been mixed, but that’s what we expect in Northern England during the Autumn. Nevertheless we’d seen some sights and I’d managed to get up to High Cup Nick on a beautiful sunny day and it’s always good to get the chance to relax and catch up with some reading. Roll on the next break!