The main section of Kirkstall Abbey was built by the Cistercian monks between 1152 and 1182, but several parts were added on to it over the next 200 years. They believe the buildings were last used in 1539, and the site fell into disrepair. (Hm. Some kind of a formatting problem today. No time to fix it now!)
The trail to the Abbey was very muddy.
And the river was nearing overflow levels!
But mama swan and her babies didn't seem to mind the wet weather.
The ruins of Kirstall Abbey
When we made it to Otley, we stopped in the visitors center and library and got a map of the town and used their internet for a bit. By now, the time was getting on to 2:00pm and we hadn’t had any lunch yet. Several people have told us that Wetherspoons pubs have some good food deals, so we stopped in there for lunch and a cold drink. It was busy, but we did get a table for two. We’ve learned the procedure in pubs now! You normally go to the bar to place your food order, and pick up your drinks at the same time, then pay, then go sit down. Then your meal is brought to you when it’s ready. There is not normally any tipping involved with getting lunch in a pub, and the price on the menus is the price you pay…any taxes are already included in the prices that you see advertised. We had a “two meals for one price” special of ham and eggs and chips at £6.49 ($10.71) plus a pint of beer for me and a half pint of cider for Ruth. Total bill was £9.23 ($15.23) .
The pub where we had lunch.
During our meal, it started to rain fairly hard and the pub got quite full. When we were done, there was a break in the rain and we headed across the street to a major grocery store just to wander around and wait out the rain. Sure enough, a few minutes later it stopped and we headed out to hike up the hill in Chevin County Park. We had been told of a beautiful view at the park, and yes, it was uphill every step of the way to get to that view! But half way up it started raining again!
Ruth, going up the public foot path on the right.
To a beautiful view of the town of Otley!
It was 5:00pm by the time we climbed back down to Otley, and we were soaked! But we enjoyed the hike and we were wearing clothes that dry fairly quickly. We thought about skipping the village of Ilkley, but if we did we would probably never make it there again. Besides, it doesn’t get dark until after 9:00pm, so we decided to carry on. First though, we stopped in at that grocery store to pick up a few items we needed for lunches today. As we were entering the grocery store, Ruth spotted a £10 note lying on the ground! That’s $16.50! Some of you will remember when we found money while out for a walk near Valle de Bravo in Mexico this spring. How lucky is that?!
There are a couple of different buses that go from Otley to Ilkley. We used our Day Rover passes again and it was about a 15 minute ride. The driver was fast! He dropped us off at the Ilkley train station and we figured out the schedule to get back to Leeds on the train. That gave us only an hour or so to wander around. We headed up a hill for a bit of a view and then back to the downtown area. Ilkley seems a little more affluent than Otley, but we think we liked Otley better for some reason. Oh, one funny thing we noticed was that the Wetherspoons pub in Ilkley had the same menu as the one in Otley, but it’s prices were higher! Is that because it’s in a more affluent area? Strange.
The town of Ilkley
Lots of rain caused a bit of a river on the footpath!
And then we took the train back to Leeds. It was a 25 minute ride from Ilkley, and then we had to switch trains in Leeds to get to Burley Park area. These Day Rover passes are definitley the most versatile way to see the area, and especially for families!
Today, we’re off to do some family history research. I have a great-great grandfather buried in Outwood Cemetery near Wakefield, so that’s the first stop. And then into Wakefield itself to do some more exploring!