Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday 1 September - Castle Howard

The best time to see our street is early in the morning or late at night.
Getting there can be half the fun and it was certainly the case with the bus to Castle Howard. The timetable and maps clearly marked a 180 route Stephenson's of Easingwold bus.  A couple of minutes before time a Stephenson's route 183 bus to Malton turned up.  The driver opened the doors and started to chat. After a minute or so he pointed out that this was in fact the 180 but "they had cocked it up" so that the destination board couldn't show 180 to Castle Howard but only 183 which it became at Castle Howard for Malton. So we made the bus by sheer happenstance.
The timetable allowed 1 hour 23 minutes for the journey which was only 15 miles so it was by no means direct and called in at many small villages on the way. There were only a couple of people other than us. At one point we entered a small hamlet and passed an old couple on the other side of the road. The bus went 100 metres further, did a three point turn, picked them up and left the  village. They both smiled at us and said "Good morning" as they took their seats. We passed a sign for pig racing. That sounds interesting. I wonder if they have jockeys or if they are free range pigs?
We finally came to a cross roads where we could see Castle Howard for the first time but the bus turned away and went into another village where a three point turn was required before retracing our route to the crossroads and our destination. 
There is a sizeable discount on entry by showing our bus tickets. In fact it cost less to get in Castle Howard than the bus fare.
We first visited the house which is huge. It contains some interesting items but many areas are badly in need of restoration or renewal. As a museum it is good, as a house it is dark and mostly dingy.
Mad Hatters Tea Party

The grounds are pleasant and there is much good walking. The clouds were threatening most of the day with the occasional sunny break. There are several lakes and care has been taken to maintain their natural appearance. We had a snack at the Boat House on a deck set out over the water where ducks and swans cruised around looking for handouts.
Click here to see all pictures taken at Castle Howard
Coming back, the buses from Malton and York arrived together and we made very sure that we were on the right bus. The indicator did show 180 and we followed the same route back - with the same passengers.
This is a difficult picture to take because there are always cars in the way during the day - this is just across from the Minster.
I tried a Skipton beer this evening.  Quite pleasant with a good but not overpowering flavor of hops.

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