|Is Christmas safely over?|
This is a lasso-shaped route round a little bit of Yorkshire which I have never explored before, although I have been to the Sun Inn many times. We all agreed that a return in warmer weather was essential, to check out the pretty upper valley of the Oak beck and solve the mystery of the Harrogate Waterworks metal hatch
This has separate bits labelled 'Mild Sulphur' and 'Strong Sulphur' - see second picture below - but my Googling has so far failed to ascertain why. I don't think that the town's famous sulphur springs spread this far so maybe the fresh Pennine water from Beaver Dyke, filtered through the local sandstone, is used to dilute the foul stuff at the actual spa. The search will go on.
We really want to explore the fragmentary but intriguing remains of John O'Gaunt's castle too, a place where King Edward I stayed and presumably gazed like us on the driving mediaeval rain. It was so wet and cold and the ground so sopping that we didn't even battle across to look at the noticeboard which you can maybe make out in the third picture on a stumpy wall to the left of the barn and below a shadowy wind turbine.
The weather looks a lot nicer in the picture than it was but, thank goodness, it stopped raining on the final leg back to the pub where a really nice Dad, who got engaged to his wife at the castle, gave us his table by the blazing fire.