Monday, 31 December 2012

A wet but fascinating walk

Is Christmas safely over?
This post is abuse of the moths blog since no moths feature in it, but I wanted to share my picture of an inquisitive goose. It saw Penny, myself and Olly off from the very fine Sun Inn in the Washburn valley on a soggy walk to Beaver Dyke reservoir and John O'Gaunt's castle.

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.


Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Happy new year Martin. Youve been out and about over the new year I see. Sorry to come in late but I thought you had the shutters up for the winter. Re the sulphur water question you might try a trip to the Pump Room Museum right across from the front gates of the Valley Gardens and tucked away behind the Crown Hotel. When I was a kid it was just 5 minutes from our house and I used to spend literally days in there in the summer holidays.

As you say its hard to imagine the sulphur springs spread their evil stench out to where you found the manhole covers so it really is a mystery. The Sun Inn was a favourite spot of my dad's when he fancied a little local ramble and wasnt doing competetive 100mile dashs in his 70s. God knows where he got the energy, he surely didnt pass it on to me.

Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Although I now learn that "It is no longer possible to sample the waters inside, or from a pump outside due to a February 2012 EU directive which found the chemical composition of the water to be unacceptable for human consumption"

That which doesnt kill us of course make us stronger