‘Canal-Tastic’ Yorkshire Break
an overnight stay in Ibis Hotel, Shipley, 21st August 2011

beautiful riverside Knaresborough
Its a very rare treat to get away without ‘the kids’ lately so we jumped at the chance of an overnight stay in the Ibis Hotel at Shipley an absolute bargain at £31 with an‘all you can eat’ buffet breakfast thrown in for good
We packed ourselves a picnic& set off for an afternoon in Knaresborough. Neither of us had been before so we were pleased to discover what a gorgeous place it is, a mish-mash of cottages sprawling along the side of the River Nidd (looking to me like a riverside version of Robin Hoods Bay aka ‘Delightful’!). Admission to the castle was just £1 each (special offer for the day) another bargain. The castle itself consisted of ‘the keep’,  courtroom/museum & the ‘secret’ tunnel, which I enjoyed immensely although I’m not sure how secret it is!

We headed along the river past the beautiful views of the viaduct & on to Mother Shiptons cave…
At £6 each admission I can safely say I’ll never be going there again.
Yes it was a lovely walk along the opposite river bank but you could do that for free on ‘tuther side! I didn’t care for the dangling objects that were being ‘petrified’, I thought that was tacky (although plenty of people would disagree with me) & I didn’t buy into the whole ‘Mother Shipton/witch/fortuneteller/ medicine woman (insert your own definition here) story, I did however stick my hand in the wishing well & make a wish ‘coz you just never can be too sure about these stories!….. Knaresborough was having some kind of art festival & we were quite taken with the trompe l'oeil on many of the buildings…I would definitely like a return visit & probably would stay overnight & sample some of the Knaresborough BlondeWitch Real Ale (which was sadly out of stock in the local independent ale store…)

114 miles?! Not in these shoes!
This part of Yorkshire is full of canals. Our hotel in Shipley was right next to the ‘Leeds - Liverpool’ canal & we had a lovely view of it from our room window.
Of course one of the main purposes of our trip was to try the local
Real Ales & we weren’t disappointed. The ‘Saltaire Blonde’  was light & fruity & became
my ale of choice for the night… after I’d tried‘Copper Dragon’ (urgh! too sweet & honey-ish.) although I did sample a pint or two of  something to do with ‘Acorns’in the legendary ‘Fanny’s Ale House’ (well worth a visit!)…
speaking of pubs we walked along the canal to ‘The Boathouse Inn’ at Saltaire, a lovely walk but not advisable in huge heeled shoes! The ‘Noble Comb’ was also nice & right next to the hotel too & we even ventured into Wetherspoons ‘Norman Stanley’& the lovely man did us a great deal on food, but high-light of the night for me was
‘Fanny’s Ale House’…

After a fantastic breakfast we headed off in search of ‘East Riddlesden Hall’  in Keighley.
After much shouting, arm flinging & taking wrong roads we eventually arrived at the
peaceful National Trust beauty that is East Riddlesden Hall, a must for anybody visiting the area..The gardens were in full bloom, fruit on the trees, ducks were adorable & staff were extremely friendly & knowledgeable (ask Pat why there’s a hole in the wall above thefire place if you don’t believe me!)
 Do try the yummy strawberry roulade in the tea-room & don’t miss the amazing ‘old barn’  before you leave ….
And our final destination of the weekend was the pretty canal town of Skipton. After a wander by the canal with a delicious ice cream from the ‘Tug’ shop we stopped off at the Craven Museum& marveled at a ‘Shakespeare’s first folio’ before sauntering over to the castle (which has taken two visits to Skipton to finally find, we’ll we were drunk the first time!) We posed for photos at the castle entrance then after careful consideration of the entrance
fee/available visiting time  ratio decided we’d leave it for our next trip& maybe bring ‘the kids’ now we’ve
‘found’ the castle I’m sure it won’t be moving anytime soon!

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