Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Sunday 21 October 2007 - Aysgarth

After settling up £45 a head for B&B for the weekend including Saturday night’s meal, we all pootled down to Aysgarth. Out of the 43 of us on this trip, 22 adults and 16 children set off from Aysgarth Falls car park on a stroll beside the falls and on along easy paths to Castle Bolton. The long string of people reminded me of the Italian coach parties we sometimes encounter in the Dolomites, but at least here there are no Via Ferrata ‘traffic jams’ to contend with. There was a reasonable amount of water in the river, and plenty of space for lots of folk to enjoy their day out. Beside the castle in Castle Bolton is a fine meadow where we enjoyed our lunch, but which in past times we supposed may have been utilised for animal enclosures within the village.

A spectacular mediaeval fortress, Bolton Castle itself took over 18 years to build and was completed by Richard le Scrope, 1st Lord Scrope of Bolton and Lord Chancellor of England in 1399. Unbelievably (to me anyway) it has never been sold, and remains in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, Richard le Scrope’s descendant. The castle has five floors, sparsely furnished with tableaux depicting castle life in the 15th century. During the English Civil War this was a royalist stronghold, and was besieged and fell to Cromwell in 1645. Much of the castle, with its mighty towers and rectangular courtyard, survived orders to destroy famous Yorkshire castles issued by Parliament in the Civil War.
The castle is externally three-quarters complete and internally about a third; it is one of the best preserved castles remaining in private ownership. Its interesting history is described in more detail on the history pages here.

Yesterday we had walked 24 km, but today we simply completed a sunny circuit of about 10 km back to Aysgarth – where the tea room received some good custom before we departed on our various ways.

This afternoon we passed some friendly animals that looked as if they were in the wrong continent…

Were they llamas, or alpaca?

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