Saturday mornings

There’s something about a Saturday morning.  Not having to reach to turn the alarm off at 6.30am is my favourite part, and although we have to be up and out reasonably early to get not so small daughter to work, that’s not a bad thing as I consider Saturday to be my Day Off and therefore, once she’s safely delivered, I can Do What I Like.

Today, I’m chatting to you.  The window is open, the birds are singing, the dog is snoring gently in the hallway.  The sun is making appearances from behind white fluffy clouds and my washing is blowing gently on the line.  Later, I intend to go into the greenhouse and sow some seeds (my seed-sowing has been a bit of a disaster this year but I’m hoping it’s not too late to grow something).

Astrid the cat is sitting on the windowsill, breathing in the fresh air and keeping an eye out for Hattie who has taken to bringing home large feathers and the occasional dead furry thing.  I’m not so keen on that part as I have to tidy up whatever it is as she gets bored of it once she’s delivered her gift.

Enough of that, however – I have plenty to tell you about today, having missed a couple of weeks of general stuff with the Sockalong birthday (oh, I am still on cloud nine with that amazing new sock total, thank you for joining in!) and I do still need to post out Gillian and Jim’s prizes (sorry, the week got away from me), and when went through my photos there seemed to be far more than I remembered taking!  I’ll see how we go as I don’t want to bore you – I may end up splitting it into two posts!

Let me start off with a trip that I took on Tuesday.  Unlike today, it was grey and miserable with that drizzly, mizzly rain that hangs in the air and doesn’t feel like anything until you realise that you’re soaked, but I packed my boots and waterproof jacket in the car and pointed it in the direction of Yorkshire.  I was off to see my friend Lucy in Skipton, and I’ve been there so often that my car could drive there itself, I’m sure!  It was still drizzly and mizzly when I got there but after some breakfast (we always have breakfast together on Skipton Days, it’s a real treat plus it means the chance for another brew after a long drive), we decided to head out to Bolton Abbey to walk under the trees out of the rain.

A woodland path surrounded on both sides by wild garlic. The garlic is flowering and there are white flowers amongst the green

The wild garlic is flowering now and oh my goodness, it smelt AMAZING on that damp Tuesday afternoon.  And the green!  It was so bright and fresh that you couldn’t believe it was real!

We followed the path along the side of the River Wharfe; it’s a path we’ve walked many times before and we were so busy chatting that we came upon The Strid almost before we knew it.  I’ve written about it before – there is something very compelling about that water and the channels it has carved through the rocks, and maybe it’s because it’s actually very dangerous that it’s so compelling …

A waterfall between rocks

I’ve talked about The Strid before.  It’s a point a bit higher up – you can just about see the white foaming towards the top of this photo (I’ll show you a closer photo in a minute) where the water is forced between the rocks at high pressure and has created a chasm beneath the surface that is far deeper than you might imagine.  As fascinated by it as I am, it properly gives me the creeps too so we stay well away from that part, but on Tuesday, as the water level was so low, it was safe to walk along the rocks that would usually be under water.

A narrow section of river flowing through layered rocks covered with bright green moss. You can see how the rocks have been worn by the water

It’s amazing to think that most of the green rocks you can see are under water at certain times of the year – but you know that it’s the case when you see holes like this in the rock surface …

A round hole worn in the rock by water

And if the water creates a round hole like that, you can be sure it’s not flowing smoothly but there will be currents and eddies that you wouldn’t necessarily see from the river bank.

The rocks around The Strid are Millstone Grit, over 325 million years old.  325 million years!  The mind boggles, doesn’t it?  Lucy and I were smiling as we remembered our school geography lessons where we learnt about glaciers and how they carved their way through the Lake District creating U and V-shaped valleys, dragging rocks with them to create the drumlins (hills formed over glacial debris) of Yorkshire and the Peak District.  Ha!  You weren’t expecting a geography lesson today, were you?  But it just shows what you remember all those years later! 🙂

Millstone Grit stone was used for – as you might guess – millstones, but has also been used for roofing, paving and building stones.  It’s a very hard-wearing type of sandstone and if you think that this stone has been here for so long, then it must be very hard-wearing indeed!  It’s typical of the type of stone for them to form in layers and you can see some of them along the bank at the top of the photo.  This is towards the end of the Strid channel and the water is running much more slowly here.  You can even see the rocks underneath the surface which you can’t as you get higher up.

A narrow section of river flowing through layered rocks covered with bright green moss. There is a huge rock in the middle of water.

Look how the water has worn these rocks down!  They’re so smooth!  The water is starting to hollow out the rock on the right, and maybe in another few centuries that will be another crevice hidden under the water when it runs high.

Worn millstone grit rocks in the water near The Strid, Yorkshire

As we got closer to The Strid itself, the water was moving faster and you can see how it’s been churned on the way down …

Water rushing from The Strid waterfall along a narrow channel of rocks. The rocks have been worn smooth by the water

Here’s The Strid.  Doesn’t look so bad, does it?  Just a small waterfall between some rocks.  Nothing to worry about there.

Water rushing down a narrow channel between rocks. The water level is low and you can stand on the rocks near to the waterfall. The rocks are covered with green moss

But here is why it gives me the creeps.  There was a new information board up by the water which shows you what the chasm looks like beneath that churning water.  The image of the diver is there for context, I think, because I can imagine that once you’ve dropped down into that hole and there is tons of water powering down on top of you, you’re not coming out again.  Brrr!  Has it given you the creeps as well? 🙂   No?  This video might …

A noticeboard showing the depth of the chasm below The Strid waterfall

Lucy and I left The Strid and headed back along the path to the cafe because it was time for a sit down and a brew.  The Pavilion Cafe at Bolton Abbey is a nice place to sit, and dog-friendly too if you visit with your woof, which is always good to know!

“Do you know, we’ve been chatting for four hours non-stop?” she said, looking at the clock in the car as we drove back to Skipton.  That sounds like my perfect kind of day 🙂


I’ve got loads more to tell you – what’s been going on in the garden and on my needles – but I think I should save that for another post or your weekend will be gone!  A quick catch-up though … I’ve currently got four projects on the go – the socks I’m designing to hopefully raise a few pennies towards not so small daughter’s Nepal trip this summer, my cousin’s Winter Icicle socks, walking socks for not so small daughter in WYS ColourLab Sock DK and the Kate Davies mystery shawl.  I’ve nearly finished the Winter Icicle socks, I’m checking the pattern for the Nepal socks, I’m up to the heel of the first ColourLab sock (gotta love how fast DK knits up!) and I’ve started the first clue of the mystery shawl.  I don’t want to post any spoilers so I may keep that one quite vague as I know that there are a few of you knitting it as well, but I can tell you that I am enjoying it so far!


Finally for today, I wanted to let you know that a couple of rooms have come free on big daughter’s yoga retreat next weekend in case you might be interested.  You can find out more details about the retreat which is from Friday 24 to Monday 27 May 2024 in Coniston, the Lake District, UK, here:

This will be the third retreat at this magical house and you can read my posts about the first one here, and last year’s here if you’d like to see some photos.


I’ll be back soon to finish off telling you what I’ve been up to and hopefully have some more woolly progress to share!  Until then, have a lovely weekend! xx



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12 Responses

  1. Patrice Davis says:

    Thank you for sharing your life. I enjoy it very much.

  2. Susan Rayner says:

    Beautiful photos of The Strid – very creepy to think of that huge cavern underneath the almost innocuous surface.
    We enjoyed a very special holiday at The Devonshire Arms in Bolton Abbey many years ago and visited Skipton too (we were on our way up to Scotland but with some very nice stop offs) – nothing but happy memories of such a lovely part of the world – all sadly long before Winwick Mum and Attic 24 – we must revisit Yorkshire and Cheshire soon.

    • winwickmum says:

      I remember you saying that you stayed there once before – the area has probably not changed much! You should definitely put a return visit on your list 🙂 xx

  3. Jean Sharp says:

    I read a book earlier this year, and one of the characters was trying to work out how to get her victim to The Strid in order to bump them off! 😉😊😊
    Bolton Abbey is very peaceful.

  4. Lenore says:

    Sounds like the perfect day out Christine, although you may have missed the sunshine. Lovely photos. Xx ❤️🌺

  5. Liz Hirst says:

    I could smell the wild garlic and hear her river running as I read your blog, many happy memories of childhood trips to Bolton Abbey and walking to the strid. School trips too when our headteacher Miss Bradshaw would instruct us all on the names of the trees and flowers – happy days! Watch out for pesky slugs in your garden🤨 my sunflowers, beans and lupins have all suffered 😖 on a knitting note I started a pair of trainer socks whilst poll clerking at the recent election day, got half a sock done as the turn out was very low! couldn’t sit idle for a day😊

    • winwickmum says:

      That’s an excellent use of your polling clerk time! I’ve done that job many years ago and took my knitting too – it’s a great opportunity to get a good few rows or rounds in when it’s quiet! 🙂 Every year, I have a problem with slugs and snails so my new garden border is deliberately full of slug-deterring plants – at least, that’s what I hope! 🙂 xx

  6. Barbara Goodyear says:

    Thank you Christine for lovely photos plus video about the Strid. Whether or not we shall ever get there I don’t know. This morning my darling Toby (greyhound) couldn’t get to his feet at 7am. He has hardly moved all morning and it’s nearly midday. Not even managed to get to the garden. He’s looking a little easier now but not risking anything. We shall see…. I shall still look forward to more of your blogs. Thank you.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Toby and I hope that he’s picked up as the day has gone on. Sometimes, they just need a quiet day, don’t they, and I hope it’s no more than that xx

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