Lovely Leeds and beyond

Whilst we were in Buxton we took a drive to Castleton, a very pretty town with lots of stone cottages, a stream running through and a lovely bridge.


We did a couple of the local walks and then drove to Mam Tor, a rather lovely hill for hiking up. Even the drive in was pretty special.


The walk up was not overly difficult, but once up there I had a bit of a nervy turn because the wind was extremely strong and I had trouble holding myself upright. My hood is blowing up on its own, nothing to do with me. I also had a little problem with my walking poles and I couldn’t make them long enough, although they were the only thing stopping me taking a nosedive at several points. However, the views were absolutely magnificent and we were really lucky because the rain held off until we were back in the car.


We called into Sheffield, and I really enjoyed it. We visited the Register Office and looked at all the silver on display, and I found the sole survivor of the 120 police boxes that used to be dotted around the area. I was hoping to get inside as I was convinced it was tardis-like, but no luck!


We also came across the World Snooker Championships (or some such thing) and I did take a photo, but decided that men in black with sticks didn’t add much to the story!

Once we left Sheffield we headed to Leeds, calling in at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which is well worth a visit.  This is a semi-circle of Chinese zodiac signs, but I’ve forgotten who the artist is, so now I feel bad.



I am a Dragon, and people seem unsurprised when I tell them this!!


I’ve decided that my rain hat makes me look like Vera (from the tv series), but after posting this thought on IG and receiving lots of love for the Vera hat I’ve decided it’s quite cool. It certainly keeps the rain off my glasses and I don’t think I’m ever using an umbrella again. The hat doesn’t blow off and I feel really comfortable in it.  I used the Angela Lea Escape hat pattern. Luckily it is graded for small and large sizes, as I’ve also made this hat for Mark and our head sizes are polar opposites! I made it from the same fabric as my raincoat, lined with cotton from Crossgrain Fabrics and it is warm as well as keeping me dry.

The sculpture park is set in 300 acres of gardens, which are beautifully landscaped and maintained. I was so taken with the espaliered cherry trees. They obviously fruit and each tree was labelled with its type, being ornamental, culinary, etc. Some of them look very old and gnarly.


Although I enjoyed the sculptures very much, I must admit that the buildings enchanted me. This is the camelia house and here is Mark in his rainhat and the raincoat I made him. In fact every single item of clothing he is wearing was made by me. His hat is made from the same fabric as my raincoat and I put a leather band round it and lined it with fine wool tweed.


As we drive along I spot things and instantly make Mark do a detour. We passed this village and there was a weeping willow and a swan creating the perfect storybook setting. By the time we had turned round the swan had swanned off, but I was rather taken with this idyllic setting. This is Ashford in the Water – even the name is romantic!


As we headed into Leeds I examined my prejudices about the city. I did not think I was going to like it very much, but on the contrary, I loved it! It is a marvellous mixture of magnificent old buildings and (mostly) tasteful new ones.

There are a number of Victorian arcades in Leeds and I had to explore them all. The details are exquisite, and most of them are home to some very high end shops.


They are beautifully maintained


And, for the most part, the outsides are as beautiful as the insides.


We spotted the Leeds city market on our travels, and it was like a moth to the flame – I am striding rather determinedly into that building.


It was hard to photograph the inside but this gives you an idea.IMG_3405

A new fun fact for me is that this market is where Marks and Spencer began with a “Penny Bazaar”.  It was a 6 x 6 trestle table and Michael Marks manned it two days a week. The clock in the above photograph commemorates the 100 year anniversary of it opening.

It’s grown a bit, but not much.IMG_3395

I counted four fabric stalls, a haberdashery shop and a wool shop. Not bad for a market. They also have a Janome shop in there.


Mark found ye Olde Traditional Pub, of course! I was a bit upset that those flowers are plastic, and then obsessively checked all the hanging baskets around the place and decided that about 50% of them are real. IMG_3412

Some flowers that aren’t plastic are these beautiful cherry blossoms. This is just down the road from our apartment and I love that pink confetti carpet.


I have so much more to tell you, but this post is plenty long enough, so ta-ra for now (see, I’m even learning the local language!), I’ll be back soon…


30 thoughts on “Lovely Leeds and beyond

  1. As I can remember Leeds from the seventies I was prepared to be very unimpressed, but you converted me. I am very imorrssed that you made all your husband’s clothes. Is the rainwear made from oilskin fabric?

    1. I remember Leeds from the 1960s and I was not that keen to visit, but it is brilliant. Yes, the rainwear is Merchant and Mills oilskin. It is gorgeous.

    1. Believe it or not they had policemen inside who helped the public. I think you could also go there if you got lost and they would help you. I seem to remember doing this once. The box kept them out of the bad weather. Quite fascinating.

  2. Who knew Leeds held so many surprises? Great photos, Sue.
    Re your rain hat: The width of the brim is the difference between Vera (bag lady) and Stoney (chic). Really love the rain hat!

  3. A wonderful commentary Sue, with stunning images — drool, why can’t I get BSC enthused about this sort of stuff!! Enjoy and keep safe. His birthday today, family for dinner so that will put a smile on his face and a glow in his chest!

    1. Thank you Thel. Happy birthday to Brian, I hope he loves having the family for dinner. Shame he’s not interested in the travel so much, but he has other things to occupy his mind!

  4. Loving this series of posts – I went to University in Leeds and lived there for several years after that; my daughter lives in Sheffield and I currently live between Cambridge and Ely – so you are posting photos of familiar places but they look so different (better) through someone else’s eyes.
    I am assuming York is next on your list? I lived just south of there for 15 years so am looking forward to your photos of there.
    If you get to Hadrian’s Wall/Keilder Forest this weekend we might see you there as we are visiting for a short holiday.

  5. nMy son went to Leeds University and now lives in Huddersfield so I know the city quite well. The whole region is such a fabulous place to visit. If you find yourselves near Barnard Castle in Co Durham make time to go to the Bowes Museum. It has a textiles and clothes section. It is not a huge section ofthe museum but is enormously fun with clothes, textiles and film covering hundreds of years of fashion. It includes some Alexander McQueen pieces.

    1. Thank you so much for this advice. It’s definitely on the list as I’m a bit intrigued with the mechanical swan. I hadn’t realised that it had clothes and textiles too!

  6. Like MelanieDunkley my memories of Leeds are from the seventies. How those arcades have changed from when we bought our ‘Loons’ and t-shirts from the funny alternative shops there. And ‘Paraphenalia’ does anyone remember that shop opposite the University. I still have pots and things from there. Some of my first sewing fabrics came from the market too. It’s lovely to see that Leeds is doing well – its centre certainly deserved some TLC. Lovely to see that you had a good time visiting some beautiful places. Did you make it to Bakewell which is also very attractive. Enjoy your trip down memory lane. Trish S.

    1. Leeds is certainly prospering. They have gentrified it with great sensitivity and it is a delight to visit. We did get to Bakewell and had a delicious Bakewell Pudding!

  7. Leeds was a surprise to me too when we visited. What a delight!
    If you are visiting Hadrians wall I recommend spending some time in Newcastle. It’s much smarter now than when I was brought up. If you can’t get to ‘the toon’ I recommend either Corbridge or Hexham. Actually all of Northumberland is pretty great – but I’m a bit biased 😉

    1. Thank you so much for this advice Kim. We are visiting Hadrian’s Wall, and we are planning to visit Newcastle. I’m quite looking forward to Northumberland but I have really enjoyed Yorkshire!

      1. If you’re going to be near Worcester with time to spare let me know. Enjoy Northumberland 😘

  8. Another wonderful set of photos with such interesting comments alongside. I have told several friends to visit your Blog !

    I’m glad you are enjoying visiting Leeds in spite of your original reservations ! Our younger son, David, actually lives in Shipley near Leeds and his degree is from Leeds University, so he really loves the City.

    If we had known your schedule, it may have been possible for you to have met up but I know you are trying to visit as many places of interest as possible. He is a freelance sports journalist, so his time is a little more flexible in the day, when the children are at school. Where are you staying in Leeds and for how long?

    Do you have any idea when you may be calling in here yet, Sue ? Our only commitment before David and the children arrive on 24th May, is Sunday 19th May between 12pm and 3pm but we can work round all that to suit you band Mark.

    Looking forward to your next entry.



    1. Thank you Sue, We’ve now left Leeds and are in Pickering. We did the coast today – I am a bit behind on the blog. I don’t yet have any idea of when we will be with you, but I’m hoping to get there before the 24th, but if not, we shall stay elsewhere and catch up anyway. I’m so pleased you like the blog, it’s only interesting when I’m travelling! Love Sue xx

  9. Beautiful photos and descriptions as always. The pink petals carpet is just surreal!

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