I Spy an Elephant

Gosh, it’s a whole week since I last wrote a post! This year seems to fly by at times…and last forever at times too! I have been busy, just not got round to writing…

Last weekend my walking buddy and I finished the Guiseley Gap walk, we’d done the first half the week before and as the weather forecast was reasonable we decided to crack on and finish it.

We parked the car in Guiseley and walked up the hill to where we could rejoin the walk. The first thing I saw when I reached the top was an elephant! You may recall that towards the end of the first half we passed a copse of trees known locally as the Elephant copse, I jokingly commented that they must have very vivid imaginations in Guiseley…well I must eat my words as from this different angle I could see it…

We walked across fields and down some old lanes towards High Royds. High Royds’ full name used to be the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, it actually only closed down in about 2003, it’s a huge Victorian complex which was largely self sufficient with a dairy, butchers, bakery, farm and of course a ball room!! There were some very sad tales that came out of High Royds about the reasons people were admitted and how many then couldn’t get out and spent the rest of their lives there. I’ve just found a fascinating website on High Royds hospital with entries from past staff and patients, please follow the link for more info about the hospital and the care of mental illness in Victorian times. The walk took us past the Memorial Garden which was only recently restored by a local group, there’s nearly 3000 people buried there in unmarked graves. Next to it is the route of a railway line which served the hospital. A small remnant of track has been left as a reminder of it’s history….

The old hospital site has been turned into a new village with the old buildings converted into flats and lots of houses built. It still has large grounds which have lots of paths to wander round. We did appreciate the well made paths as many paths are getting muddy and slippery now…

One thing that we did comment on whilst walking round High Royds was that there is a distinct lack of seats, the occasional wooden bench would have been nice – we do like regular breaks on our walks – sausage roll break, coffee break, sandwich break, sticky bun break…the first place we found to sit down was in a lovely beech wood at the far side of High Royds…

It was lovely walking through the crunchy leaves, but they did obscure the path somewhat!

Once we were above High Royds we could finally just about make out ‘The Guiseley Gap’. The gap is a hanging valley between Airedale and Wharfedale. It’s not very distinct as it’s quite shallow but it separates Otley Chevin from Rombold’s Moor which stretches over towards Skipton. From this vantage point you could also see all the Gothic towers of High Royds.

From there all we had to do was wind our way through old lanes and snickets back to the start.

We enjoyed the Guiseley Gap walk, it was a bit further than we anticipated – the leaflet says it’s 9.8 miles altogether , fitbit reckons more like 12.5 over the two walks- and we didn’t get lost that much! It’s been nice this year to do more local walks, discovering the little paths in the neighbourhood that we didn’t know existed.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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14 Responses to I Spy an Elephant

  1. How lovely… you mention some familiar places as I grew up in the area. And I do see the elephant in your picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kathyreeves says:

    I see the elephant too, and I love the photo with the leaves covering the forest floor.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. katechiconi says:

    It really didn’t do to be both poor and perhaps a little wobbly in your mental health in Victorian times, did it? Bad enough they called it a Lunatic Asylum, but then to top it off with Paupers is harsh. At least it was set in the most beautiful countryside instead of some grim industrial heartland. That must have helped to soothe some troubled souls. And yes, I spy the elephant too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tialys says:

    Some of the reasons for admission and the ‘treatments’ administered before, during and even after the Victorian period don’t bear thinking about.
    I didn’t know why High Royds sounded familiar to me – being a Southerner and fairly sure I’d never been there – and then I remembered it was a Kaiser Chiefs’ song.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. claire93 says:

    had to squint a bit, but yes, I can see the elephant too ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura says:

    Thank you, again, for sharing your most beautiful country side! And for the history as well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks amazing. I did look at the link, but most of the information is password protected.
    As for the elephant, definitely there

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane M says:

    I see the elephant too now. I love the sounds of all your breaks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Lovely photos of beautiful Yorkshire countryside – just the thing to begin my Friday! Yes, I spied the elephant, trunk tipped up which is supposed to mean good luck! Thank you and may your weekend be lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nanacathy2 says:

    I love this post and the elephant- off to follow your link now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful images and it took me a moment but I finally saw the elephant!


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