Autumn feels like quite a long time ago now; we’ve well and truly descended into winter (at four-pm my house’s average temperature is 13.5 degrees celsius). But back in October G and I decided to make the most of a stunning Yorkshire autumn and drove out to Bolton Abbey in the south of the Dales. It’s a large estate managed by the Devonshire family since the 18th century, and includes the stunning Strid Wood, a picturesque village and the ruins of the old Priory. We spent a quiet, overcast day exploring all three, marvelling at the landscape and the lack of other visitors.

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I’m thinking a lot about boats at the moment. For my 19th century American Literature module next term I have to read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and although I’m a little daunted I’m looking forward to the journey it promises when I finally pick it up. But, I wondered, perhaps the sea and I should just get a little more acquainted first. “If it’s nice tomorrow, shall we go to the coast?” I asked on Saturday evening. So the next day, a lazy Sunday morning behind us, we take the car north to Blakeney.

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G headed up to York to visit me on the weekend before Halloween. Having the car allows us to explore more of the Yorkshire countryside, so we decided to spend our weekend out and about rather than in town. After a bit of research, we decided to spend the Saturday at Beningbrough Hall, a National Trust property about ten miles out of the city.

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