By Bree Wagner, Femulate Guest Blogger
My final day in Yorkshire started with a trip in to work, but we wrapped up very quickly and I was back to my hotel by lunchtime. I wanted to get out to something in the countryside or at least something new, rather than just wander around the town again. Unfortunately, one of the areas I was told to visit, Fountains Abbey, was closed on Fridays in November. Bummer.
I got a little bit of internet time with lunch and did some research. Turns out there was a town just a bit down the road from me with the ruins of a 13th century castle and some great views over the river with a great rail bridge. After getting dressed it’d be off to Knaresborough.
I didn’t have much of a wardrobe to choose from since I made sure to keep plenty of space in my luggage for all the gifts that I’d inevitably acquire on the trip. It turned out that what I did have wasn’t exactly the best for the weather, which was only getting into the low 40s. I only have two warm coats and the coat I brought was fairly short and only had ¾-length sleeves. That wasn’t a problem (other than cold forearms!) with the top I wore to the gardens since it had a similar cut.
While I sure could have worn it again, variety is the spice of life, right? I went with a pink sleeveless shirt and a lightweight brown top with a hood and some grey slacks. I had brought a pair of brown flats and a brown purse so I thought it would work together, but it really didn’t mesh with the coat. I didn’t expect it to be warm enough so I had to bring the coat along.
I was about five minutes from being ready to go when the fire alarm went off in the hotel. For the third time during my stay --- I couldn’t believe it, but I started grabbing my things to head out. Luckily, the alarm shut off by the time I was reaching for the door. I composed myself, took care of the finishing touches, and was ready to go.
I had been driving to work for a week and a half, but this was to be Bree’s first time driving and with the thrill of going out with only a general sense of where I was headed. I was hoping I’d just follow the signs first to Knaresborough and then to the castle.
It sure seemed like events were conspiring against me; almost as soon as I left the hotel. Just a block away I hit traffic jam for unknown reasons that took quite a while to clear. Then when I got onto the main road to Knaresborough, I got stuck behind a train and another unknown jam.
I made it into the town only to quickly take a wrong turn because I saw a sign for a castle. Wrong castle. A U-turn was required and I eventually found my very winding way to the correct place. My expected 15-minute journey took about an hour.
I got out of the car just as it started to rain a bit to go along with the cold and wind. There was no way I was getting away without a jacket. Too bad the sleeves of the brown coat stuck out of the jacket and it was far longer than the coat. It was a fashion disaster. I’m not proud of it, but I ducked behind a ruined stone wall, tucked the top into my pants and eventually got around to pushing up the sleeves. I was willing to be a bit colder to not look totally silly. I’m not exactly a slave to high fashion, but I obviously cared a lot more than I would as a guy.
I wandered around the castle grounds and took a bunch of pictures of myself (of course), the grounds and the picturesque town and rail bridge. I even got a few shots of the train going across the bridge. I can imagine it would be an even prettier area with a little sunshine, but alas, I got nothing but grey with a bit of rain. Can’t expect much else from England in November!
I stayed for a little under an hour and figured that if I could get back to Harrogate in reasonable time, I could do a little shopping before the stores closed. I just can’t get used to everything, but restaurants closing at 5:30! I did make it back faster than the trip out, but it was still slow. I went back to park at the hotel and hustled into town since I didn’t have much time.
My first stop was Marks and Spencer. They have some really nice stuff, but most of it was a bit out of my price range at the moment. (I can’t wait for a raise with my upcoming promotion!) I tried on a few pairs of shoes and loved a pair of over the ankle brown boots but £95 was way too much. I browsed a few more areas, but thought I’d try and get to the less expensive option around the corner, Primark.
At Primark I just didn’t have enough time to get through as much of the store as I would have liked before closing time. It was one of the few places I could find stuff that might actually be less expensive than I would find in the States.
I bought a lovely pair of pink suede pumps, a bra and panty set, and some stockings all for £12. I should have stocked up on the stockings, they were a great deal. It sure looked like they had a good selection of accessories and clothing that I would have loved to spend more time browsing through. Oh well, they tossed us all out and I resigned myself to heading back to the hotel.
I figured I’d get a few more minutes out by taking a circuitous route and grabbing a few more photos. When I got back, I was half expecting another fire alarm. I made it to the room and had to try out the heels with a sweater dress I had brought, but wasn’t expecting to get the chance to wear.
I may have also taken a few shots with the new things I purchased and wore under the sweater dress. I think they were as fabulous as could be and I’m thrilled with them. After that, it was time to wrap things up so I could get some dinner and pack up for my journey south to London early in the morning.
Stay tuned for Part 3!