as we have done for the past few years, mum and I have just enjoyed a short beak in Yorkshire.
As it's where I grew up and mum spent her married life it's always nostalgic for us to go back.
When we arrived on Thursday afternoon it was cold and rainy, so we headed for somewhere indoors.
Cartwright Hall is an art gallery in Bradford. As a child. I could not see it's charms. "Another art gallery...uggghh" was my childhood reaction.
As an adult I could better appreciate the building and the artwork on show. And mum said she wished they had had toys in the galleries when my brother and I were young :0)
After a look around indoors, mum went to sit in the car. I had a wander through the park. The sun came out occasionally and the spring flowers were just beautiful.
when I got back to the car mum had been sketching :0)
It was mid afternoon by now and we were feeling hungry so we headed to Salts Diner in the impressive converted mill at Saltaire.
It's a wonderful building with loads of interesting things to see.
This exotic looking pottery.... from Leeds caught my eye.
And tempting books to purchase...but I resisted :0)
By late afternoon we decided to go and book into our accommodation. Then the rain showers eased again and the sunshine tempted me outdoors.
While mum had a rest I walked past neat stone terraces.
and came to what looked like a railway level crossing.
But it was actually a swing bridge across the canal.
I had a little map in my pocket, printed from HERE. I do love an ordinance survey map.....all those tempting footpaths highlighted in green. I love them, but I'm not that great at reading them:0)
I could see a footpath near the swing bridge on my map...and thankfully it was easy to spot.
It led through a field.
then I decided to look for the beck I had also spotted on the map. I turned right and headed down the slope.
Ooooh, I was lovely down there.
The sound of the water running over stones, all the spring foliage and the masses of wild garlic. Gosh it took me by surprise, how beautiful it all was.
And the sun was shining... I felt lucky to have found this spot at such a perfect time of year.
Mother nature really is the best.
I can see why so may gardeners are opting for "natural planting" these days.
In fact it makes me smile when I see gardeners at Chelsea trying to recreate this sort of beauty.
Becks are such a part of my childhood that there's always nostalgia mixed up with the adult appreciation of a scene like this.
A little further on I came a gorgeous pond which gave lovely reflections. It may not be the lake district but, whether it's mill ponds or reservoirs, becks or canals, water features heavily in the West Yorkshire landscape and it's a feature I love.
Eventually the path left the valley bottom and began to climb. You know I love a climb.
Because it gives you a view.
The countryside was looking very pretty.
Oooh Micklethwaite. How lovely you are. And what a great, characterful name...mum says the local dialect is to call it Muckletoit...I have no doubt she is correct, and that's even better :0)
I loved the stone cottages and noticed the washing line posts on the steep green. Shame there wasn't a line anymore.
Happily I found the next footpath quiet easily too and soon I was climbing through woodland.
Which came out at a little moor. Yay. I lived on the edge of a moor as a child and the view from my bedroom window was heather and bilberry bushes, so this sight made me very happy.
Just look at that view. This is quiet an industrial landscape in many ways. There's certainly lots of traffic noise in the valley...but climb up a little and the view is still wonderful.
It's not the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District or even Bronte Country. But it is my favourite sort of landscape at my favourite time of year.
After I managed to tear myself away from the view I climbed higher and walked along the road a way.
Here a dry stone wall was being mended.
I can recall my dad doing this sort of job with this sort of stone.
As I headed back downhill I encountered a peaty bog. Thankfully it wasn't too wet after the dry April we have had.
Then I was back in Micklethwaite, admiring the really old stone properties. You can read more about the village's history HERE
I did get a bit distracted and missed the footpath I was looking for at one point. I had to retrace my steps to the telephone box and then I was back on track.
I noticed the "Welcome Way" markers a few times and I've since learnt they are for THIS circular route.
By this time it was about 6pm and the early evening sunlight was gorgeous.
I was aware mum and I had booked a table for 7pm so I hurried downhill.
and back to the beck side path.
When I got to the canal my progress was halted.
as the swing bridge was being opened to let a narrow boat through. I didn't mind waiting and it was interesting to see how it worked.
Once this boat had passed through the bridge rotated back across the canal and the traffic could proceed.
The final section of my walk was along the towpath. How pretty it was. I was so happily surprised by just how lovely this walk had turned out to be.
I made it back to our hotel with time to spare, and the restaurant was nice and quiet anyway.
What a lovely treat to relax and let somebody else do the cooking for the first time in ages.
It made a great end to the first day of our trip...and there was still day two to look forward to.
I hope you will pop back to read about how it went very soon.