Following of from a great night of drinks and steak and laughs, which rekindled something, we drove out to Bolton Abbey today. We’d expected it to be just some ruins and maybe a tea-house. What it was though deserves a revisit, more time, a better planning.
When we arrived L checked our guidebook and mentioned the ‘Valley of Desolation’ she’d heard about. So off we set in our jeans and trainers (“we won’t need walking boots”). The going got tougher and we climbed up hills and followed narrow winding pathways through trees and bushes down into the valley; following the sound of the falling water. The Valley of Desolation was well worth a visit.
We followed the path again up the left side of the river and the path narrowed, steepened and increased in difficulty. Eventually we managed to rediscover civilisation and thought better to get a cup of tea then continue the ascent into the distant hills. That’ll wait for another time.
After a tea break we visited the Abbey proper with its surrounding grounds. A family was crossing the stepping stones when a young girl lost her nerve and couldn’t continue. Not all heroes wear capes; and Granddad walked across from the opposite side and assisted her. Whilst the two older ladies stuck on the steps howled with laughter.
We explored the Abbey – which was only a partial ruin – the central section still in use and occupied at the time by a choir. The acoustics drew us in and we stood listening to voices raised together. I’m not a spiritual man, but it seemed a peace existed there.
Bolton Abbey deserves a return visit – and soon.
Grumpy old man who'd rather be in the bloody pub.