Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway.

Ravenglass Station.
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Narrow-Guage Railway runs from Ravenglass to Dalegarth Station  near the village of Boot in Eskdale in the Lake District. The line opened in 1875 to transport hematite iron ore from mines around Boot to the Furness line at Ravenglass.
It was many years since last visiting the railway and doing some of the walks from the various stations but I was pleased that it was much as I remembered it.

Turning the diesel engine.
The Northern Rock Steam Engine.
 Irton Road Station

The Northern Rock Steam Engine at Dalegarth Station.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Bowes Museum

The second day of our Autumn break and it was raining, so drove to Barnard Castle to The Bowes Museum, which was purpose-built as a public art gallery for John Bowes, the illegitimate son of John Bowes the 10th Earl of Strathmore, and Kinghorne, and his wife Jos├ęphine Chevalier, Countess of Montalbo. Sadly they had both died before the museum opened in 1892.
The Silver Swan musical automaton which is probably he most famous item at the museum, is played once a day at 2pm. It was exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. Some of the many fine paintings can be glimpsed in the background. As well as the paintings, the museum houses an astonishing collection of porcelain, clocks, sculptures, furniture and costumes to list but a few of the categories.
The gardens at the front of the museum.
The armillary sphere sundial which was erected in 2006, a memorial dedicated to the memory of the late Queen Mother. The Latin inscription 'hora transit manet amicitia,' means the hour passeth, friendship endureth.
Some of the sculptures in the grounds.


Just a short walk from the museum, in Barnard Castle the Market Cross which was built in 1747.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Acorn Bank Garden and Watermill

Last week visited Acorn Bank a National Trust Property near Temple Sowerby in Cumbria. The gardens and woodland cover an extensive area. They include a watermill and an outstanding herb garden of medicinal and culinary herbs.
Part of the garden at Acorn Bank.
The watermill.
The waterwheel.
Ferns cover the wall at the side of the steps to the mill.
A selection of culinary herbs growing in a trough in the walled herb garden.
It was late in the season so not many plant flowering in the herb garden. This was one of the exceptions poke root (Phytolacca americana).
Sweet Joe Pye. (Eupatorium purpureum)
Bowles mint in flower.
 A small sycamore tree in the woodland. The back spots are caused by the fungus sycamore tar spot (Rhytisma acerinum).
Tiny bantam hens roaming free in the garden.
A coal tit on on of the many bird boxes.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A Sandy Refuge for Waders

At high tide these waders had gathered on a small sandy strip on the beach at Lundin Links.
They were mostly oystercatchers , but there were some other species which I didn't manage to identify, however, a curlew was obvious from its unmistakeably shaped bill.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Back Over the Forth Bridge at Dusk

As we made the return journey from Wemyss Bay on the recent SRPS railtour the light was beginning to fade. Could still make out the aluminium open crown spire on the Parish Church of St Michael at Linlithgow.
Looking down on South Queensferry as we crossed the Forth Bridge.
The Forth Road Bridge in the gloaming.
Looking down on North Queensferry with the Forth Road Bridge behind.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Rothsay and Mount Stuart Gardens

One of the ferries which goes between Wemyss Bay and Rothsay.
Part of the SRPS railtrip to the Clyde Coast was an optional ferry trip to Rothsay on the Isle of Bute.
Rothsay Harbour.

There wasn't a lot of time before catching the train back again but managed a short visit to Mount Stuart. The house wasn't open but just had time to get a brief flavour of some of the gardens. The grounds are vast.

The large pavilion glasshouse above was bought by the 6th Marquess of Bute from the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988 and with some decorative additions it forms the centrepiece of the Kitchen Garden. 
Lush vegetation inside the pavilion. It contains tender plants from around the world.

The goldfish pond inside the pavilion.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Over the Forth Bridge

Last Saturday took the Scottish Rail Preservation Society special train to Wemyss Bay on the Clyde Coast. Started off in brilliant sunshine at Leuchars Station, near St Andrews. 

 The Forth Road Bridge seen from the train crossing the Forth Bridge.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Dysart and St Serf

 Looking down on Dysart Harbour. Dysart is around 10 miles South West of Largo and between West Wemyss and Kirkcaldy.
The Harbourmaster's House which has been converted into a coastal centre highlighting the Fife Coastal Path.
St Serf's Tower.

The outside of St Serf's cave. This natural chambered cave is in the grounds of a Carmelite Monastery and yesterday under the Fife Doors Open scheme the caves were opened to the public for the first time in 80 years. The queues were enormous but it was well worth the wait.

 Inside the cave which formed the Chapel of the Holy Rood.
More photos from inside the caves. St Serf was the Abbot of the Monastery of Culross and was said to have used the caves as a retreat from the world in the 6th Century. He died in 543.