Stay awhile and listen!

Warning: picture heavy. Mobile users beware.

Today the family unit took a trip to Riveaulx Abbey. I saw it mentioned on Twitter a while back and realised it was fairly close to where we live, so we decided to go. It was such a nice day for it, as well, it seemed a shame to spend the day moping and playing rock, paper, scissors over who has to do the chores.*

So, we drove up to Helmsley. Well. We drove up to Malton, got diverted by a closed road and went in a big circle but eventually we got to Helmsley. Lots of narrow roads, lots of 14% inclines – before we did anything else I had to go sit in the cafe.

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After a spot of rejuvenating tea, we made our way out to the abbey itself.

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It is massive. Even with all the drawings and plans mounted around the place, we struggled to imagine what it would have looked like when it was complete. It’s just so big! There’s an exhibition centre off to the right of the path that starts off talking about how the lives of monks were austere and spartan at first, but after a couple of centuries they just went wild. Wild for a Cistercian monk, that is.

The audio guide was good, but I was so disappointed to discover that no-one had slipped a Diablo gag into it. Not even a whiff of impeity!

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Aoife was so impressed.

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Yeah. So she’s a bit young for it just yet. I was impressed. Everything about the place just screams “epic sword fight AND/OR spooky ghost location”.

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Ghosts! Sword fights! Inexplicable inclusion of kung fu and parkour moves! Lightning!

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We even found the remains of the stairwell from the Kurgan/Ramirez fight from Highlander.

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Bonus Aoife picture!

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I thought it was unusual that the website listed the cafe as one of the high points of the giant ruined abbey, but it was. Giant pot of tea! Chutney and brown sauce made at the abbey! Local bacon and sausages! One of the staff coming out of the kitchen and taking Aoife for a walk so that we could eat in peace! Brilliant stuff.

As a special treat, Lisa bought me a notebook that I intend to use as a bible for all the random fantasy novel worldbuilding facts that I think up.

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Just look at it! Notebooooook. So exciting.

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So, yeah! Lots of fun. Next time, Castle Howard!

*spoiler: me. I do.