Today, I decided that I wanted to take a Home Tourist trip.
Currently, my list of places to go stands thus:
* Ice skating on Millenium Square (Missed that again this year! How pitiful!)
* Lotherton Hall
* Temple Newsam House
* Abbey House Museum
* Walk the Meanwood Valley Trail (and visit Eccup Reservoir)
* Middleton Railway (as recommended by Alex)
* Thwaite Mills (also, as recommended by Alex)
(* … I’m pretty certain there are others! – suggestions taken in ‘Comments’ below!)
My initial thoughts were to drive to either Temple Newsam or Lotherton Hall, but having asked someone to join me, and being mindful of their time constraints, I had to venture off-list for something that would not take too long.
SIDE NOTE: This website contains mini-sites for most of the attractions listed above, and – very usefully – has information on how much time one should allow for visiting each attraction under ‘Visitor Information’. Very handy! 🙂
Now, I love Twitter. And in fact it was Twitter (through Culture Vultures) that first introduced the idea of being a Home Tourist to me. Every so often, my Twitter feed comes up with some wonderful tips and facts that I never knew about this lovely Leeds place in which I reside. And here’s one: WE HAVE A VINEYARD! A working one that makes wine, right within the city boundaries in LS26! Who knew?!
There’s not much to be found by ways of information about Leventhorpe Vinyard online, apart from location and vague opening times. It recommends if you’re travelling far to call ahead, but seeing as we weren’t, I didn’t bother.
So, off we set in the Smith-mobile, looking for the most-Northerly vineyard in the country, and enjoying the sunshine. Eventually, a sign or two can be seen which point you (almost!) in the right direction. The 5-acre plot is next to a few lovely little cottages, but there is no real place to park, and today there was no one about at all!
Despite feeling a little like I was trespassing (in France!), we wandered up through the vines and picked a little spot to sit on the grass and have a picnic. Little tip – if you feel like picnicking too, take a rug, as there are little and vicious stinging nettles in amongst the buttercups and grass.. 😦
It would have been nice to have talked to whoever runs the place, and possibly even sample the wine(/wines?) they produce there, but now I know where it is, I’m sure I’ll visit again during a different season – perhaps harvesting time. 😉
The clouds started to come across, and so we made our way back to the car, taking a small detour and stopping by the Aire and Calder Navigation on part of the TransPennine Way. This is definitely somewhere I’d like to re-visit when I have a little more time.. The woods surrounding this area seem to have many paths to explore (and I’m sure I’d find some non-paths too!) and promise lovely wildlife too.
It started to rain as we decided to head back to the car, and – reluctant though I was to shelter, as I was feeling like standing out in the rain – we timed it just right as then a freak hailstone downpour started! Crazy weather today!
So, another lovely couple of hours as a Home Tourist, and a couple of activities I hope to repeat when I have a little longer. Should anyone ever fancy accompanying me, please get in touch. I like going for walks and picnicking with friends. 🙂