Becky Archive

A Walk from Ripon to Studley Royal

The sun was shining this morning at the start of a Bank Holiday weekend, so what better way to clear the hangover that was lingering from a bigger than expected session at the rugby club last night than to go on a long walk. I’d normally go out walking with Cooper at the weekend on my own for a big stomp but today I had Dave’s company.. so off we set to Studley Royal. We’ve very lucky to have the World Heritage site of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal on our doorstep.

This is a great walk to do as a loop which takes in some stunning scenery, open countryside, woodland and rivers … perfect for spaniels to have lots of fun. I took my pedometer with me today and we did nearly 13,000 steps and walked 8.7km which is 5.5 miles. Here are a few pictures of the adventure we had.

This is Cooper when we got through Studley Roger and crossed Studley Royal Deer Park. The deers were out of sight so Cooper could enjoy a big run.
studley deer park

I love this view of the driveway which is perfectly in line with Ripon Cathedral
ripon cathedral from studley

Here’s Dave and Cooper when we reached the lakeside. Cooper didn’t want to pose for his photo as he was too busy eyeing up some swans.
dave naylor

We treated ourselves to some refreshments at the tearoom which was delicious .. you can’t beat a scone with jam and clotted cream.
scone & jam

We set off again to head back to Ripon via the Seven Bridges
becky naylor

We saw two batches of baby geese which were very cute
baby geese

and a big swan (you can see the tearoom in the background)
swan at studley

The big lake then feeds water into the River Skell which carries on its journey after being diverted through Fountains Abbey and the Water Gardens
studley lake waterfall

Once we got passed all the temptations for Cooper he was away again
cooper at studley

The Seven Bridges section of the walk is as it suggests, and you cross over the bridges as the river meanders along.
seven bridges walk

It was surprising that the river had run dry though in one of the sections, but hopefully they will push some more water through
dry river skell studley

We then headed up through Brown Cow Wood to join Whitcliffe Lane, then through Spinney Woods to head onto Hell Wath, across the fields and joining the river again.

What a great walk… I have tried to map it out below – Blue blobs out, red blobs back. Next time we do it we’ll reverse it I think.
ripon studley walk

Weekend Away in the Dales

This weekend we went away with family, kids and dogs to Garsdale which is half in the Yorkshire Dales and half in Cumbria. We arrived in Friday evening, unpacked and settled straight in to the amazing cottage that is IngHeads.

ingheads garsdale

When we decided to go away this weekend we spent some time researching available holiday cottages that would tick our boxes. With us having Cooper and Mand & KC having Polly it was important for the dogs to be OK in and around the house, so we needed an enclosed garden… tick. With the kids its good with something for them to do.. so this house had a cool games room….tick. Then for the adults its always great to have a dip in a hot tub late at night with a cocktail or two …. tick. And what we were all after was a place that oozes character… tick. This place was superb, and being an hour and a half from both Ripon and Manchester it worked out really well. It had been renovated to a really high standard but retained all its original features.

back of ingheads hot tub

This is the cool games room complete with pool table, football table and a juke box

games room ingheads

and here’s the kids when they had a dip in the tub

ingheads hot tub

We had a lovely relaxing weekend, with great home cooked dinners, and lots of laughs. On Saturday we challenged ourselves to walk to the pub which was about 2 miles away by road, but we went cross country using the O/S Map in the cottage.

Stunning scenery on the way.


Lots of sheep and Spring lambs

spring lambs

Babbling brooks and meandering rivers

river in garsdale

and the stunning Dandry Mire viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle railway line just outside Garsdale station

dandry mire viaduct garsdale

“I can see the pub from here” … we had to go back into North Yorkshire to get a pint.

heading to yorkshire to the pub

and the sun was shining at the Moorcock Inn

pint in the sunshine moorcock inn

Another brilliant weekend … now what shall we do next weekend?

Easter Break Away

It was a bit of a last minute decision to go away for the Easter weekend, but with the weather looking good I got on with the search of where to go. With us now having Cooper there was an extra criteria to look for, normally we just need to find a hotel with a family room, but this time we needed a family room but also a dog friendly hotel.

As I had left it a bit late quite a few hotels in different areas were fully booked with it being the Easter weekend, but then I stumbled upon The Black Swan at Helmsley. We have been to Helmsley quite a few times, mainly to stop off on the way to the Coast and its in a great location to get around the area. We decided that we would take Bob, so got all packed up on Good Friday and headed off.

After a steady drive, stopping off at the top of Sutton Bank we arrived in Helmsley, and got parked up outside the hotel.

Miles and Ethan Helmsley

Here’s The Black Swan in the sunshine – can you spot Bob

The Black Swan, Helmsley

During the afternoon we went for a stroll around Helmsley, stopping at Thomas’s of Helmsley for lunch, and then heading to the Castle, wandering alongside the beck.

Helmsley beck

We didn’t go into Helmsley Castle, but headed to Helmsley Walled Garden which was stunning and had great views of the castle too.

Helmsley walled garden

It was lovely and warm, and everything was looking so good bathed in the sunshine. There was just blue, green and yellow everywhere. Dave and I popped to The Feathers in the afternoon for a few pints in the sunshine, where we soaked up the atmosphere.

At the Black Swan we enjoyed amazing food in The Gallery restaurant where the kitchen is headed up by chef Paul Peters. We failed to get any pictures of the unbelievable meals as we were so swept away with the impeccable service in the hotel and restaurant, but here’s Dave and Miles in the lounge before dinner.

the lounge

On Saturday we were well fed at breakfast and then headed to the Coast. We decided that we would keep away from the busy resorts and headed for Filey. I hadn’t been there before but it looked like it had a big beach when I was looking at the map.

This is a view out of Bob’s window on the journey… more blue, yellow and green.


Wow, so Filey was impressive …a huge expanse of beach.

Filey beach

Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach between May and September so we were lucky that we could take Cooper onto the sand. This was his second time on the beach and he absolutely loved it and ran and ran. The kids were loving playing a bit of rugby too.

cooper and the kids filey

Cooper wasn’t quite sure what to make of the waves 🙂

Cooper Filey

Once Cooper had dried off and we had filled up on fish and chips we headed down the Coast to Flamborough. Again another place I hadn’t been too, but a place that my Dad, when he was a kid, and his parents (The original “Cooper” family) regularly went to for holidays.

The lighthouse at Flamborough was gleaming in the sunshine and we got a good parking space for Bob.

flamborough lighthouse

And here is a shot over the cliffs at Flamborough. Its such a different coastline to that further up north, but more rugged and I loved the white cliffs.

flamborough shore

After a long day we were looking forward to getting back to the bar and relaxing before dinner. On the way back to Helmsley, Bob decided to let go and it turned out the alternator had broken. We had to pull off the road and wait to be recovered. When you have old vehicles you expect this sort of thing to happen so you just have to take it in your stride. It wasn’t long before we were back on the road again…well with Bob on a tow truck and all of us in the cab, being taken back to the Black Swan, just in time to get quickly changed for a pre-dinner drink 🙂

bob on a tow truck

We weren’t quite sure how we would get home on the Sunday, but that was something to work out after a lovely meal and a good nights sleep. In the morning after breakfast it was back onto Greenflag for a second recovery to get Bob to Dubtricks garage to be fixed and for us to get home. This time Bob travelled in style on a flat bed. It caused quite a stir in the hotel car park in the morning getting Bob loaded…with one person thinking thats how we transported him from place to place! Er, no… he’s properly broken down!


And that was Easter! Brilliant time had, and what was best was that it felt like such a long weekend.

My Poor Neglected Blog

Why don’t I have time to blog anymore? Its one of my major frustrations, so I need to find time to dedicate some more time to my blog. I barely manage to scrape one post a month at the moment and I have lots of things that I want to add but lots of other things come before it. I did wonder if it was because life is becoming a bit “throw away” with major events being shared in 140 characters, and it shouldn’t be like that. I want to look back on my blog and remember what I have been through and how I shape as a person.

We have been doing some work at Bronco over the last few weeks with Bernie Price who is an amazing lady who does team training to create a high performance team. This is for the benefit of Dave and myself as well as the whole company as after 10 years we have reached a stage of maturity and need to set the path straight for the next 10 years and its time to re-evalutate who we are and what we want to become. Its interesting times, and one of the things that came out of the initial meetings is the question of where do you get your energy from. I definately get my energy from being busy, and manage to take on even more and more.

As you know I run Bronco alongside Dave, which in itself is hard work but full of rewards and its great to see how the company has evolved over the years and I’m very proud of its success. Even though I see Dave all day at work and at home too, we also have to make time to do fun stuff together so have a few trips away planned.

We also have 2 sons who are now 13 & 11 … both at a local school that pushes for success and results so with that comes lots of work. Just getting kids up and off to school in the morning as most Mum’s will know is a job in itself. Uniforms, homework, games kits, activities to go to etc.

The kids are mad keen on rugby so that is what takes up most of the weekend with training on Friday evenings, then we’ll be back at the club on a Saturday to watch the 1st or 2nd team in action, then the kids play rugby on a Sunday at home or we will travel to an away ground. Along with playing rugby comes lots of muddy clothes, so its a frequent cycle of washing and scrubbing boots.

We also have Cooper. So added to the pile of things I generally have to do, I have a puppy to look after. Somewhere out of my day there needs to be time for walking him. I love it though and couldn’t think of anything better than a long walk in the countryside. For instance today we went on a long walk in the pouring rain and the wind, both came back drenched but I loved it.

As if I haven’t enough to do we have become much more involved this year in a couple of clubs which combine our hobbies too. We love rugby and VW’s so what better way to spend any other free time.

I now help run the Harrogate and District VW Club which means trying to build a friendly club with regular meet ups where we will go for a drive into the area and then end up at a pub for a catch up. We are also busy planning a summer filled with weekends away at various VW shows and festivals where we will be camping and showing off our vans. Can’t wait for the summer to come. We have met some great people from all walks of life but with a common interest.

Alongside the VW Club, with the kids involvement in the rugby club, and we never seem to be away from the place I have joined the Executive Committee of the club as Communications Officer and do a lot with updating the website and the Pitchero site, and I am also involved with the Fundraising Committee helping to organise events and promotions that will bring money into the club. We have so many great friends at the rugby club its good to be involved and seeing changes happening to keep the club strong in the community.

So sometimes there doesn’t feel to be much left in energy when the day comes to an end but its all about organising time to fit around all the things that I love to do. So I’ll add my blog onto my list of things I love and try to dedicate some more time to it 🙂

An Update on Cooper

It’s been a while since I have done a blog post with some Cooper pictures on, so the other day at lunchtime we took the camera to capture a few new shots of him. He is about 7 months old now and I couldn’t imagine our family without him. It is hard work having a dog, but Cooper brings lots of fun and love. He comes to the office everyday with us so at lunchtime we tend to go out along the river and into the nearby fields for a walk.

This is generally what I look like most days, whether its walking the dog or at the rugby club, I never seem to be out of my big coat and wellies at the moment.

This is Cooper now (the last pictures I posted was when he was 3 months old)




Cooper has found his love for fetching a ball and he loves nothing better than when the ball is kind of lost in the long grass so he can sniff it out. This is Cooper flying after his ball


and here he comes chasing back with it


In the Summer we had some lovely walks, but I am really loving Autumn as everything changes so quickly and I just love the autumnal leaves, and so does Cooper.