I took a bag full of sketchbooks with me on our recent visit to the East Coast of Yorkshire, but it turns out it’s quite difficult to sketch when you’ve got a toddler. I’m sure it’s not impossible and there were moments I could have got a sketchbook out but I always feel too bad for taking my attention away from the little guy. I’m okay with that, he’s pretty fun to spend time with and I’ll get back to sketching eventually!
I did make a couple of sketches (from my head) of weather-based moments I’d been inspired by when we got back:
Some hazy fields in the rain somewhere near Driffield in the Yorkshire Wolds.
Sunlight breaking through the storm clouds at Danes Dyke, near Flamborough
I also did quite a few cow sketches from life (out of the cottage window). All drawings were created using the Procreate app on iPad and enhanced in PS Express.For those of you interested in cows, I believe they were Simmentals. They were very beautiful, and very inquisitive!
Yesterday I had lightly pencilled in a trip to the seaside to have an ice-cream with Sal off of littleblackheart. I dithered and dithered for several hours right up until the point where if I had set off right then, it would have been time to leave again by the time I got there. I’m so annoyed with myself. I am hopeful that she will let me reschedule our seaside friend-date for a future time when I intend to be 100% more brave.
Instead I went to the nearest thing we have to the sea, a reservoir: Ladybower. First I went for a hike up the hill to look at the view. It was stunning and peaceful for about 3-4 minutes until a bunch of other people arrived and decided to sit right next to me. It was the best spot for miles around, clearly. Look at all those lovely tors.
A couple of dodgy sketches bagged, I headed back down the hill for what I thought would be another 2 hour walk, but I took and accidental shortcut which only took 30 minutes. Oops. I did spot some heather in bloom, a couple of baby grouse and a bunny though, so all’s well that ends well?
Best viewing spot
Silver birches at the approach to Ladybower reservoir
More silver birches at Hurst Clough
Sketch in progress at the reservoir
I finished the afternoon by having a nice sit down by the water and imagining that it was Cleethorpes and that I had an ice cream and a friend.
On the way home from Eyam yesterday I stopped for a quick walk at Longshaw Estate. Longshaw Lodge was originally the hunting lodge for the Dukes of Rutland. I won’t give the game away, but it features in ‘The Secret Rooms’ by Catherine Bailey, which is a good read if you are interested in fancy houses and historical mysteries.
Brontë fans: if you fancy staying a few days at Longshaw you can rent the old gamekeepers cottage, White Edge Lodge which is a landmark in the area and was used in the 2011 (Fassbender) version of Jane Eyre.
Duke’s Seat is a lovely outcrop of rocks that is popular with swallows and sheep. It is also the perfect spot to sit and sketch the view :)
Don’t let the bleak images on the National Trust website put you off visiting Eyam Hall. The Jacobean manor house has been let to the Trust on a 10 year lease and the family apparently only moved out in February, so I think it was a rush job to get some photographs up.
Hall from the walled garden
Front of the hall
Sketch in progress
It was just a flying visit today and I only took quick photos of the garden, but I am definitely planning another visit over the summer; if nothing else, there’s a lovely shady spot on the bowling green that I’ve got my eye on:
Monday: Day one of my holiday! Sketchbook in hand, I set out from Dennis Knoll, underneath Stanage Edge, on the short walk to North Lees Hall. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to see anything, because it started off really misty, but it soon cleared as I descended into the valley.
Possibly a very important note
Woodland is regenerating
North Lees Hall <3
North Lees Hall was Charlotte Bronte’s inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Apparently it was used in one of the many film adaptations too, but I’m not sure which one. You’re welcome. Google it? Anyway, it’s on my shopping list for when we win the Euromillions.
I stopped to attempt to draw the sheep on the drive back home. I probably didn’t take enough caution of the lambs though, as three of them had set up camp underneath my car by the time I’d finished.