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" Harewood For Christmas "

Date & start time:      25/26th December 2022.

Location of Start :     Muddy Boots Cafe, Harewood, Yorkshire, Uk. ( NY 143 211)

Places visited :          Around Harewood Park

1st Walk details :        2.6 miles, 250 ft of ascent, an hour or so.

Highest point :           Harewood Church. 350 ft above sea level (though the sea's a long way away).

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Damp and grey, but mild !  Hint of sunshine towards the end.


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Loes has kindly invited me for Christmas to her new house in the Village of Harwood, just north of Leeds.

Less than an hour after leaving Sheffield, I arrived and have the prospect of a few days relaxation and a goodly measure of that Christmas spirit,

plus the chance to explore Harewood itself over the holiday period.

Not actually Loes's house, but rather nice Christmas decorations at one of the other similar properties in her road.

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Christmas Day dawned, weather-wise dull and grey !       My starting point for the walk today was the Muddy Boots Cafe (aka the Village Hall).

Loes was suffering from the widely popular "2022 winter flu" so I took the opportunity for a dog walk by myself while she stayed indoors in the warm.

Following the map on my phone I headed down a footpath alongside one of the older village houses.

Sturdy walls allowing an estate track to pass overhead.
Gorgeously curved bark on one of the local trees.

My route took me down to the main road where there was an old mile stone . . . so you may know where I am.

Main road walking is not the best, but it was part of a larger round walk, most of which was within Harewood Park.

Back up on the hill a slight diversion found me at the old Harewood Church.

Sadly it is hardly, if ever used and in now in the care of the Churches Preservation Society.

The main road was down in the valley, close to the River Wharfe.  The lane to the church is behind me.

On the return leg of the walk I had climbed back up onto the high ground, so the views north were extensive, if slightly damp today.

Hardly a white Christmas !

Click here or on the photo above for a larger version

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We had lunch and the afternoon with Loes's daughter and family (Dani, Peter and Isaac) during which we exchanged presents.

Even the dogs had not been forgotten.  Their Harewood coats would dry them after muddy walks . . . well that's the theory !

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Boxing Day dawned sunny and dry

so I took the opportunity to explore the Park once again.


This was a longer walk of some 3.5 miles,

so allow more time if you get chance to do it.


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Clear blue skies this Boxing Day morning.

Harewood is famous for the breeding and the re-introduction to the wild of the Red Kite in this area of Yorkshire.

Their size and loud call, like a buzzard's only more piercing, would always make me cast my eyes upward.

Looking out over the Harewood Estate at the start of the walk.

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The grounds are farmed in the normal way

with cattle and sheep,

but also a few less common animals

can be found within the park.


(Tornado is the name of the fencing manufacture by the way)


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Well there they are . . . quietly grazing in the fields below.

I walked the estate roads, down past the farm and business centre.

The smoke in the picture is coming from a new bio-mass plant, presumably for heating and hot water for the estate.

I turned and followed a track around the other side of the Fish Pond lake.

This would take me in a suitable sort of circle, back towards home.

Distant views of Harewood House on the high ground above the lake.

Mr Capability Brown obviously knew how to design a classic landscape !

Click here or on the photo above for a larger annotated panorama

Zooming in on the main house and its lower gardens.

The lake is fed from the Sturdy Beck and the outflow from Eccup Reservoir, a few miles to the south.

I crossed it on the structure known as Rough Bridge.

The old bridge, presumably dating to the construction of the lake, is now unserviceable.

so the track has an more modern alternative structure to carry it over the river.

Fine views of Harewood House this beautiful morning.

A wonderfully proportioned, free standing parkland tree . . . note the Canada Geese on the ground below.

From the top of the rise I could look over and see the church again,

this time from the opposite side compared to yesterday.

The grand Arch at the eastern entrance to the park.

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As a new resident of the extended Harewood Estate, Loes has signed up as a "Friend of Harewood"

which allowed us free entry to the grounds and the Christmas display within the main house.

Harewood House dates from 1759 when Edwin Lascelles employed York-born architect John Carr, fashionable interior designer Robert Adam,

England’s greatest furniture maker Thomas Chippendale and visionary landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown

to design and build his grand Country House.

Today Harewood is an independent charitable educational trust set up to maintain and develop the house, its collections and grounds,

for public benefit. - Its ultimate owner is David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood.

We called over to the main house in the afternoon to view the Christmas exhibition "Long Live the Christmas Tree"

Rather than a traditional Christmas display, the house has taken a more artistic view of the season.

This was a giant wreath in the main foyer.

A plaster-cast Christmas tree covered in fruit and plaster body parts.
Another Christmas Tree made up of antlers and silver twigs.

The Royal bedroom with a 'corn dolly' exhibit next to the bed.

Most of the exhibits had drawn materials or inspiration from nature and the objects around the Harewood Estate.

The fine plaster work of the ceilings of the house had inspired this particular tree display.

Harewood is often used for television and film productions,

but for Christmas they had commissioned film makers to celebrated the winter solstice with movement and poetry, all filmed within the estate.

You could relax on comfy chairs and watch the colourful ten minute film that resulted from their efforts.

The walk around included other Christmas displays, here paper and light.
The house took the opportunity to display their Princess Mary connections.

As kids, our family had one of those brass boxes, presented to the troops one wartime Christmas.

On through the house in colourful style.

Here a Christmas Angel within a Christmas Tree artwork.

This rotating tree was made of copper pipes

and the many large and small crystals hanging from its boughs reflected and refracted the spotlights all around the room.

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The exhibition not only allowed us

to visit the impressive main rooms of the house

but also directed us downstairs

to the kitchens

and the working rooms

of the lower house.



Upstairs . . . downstairs you could say !


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These had also been given the Christmas treatment, with lights and tree displays.

The centre display on the main table was an illuminated gingerbread Harewood House !

Outside, the terrace had also been illuminated, in simple but equally festive mood.

The centre piece is a bronze statue of Orpheus with a leopard on his shoulders.

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" Orpheus was the son of Calliope, the muse of epic poetry.

He perfected the art of music, taught how to play the lyre by Apollo

and known for his love for his wife Eurydice

and his journey to the underworld to rescue her from death."


The magnificent bronze sculpture

by German-born British artist Astrid Zydower,

was installed by the present Earl and Countess

on the Terrace at Harewood in 1985,

in place of a frost damaged central fountain

which had collapsed in 1976.


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The front view of the house as we walked the terrace in fading light.

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Time to  return home

as the exhibition and house

was closing for the night.


The lights on the front of the main building

took on the appearance

of an illuminated Advent Calendar

to emphasise all the intriguing items within.



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Time to follow the lights along the driveway, back to Loes's new home.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 24th December - Sheffield and Millstone Edge

A previous time in Yorkshire - 17th Nov 2007 On Ilkley Moor - bah'torch

Next walk - 8th January 2023 - Mob Walk to Hopegill Head


"Sale Now On" . . . as they say in the best retail shops !

The 2023 Loweswatercam Calendar

Half Price in the January Sale !

For the 14th annual edition of the calendar

we have been looking back at the year

to bring you twelve months of

Loweswater pictures and Cumbrian scenes.


Click here or on either picture to see the full details.

£6 a copy (plus postage + packaging if required)

Anything you add above the £6 goes to support

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