Afternoon Tea In Skipton, A Scenic Train Journey & Two Dog Statues.

So the world must slowly be getting back to normal , for I have been out for Afternoon Tea. Oh yes I had my cake and ate it too…..though there were definitely enough goodies left over for a doggy bag.

Gill booked a table for five at the suitably stylish Alexanders Grand Cafe & Restaurant in Skipton. Situated on High Street this elegant venue has botanically inspired decor and a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere. Perfect for whiling the afternoon away with the girls. ๐Ÿ’—

Photo ~ Tammy Cardoso.

Like all the best Afternoon Teas, Alexander’s is served on pretty vintage china. I actually used to own an identical ivy patterned teacup and saucer set , which I turned into a teacup candle in my craft fair days. I still appreciate a vintage tea service. ๐Ÿ™‚

The food was delicious. A shot of velvety veloute, three choices of sandwich, pork pie, a selection of cute cakes and of course , a fluffy scone served with jam, strawberries and clotted cream. Tea, coffee or hot chocolate were included in the price of the afternoon tea, which was ยฃ25 per person. We additionally paid for a glass of something each, Becky and I chose a refreshing Cherry Blossom Cocktail from the cocktail menu. Cin Cin !

Photo ~ A Ball.

Afterwards I joined the girls for an hour or so, exploring the canal side and shops, before catching the train from Skipton to Langwathby in Cumbria. Langwathby happens to be a village not far from Melmerby where the caravan is based. Wil and Hugo had driven to the van a day earlier and were due to pick me up from Langwathby station. I was quite excited to board the train as I would be travelling on the famed Settle – Carlisle Railway.

My journey photos.
Ribblehead Viaduct ~ WordPress free photo library.
Ruswarp the dog at Garsdale Station ~ Pinterest.

This is a very scenic train journey that meanders its way through the stunning Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley countryside. We passed over the impressive 24 stone arch Ribblehead Viaduct and through England’s highest mainline station at Dent. I did find it pretty impossible to take many good photos out of a speeding train window though, so I borrowed a couple online.

At Garsdale Station a statue of a dog on the platform peeked my interest.

Graham Nuttall and faithfull collie Ruswarp ,pronounced Russup.

Back in the 1980s the Settle to Carlisle Railway was under threat of closure. On a quest to save the iconic transport link, The Friends of The Settle – Carlisle Line managed to obtain over thirty thousand human signatures plus one pawprint signature. The pawprint belonged to The Friends co – founder Graham Nuttalls 14 year old border collie Ruswarp, a frequent traveller with him on the line.

It was Ruswarps pawprint that swung the decision and after years of campaigning the line was saved in 1989. ๐Ÿ’— ๐Ÿพ

In January 1990 Graham Nuttall and Ruswarp went walking in the Welsh Hills. Graham was never to return, his body was found by a stream eleven weeks later by another hiker. His faithful companion Ruswarp had remained at his master’s side all that time.

Ruswarp was cared for by an RSPCA vet and lived long enough to attend Graham’s funeral but died soon after. A bronze statue of the loyal collie was erected in 2009, a tribute to the many people….and one wonderful dog, who fought to keep the Settle – Carlisle Line open.

After googling Ruswarp and Graham’s story, I felt quite emotional, I can tell you. I for one am very glad that the beautiful rail route survives. I enjoyed my one and a half hour train journey from Skipton and was very happy to see my other half plus faithful companion, waiting for me at Langwathby station. โ˜บ๏ธ

Statue of Max The Miracle Dog in Hope Park, Keswick.

Ruswarp was not the only dog statue I saw last weekend. On Sunday we happened to be in Keswick, where we came across Max, a popular Springer Spaniel. His handsome bronze statue had only been unveiled the day before in the town’s Hope Park. You can read here about Max The Miracle Dog and his amazing fund raising efforts. I have loved following Max’s walks, along with Paddy & Harry and their owners Kerry ( and Angela behind the scenes) on Facebook, especially through the lockdowns.

Hugo on Max’s bench.

Have you been for Afternoon Tea recently?

Have you travelled on the Settle-Carlisle Line?

Do you know of any other monuments to inspirational dogs?


37 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea In Skipton, A Scenic Train Journey & Two Dog Statues.”

  1. That afternoon tea looks lovely, isn’t it nice to be able to do all the nice things in good company after such a long spell of distancing and closures.

    Oh Ruswarp… what a story. Never ‘just’ a dog, are they? I found a couple of monuments to four legged friends when I lived in Edinburgh, one well known the other not so much! Hope you don’t mind me sharing a link.

  2. It looks like you all had a great day out. We love Skipton too and enjoyed the Castle and the canal trip! ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

  3. The afternoon tea looks very sumptuous though I’m afraid I could never drink tea from a china cup, it just doesn’t taste right to me – I much prefer a ceramic mug. Such a wonderful but sad story of Graham and Ruswarp, it brought a lump to my throat ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  4. What a super post happiness and sadness together but from the sadness good appeared. Your afternoon tea looks wonderful and you and your friends look happy to be together. Yes, I travelled on the Settle to Carlise railway in the early 90s with some friends, we had booked a special excursion train from Peterborough (when I lived that side of the country) and went up through Appleby (where we had to wait for the Flying Scotsman to take water first) to Carlisle, across to Newcastle and returned via York to Peterborough. It was a long and interesting journey:)

    1. Wow, that does sound an epic journey Rosie! My sister is doing something similar by steam, though not as long. It includes a 3 course meal too. Quite jealous. X

  5. Lovely blog and at ยฃ25 a head for afternoon tea, doesn’t sound too expensive! What a lovely story of Ruswarp, how amazing are dogs? Glad you got to see Max’s statue, I’ll visit one day. The train journey looked beautiful, seems you are definitely getting back to ‘normal’, which can only be a good thing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    1. Dogs are the best aren’t they. I can’t believe I had never heard Ruswarps story before. His statue really peaked my curiosity. The Max statue is lovely, and the bench mentions Paddy and Harry too. The afternoon tea was a great treat. X

  6. That afternoon tea looks phenomenal and a real treat โ€ฆ I also love mismatched vintage China and we have some of Martinโ€™s mumโ€™s that we use when we are doing afternoon tea for friends at home. We went for a โ€˜poshโ€™ afternoon tea not long back, which was very nice but not as nice as yours looked. We drove past the Ribble head viaduct on our way back fro our Yorkshire break back in May โ€ฆ I wish my photo looked as impressive as the one you found โ€ฆ we had a bit of a grey day which didnโ€™t help ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    1. Ribblehead looks very bleak on a gloomy day, that’s for sure. I have some grey pics from there myself. It’s nice to use a proper tea set for special occasions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. That afternoon tea looks epic! My mum has a whole set of that ivy leaf china. It doesnโ€™t get used now but itโ€™s still in her cabinet. It was probably a wedding present, so older than me! Sad story about the dog and his master.

  8. What a wonderful weekend. A catch up with the girls is always a joy. And no better way to put the world to rights than over afternoon tea, especially when there is a cocktail included.
    Lucky you in getting to see the statue of Max. I can’t wait to return to Keswick and see it for myself. X

  9. What a great afternoon tea – I am so envious – apart from the pork pie – that just looks weird to me for an afternoon tea, but maybe I’ve been missing out in the past. For a ‘special’ birthday I went to a swanky London hotel for afternoon tea, bottomless prosecco, I’d have munched anything that day! Love the fancy cakes and the stands everything is served on. It looks a lovely girly weekend.

      1. I wonder why the pork pie??? My brother in law who loves an afternoon tea would say ‘why not?!’ – he loves them! He could be in the minority here. I’d rather have another cake, ha ha!

  10. I did Settle – Carlisle some 16 years ago, it rained all the way ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am familiar with Skipton and with Langwathby too – I remember a nice pub and the village green. I can’t think of any other dog statues, however the statue of Bob the street cat has just been revealed in London ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That’s fab that you know Langwathby. It does indeed have a nice pub and village green. I am lucky enough to have a static caravan in Melmerby which is the next village along. How wonderful that Bob has
      a statue in London! He was such a character. Enjoyed the film’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. The afternoon tea looks delightful and the overall day itself – the rail journey and the scenery – sounds lovely. It was a sad story about Ruswarp, reminded me of Greyfriars Bobby.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s