Mother Shipton’s Cave and Knaresborough

Mother Shipton

Mother Shipton is England’s most famous prophetess. As well as making traditional remedies she had the gift of foretelling the future.Known to locals as a witch, because of her rather large crooked nose and bent back, she earned her living by telling the future of those that paid for her words.

Ursula (Mother) Shipton was born, on the night of a terrifying storm, in a cave on the banks of the River Nidd in Knaresborough in 1488. As Ursula grew up she studied the forest, the flowers and herbs that were growing around her and she began to make remedies and potions with them.

The Prophecies

Mother Shipton foretold many predictions, some of them more famous than others are as follows:

Carriages without horses shall go,
And accidents fill the world with woe.
Around the world thoughts shall fly,

In the twinkling of an eye.
Said to predict cars, telephones, internet, satellites and planes.

Under water men shall walk,
Shall ride sleep shall talk:
In the air men shall be seen,
In white, in black and in green.

Said to predict, submarines, hot-air balloons or planes.

She is also said to have foretold the Black Death of 1665 and the Great Fire of London.

Whether she existed or not is perhaps not really important, but she leaves behind a cave and one of England's oldest tourist attraction, which people have been visiting since 1630.

The Walk

Mother Shipton’s cave is a wonderful place to visit. With a children’s play area, beautifully landscaped areas to picnic in, wonderful carvings among the trees and of coarse the cave and petrifying well, there is plenty of things to see and do for all ages.

The park is unique and unspoilt. As you enter through the visitors entrance you are instantly drawn to how beautiful the landscape is and drawn into the natural beauty of the surroundings. Once you pay your entry fee, you are given a wristband. This entitles you to entry into Mother Shipton all day long, so if you exit at the end of the walk and go across the bridge to visit the Castle, you can gain entry again with the wristband. Before visiting the cave and petrifying well, you walk along the mile long Sir Henry Slingsby’s Walk, which runs along the bank of the River Nidd.

Walk along the River Nidd to Mother Shiptons Cave
Sir Henry Slingsby Walk

Witches and Wizards

Throughout the year Mother Shipton’s attraction runs events and we were lucky enough to visit whilst they were holding the Witches and Wizards; a transformation into a mystical and magical event for all of the family. Where we visited the Wuthering Woodland, got sorted into a school house and met magic teachers. The boys got given a trail to follow and had to tick off certain things that they did along the route. The best of all had to be the sorting hat, where the boys got sorted into a house. Once all of the lessons that included Flying and Potions were completed they were awarded with a certificate of graduation to be a qualified Wizard!

Apart from the Witches and Wizardry event there are plenty of sights to see along the route.

Sir Henry Slingsby Walk

The first would be the first bridge that you come across. This is the bridge that Mother Shipton had said “The world shall end when the High Bridge is thrice fallen” It has already fallen twice! eek!

Carrying on you will pass by the oldest building in Knaresborough, just across the River, The Old Manor House. You will then pass under the magnificent Viaducts which was built for the Railway.

As you walk along you will hear the roaring of water as you pass by the castle mill and weir. This place once made the finest linen in the country, but now it is luxury riverside apartments.

Knaresborough Castle mill and weir

The pathway leads up to an adventure playground on the right and some fallen down tree trunks that people can hammer in their pennies for good luck.

Surrounding the Sir Henry Slingsby Walk are some magnificent tall trees that are possibly over three hundred years old. As you walk through the tree lined pathway you get the sense of mystery but calmness. Although these spiders are quite creepy.

Mother Shipton

It’s not long until you pass by the natural underground lake, this is the spring that provides the well with its magical waters.

The natural lake is about a mile underground. As the water comes to the surface it travels along a narrow and of porous rock called ‘aquifer’ and a huge amount of minerals are dissolved. Which is just right for turning objects into stone. Following some steps down and passing through some doors we soon stood in amazement as we saw the petrifying well doing its magic by turning everything it touches into stone.

For many centuries people believed that the well had healing powers and they used to carry their sick/dying relatives across the water in order for the magical, mystical waters to miraculously cure them.

The boys and I spent most of our time here, just watching the water fall down into the well. We were mesmerised by the natural beauty of it. I think we saw every shade of green going.

Behind the petrifying Well there is a wishing well, that is said that if you place your right hand into the water and make a wish then it will come true. We placed our hands into the cold, fresh water and made our wishes. You can not wish for money and obviously if you tell it to anyone it won’t come true.

Wishing well at mother shiptons cave
Making a wish

To the right of the wells is the cave itself. Looking around the cold, grim cave Its hard to believe that once a young woman gave birth to a baby in it and that baby would then make this place her home and sanctuary.

At the back of the cave is Mother Shipton herself

A statue of what Mother Shipton is believed to look like

Could imagine what it was like to spend your days in the dark, surrounded by the cold stone?

Once exiting the cave and well area, you can go back the way you came in or continue to end of the walk which is where the Museum and gift shop is located. Inside you can see a selection of items that have been petrified by the well and turned into stone.

I visited Mother Shipton cave and well as a child with my family and it has always been a place that, if visiting Yorkshire, I would take my boys back to experience. Mother Shipton’s is situated along the banks of the River Nidd in Knaresborough. The town is a beauty in itself and really makes a great day out for all ages. The area is unique and unspoilt and I have never seen anywhere so picturesque as here.

It is definitely a place that, hopefully, we will be visiting again.

Share

We had Chills At Pleasurewood Hills- Review

At the beginning of the summer Daddy and I took the children to Pleasurewood Hills, a theme park in Lowestoft, Suffolk which is celebrating it’s 30 year anniversary this year.

The park is a good 3hrs drive away from us in London but it was a nice smooth drive there and we don’t mind travelling for a day out to somewhere special like a theme park. The park was easy to find as we followed signs from Lowestoft City Centre to the park (not the sat nav as this wanted to take us in the back way, but their is another postcaode to follow which takes you directly there) and once we was in through the gates and directed by someone on to a field where we parked our car, their was ample space for parking and even better was unlike some other theme parks you don’t have to pay to park.

As soon as we was in the park we made our way to the Kiddies rides so that the younger ones could have a bit of fun first, with a choice of 11 rides to experience they chose the Mini Pirate Ship and the Mini Twister to go on first.

 

Daddy on the Mini Twister with Oliver
Daddy on the Mini Twister with Oliver

Jak with Joseph on the Mini Pirate Ship
Jak with Joseph on the Mini Pirate Ship

There was no queues for the children’s rides so they went on straight away, which is great for the young ones as they don’t understand why they have to wait around, after their ride finished they made their way over to the Wave breaker which is a family ride so there are height restrictions. There was queues on the Family rides but they weren’t long probably ranging from 10-15 minutes, Dad queued up with them thinking that he would go down with Joseph and Jak could go on his own but it was Two people to a boat so the boys went down on their own and he followed after with someone else sharing the boat. This was the first time Joseph had been on a big ride like that as he has always been under the height restriction which is 1m and he is 104cm, he said he was a bit scared at first because it was very high up but he loved it.

20130822-082211.jpg

20130822-082223.jpg

 

Once off of the ride he had the bug and wanted to go on more big rides, we was off in search of some more thrill seeking rides for him to experience but we saw the Train going round so we ran for it, leaving the buggy behind at the station we jumped on and enjoyed the nice relaxing journey around the park, this way we got to see what rides the boys wanted to go on next. Jak spotted the Wipeout, dad took one look at his face and said ‘Come one then, get off the next stop!’  Daddy and Jak got off and the two younger ones and i stayed on to finish the journey, once the trip had finished we made our way over to the Wipeout hoping to catch Daddy and Jak on it but we just missed them as they had just got off as we turned up. We did get to see the photo that was taken on the ride, it was so funny as Dad’s face looked really scared. Jak said that he went really fast and you travelled backwards so you can’t see where your going. The ride twists and turns at 50mph, which is ideal for those seeking thrills, the height restriction on this ride is 1.3m.

Photo taken from PWHills website

It is a good idea to travel to theme parks with another adult if you have children of different ages as some of the rides Joseph couldn’t go on as he wasn’t tall enough and Jak wanted to go  on them, so you can take it in turns going on different rides to suit the children.

There are 13 Family rides to go on, the Chairlift which takes you from one side of the park to the other high up in the sky, it gives you a good view of the park.

 

Pwhills website

 Another family ride is The carousel which has been lovingly repainted by the local art schools is a nice family ride to relax and enjoy, Daddy gets a bit sick from going round and round so this was a bit too much for him and he had to get off. Oliver loved this ride and he had a horse to himself, which i held him on. He didn’t want to come off this ride and cried when it was over so it was a big hit with him

20130822-082247.jpg

At lunch time we went off in search of an area where we could sit down and enjoy our picnic, we found a bench near to the play area next to the Sea Lion show and Timber Falls,  It was nice and quiet and just tucked away from everything so we enjoyed our lunch without any distractions. It wasn’t long before the boys wanted to go off and explore the play area though.

20130822-082332.jpg

20130822-082317.jpg

 

There are 7 Thrill rides in the park, the Timber Falls and Enigma are both rides that Joseph got to go on, the Timber Falls which is a 36ft drop into the water, this ride makes a big splash so be ready to get a soaking!

About to get a soaking
About to get a soaking

We queued for a good half hour for the Enigma but it was definitely worth it, it was fast and thrilling and with 600m of twisted steel spinning in every direction you are bound to come off smiling, you do get thrown around all over the place and i have a few bruises on my back to prove it! Jak said this ride was exhilarating, by far the best ever! You scream and you shout, i’ve never heard such a noise come from Jak before lol.  It’s one of those rides that you just have to laugh when you get off and I’m quite sure i left my tummy behind on the first twist!

20130822-082357.jpg

The last ride of the day for Jak and I was the Hobs Pit, a new ride this year for Pleasurewood Hills, they have really hit the spot with this one! The ride is one of the scariest in the country, be prepared to come face to face with a trapped miner who has been possessed by the devil, as you travel through an abandoned mine by foot and on a cart you will experience stunning visual effects and with up to 10 live actors. The live actors really make the ride and get you into the spirit of it, they never come out of character, we was in the queue for about an hour but they made it seem much less! We heard screams from inside and one of the actresses kept coming to the entrance and looking round the corner all shy looking and sheepish. The ride is scary and terrifying, i could feel my tummy doing flips not because of the thrill but because of being unaware of what i was walking into, it was dark and just don’t know who is in there with you. The story behind the Ride is that it is based on an old abandoned mine shaft and unexplained phenomena that were discovered during excavations at the park. The ride tells the tale of a grim tale of cannibalism and murder among the trapped minors, will you be able to escape the PIT?

20130822-082454.jpg

 

They also explained that this is not a ride for the faint hearted! So much so that they have made it a 12A and younger guests must be 1.5m and a disclaimer must be signed by an adult

It was brilliant and had my legs feeling like jelly lol, there are a few surprises inside but i shan’t tell as i will spoil it for you, but it’s definitely worth a visit just for the thrill of this ride.

We really enjoyed our day at The Theme Park and would recommend it to other families, it’s not the size of other parks and it doesn’t have as many rides but there is something for everyone! I liked the feel of the park, it felt homely and as it wasn’t on big scale we could walk around it comfortably without getting tires out too much! Not only is there rides to experience but also other attractions such as the Illusion show by Sean Alexander and Parrot and Sea lion shows to watch. There are plenty of places to eat and drink spotted around the park although we took our own picnic so didn’t use them.

For thrills and chills a visit to Pleasurewood hills is a must for the family!

Online Prices: £18 per adult, £15 per child or for a family of 5 it’s £80 A bit on the expensive side but in comparison to other parks its a lot cheaper. If you pay at the entrance at the park you will pay an extra £1 per person.

The park also caters for birthday parties, groups and school visits.

We was sent family tickets in return for a review, no cash payment has been received.

 

Share