On a rather dreary Sunday a couple of weeks ago, Paul and I headed to Kirkstall Abbey to cross it off my list, and to while away a few hours before it was time to start cooking a roast! On a slightly sunnier day, you could while away more than a few hours - the Abbey is right next to the River Aire with some beautiful places to wander and picnic. There are also lots of activities for kids (and for adults who are kids at heart!) and a visitor's centre where we picked up some sugary treats! But, when it's slightly drizzly you don't necessarily hang around - as it's a ruin (albeit a pretty well preserved one) there aren't a lot of roofs to shelter under!
I'm no stranger to a ruin, my parents are big fans of the National Trust-style Saturday day trip, but this is definitely one of the more impressive that I've seen. There are parts which are basically still intact, including mosaic floors, fireplaces and staircases. It's pretty easy to imagine the monks walking around and doing their monk-y thing.
Turns out I would have been a giant amongst the monks! Or at least, a normal height...
This was definitely the most impressive part of the whole site, and it appears you can hire it out for weddings! That aisle isn't very heel-friendly though... This part of the Abbey was actually turned into the main road into Leeds after it was closed down - that would have been a pretty impressive way to travel!
There's a little pub/cafe across the road 'The Gatehouse' which does a Sunday roast for £9.50 - a bargain if you ask me! I can't comment on the quality, since we passed on the roast in favour of our own home cooked one, but the family next to us seemed to be enjoying it!
I was disappointed that we were not there for the Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market - I love me a deli market! But, since the Abbey is so close to our house I'll definitely be visiting the market soon. Has anyone been? If it's as good as the Headingley Farmer's Market then I'll be a happy bunny!
Why yes, my shorts do have penguins on them! I wish I didn't have to wear tights and a cardigan in June though! Although, I do wonder what on earth people will talk about at the office/on Twitter once the sun finally starts shining - the whole country's conversation seems to have been preoccupied with the weather more than usual this summer!
All in all, Kirkstall Abbey turned out to be a pretty good day out - it definitely comes recommended from me, although I think those with kids and rain coats might enjoy it the most!