Until recently, all I'd ever seen of Thirsk was the small train station; it is one possibility to get to Ripon, taking a bus from there, although it is a lot more convenient getting off the train at Harrogate, with bus services being more frequent and reliable there.
The day after my sister and I had been to Newby Hall, we wanted to do somehing else; we had now visited two stately homes in the space of two days and were ready for a different activity.
Maybe Thirsk is known to some of you as the home of Alf Wight, who became famous under the name of James Herriot, writing about his life as a country vet in Yorkshire from the late 1930s on. He was a vet in real life, and the house where he lived and had his surgery has been turned into a very pleasant museum.
You can find out more about the museum on their website.
For a change, we were allowed to take photos as much as we wanted, and I really took advantage of that permission! No guided tours there (unless you make an appointment, I suppose); instead, visitors wander around the house, garden and into the barn at will. Inside the barn, a half-hour documentary about Alf Wight, his books and the BBC TV series made from it can be watched. The whole place is so nicely set up, looking as if the family has just gone into the next room and would be back any minute.
After our visit at the museum, we walked around Thirsk for a bit. There is the church where Alf Wight got married, and inside, there was a small crafts exhibition going on, with stalls where people were selling hand-knitted dolls (I didn't see any socks) and other such things.It was very cold and rather windy, otherwise we would have liked to see more of the town; there is, I gather, quite a nice stretch of green along the river, but we were very much ready for the bus when it arrived to take us back into Ripon.
PS: My Mum has added some new socks to her Etsy shop; you can click here to see them.