Taken by me in Whitby, a bit shakey but the start of more Youtube videos and projects to come. Subscribe here.
Another day goes past and we’re nearing the end of our little getaway in ‘God’s Own Country’ (nooo!)
Based on the laziness of yesterday I needed to go out and do something – and so, we visited Harrogate and Whitby.
Harrogate, famous for being one of the most expensive places to live in England, is a lovely town filled with plenty of shops to burn a hole in your wallet. We actually didn’t spend too long here, as we just looking around and had quite enough tea in the past few days (the also famous Betty’s Tea Rooms have a branch here, but there is also one in York.)
Harrogate is 20 miles away from Skipton, taking roughly a half an hour drive. I couldn’t see us staying here longer than we did and I must admit, in my humble opinion I found Whitby far more lovely.
It was not just a simple 20 miles down the road to get there however, it was at least a 2 hour drive away, but I was keen to see the town Dracula made famous and a part of Yorkshire that’s actually on the coast!
You also go through the North York Moors (another National Park) on the way and some of the country roads are spectacular. Particularly this one below I tried my best to capture in image form!
Whitby has great history, with settlement history going as far back as 656, the famous Captain Cook learning his seamanship here and its association with the classic horror novel Dracula (which I may have already mentioned!)
Bram Stoker used Whitby as the setting to his novel, which introduced the unforgettable character of Count Dracula, when the notorious vampire leaves Transylvania and comes ashore to the English isles. This kind of background adds such atmosphere when looking up to the creepy Whitby Abbey ruins.
There is also a church on top of the same hill, with plenty of spooky old grave stones, that is easily reachable from the town by the 199 steps upto it.
The site is, no surprise, an English heritage site which was sadly closed except for weekends at this time of year. However walking around the area you can still get a good look at how magnificent it once was (and how it probably influenced young Bram when it was dismantled.)
On the walk back down to the town I couldn’t resist buying the Dracula novel when I spotted it in a local book shop for £2! After recently reading The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into it – ha see what I did there!
Anyway, in the summer I can imagine all these scary connotations with the town are washed away and filled with sunshine, smiles and ice creams – making a good spot to visit all year round.
There are fishing trip tours too, which again I expect more attractive in the summer months!
There are many picturesque narrow streets filled to brim with independent (some chain) stores. For dinner, we couldn’t resist another fish and chips and ate here at a place called Robertsons.
I had the medium haddock and chips whereas David had the large – I can’t believe the SIZE of David’s! That must have been one big haddock.
Anyway, it tasted absolutely delicious and was the stake in the coffin in my confirmation fish and chips are definitely far better up North (sorry I’ll stop with the vampire puns now…)
I think Whitby has been one of my favourite places we’ve seen in Yorkshire, it definitely tops York and Harrogate.
It’s our last full day here tomorrow and currently we have no plans but we’re both definitely feeling sad this holiday is coming to an end.
I’ll bid good night to you all with frightening cover of my newly purchased book – sweet dreams!
As the post title suggests, we had a sneaky little rest day today. We seemed to fit in quite a bit our first few days in Yorkshire and tiredness crept up on us, that and the few glasses of champagne we had in bed whilst watching Breaking Bad – we’ve nearly finished the final series!
We heard from the owner of the cottage that Wednesday is market day in Skipton, providing it doesn’t snow, so we decided to take it easy and keep it local.
Unfortunately, it did snow – although it didn’t really lay. The market in town along the High Street was sparse, but the cheese stall was still alive and kicking (and we’d ran out of cheese and crackers!)
We bought some authentic Wensleydale cheese (scrumptious), extra mature cheddar cheese and biscuits, all for around £10 and munched on them we got home a few hours later.
Before we did, we wanted to check out Skipton Castle which is just at the top of the High Street and we’re really glad we did!
I think we were both thinking it would be an alright castle, being from England you see plenty of them, especially growing up and going on trips for your history GCSE – but this one is in especially good condition and is over 900 years old!
The castle also claims to be one of the best preserved medieval castle in all of England – quite a claim – which also survived a three-year siege during the civil war.
It contains a banquet hall, watch towers and a dungeon and has all furniture and decor stripped from it. I enjoy castles adding decor and furniture to show how it used to be lived in, however David brought up a good point that having it bare can leave more to the imagination.
What’s particularly helpful is the Tour Sheet given to every visitor free with the entrance fee (oh which was £7.30 for adults by the way, child tickets are cheaper, or free if they’re under 5 and there are concession tickets available for over 60s and students.) The sheet explains how old certain parts of the castle are, what they were used for and who’s visited it – including Mary Queen of Scots.
If staying in Skipton I’d definitely recommend a visit here, it was fairly quiet with me and David having almost the whole castle to ourselves!
We had already hatched a plan before we left that our next stop was going to be a Pork Pie shop we had walked past a number of times.
THIS is what is great about the north – cheap hearty food. David and I bought two roast pork butties (sandwiches/rolls, to anyone unfamiliar with the slang), a large pork pie and a small pork and haggis pie – all for under £10.
If I lived in Skipton I’d be a festively plump, but very happy, lady.
The camera had also arose from the dead – with it seemingly to be working as normal, I kept in the bag and it managed to take the above pics with no problem. Huzzah! I think it’s alive!
For dinner we went to Mustab’s, the town’s Indian restaurant. The place itself is a bit shabby but the food, which regrettably I didn’t get pictures of, was so, so tasty and if you’re craving for tastes from the East, whilst in the cold, cold North, this place gets a thumbs up from me. Despite the fact I’ll probably be going home 1 stone heavier from all the yummy food from this holiday, it can all be forgiven for pleasing my taste-buds!
Today is my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! Waking up early and opening my pressies, which included a 3 course lunch for two (with champagne) at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Restaurant in London (oh laa I’ll have to review that!) we soon had to rush to get ready in order to catch our 9:16 train to York! From Skipton Train Station, which is only a 5 minute walk away from our cottage, the journey took roughly 1 hour and 17 minutes with one change at Leeds. I was looking forward to York, as I have been told it is much like my home city of Canterbury that I do adore – and it’s true! It’s like a bigger, more posh (if possible) version of Canterbury. First we visited the National Railway Museum, conveniently situated right next door to York Train Station.
It is also conveniently free, but with suggested donation boxes darted around the place – I felt generous and donated the advisable £3 because looking in on some of the old carriages, especially those used by royalty, was quite enjoyable. It wasn’t too much longer until we were in Jorvik – the Viking Museum! Vikings are cool right? If you like Vikings then I suggest you go here, but don’t expect to be completely blown away. It’s funny because one of the main historical attractions in Canterbury is The Canterbury Tales – an ‘interactive’ exhibit where Jeffrey Chaucer’s famous play is spoken into your ears, whilst you’re walking around a ‘reconstruction’ of the story, as it was back in Chaucer’s time, accompanied with strange smells and weird creepy mannequins.
And well, the Viking Museum opted for the same (dated) entertainment, but instead of walking you’re taken around a realistic Viking town by a sort of roller coaster thing, at a really slow speed. At £10.25, it may be a bit steep to some, but was quite comical (and oddly educational) for us! Then we visited York Minster – reminding me a lot of Canterbury’s Cathedral – what are all these York and Canterbury parallels?! It was £10 to visit, or £15 to also go up the tower – which sadly had allocated times hours away from when we arrived. A bit annoying, but the lady at the counter told us this was due to low staff, so it probably isn’t like this all year round. When we were finished wandering around the big church/cathedral like building (what is the difference between that and a minister?), we did a bit of shopping, which York can offer quite a variety of, before having tea at the Teddy Bear Tea Rooms. There’s a host of different tea rooms you can visit around York – we saw more you could shake a stick at – but I quite enjoyed the uneven rooms in the top floors of the Teddy Bear Tea Rooms, that look over the narrow York Streets and where you can get a pot of tea and cake for just £4.90! (Except I chose the chocolate chip cookie.) David got the brie and bacon sandwich that also looked quite tasty. Surprisingly time went by quite quickly and we soon found ourselves on a busy train back to Skipton. Instead of going back to cottage right away, we went straight up the High Street to get dinner – I decided whilst still on the train I liked the sound of Le Bistro Des Amis, a French restaurant highly rated on Tripadvisor. I’m a big fan of French food, French Decor and… anything French really. I felt right at home in this place and both me and David really enjoyed the food. For starters I had the Duck Liver Parfait and David, the French Onion Soup. For main, I had the braised shoulder of lamb with haggis, although I couldn’t tell which part the haggis was. I think it was mixed up with the lamb, like the swede was with the carrot and, not ever having haggis before, all I can say ALL of it tasted superb! David had the beef Bourguignon pie with mash and he left feeling as stuffed as I was! (A little more difficult than filling up a petite 5 foot 2 lady, as he’s 6 foot 4!) Overall, a fantastic birthday 🙂