A trip through (a part of) the United Kingdom: York and its whereabouts

This is the last post on my trip to England with littlemily.

We stayed in York for almost five days, devoting the first two to visit this town. It has a very pretty historic centre, although rather small. The Yorkminster is certainly something worth 13 pounds, including the visit to the top of the tower. Other than that, walking around the city and beside the river is quite enjoyable. The narrow streets full of colourful shops and tea rooms and not as crowded as I expected. York also has a couple of nice parks in case the weather surprises you with a sunny day.

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York’s shortest street. I’ll let you find out the meaning of its name!

There aren’t many museums aimed at the adult public only. I went to the Yorkshire Museum because there was a temporary exhibition on Richard II. Sadly, I was very disappointed when I saw that this exhibition consisted of two small rooms and a few facts on the last Plantagenet. For families, the Yorshire Museum can be a fun visit, as well as the York Castle Museum. Similarly, York has a good handful of “experiences” such as the Richard III experience, the Henry VII experience, or the Ghost Walk. Again, the targets of such an entertainment are for families and kids, but not quite a thrill for me.

2015-07-19 19.54.00 HDR
One of the many sights in York’s Museum Gardens.

However, the unbelievable amount of bookshops (new and second hand) together with the glorious (although slightly over-priced) afternoon tea I had at Betty’s certainly compensates the lack of interesting things to visit.

Another good things is that there are many day-trips you can do from York. On our first day we took a two hour bus to Whitby, since we both longed to see the Yorkshire coast. Whitby is a small town by the sea that I found quite different to the inland villages I had visited so far. Its center is rather small but is full of quaint and nice little shops the moment you get out of the main street that goes along the river. That street is full of restaurants specialised in fish and chips. Since I already had had some fish and chips at the beginning of the trip (and my stomach did not feel up to digesting that much fried oil again), I went for crab, which was delicious as well (and far more healthy). One thing that may be helpful to remember is that there’s a huge gap in prices between seating-in and take-away, probably in the order of 4-5 pounds.

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After lunch we went to visit the ruins of the abbey, which were quite impressive. Fun fact: it inspired Bram Stoker while writing Dracula, so in the gift shop you can find all the nice editions of the novel you could possibly imagine.

Next day was Harrogate, which was a bit of a fiasco. Harrogate became a health spa in the late 18th – early 19th century so it is a pretty town with broad avenues. We only managed to visit the Royal Pump Room where we got to smell the water and believe that, despite its awful stench, it had medicinal properties. We didn’t do much else in the town. It started raining soon after we arrived and all other potential places to visit were closed, except a cosy art gallery next to the Pump Room. We even tried to find the huge parks that are supposed to be in the middle of Harrogate, but it was to no avail. Summary: I didn’t take a single picture of the town.

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That’s only a tiny part of the abbey!

On our last day we went to visit Fountains Abbey, a huge, enormous, abbey in ruins next to an 18th century water garden (because apparently people in that time were not impressed by ruins). There’s not much I can say other that we had a very nice time visiting the abbey and its whereabouts. It is also a very good spot to go for a picnic!

All in all, it was a great trip. I will certainly come back to Yorkshire and visit some of its houses (aka. palaces), the National Park, and, as I said before, the Peak District.

Aparté: What did I bring from my trip?2015-07-22 19.21.34

Besides discovering 40958039584 new books I need to read, I treated myself to:

– Pure by Andrew Miller. The French Revolution is one of my favourite historical events, and I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this book since it wa
s published.

– A Brief Introduction to Life in the Middle Ages by Martyn Whittock. I’ve recently started to by interested in NF History books and, after my trip to England, my curiosity for the Medieval Ages 2015-07-20 20.41.42has
greatly increased

– Yorkshire Tea: That’s pretty much the only tea I had in the last five days (I drank something between 6 to 8 cups per day hahahaha).

– Marks & Spencer’s Extra Strong Tea: since a friend of mine gave me a pack that I’ve become completely addicted to it!

– A York mini-flag and pin. The War of the Roses is also one of my favourite events, and I happen to support the House of York. So there was no way I’d visit Yorkshire and not bring back a couple of items with the white rose.

– Four nail polishers… In my defense, my flight back home was delayed for almost two hours!FullSizeRender


2 thoughts on “A trip through (a part of) the United Kingdom: York and its whereabouts

  1. One of the most important museums in York is the Jorvik Centre where you can find a reconstruction of a viking village in addition to the exhibition of the findings from the excavations in York from Viking times. I thought it was going to be irrelevant and boring but I found it fascinating.


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