Last summer, our Marketing and Communications Manager, Tasj, went up north to visit Yorkshire. She had a jam-packed few days and couldn’t wait to tell us all about it…although she did take her time putting it all in writing!
Tell us where you’ve been…
I spent three wonderful (and surprisingly warm) days exploring Gods Own Country! Our accommodation was a lovely, quiet caravan park located on the outskirts of Snainton, a tiny village located in the Scarborough region, around a 40-minute drive from York.
Day one – On an overcast, but warm morning, we set off to Harrogate, visiting Betty’s tea shop to pick up a cake for later, (the long line did not fit in with out tight schedule!). After a couple of hours wandering through the winding streets filled with gorgeous boutiques and vintage shops, we found the Royal Baths…which rather randomly are now a Chinese Restaurant! Around the corner we found the Turkish Baths are still there, to our relief – but don’t take up the full space anymore – so we had a peek in there too.
Lunchtime, and with our tummies rumbling, we set off to York. The clouds had now cleared and being a sunny Friday afternoon during school holidays, the town was buzzing. We found a riverside pub that catered for our most important family member, Lottie, the golden cocker spaniel, to join us for a spot of lunch. We then made our way to the Shambles, the narrow shopping street, with overhanging timber-framed buildings, said to be Europe’s oldest and best preserved medieval street. The buildings lean so close together they’re nearly touching, and lined with cobble stones, it is just beautiful! Passing through market stalls, sampling some home-made fudge and stopping to look at some of the eye-wateringly priced goods at the Mulberry ‘discount’ outlet store, we eventually got to York Minster. A spectacular cathedral, and one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. We couldn’t resist a refreshing stop for tea and cake next door, soaking in the afternoon sun and the stunning views before heading back to base camp.
Day two – After a little lie in, following a late night of wine and numerous rounds of the card game, ‘Bulls***t’, we set off through the stunning North Yorkshire moors. The rolling hills filled with heather made for a pleasurable sightseeing drive into the village of Goathland, otherwise known as ‘Heartbeat’ town. Yep, I was super excited for this, even though my English companions couldn’t understand how, I, a Danish-born, Kiwi-raised, 20-something, knew of the show. However, this was my Dad’s favourite show growing up and he still watches the re-runs, so that song as you can imagine was stuck in my head from the evening before, when I found out we were passing through, and ’till now while I type… ‘Heartbeat – why do you miss when my baby kisses me…do do do do do do’. After stocking up on all the merchandise pressies for my dad, they finally managed to drag me away, with a fistful of peanut butter homemade fudge, so we could take some more snaps of Greengrass’ garage, the police car and the pub before we headed off. After some arguing over the actual Heartbeat lyrics and more picturesque views of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, we arrived to the seaside town of Whitby. It was heaving with families on a super-hot Saturday, but we found a spot off the beaten track for some incredibly fresh and fantastically priced fish & chips. With a belly full of grease, we slowly made our way through the winding streets, taking Lottie down for a play (in the sand) before trekking up to the Abbey – a dramatic, hilltop ruin that got even more impressive as we climbed the steep hill. A drive back to camp through Robin Hood’s Bay provided some scenic ocean views from the sleepy back seat.
Day three – Our third and final day before we headed back to the big smoke involved a lazy Sunday morning stroll through Thornton-le-Dale and mid-morning ice-cream. You simply can’t visit Yorkshire and not sample a scoop of the creamy, satisfying deliciousness. I opted for Toffee and Honeycomb, and also managed to sneak a cheeky spoonful of chocolate-orange and hazelnut ripple from my travelling companion! After checking out the picturesque little village we headed back through Pickering and looked in some of the quaint boutique shops, before heading back to roast in the hot sun before a big hearty barbecue lunch. By 7pm as we drove to York to catch our train back to London, the heavens had opened, and in true Yorkshire fashion it absolutely bucketed down. Our delightfully sunny weekend was well and truly over.
What was the highlight of the trip?
Being the daughter of a mad Heartbeat fan, I think the trip to Goathland was the absolute bees knees. Being in Yorkshire in general was great, it reminded me of New Zealand (where I grew up) with the friendly, hospitable people and the rolling green hills. Also, the Whitby fish & chips definitely gave us kiwis a run for our money.
What and where was your best foodie moment?
Surprisingly it was the pub next to our caravan park, The Coachman Inn. Not just your typical pub grub, it served up amazing gastro fare. First quenching my thirst with a Yorkshire sparkle (lager), I opted for the Whitby Crab Thermidor (after googling what it was) served with new potatoes. So good! I also snuck in a taste of the Venison Wellington served with pulled pork croquettes and potato dauphinoise. Wowee – it really was a flavour explosion. I would go back to Yorkshire in a heartbeat (‘scuse the pun) just to go to the Coachmans Inn. Yum.
Special shout out to the stem ginger cake from Betty’s. Moist, sharp and just scrummy. It was a tasty sweet treat to enjoy with a cuppa Yorkshire Tea in the evenings.
Any stand-out traditions or cultural observations made in the area you stayed?
The friendliness of Northerners never ceases to amaze me. You get an hour out of London and it’s like you’re in a different country, (sorry, city folk!).
For anyone travelling to North Yorkshire, what can’t they miss?
Ensure you’ve got a car so you can hit the road. Check out the moors, scenic coastal towns and all the quaint little villages, they’re just spectacular. York is a must visit with its remarkable Minster (13th century gothic cathedral), and the walls around the city really reflect the history of this ancient roman town. Or, if you’re stuck with some history buffs and need a retail escape, there’s a Mulberry outlet shop near the Shambles too!