The motorway signs just say to ‘The North’, my mind conjured up images of us driving our rental car to a big white wall, but 3 hours later we were in York.
Arriving in York Sunday afternoon, I foolishly thought we could just drop into one of the pubs that I had researched for Sunday lunch, but what I didn’t know about York is that it is busy. Even though we are in the middle of November, there are tourists everywhere. Why would anyone voluntarily go to the north of England in 2 degrees and not even close to Christmas? Who are these people? Well me I guess!
You will be relieved to hear that I did get my Sunday lunch complete with Yorkshire pudding the size of a small child.
York is busy with good reason, it is a fascinating and beautiful town whose history goes back to 71AD. It was such a big deal when my primary school in Perth reached 100 years, going to York certainly put me in my place.
It seemed like everyone had a go, the Romans, Vikings, Normans, and that’s only up to 1200AD. The centre is still full of incredible medieval buildings that look like they are about to topple over yet somehow house ye olde Zara and The Body Shop.
Jorvik Viking centre had recreated a Viking village with lifelike figurines that moved (with the odd real human to throw us off), you go around it in a motorised chair which was pretty funny. I wonder what those Vikings would say!
Andrew was fairly keen to try another UK culinary favourite; curry. The young Indian man serving us was obviously at least first generation English, as when we said we enjoy Indian food in Australia, he replied ‘why would anyone want to eat a curry in a hot climate?’ Clearly hasn’t been to India.
The Yorkshire Dales are breathtaking. We drove through the gently undulating hills of many colours that I don’t really see in Australia, purple, rust, olive, it must have been the inspiration for tweed.
We were driving along a small road and I suddenly see ruins. Always keen to check out a pile of rocks, we stopped . It turned out to be Pendragon Castle, rumoured to be built by Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur. Where else can you go for a drive and stumble across a 12th century ruined castle in the middle of nowhere with hardly any signage?
Even though the distance between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District is only an hour or so, the scenery is very different. We moved from the rolling hills to bigger, cragier mountains although still keeping the Derwent pastel colour pencil scheme. Actually as I write this I realise the lake we are staying on is the Derwentwater – coincidence?
Keen to test out our hiking boots, we naively asked our B&B host to recommend an easy-ish walk. Turns out an easy-ish walk is a 4 hour hike up to 1234 feet but it really was incredible and was definitely a wow moment. It was around zero degrees but this meant the path was frozen mud not slushy mud and was crisp with icicles
View from the top!
I really loved the Lakes District, we only had two nights there but could have easily spent a week.
Next stop Wales.