A Travellerspoint blog

June 2022

Splendid York

sunny 20 °C

This trip was mostly about meeting people and I wanted to give it a title like “It’s all about Meetings” or “It’s people that count” but I don’t usually write about other people so I tried to aim the focus on something else too, so that you wouldn’t be reading just sentences like “I liked her/him a lot” or “She/he was nice”, it seems that my adjectives all were on the positive side, but I did really like a lot all of the people I met and chatted with on this trip. When I eventually got over the fact that I am not use to writing about people I did enjoy writing this, partly because I have missed writing and partly because I had such a great time!

Let me start with telling you how I ended up going to meet these people I have never met before. Few years ago I was searching travelling sites on internet and stumbled upon Travellerspoint which I ended up joining, obviously. One of the features I liked was blogs, which I ended up reading, and after a while, again, obviously, writing myself. One of the blogs was written by Sarah, whose blog I occasionally commented on. She had been involved with another travellingsite before TP, which members had done annual bigger meetings around the world, in various locations. When that site shut down, some of the members kept their annual meetings going and I was fortunate enough to get an invitation to years 2022 meeting, people from all over the world would be attending.

And that’s how I ended up travelling to York and Newcastle upon Tyne. Meeting new people and seeing England, which I, a former huge Emmerdale fan, has had on my Bucket List for years, I was eager to go!

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York

Monday

In the spirit of this trip, I already met new people on my way there, first on the plane and then on the train station. The flight went fast playing bullshit with this bachelor group I met on the plane, even if it turned out I am rubbish at it.
At the Manchester train station, I had some time and as I was waiting for my train, I started chatting this guy who was going on the same direction than I was. And again, the train ride went smoothly when you had someone to talk to.

I hopped off at York, where was going to be a pre-Meet before the actual Meeting. Josephine and Colin were staying at the same hotel than I was and they were kind enough to meet me at the station. I had met them before in our groups monthly Zoom-meetings but I was still a little bit nervous of this first face-to-face- meet. Turned out I was nervous for nothing, both of them are as lovely and welcoming on person too! The short walk to our hotel went quickly. Everyone I met made me feel right at home with this group.

My room in Georgian House & Mews- hotel were small, I could just and just get my bed fitting in the photo if I backed myself in the farthest corner I could get, and that weren’t that far. But the hotel staff were very friendly, breakfast was freshly cooked and it felt like being in my own apartment since entrance there were from the backyard of the hotel. You basically walked through the hotel, out from the backdoor and there were row house kind of arrangement in the backyard. I liked that. I treated myself with wine and peanuts while I was settling in.

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Entrance to my hotel room

Tuesday

Next morning, we had a coffee date where I met rest of our pre-Meet-group. We were 10 in total. One of the guys, Karl, had brought his own bike with him from home and asked if I would like to have company on my ride. I was going to rent a bike. And that’s how I got company.

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Our group in Cafe 21

We might have had some miscommunications of the length of our ride, and we ended up in Beningbrough Hall which was 9 miles from York. Not far for me but Karl had already done 15 miles ride this morning..Later he claimed that I am an witch who can transform kilometerss in to an miles. I hope that is not my only magical power, seems a bit useless, hah.

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Seen on the bike ride

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Seen on the bike ride

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I see, I looked, I goofed around

The paths were mostly off from bigger roads and easy enough to follow. Apart from couple “Oops, should we have gone that way”s. The weather were absolutely perfect, sun shining from almost cloudless sky. Not what I had expected from England, and during the first part of the day I was jealously looking at Karl’s shorts. My leggings were a bit too warm for the weather. But that stopped after I started to really feel the sun. I haven’t packed any sun cream and I would be painfully aware of that for days! My side-buzz, neck, chest and arms really took the sun in and showing it by changing the color. But atleast my legs were thankfully unaffected, if I would have had those shorts with me, they too, would have developed the same beautiful color of red.

Entering fee to the Beningbrough Hall was a bit steep. You couldn’t enter in the Hall but just the grounds, because they had electricity renovations starting inside. The grounds had beautiful gardens and walking paths but 12 pounds to see just them was a bit much. We paid it anyway.

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Beningbrough Hall

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Beningbrough Hall

According to Beningbrough Halls website, almost nothing is known about history of the building. The Estate were inherited by Ralph Bourchier on 1556 who build the first house. House, the second house, that has sit there for over 300 years was built by John Bourchier in 1716. He had gotten the inspiration of its architecture from Italy, where he had spent lot of time. This electricity, which prevented us from going in, was added in 1890.
National Trust acquired Beningbrough in 1958 and this former family home gets nowadays appr. 150 000 visitors per year roaming around its halls and estates, which are apparently famous for, among other things, its lavenders, or so the lady at the entrance told us. We tried to find those notorious flowers but in vain and after asking about them, we were told that they wouldn’t bloom until later in the summer. That taught us herbology.

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Beningbrough Hall Gardens

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Beningbrough Hall Gardens

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Beningbrough Hall Gardens

As we were on a holiday, after we got back to York and had returned my bike, we headed to get some beers before heading to our hotels.
At the evening whole group headed to dinner together, others had been on a York walking tour.

Wednesday

Next day when others went to River Cruise, I headed to do some wandering on my own. My hotel was close by Shambles which has been filled with butcher shops in Medieval times and to prevent the sun spoiling the meet hanging on display, houses are built close together. Now it is a shopping street and said to be inspiration to Diagon Alley in Harry Potter books. That might be the reason for the couple of Harry Potter- themed shops located there. I don’t wear themed clothes (band t-shirts and hoodies don’t count!) nor need any knickknacks but still wanted to visit The Shop That Must Not Be Named and was pleasantly surprised by it. It did have clothes and knickknacks but the movie soundtrack playing on the backround made a great ambience and if I wouldn’t be travelling light, I would have bought some candles (candles are heavy!). I did buy a postcard to send to my boyfriend Toni.

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The Shambles

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The Shambles

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The Shambles

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The Shambles

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The Shop That Must Not Be Named

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Candles that almost travelled home with me

With other postcards to write too, I spend nice while in the pub and got to try one of the traditional dishes, steak and ale pie. Menu said it to be award winning pie but I think I would have liked the chicken and mushroom pie better, the pie was good but not great. I also visited book store and several souvenir shops, wanting to buy something totally useless to Toni. His birthday was coming up and when asked, he said that he didn’t want nor need anything so I got him solar operated British Guardsmen among other things, like chocolate with his name on it, and socks with Union flag on them.

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Award winning Pie

I was going to visit Clifford’s Tower but somehow, I totally forgot its existence and ended up in the City Walls instead. I got up from Bootham Bar and got down from Monk Bar. Gates up to York City Walls are gathered all around the city in walls sections that are still intact. They are the longest town walls in England. Later I found out that I could have made a circular route following the walls but since I didn’t know that at the time, I got down. This section of the walk had great views of York Minster, great gothic structure that is one of Yorks best known attractions. I thought going back the same way (up in the Walls) the very true possibility of getting lost being in my mind but I had time for it (getting lost I mean) so I followed the wall back to Bootham Bar on the ground level. I got “lost” only once on my way back to my hotel when I got sidetracked by beer garden.

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Bootham Bar

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York City Walls

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York City Walls

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View to York Minster from the Walls

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Sidetracking Beergarden

Tonight’s dinner were early one, because we were going to go to an ghost tour after it. The restaurant was beautiful but obviously understaffed. The waiters/waitresses were basically running around trying to get everything done. Food was good and company too, I met Sarah, the women who invited me here, for the first time and like everyone else I have met, she too, were lovely and very welcoming!

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Dinner in Stonegate Yard

It is said that York is England’s most haunted city, or at least that’s what our guide for the Ghost tour said. He (the guide) were really good. He talked animatedly while he told us many ghost stories about York while he walked us by the places the stories were about. One was about Cliffords tower, yes, the one I totally forgot about. I didn’t get a chance to go up since it was getting late.
I think the story about it is more sad than scary but the tower is said to be haunted by several jewish people who made suicide in there while trying to avoid a mob.

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Diana and me waiting the Ghost tour to start

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Our Ghost tour Guide on his element

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The tower that almost avoided my camera (Clifford's Tower)

I think the scariest story he told us was about this store selling shampoos etc. At the very first night (of the shops) there were huge racket coming from inside and when people went to see what that was, there were body-washing merchandise everywhere! They cleaned the place up, got all the soaps out from the ceiling, walls…And the next night..Same ruckus and explosive shampoo bottles..And to this day no one knows what did it. It is said to be either Vikings who got killed by the English, or pissed off old granny who got slaughtered because she saved a black cat from wrong side of the walls (people thought she was a witch because she never got married and because of the black cat).

Towards the end of our tour the light was starting to fade and light drizzle fall. The guide couldn’t have anticipated the drizzle but I think the starting time of the tour is purposefully late that the dimming light will add to the spooky atmosphere. I didn’t get wet though, since Diana was nice enough to let me share her umbrella.
I were sorely tempted to visit the most haunted pub in York but we had train to catch next morning so I opted bed instead. Maybe next time..?

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Weather going back to the hotel from the Ghost tour

To be continued…

Posted by hennaonthetrek 18:06 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged #england #york #yorkcitywall #ghostour #biketour #medieaval #fortress #meet #meetings #beningbroughhall #shambles Comments (19)

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