Wednesday was our day in York! I've been to York before but honestly couldn't remember much about it, and certainly didn't remember what a beautiful place it is. We began our day by checking out the National Railway Museum, which honestly wasn't my first choice but I gotta say my Dad would have loved it! It was essentially a giant warehouse full of different trains through history and I'd say it would be a wonderful (and free!) trip if you're interested in this sort of thing. They had a workshop you could look down into where people were actually actively working on restoring parts, which was really interesting to watch, and my personal favourite area featured a train that had been used to transport injured soldiers during the war.
We then headed to the York Cold War Bunker which is way more my sort of thing! I'm super interested in the Cold War and I love learning more about it. This bunker was active all the way through the 1960s to the end of the Cold War in the 1990s and was designed as a nerve-centre to monitor fallout in the event of a nuclear attack. Our tour guide was fantastic and enthusiastic (they only allow guided tours) and made the whole visit very enjoyable indeed.
After our tour, we journeyed into York itself! It really is such a beautiful place to explore. We weren't able to go inside York Minster but spent a lot of time walking around the grounds, before wandering the narrow streets and exploring the many independent shops there.
By the time we grabbed food and wandered back to the car, we were all absolutely exhausted. I think I slept most of our drive back, but it was absolutely worth the trip!
Firstly, apologies for the ridiculous lateness in this post! I want to get back to active blogging but I feel really weird just ignoring the rest of the Yorkshire blog posts to do so! So, even though this is all ancient history, allow me to take you back to September 2016 where we continue my holiday report!
On Tuesday, we stayed with a historical theme, and visited a place I'd never actually heard of before called 'The Eden Camp' Museum'. Occupying a WW2 prisoner-of-war camp, Eden Camp now covers all aspects of the war through the 33 huts spread out across its grounds. Each hut is filled to the brim with information and historical artefacts pertaining to WW2, including fully recreated scenes retelling the horrors of the blitz and streets full of shops selling the products of the time.
The photos I took really don't do the place justice. It was hands down my favourite part of the trip! We spent the whole day there wandering about but I think we could have easily returned as so much of it had to be skimmed past in order to see everything. There was a lot to take in! Here are just a few shots from the day.
Monday was our first true adventure! We were headed to the Beamish Museum, a huge living history museum dedicated to life in the North through the years. The name 'museum' really doesn't give credit to places like Beamish. Beamish is a huge sprawling slice-of-life encounter, where you get to live and breathe as though you're in another era. I visited this place years ago with my parents and remember loving every moment of it. I'm very glad to say it entirely holds up as an adult, and I'd truly love to go back if I lived closer to enjoy all their seasonal activities throughout the year.
Beamish is comprised of several different areas, the best of which (in my opinion) is by far the 1900s Town. You can take a tram up to it from the entrance (this museum is seriously huge), or walk to it via a 1940s Farm, but we decided to hitch a ride on the tram. C'mon, how could we not?
The 'Town' itself features a whole slew of living, breathing shops you can take a look around and buy authentic items from. We were immediately directed to the sweet shop, where the shop keeper told us he was about to be making a whole new batch of acid drops to sell and we could watch. Everything at Beamish is done as authentically as possible, and the sweet-making process was no different. We watched in amazement as he made the drops completely from scratch using original machinery and techniques, explaining each step of the process as he performed it. It was really informative, and at the end, we were all given free samples. Brilliant! Entertaining, informative and yummy!
After that, we headed over to the cafe to grab a quick drink, before exploring the rest of the town. One side of the town is entirely dedicated to a terrace block that is the living quarters of various enhabitants, all doubling as their places of work. We visited a solicitor's office, a music teacher's home and even a dentist's surgery. The chap in the dentist's surgery was very informative and took great delight in explaining just how horrible everything was back then. And you thought you hated going to the dentist these days.
After visiting these lovely homes, we looked around the rest of the town. At the pharmacists I noticed they were selling bottles of sarsaparilla and I'd never tried one, so I decided to give it a go! These bottles were great. Back before glass bottles had bottle caps, they used to put small balls in the tops to keep them fresh. The only way to open a bottle was to force the glass ball down into it. Apparently they're still quite popular in Japan, which is where Beamish now imports their bottles from. As for the sarsaparilla? Sort of like dandelion and burdock, a very medicinal taste. I kept the bottle, but probably won't go back for seconds.
We bought some lovely freshly baked bread from the bakers, and looked around the co-op shop, bank and newspaper shop. You could spend hours in this part of the museum alone, but we pressed on as we only had one day to squeeze it all in!
We decided to walk back down and not take the tram, as there are various things to do on the way. The route back to the main entrance from the town passes by a train station, a small fair ground and a warehouse full of stock ready to be placed into Beamish someday. I think I read that they're in the process of building a 1950s area to the museum, which is of course right up my street, so I might have to make a return visit once they do. The warehouses were full to the rafters of wonderful vintage household products, everything from old fashioned vacuum cleaners to magazine collections. Again, I could have spent hours in here. I'm a complete sucker for this stuff.
Further along the road back to the main entrance, we came across the 1940s Farm. This place featured a farmhouse and assorted buildings, all ready for life at war. There was wonderful 40s music belting from the radio while we explored the living room, and then wondered around outside. There was a kitchen set up outside replicating the restaurants set up by the government during the war. I tried a Spam sandwich! It was actually really delicious. And to think Spam gets such a bad rep!
Afterwards, we plodded down to the Pit Village. This was a smaller area, featuring a schoolhouse, a fish n' chip shop and a chapel. The school house was a lot of fun. We spent far too much time trying to learn how to hoop roll, because we're all adults.
We went to the Colliery after, where we took a guided tour down a mine and learned just how awful life down there was. We also had a very eye-opening chat with a man who was one in a long line of proud Northern miners and who had a lot to say about the closures of the mining industry in the 1980s. I must say, the people at Beamish were all so passionate about their roles. They were all so well informed and chatty!
After, it was finally time to meet with the rest of our group (we had split up way at the start and didn't see much of each other during the whole trip!). We arranged to meet back in the pub up in the town, but they had gotten distracted so Moose and I sat and enjoyed a beer while we waited for the last tram home.
And then we went home and slept forever! Seriously, I adore Beamish! I'm sorry for so many photos, but I couldn't narrow them down very well (I took so many!) I'm so sad it's so far away from us down here in the South because I'd love to visit more often. I really, really recommend a visit if anyone's considering the trip. It's a wonderful, informative and fun day out and I can't wait to see how their new developments pan out.
Our second day was our first full day, and we had planned to stay local and visit our nearby beach, Saltburn-by-the-Sea and grab a Sunday roast somewhere along the coast. Sadly, we hadn't done our research properly and found Saltburn completely taken over by a vintage car rally. While it would have been lovely to have looked around (I love vintage vehicles), the whole place was heaving and there was literally nowhere left to park. In the end, we decided to drive around a little bit and see what else we could find instead.
We stumbled across a lovely little village called Skinningrove, right by the coast. It was a gloriously sunny day, so we were lucky enough to enjoy a proper stroll along the sand.
After, we set out to find the Sunday roast we'd dreamed of. We read good reviews of a nearby pub, but unfortunately, it being lunch time by the time we got there, the place was packed and we had to look elsewhere. We ended up driving towards Whitby, and finally decided to park up and go on a hunt for food. We found a seafood restaurant called Trenchers. I'm not a huge seafood fan, really, and this place was exclusively fish. My Mum's allergic, so growing up I never really had it. I only started exploring the options when Moose and I started dating, so looking at Trencher's menu was a little daunting at first. I ended up opting for the simple fish and chips (I know, I'm so adventurous) with a prawn cocktail starter. Moose ordered a crab starter to share as I'd never eaten crab before - can't say I was a huge fan!
Anyway, the food was delicious (crab aside, and I don't think that was any fault of the restaurant, I just don't think it's for me now I've finally tried it), and one thing I liked about Trenchers was how they had a chalk board on the wall explaining who had caught today's fish, and where. Always encouraging to know your food is fresh and from sustainable sources!
I really like Whitby, but both times we visited were quite fleeting and it'd be nice to have a full day exploring the place. We watched some people catching crabs before heading back but didn't have very long to look around. Next time!
A couple of years ago, my friends and I all went down to Cornwall for a week, where we rented a lovely big cottage and spent the days adventuring around the West Country. This year, we decided to travel a little further. We kept it in the UK to try and keep costs down a little, but this time opted to visit Yorkshire, a good 250 miles away up north!
We found a gorgeous farm house in Guisborough, just half an hour from Whitby and only a couple of miles from the coast. This place was perfect, with two reception rooms, a huge dining table for gaming and group meals, and a self contained games room fully equipped with a pool table, table tennis, foosball and even a dart board!
Originally, I toyed with the idea of driving up, but we discovered that flying to Newcastle from Bristol International was actually pretty cheap (tickets were under £100) and the flight took less than an hour. Beats a five-six hour drive, that's for sure! The only downside was that the flights were so early in the morning - going up wasn't so bad, but having to leave our comfortable, warm farmhouse at 3am on our last morning to catch our return flight was some kind of cruel and unusual punishment. Sarah, who had opted to drive for some crazy reason, and who was able to sleep in and leave at a far more sociable hour, certainly got the last laugh on that one.
Anyway, back to the beginning! After an airport breakfast (did you know Burger King at Bristol Airport sells beer??), we boarded our flight and escaped the rain. It was actually gloriosly sunny in Yorkshire for almost the entire holiday. We were very lucky! The flight took about 48 minutes, most of which was spent playing dumb games on my phone. I gotta say, it's very strange taking a flight to another part of the UK. I associate airports with foreign holidays, of course, so stepping foot back on British soil after a flight was a new experience to me!
Joe went to collect the car while we waited with our luggage. We couldn't get into our house until 3pm, so we decided to make a day of it by driving down to Whitby for lunch. We arranged to meet Sarah, who had decided to drive up. Unfortunately, Whitby on a sunny Saturday was a very popular choice, and we ended up at a very busy Wetherspoon pub for lunch, which wasn't really our ideal start to an authentic Yorkshire holiday! Still, Wetherspoon is pretty good for encouraging local produce and I at least I managed to treat myself to some Whitby scampi and a pint of Whitby Brewery beer!
After lunch, we had a very quick look around before heading to the house. Tidkinhow Farm is actually situated up a private drive, through a working farm, and up a country lane. We were very, very secluded from the rest of the world! But, my, what a view!
That evening, we went food shopping as our plan was to eat plenty of meals at home to save a little money (plus group cooking is fun!) The rest of the night was spent in the games room, which was essentially just a giant barn full of fun things to play.
We had fajhitas and played a little Zombies!!! and celebrated the start of a very fun, busy week!
I hope you enjoy reading about our little adventure 'up North'! It all happened a few weeks ago now, so it's really nice reliving it all through blog posts and photos! We went to the Beamish Museum, Flamingo Land and Eden Camp, among other places, so if you'd like to read more about those, feel free to check back in the coming weeks!
That Reaperfox girl...
Hello! I'm Selena, aka Reaperfox, and this is Dream Somehow, my little home on the internet. This blog is dedicated to my adventures and my daily nerdy life!
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