Tuesday, March 31, 2015

York, England

At the beginning of our trip back to the UK, we spent a few days in York, visiting Hubby's parents and family.  York is a lovely place to visit, especially outside of the high tourist season (when it is manic).  There's lots to see and do, and lots in the nearby area to visit too, with the coastal towns of Scarborough, Filey and Whitby, and the North York Moors less than an hour's drive away.
York Minster

York has been in existence in some form or another for at least 2 millennia - it's a historic walled city, founded by the Romans in 71AD.  It became the capital of Roman rule, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jorvik.  (The word York comes from Old Norse Jorvik). In the 19th century, the city became a centre for the railway industry, and also for chocolate manufacturing - Rowntrees was founded in York in 1862, developing the Kit Kat and Smarties brands, and later Rolo and Yorkie, and became one of the top three confectionary manufacturers in the UK alongside Cadbury and Fry.  Now owned by Nestle, much of the manufacture has been moved overseas, but 6 million Kit Kats are still produced in York every day - over 1 billion every year (you can still smell chocolate when you drive past).
Aside from stocking up on chocolate, we took advantage of the beautiful spring weather to drive to the coast - to Bridlington beach.  We spent a lovely few hours throwing the ball for the dog, and soaking up the unseasonably warm sunshine by the beach huts. 

The beach at Bridlington

Then a short stroll further up the beach and we had to sample the fish and chips in one of the beachside cafes (it would have been rude not to).  Our first authentic fish and chips back in the UK, and they were well worth the wait!  (no photo - they disappeared too quickly!)

Later in the week we went into York centre.  Hubby was keen to see the imposing York Minster again, and we wandered past the city walls and among the little snickelways and alleys with fab names, as well as visiting the famous Shambles.  There's also a York Cat Trail, so we kept a look out for a few of them on our wanderings.  Cat statues have been placed on buildings around York for two centuries - the originals were used mainly to frighten away rats and mice, as well as ward off wandering evil spirits. 
Merchant Adventurers' Hall, built in 1357
All too soon, our time in York was over, and we were back on the train, headed next to Bristol (and Cardiff).

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