East Yorkshire 2014
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In celebration of our 40th Wedding Anniversary, we took a trip on the Goldwing up to East Yorkshire. We stayed at the Old Mill Hotel near Langtoft and set out each day to sample to sights and pleasures of the Yorkshire countryside. The food at the Old Mill Hotel is renowned for its quality and we indulged ourselves during our stay there.
Our first trip out took us to Pickering, to check the Steam railway time-tables and with the intention of visiting Pickering Castle. Unfortunately, the Castle didn't open before 10.00am so we took a quick look and went on our way along to Castle Howard. Arriving at the Castle car-park, we were greeted with a friendly smile from the Parking Warden who told us that parking for bikes was free, and we could park anywhere we liked. We paid to visit the House and Grounds (£12.00 each because we are now officially old f**ts) but the entry fee was well worth it. The house, decoration and furnishings is magnificent and kept in excellent condition. It was also interesting to us as the 4th Earl had been an avid collector of sculpture and a lover of Italy so we found many statues and busts from the days of the Roman Empire. Of course, the house was also used in the filming of Brideshead Revisited and this made an interesting display in one section of the house. Best of all, each room was attended by a docent (an Assistant) who was happy to tell you of the history of the house, the family and especially of the pictures and furnishings in the room. We even saw the portrait of Henry VIII which linked to the family through his wife Catherine Howard.
The House and grounds are very comfortable and family friendly so it is well worth planning a complete day to visit and enjoy all that it has to offer.
Our next day out concentrated on the Coastline and so we set out first to visit the Light House at Flamborough Head
We then set out north to visit the RSPB Bird Sanctuary at Bempton Cliffs. Our task this day was to spot Puffins, and although they are shy little creatures and they were surrounded by much more aggressive Gannets and Kittiwakes, we still managed to spot some.
Moving further up the coast we visited the lovely seaside resort of Filey; much smaller than many resorts but very nice and peaceful.
We stopped off here to shop at the local TESCOs before moving on once more to Scarborough.
Arriving in Scarborough, you are struck very quickly by how busy the whole place is - cars, busses, trucks and people everywhere. Not having a clue where to go, we followed signs for parking and somehow found out way down on the sea front and found parking for bikes in front of the Spa. From here we walked north up the seafront towards the Castle and the fishing docks.
The whole place was teeming with people and children and every restaurant and cafe was full to overflowing. So we simply grabbed an ice-cream and returned to the Spa. Unfortunately, the restaurant there had just closed so we returned to the bike and made our way back to Filey where I had spotted a Fish and Chip Shop. Lets face it, when you go to the seaside, you have to eat Fish and Chips at least once. Filey was a peaceful haven and we sat eating our fish and chips al-fresco at the chip shop before returning back to base.
The weather forecast for our final day in Yorkshire had predicted showers and cooler weather so we planned to spend the day on the North York Moors Steam Railway. So first thing in the morning - after a smashing Full English breakfast, we set off once more for Pickering. The Railway station at Pickering boasts a very nice car-park (around the back of the station) and parking the bike there was no problem. Earlier when we visited the town, we had parked in the municipal car-park which insisted all vehicles had to display a parking ticket. Not too easy on a bike as anyone can simply pinch it to use in their car. However, parking at the Station was free and the volunteers working at the station promised to keep an eye on the bike for us while we were away. A day ticket to Grosmont for us old crocks (over 60s) cost £16.50 each. For this you can travel up and down the line between Pickering and Grosmont as much as you like for one day. So we caught the first train out and travelled all the way to Grosmont where we visited the repair and maintenance sheds and saw lots of work going on in the upkeep and renovation of these lovely locomotives.
We then caught the next train down to Goathland which is famous both for being the Hogwarts Railway Station in Harry Potter but also for being the home town of Aidensfield from the long running TV serial 'Heartbeat'. The Goathland Station looked just like it did in the Harry Potter Movies so we spent the time to get a few pictures and then visited the Station cafe for a drink and a bite. After this we set off up the hill to visit the village of Goathland and although this is a Yorkshire village where people live and work, it is also the setting for Heartbeat and so all the shops, garage and hotel are named as in the TV series. Better still, there are 'vintage' cars of the era parked all around so it was like stepping back into the past. The garage even had my old Austin A30 on display together with some nicely restored Norton and BSA motobikes. Outside we found 'Mater' out of the Disney Film 'Cars'. Well I know it wasn't Mater but for all the world they must have used this old vehicle as the template for their animation.
So at the end of the day, we hopped on a returning train - this time we actually got a Steam Locomotive, and returned to Pickering and then back once more to base for a final trough down on the Old Mill's wonderful menu.
The North York Moors Railway is most definitely worth a visit for all of the family as it is both fun and highly educational. Frankly its a treat not to be missed and the people running the railway are all volunteers and absolute enthusiasts in what they are doing. So if you have any questions, you can be sure to get good answers.
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