Towards the end of August, I spent a wonderul week on holiday in Ripon, Yorkshire. Although I’ve lived in the UK for 9 years now, I’ve barely stirred out of London, and I’m determined to see more of the surrounding countryside. Yorkshire is such a beautiful place: I love the breadth of scenery, from the coastal views of Whitby, to the ragged moors and the winding, picture perfect country lanes bordered by sheep. I thought I’d share my highlights from my recent trip.
- Whitby Abbey
There is something so spectacular about the haunting Whitby Abbey (made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula). Perched on a hill overlooking the town itself and out to sea, it offers incredible views and has an amazing atmosphere.
- The Black Swan in Oldstead
This Michelin starred pub is most definitely worth a visit. They have a very reasonably priced set menu on weekends, and the food is divine. The pub is beautiful inside and out, and the drive to it is utterly charming. It made me feel as if I’d stepped backwards in time and somehow found myself in a Miss Marple novel. I already want to go back!
- The stunning gardens.
There are so many beautiful historic houses and gardens to see, you’re really spoilt for choice. Particular favourites of mine were: the Newby Hall grounds, the deer park at Fountains Abbey (although on this visit, sadly lacking in deer), Harlow Carr and Norton Conyers (a must visit for Jane Eyre fans, as the house’s attic provided Charlotte Bronte with the inspiration for the story of the mad Mrs Rochester).
- Hornsey’s Gallery.
I first visited the utterly charming Hornsey’s Gallery, just off Ripon market square, years ago, and it was there I discovered the wonderful art of Emily Sutton. I absolutely adore her alphabet series and have added “I is for Ice-Cream” to my collection. Daniel Hornsey is so knowledgable and friendly; it’s always a pleasure to visit his gallery, and the service is certainly second to none – Daniel himself dropped off the framed print to me only a couple of weeks after I bought it as he was driving down to London.
Much as I love London, I’m genuinely thinking of moving to Yorkshire one day. It’s just so lovely!