York and Castle Howard

I’m getting so far behind with my posts as I’m finding it impossible to combine days, and so it is with the day we went to York – so much to see, and so much to report, so I’m sorry to be bombarding you.

Whilst we stayed in Leeds we turned the other way and went to York, which had been on our bucket list for a while.

This city filled us with absolute joy.


Lots of medieval buildings dotted around,


Many of the public buildings are a testament to the architecture and builders of the day, here are two, but there are many more.

On arrival we made a bit of a beeline for the York Minster, but it proved almost impossible to get a good photograph of it. I’m sad to say that this is the best I did.


We did manage a close up of one of the magnificent oak doors though.


As this is a walled city, it is possible to walk the walls and view the magnificence of the Minster from above, and this proved to be a much more useful angle.


Everywhere we’ve been in England, there has been scaffolding on parts of the buildings we are trying to view. I don’t mind this, it’s part of the history, and I almost enjoyed watching the stonemason working on replacing some of the ruined adornments more than the building itself.


This is painstaking work, with lots of measuring. They copy old pieces and here is a pile of old waiting to be replaced with the new.


There are several entrances to the walled area, most of which are up little staircases.


The views from above are magnificent. Here’s the section across the river.


There’s even a portcullis still installed.


Some of the best views of York are to be had from the wall, especially of the gardens. Here is a little bluebell dell.


I can never resist a rhododendron. This shot shows a section of the wall, as well as the beautiful rhodo. I was happy to be in a skirt the day we went to York, as well as my favourite Pattern Union Beverley Cape, which, being named after my lovely Mother-in-Law, made me feel as though we had her along somehow.


Being a walled city, York is also a gated city and here is one of the magnificent entrances. I can imagine horses and carts going through those arches, whilst defending archers loiter on the top, possibly also with a few big boulders or cauldrons of boiling oil. Ok, getting carried away now!


When we went to Harrogate we were unable to get in to the Betty’s as the queue was long and I don’t do queues, so imagine my joy when we found the one in York and it didn’t have any lines of people outside.


It certainly lives up to its reputation. The scones and teacakes were to die for, and we had the most delicious lunch. I was too carried away to remember to take any photos.

York has a particularly nice shambles and the market is excellent. When we stay in apartments Mark tends to cook as we get a yearning for lots of vegetables, so here he is checking out, and buying, as much local produce as he could get away with.IMG_3755

After all the historical sightseeing, we cruised around the shops. I found this Harry Potter shop which I knew that my daughter-in-law, Bridgette, would love. Apparently this is the first of this type of shop and all the others are copies – I know this because I eavesdropped on a conversation!IMG_3766

I also found this lovely shop – Duttons for Buttons, an old building but fabulous things inside.


I include this photo because you can see the original oak beams and old fireplace. The stairs certainly wouldn’t be to code these days!


Just showing a lovely bridge over the River Foss.


Pretty much in the middle of York is Clifford’s Tower. It’s built on a high bank and was once part of York Castle, which was once the centre of government for the north of England.

IMG_3787When I was checking out the history of this tower, I found this quite interesting article. It seems as though the tower and castle have a fair bit of horrendous history. IMG_3786

We reluctantly left York as I wanted to visit Castle Howard, most famous as the setting for Brideshead Revisited. I determined to watch the series again, now I’ve seen the castle in real life.

The rather splendid entrance


I think this is the front door. Maybe.


It’s easy to dismiss this as yet another stately pile, but it really is quite majestic. We didn’t go inside as I get a bit overwhelmed with all the stuff, but we did enjoy the grounds very much.

The obligatory lake, with moody skies above, but strangely sunny on the ground. I’m rather taken with this photo.


The also obligatory central fountain. This one features Atlas. And me in my Vera hat!


The view back to the house from the fountain.IMG_3808

We spent a fair amount of time walking the grounds, coming across many delightful sights. This roof had me entranced.


We couldn’t cross the bridge, but looking at it was enough.


There was a very pretty folly, but stealing a look through the windows revealed this amazing view. How good is that floor?


Of course I took photos of every single rhododendron


but I will spare you the 3,000 photos, just showing these couple. How stunning is this pink one?IMG_3831

We came across an empty gold picture frame sitting off to the side. I was slightly puzzled until I got up close. This is a very beautiful view of Castle Howard. I think photos from here are meant to be shared on Instagram. I possibly won’t.IMG_3827

My final photo has to be my favourite from the trip so far. It was taken on the approach to Castle Howard, and Mark pointed it out to me. It is the Carlisle Memorial Column. The black sky and bright rapeseed (or is it canola? or are they the same thing?) just took my breath right away.



20 thoughts on “York and Castle Howard

  1. Replaying for me some lovely memories of our trip to York and Castle Howard. Thank you.
    I love your last photo. My favourite too.

    1. Thank you, I think I’d like to return to York at some point, but it probably won’t happen as there are so many other places to visit!

  2. rapeseed and canola are the same thing. I have been enjoying your travels and all the photos you share, Thank you.

    1. I did think that. I remember as a kid that we called it rapeseed but I think the connotations have now caused it to be called canola. We always call it canola in Australia.

  3. It’s so great being able to follow your journey Sue. I’m a bit like you with the insides of stately homes…I prefer ‘downstairs’ when I go in them… because I know that would have been my life if I’d been around then!!
    My friend’s son is a stonemason at York Minster…I always think what a fantastic job to have. I don’t think that’s him in your photo… although it’s a bit hard to tell.
    Looking forward to the next stop.

    1. This made me laugh Judith, I like looking in the kitchens and shuddering at the prospect of having to work in one. How wonderful to know someone who is a stonemason. This guy was completely oblivious to me ogling his work – he had his music playing as he tapped away with his hammer and chisel!

  4. Thank you, Sue for all your photos and points of interest. We will be in York in three weeks time, so have been checking out your travel wardrobe and weather photos to help me decide what clothing will make it into the suitcase! The markets, op shop and Castle Howard are all part of our itinerary too. Please keep posting all your travel adventures and those beautiful photos.

    1. Ah, lucky you. I suggest you take layers, making sure that you have hats, scarves and gloves too. It gets quite warm in the late afternoon when the wind drops so it’s nice to have a layer or two to remove.

  5. York is fabulous, and there’s simply no way you can enjoy all of its attractions in a day (or even two!) but you did well. The wall walk is beautiful and a great way to check out peoples gardens.
    The last photo is magnificent 😍

  6. The skies are stealing the show in this post. I can’t believe you used no filters or sophisticated lens to get these sensational shots. Amazing!

  7. Glad you enjoyed York. I worked in the city and lived nearby and it really is the gift that keeps giving. Inexpensive, accessible, historical, relaxed…what is not to like😁

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