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Road Trip Stop 1: York

overcast 15 °C
View World trip 2019 on mslaurajade's travel map.

Did I mention it's been a while since driving a manual?! OMG! I actually thought it would be worse, it's fine!
I set off for the drive to York, all is fine and Cleo is a dream to drive so far... It only took about 90 mins, very quick when you belting out the tunes!
However, working out how fast you're going with a MPH speedo is interesting! I just kept with the traffic and hopefully won't get a fine!
It's overcast but it wasn't raining so that's a win! I'm staying in a gorgeous bed & breakfast within walking distance to town so I immediately set off!

On the way into town, I decided to visit York Castle, what's still remaining is rather two buildings and a fortress also known as Clifford's Tower than what comes to mind when thinking of a castle. Originally built in the mid 11th century, York was a Viking capital. It was rebuilt several times and in the 13th and 14th centuries frequented by Henry III. Badly damaged by floods and the War of Scottish Independence, it fell into disrepair. More damage sustained during the English Civil War of the 17th century, an explosion collapsed the roof and inside pillars. Only the outer walls remaining, hollow.
Walking around the top of the tower does provide the most spectacular view of York, particularly the York Minster.

I arrived at the York Minster after it had closed to the public and it was absolutely breathtaking. It was threatening to rain and being closed I had the whole grounds to myself, and I'm glad I did. It was a bit surreal and not wanting to admit it but, I actually found it quite overwhelming and emotional.
I spent almost 45 minutes walking around the outside just in absolute awe of the sheer size and beauty of it.
Its official title is The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter but York Minister is what mostly referred.
Construction started in the mid 13th century but continued into the 15th century, almost like a jigsaw puzzle. Buiding and adding on in sections. Many fires have destroyed different sections and a major restoration completed in 2018 has brought it to what I saw standing today, magnificent.
Suitably impressed with the first afternoon and can't wait to explore more of York tomorrow!!

Today's plan of attack includes a visit to The Shambles, an old narrow street in the city center. Most of the buildings are still original from the mid 14th century. In its heyday, it was filled with butchers, similar to a meatpacking/slaughterhouse district. Of course, being a tourist attraction today it's full of souvenir shops and Harry Potter stores replicated to look like Diagon Alley. I couldn't resist being a mad Harry Potter fan going into all the shops, but I'm saving my excitement for the Warner Bros Studio's in London in the next few weeks!
At the rear of the street, there's a daily market of fresh food and home/handmade wares. I simply couldn't resist a roast pork butty roll, delicious!

The next stop is St Mary's Abbey, or what remains anyways...
The ruins are located in the York Museum Gardens, and free to wander around. It's lunchtime so there's a lot of primary school-aged groups having a picnic in their fluoro vests, super cute! There's lots of information boards to read as you walk around at your own pace.
Once the richest abbey in the north, it was constructed in the 11th century. It was Henry VIII's reign in 1539 that saw dissolution to the monastery and it fell to ruins over time. What is still standing though is, yet again is stunning! Just imagining both this and the York Minister in the 13th centuries at their prime so to speak! Maybe I was part of these times in a past life as I'm fascinated by all of it!

Unfortunately, that's the end of the York history lesson and my time here but definitely a must when visiting the UK!!!
In the morning Cleo and I will head further north up to Newcastle upon Tyne.
Much love,
L xx

Posted by mslaurajade 09:05 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged road_trip history travel york heritage north tourist abbey adventures uk blog

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