Managed to get my large suitcase (at maximum weight thanks to the tripod stuffed into it), and heavy camera back pack across London to Kings Cross Station, and then I was on the train by myself up to York. I love trains – watching the landscape drift by, gardens and houses giving up their secrets as you go past (not like in Girl on The Train fortunately); stations that you stop at and could get off but don’t – forever a mystery as you pull out again.
York Station is magnificent, a lovely bustling Victorian building. It was very cold when I staggered off , wrapped up feeling like Randy in A Christmas Story. I had chosen accomodation only a (theoretical) five minute walk from the station so dragged my luggage along huffing and puffing to try and find it. Was a little obscure despite Google’s best attempts to show me the street view but I eventually found myself in the correct location.
Fascinating place to stay although I probably wouldn’t stay there again!. Very high rating on booking.com and I was under the impression it was a converted nunnery. Turned out it was still an active nunnery, doubling as a slightly eccentric guest house. Beautifully clean and well-appointed but slightly odd and a lot of stairs to negotiate, as well as a stern person telling me I couldn’t possibly check in early. When we agreed that I could potentially however leave my bags there and check in later (like in any normal check-in situation!), it was all fine.
York at Christmas is magical and I think the Christmas markets there may ended up my favourite of the whole trip, possibly because it was my first and I was enchanted by the stalls, the music, the decorations, the mulled wine, the gentle bustle of happy people.
Breakfast the next day was delicious but I felt like I was in some alternative universe full of people in tweed skirts, sensible shoes and severe hair – was slightly surreal. Spent the morning walking the walls which used to surround the city – just incredible. A surprising amount of them are intact and gave a great sense of what it must have been like when you were living inside this fortress city.
Quick trek across the city to buy a pair of hiking boots as I had just read an email form my photography workshop saying hiking boots were of paramount importance. Apparently I needed three weeks to break my lovely new boots in and I had four days …challenge accepted. Maybe I could sleep in them?
Spent some time visiting Yorkminster Cathedral on the way back, as we weren’t able to get inside last time we were there. Stunning and majestic but in danger of much of its beauty being lost due to the cost of saving the heavily grimed and damaged stained glass windows. I don’t understand how this isn’t a national priority – we have seen so many treasures begging for public donations to keep them functioning that I don’t really know what to say.
Big walking day – my Fitbit and new hiking boots very happy – and so far no blisters!