I have news for you… Bolton Abbey is nowhere near Bolton

A black and white image of the ruins and grounds of Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey is nowhere near Bolton

I was recently taken on a surprise trip to a lovely little B&B, Throstlenest Farm, https://www.throstlenestfarmbandb.co.uk/ just outside Skipton in the the Yorkshire Dales.  A good base to stay when you want to visit Bolton Abbey.

A black and white image of the ruins and grounds of Bolton Abbey
The stark ruins of Bolton Abbey

The market town of Skipton

On a gorgeous summer’s afternoon in February (yes really!) we arrived in the lovely market town of Skipton.  Busy market stalls, independent gift and craft shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes with a canal-side walk not too far away from the town centre adds up to make a very nice place to visit.  http://welcometoskipton.com/ There’s a castle, museum, historic church and a vibrant high street.

 

As I said, Bolton Abbey really is nowhere near Bolton

Bolton Abbey is about 6 miles from Skipton in Wharfedale, North Yorkshire.  As you might expect there is an abbey in the grounds although the 12th century Augustinian monastery is now in ruins.  It fell victim to King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539.  It is actually about 60 miles from Bolton in Lancashire.

A black and white dramatic image of the ruins of Bolton Abbey
Dramatic view of the ruins of Bolton Abbey

Open all day

As a rule of thumb the grounds are open from 9am to 6pm – longer in the summer.  We arrived at the Strid car park at around 10am and left at about 3.30pm.  It is dog-friendly although they must be kept on leads. https://boltonabbey.com/your-visit/admission/

An image of a view through trees from a high point along the river Wharfe
A view along the river Wharfe from a vantage point

You will need £10 to park

The park is open to visitors for most of the year and there are miles of walking routes.   We chose one that included Strid Wood.  This stretch has one of the largest remains of sessile oak trees in the Yorkshire Dales.  The cost to park is pretty steep – £10 per car which can be used at other areas in the park – but then the area is immaculately maintained with excellent paths. A lot of it is pushchair- friendly.  An easy-to-use map with discounts for the various tea rooms makes the parking fee a bit more acceptable.

A view through the leafless trees
A view through the leafless trees

 

Take your binoculars, you’ll need them

The walk follows the banks of the river Wharfe with some inclines that give way to magnificent views.   There was evidence of acres of faded snowdrops, plus the green tips of imminent bluebells and the faint aroma of new, wild garlic.  Spring must be truly stunning in these parts.  Dippers, woodpeckers, grey-wagtails and more were spotted and it seems there are kingfishers and even otters to be seen too.

An image of one of the vantage points seats
One of the vantage point seats

Part of the Cavendish Family

If you have ever visited Chatsworth House in Derbyshire you will see that Bolton Abbey clearly belongs to the Devonshire family.  There is the same immaculate attention to signage and customer service.  And the name Cavendish pops up everywhere.  The 6th Duke of Devonshire and the Rev William Carr created the walks in the early 1800s with strategically placed seats to drink in the views.

 

The Strid

The Strid, a natural wonder, where the river suddenly narrows forcing the water through at great pressure. It was formed by the wearing away of softer rock by the circular motion of small stones in hollows. Clever eh?

Big rocks worn away and shaped by smaller rocks making the unique shaping of the Strid
The unique rock formation of the Strid
A clear blue sky with an amazing view from the road at Barden
This is the magnificent view from the road at Barden in the Yorkshire Dales

A seven mile circular walk

Our walk along the riverside took us to Barden Bridge, over it and along the opposite bank.  We crossed the river Wharfe at one point to visit the Pavilion for coffee to cross back again and on to the stepping stones.  I preferred to take the bridge, only having little legs, to the abbey ruins and back along to the river bank to complete the circuit at the Strid.

An image of stepping stones spaced across the River Wharfe
The stepping stones across the river Wharfe at Bolton Abbey

A good 7 mile walk.

 

 

Take the grandchildren to London!

The highlight of our visit - meeting Bill, the Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London

It started small

Wouldn’t it be great if we could visit London with the grandchildren.  A day trip? But there’s too much to see in a day! Too much to plan! A lot could go wrong!

Retford Station canopy detail over Platform 1
Retford Station canopy detail over Platform 1

This will take some careful planning

A small package of ‘clues’: an ‘I Spy London’ book; a children’s map of London; a London sticker book; a Union Flag wallet, pen and notebook – plus a ‘golden ticket’ – all parcelled up to make a unique and memorable Christmas gift which caused huge excitement.

Save the date

As soon as we decided with our daughter that we could go on the ‘Inset Day’ before the February half-term holiday, we looked for appropriate travel, visit and stay deals.

Travel

The first great deal was with LNER https://www.lner.co.uk/.  Booked in advance, seats reserved and for just a little extra First Class wahay! So that’s brunch sorted!

So excited. We’re going to London
So excited. We’re going to London

Easy to get around

Transport for London TFL https://tfl.gov.uk/make it easy to get around London with an Oyster card, or even more easily, cost-effectively and efficiently with just a debit card.  It can be tapped at the entrance and exit of every underground station – no faffing about with ‘real money’.

And now we’re on the Underground
And now we’re on the Underground

So excited!

Evie eight-and-a-half, and Jack 6 (and their Mum and Dad too) were beside themselves with excitement.  We arrived at Retford Railway Station in time to pick up a Costa  https://www.costa.co.uk/ and see some high-speed trains flash through the station.  And then it was our turn.  It was a special treat and worth the extra to have a late breakfast and unlimited tea and coffee served to us on the train.  Wow!  Did we feel posh!

The Tower of London and the moat in glorious sunshine
The Tower of London and the moat in glorious sunshine

The devil is in the detail

To plan an epic trip like this takes a lot of forethought, time and research. National Rail  http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ have a 2-4-1 scheme on many London attractions – that saves a huge amount of money and made it possible for the six of us to visit our first port of call, the Tower of London https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/#gs.YIrn5iaH.

The Union Flag in the clear blue sky, flies over the White Tower at the Tower of London
The Union Flag in the clear blue sky, flies over the White Tower at the Tower of London

Worth every penny

A call at the visitor centre to pick up an activity pack for the children which included a free badge and pencil and we’re in.  We managed to get onto the 1.30pm guided tour… and met Bill, the Yeoman Warder.  This man imparted so much in a very entertaining and engaging manner – if not a bit scary, he is not a man to be messed with.  The children warmed to him and were thrilled to have their picture taken with him.

The highlight of our visit - meeting Bill, the Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London
The highlight of our visit – meeting Bill, the Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London

The icing on the cake

Earlier planning had bagged us a couple of rooms at a very good rate at the Premier Inn https://www.premierinn.com in Greenwich – if you book breakfast and why wouldn’t you eat-as-much-as-you-want-buffet-style – the kids eat free.  Yes, Greenwich is a bit far out but there’s much to see there.  The Cutty Sark https://www.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark, the maritime museum, the naval college, the market AND best of all… for a modest fee you can get there via the Emirates Airline cable car https://www.emiratesairline.co.uk/.  Truly amazing views and we were blessed with a glorious sunset too.

A ride in a cable car over the Thames
A ride in a cable car over the Thames

Let’s tick some more boxes

After a comfortable night and a good breakfast we hit the road again.  I had no idea that there is a tunnel under the Thames for walkers from Greenwich to Canning.  This was a novelty.

The Household Cavalry ride by Buckingham Palace
The Household Cavalry ride by Buckingham Palace

The Docklands Light Railway

The DLR took us to ‘Bank’ then the tube to Westminster.  Eyes popped at the sight of Westminster Bridge, Big Ben (clad in scaffolding unfortunately) the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.  A fifteen minute walk to see Buckingham Palace was rewarded with the sight of the Household Cavalry riding by.  Another fifteen minute walk (those poor little legs) to Trafalgar Square to see Nelson and the lions… then China Town still decked out for Chinese New Year and finally Covent Garden which did not disappoint.

Say hello to the lions in Trafalgar Square
Say hello to the lions in Trafalgar Square
Always something to see at Covent Garden
Always something to see at Covent Garden

Covent Garden

This is the place to go if you are on a very limited budget – it just keeps on giving.  We saw performances by a West End dancer, a juggler and his bed of nails, street artists, musicians, a string quartet, an acrobat and a man with a Diablo.  Crikey.

Two new recruits on duty
Two new recruits on duty

Memories that will last forever

Exhausted but we still managed to visit Hamleys at St Pancras and of course the Harry Potter Shop at Kings Cross.  A monumental trip but so worth it!

...and of course, ice cream
…and of course, ice cream

If you can, don’t hesitate, JUST DO IT!

The Tradition of the Clayworth Plough Plays

An image of three of the main protagonists, the Clown, the Sergeant and Eezum-Squeezum

Plough Monday

Plough Monday can be traced right back to medieval times.  It traditionally saw the return to work after the break for Christmas, especially in northern and eastern England.  The traditions for Plough Monday varied from village to village.  Plough Monday was originally the first Monday after the twelfth day of Christmas, 6 January.  Epiphany.

An image of the Clown
The Clown

A unique tradition

The tradition very nearly disappeared during World War 1 and then again in the Second World War.  Credit is due to the players and the landlords of both village pubs for upholding this unique tradition.

The Sergeant in his bright red coat
Enter the Sergeant

Plough Sunday

Naturally, the day before Plough Monday is not surprisingly known as Plough Sunday.  This tradition more often than not, now takes place in Clayworth, North Nottinghamshire, on the third Sunday of January.   

An image of three of the main protagonists, the Clown, the Sergeant and Eezum-Squeezum
The Clown, the Sergeant and Old Eezum-Squeezum

The death of the earth

In medieval times and in the dead of winter it was thought that the earth ‘died’ and there was a possibility that nothing would ever grow again. It was difficult to believe that the earth would ever wake up and again provide food.. 

A battle between Light and Dark, Good and Evil, Life and Death

I am lucky enough to live in the village of Clayworth in north Nottinghamshire, England where the most well-known of these plays still takes place.  The ‘script’ is usually a bit of nonsense but has a hidden, topical message somewhere within.   A pretend battle is fought between Light and Darkness.  Darkness is killed and then brought back to life by some miracle. The death of the Old Year and the arrival of the New Year is symbolised in this tableau.

The village pubs

This year the play was performed as usual in the surrounding villages on the Friday before Plough Sunday. 

The Blacksmith’s Arms in Clayworth     https://www.blacksmithsclayworth.com/ and the Brewers Arms, also in Clayworth,  http://www.brewersarmsclayworth.co.uk/  both play host to the Plough Play on Plough Sunday.

An image of The Blacksmith’s Arms, one of Clayworth’s pubs to host the Plough Play
The Blacksmith’s Arms, one of Clayworth’s pubs which hosts the Plough Play

 

An image of the Brewer’s Arms, one of Clayworth’s pubs to host the Plough Play
The Brewer’s Arms at Clayworth who also play Bost to the Plough Play

It gets very busy

The bar at the Brewers’ begins to fill from 12.15pm and by 12.45pm when the players arrive, it is absolutely heaving. Get there early, get a drink and a seat… and if you think ahead book for Sunday lunch, you won’t be disappointed.

Old Eezum-Squeezum

A fiddler and an accordionist enter the pub, followed at different times by the players: the Clown, the Plough ‘boy’, the ‘Horse’, the Soldier, Old Eezum-Squeezum (sometimes known as Beelzebub), and the Doctor.  Sounds bizarre and yes it is, but highly entertaining and amusing with rhymes and short songs which have been  passed down through the years.  There is even a sword dance! 

It was once common for those who took part in these plays to blacken their faces as a disguise.  They might also include something to associate with nature in their costumes such as a flower or feathers.

A Morris-cum-Sword dance takes place in a very confined space
A Morris/Sword dance in a confined space

3D9E7B1B-7177-407C-B39D-7B9C81EDEEFF

Click here for a taster

Eezum-Squeezum lies dead on the floor surrounded by all the other Plough Players
Eezum-Squeezum – dead on the floor!

It’s a miracle!

The climax of the play is the fight between Light and Dark,  Good and Evil, Life and Death.  It culminates in the slaying of Darkness (Old Eezum-Squeezum) – who is usually brought back to life by ‘the Doctor’ – and everyone lives happily ever after – with a pint in hand!

An image of Bessie singing her lament
Bessie… or Bill Oddie!

Good luck, fertility and wealth

The play brings together farmers and villagers.  The purpose of the play is to bring luck, fertility and wealth.  You need to be there in order to get your share, so put the date in your diary for 2020!

Quick and Easy Super-Soup Recipes

Vibrant veggie soup, Spiced Cerliac and Parsnip alongside Spinach and Pea soup

Two quick and easy, super-soups, both veggie, both delicious, nutritious and low in fat… and low-carb too.

Vibrant veggie soup, Spiced Cerliac and Parsnip alongside Spinach and Pea soup
Vibrant veggie soup, Spiced Cerliac and Parsnip alongside Spinach and Pea soup

Spiced, Celeriac and Parsnip Soup

Approximately 150 calories per mug-full.

Makes enough for 6 servings, freeze it and that’s several lunches for a ‘behave yourself’ kind of diet sorted.

The equipment you will need:

  • a sharp veg prep knife and chopping board
  • a large soup pan
  • a wooden spoon
  • a hand blender

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • Half a celeriac, washed, peeled and chopped
  • A sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Few shakes of white pepper
  • Few twists of ground black pepper
  • A sprinkle of sea salt
  • 2 veg stock cubes I used https://www.oxo.co.uk/ made up into 1 litre of stock

Step 1

Peel and chop the veg

Step 2

Heat the oil. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes until translucent.  Add the diced cleriac and parsnip.  Cover and cook on a low heat until the veg  is tender about 5 minutes.  Add the hot stock, stir well, cover and cook for 10 further minutes. Add the seasoning except the chilli flakes. Stir well. Cover and cook until all veg is tender.

Step 3

Remove from the heat. Blitz with a hand-blender.  Sprinkle a few chilli flakes on each serving.  Serve hot,  or portion and freeze when cold.

Spiced celeriac and parnsip soup
Spiced celeriac and parnsip soup

And next Easy, Peasy, Spinach  (and anything else in the fridge that’s green) Soup

Pea and Spinach soup with a swirl of Greek yogurt
Pea and Spinach soup with a swirl of Greek yogurt

Again about 150 calories per mu-full

You will need exactly the same equipment as for the Spiced Cerliac and Parsnip soup.

Makes enough for approximately 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 400g (ish) frozen peas
  • 1 large pack of fresh, baby spinach
  • Any salad leaves, watercress, rocket that might be lurking in the fridge begging not to be thrown away
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 litre of veg stock
  • A sprinkle of seasalt
  • A shake of white pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional – Half a teaspoon of dried mint

A dollop of Greek yogurt to serve if desired.

Step 1

Put all the I gradients in a pan.  Bring to simmering point. Do not over cook.  Allow 3 or 4 minutes to simmer.   Blitz with a hand blender.

Step 2

Serve with a dollop of Greek yorgurt if desired, or freeze for later in the week.

Pea and Spinach soup with a swirl of Greek yogurt

The Sheer Joy of a Starling Murmuration

The beginnings of a starling murmuration. Photo credit: Eric Richardson

A murmuration is a must see

Starlings swooping then breaking off into separate groups. Photo credit: Eric Richardson
Starlings swooping then breaking off into separate groups. Photo credit: Eric Richardson

I have wanted to witness a murmuration ever since I saw Bill Oddie on tv conducting starlings over the Somerset Levels about ten years ago.  Yesterday gave us the perfect opportunity.  We needed to take our two grandchildren home and it was good to share the spectacle with them.  A minor detour on the way home and a stop-off at Attenborough Nature Reserve http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/.  It was a cold, greyish afternoon.  Not what was forecast – crisp and clear.

Click here to see:A few moments of a starling murmuration

What is a murmuration?

A murmuration is a mass, aerial display of thousands of birds which swoop and dive in unison.  Starlings in particular, do it for a variety of reasons: they fly together to provide safety in numbers, they roost together for warmth, and of course they have  a chance to have a natter together – also predators find it hard to catch a particular bird in a flock of thousands.

The light fades as the starlings get ready to roost. Photo credit: Eric Richardson
The light fades as the starlings get ready to roost. Photo credit: Eric Richardson

Foreign starlings swell the numbers

The numbers of birds swell as the winter deepens.  The amount of starlings in one roost can rise to around 100,000.  Large numbers of starlings visit us during the winter months from overseas, to take advantage of our warmer climate!

Just as the sun sets

The optimum time to see them across the UK is around dusk in winter.  Binoculars are not usually required as, if you are in the right spot, the aerial display will take place directly above your head – although you may need an umbrella! Seaside piers, reedbeds and buildings are favourite congregating places as the sun sets.

Sadly, starling numbers are in decline

Forty years ago starlings would gather in great numbers over city rooftops but now the numbers are fewer and they are more likely to be seen in rural areas.

Starling murmurations

Flocks of starlings arrive from all around, they come together in the sky above the roosting site.  As the numbers of starlings swell the murmuration creates shapes in the sky,  the shapes grow as the flocks merge together. And then, when the light fades, they seem to decide as one that it is time to settle in for the night.  They descend and that’s it, the performance is over.

The gathering starlings in the twilight. Photo credit: Eric Richardson
The gathering starlings in the twilight. Photo credit: Eric Richardson

The children saw a banana, an avacado, a fish, a worm, a motorbike…

Check the RSPB https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/. Wildlife Trust https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/  websites to find a murmuration near you.  The murmuration season lasts until the middle/end of February. See one of the greatest shows on earth.  It’s free, it’s nature and it’s somewhere near you.

A New Year message from Savour the Moment

An explosion of colourful fireworks above the Edinburgh skyline taken in 2015 by Eric Richardson

Hope… for the New Year

A New Year message from Savour the Moment

The beginning of a new year is a time of resolutions and fresh starts.  Dark, winter days can make staying positive very difficult.  But for now, we have hope.

‘Once you choose hope, anything’s possible’.

Actor Christopher Reeve
An explosion of colourful fireworks above the Edinburgh skyline taken in 2015 by Eric Richardson
Hogmanay fireworks, Edinburgh 2015. Photo credit: Eric Richardson

Dark days

Written in 1908 a poem was brought to the attention of King George VI in 1939, when the days were very dark indeed.   He included it in his radio broadcast to the empire. Who knows what the New Year holds for us?  It is so full of uncertainty. Here is that poem, a message of hope for us all.

The Gate of the Year

by Minnie Louise Haskins

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

New Year fireworks Photo credit: Eric Richardson
New Year fireworks
Photo credit: Eric Richardson

Happy New Year…

and as the comedian Dave Allen, popular  in the 1970s famously said: ‘May your god go with you’.

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

Goodbye 2018.  That was the year that was

 

That was the year that I started my blog.  I visited places, made things, shared experiences with the grandchildren and blogged about them. It was an amazing summer. I loved it.

Fishing takes patience
Fishing on the Chesterfield Canal

Recipe archive

One day my blog will be the place that my children go to for the recipes that they currently request on a regular basis.http://savourthemoment.co/my-recipes/how-to-make-the-perfect-braised-red-cabbage/

Red cabbage and apples help to make a colourful display of all the ingredients required to make the perfect braised, red cabbage
All the ingredients needed to make the perfect, braised, red cabbage

Guest blogger

I did some guest blogging on a couple of other sites like https://thegrandparenthub.com/ this is a site that shares ideas and things to do with the grandkids and is full of inspiration.  And then there’s my local ‘What’s In and What’s On’ website for my region https://www.innorthnotts.co.uk/ which is full of things to do and places to visit.

Travel

Travel played a big part in my life during  2018.  South coast of England, east coast of the USA , west coast of the USA and Scotland.  There is an old saying ‘travel broadens the mind’ so perhaps there should be a bit more of it.

Route 66, Santa Monica
The end of Route 66 is on Pier Park, Santa Monica

The New Year is just around the cirner

2019 is already beckoning and it would be good to get to know my own country better.  Perhaps an extended tour of the UK in a motor home? https://www.justgo.uk.com/ All suggestions gratefully received.

Get active

There should be more exercise.  I could sign up for a ‘long walk’ or train for a half marathon.  Again, all suggestions considered. I do need a challenge.

Brand spanking new trainers

New skills

And then of course there is ‘sausage making’.  I recently purchased a sausage maker.  That is a story/blog, for another day.

It’s the best policy

I have to be honest and admit that I don’t like the turn of the year.  The ticking of the clock.  The anticlimax. The resolutions. The stepping into the unknown.  But it is just another day with a different number when all is said and done… isn’t it?

Hello 2019

So, with some trepidation I will welcome in 2019.  It boils down to two things: being healthy and happy.  That is all I wish for my family, friends and of course you and me.

Happy New Year dear reader, I hope it will be kind to us.

 

 

Wishing you warmth and good cheer this Christmas

Angel chimes, with lit advent candles on the mantelpiece by the Christmas tree.

I wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Angel chimes, with lit advent candles on the mantelpiece by the Christmas tree.
Angel chimes, with lit advent candles on the mantelpiece by the Christmas tree.

This image makes me think of the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’.   It contains all the names of the reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and of course Rudolph.  Which got me nine points in a recent pub quiz!

Wishing you warmth and good cheer this  Christmas.

 

 

Make a stunning Christmas centrepiece

A very effective table centrepiece

It takes a bit of patience but it’s worth it

Make a stunning, table centrepiece using your Christmas cake and fondant icing.

Fondant icing reindeer and trees with tea lights to make a woodland scene
Fondant icing reindeer and trees with tea lights to make a woodland scene

You will need:

  • Christmas cake with marzipan icing
  • Large pack of fondant icing, I got mine from https://www.aldi.co.uk/
  • Rolling pin
  • Scalpel or small, sharp, pointed knife
  • Cardboard, pencil and scissors to make template
  • Icing sugar and water for the grace icing
  • A few toothpicks

Ice the cake

Roll out the fondant to the size of the cake, leaving enough spare to make the reindeer.  Dampen the marzipan and place the fondant over.  Smooth the surface.  Leave for a couple of days to harden before making the reindeers snow scene.

Christmas cake with a layer of marzipan under a layer of roll-out fondant icing
Christmas cake with a layer of marzipan under a layer of roll-out fondant icing

Make the template

Find a simple line drawing or picture of a reindeer.  Sketch onto a piece of card.  It doesn’t need to be posh card, I used a piece from a tea-bag box https://www.yorkshiretea.co.uk

Cut out the shape and then… carefully and painstakingly cut out the reindeer.

Carefully cut out reindeers shapes using a card template
Carefully cut out reindeers shapes using a card template

Leave them alone

Put them on a board to dry out for a couple of days.  Leave them out of reach.  They become quite brittle and so need to be treated with great care.

Glace icing snow

Place three tea lights on the cake. up a paste with icing sugar and a few drops of hot water.  Use this to make snow drifts in which the reindeer will stand.

Set the scene

With great care place the reindeer in the snow as in the picture.  Use toothpicks to prop them up until they have set.  Some of the legs may come off! In which case they become  laying reindeer.  Some of the antlers may snap off – in which case they become does!

Use toothpicks to prop up reindeer until they have set into position
Use toothpicks to prop up reindeer until they have set into position

In the woods

Trees can be made from simple, right-angle triangles.  Lean three together in a puddle of glacé icing with a little icing spread on the edge where they join together.

Centrepiece

Light the candles and turn out the lights for a stunning, Christmas  centrepiece.

 

 

 

Christmas Market Time!

 

Wonderful creations on every stall of the Saint Nicholas Market
Wonderful creations on every stall of the Saint Nicholas Market

It’s Christmas market time

Where better to indulge in the sights, sounds and smells of the yuletide season but your nearest Christmas Market.  With the Yuletide season upon us, the aroma of mulled wine and spices, and the sounds of Christmas songs… we’re ready to fully immerse ourselves into the festive spirit with a visit to a Christmas market.  The streets of all the UK’s major cities – and some of the towns and tsbrave the chilly winds and visit one before it’s too late!

Crowds flock to the Vity of York for the Saint Nicholas Fair
Crowds flock to the City of York for the Saint Nicholas Fair

The Saint Nicholas Fair

The Saint Nicholas Fair, York.  My Christmas market of choice this year is – the Saint Nicholas Fair in York www.visityork.org/whats-on/christmas.  It is even better when you let the train take the strain https://www.lner.co.uk

The lovely Christmas aromas coming from the traditional chalets
The lovely Christmas aromas coming from the traditional chalets

Traditional chalets

The historic streets of York come alive during the  winter months.  Take a stroll through the vibrant market stalls of the St Nicholas Fair.  Peek inside traditional chalets prettily decked-out with fairy lights and just follow your nose.

From baubles to baskets, an interesting mix of wares on every stall
From baubles to baskets, an interesting mix of wares on every stall

It makes Christmas shopping very nearly enjoyable

The St Nicholas Fair is at the heart of Christmas shopping in the City of York https://www.visityork.org/whats-on/christmas .  Over 100 traditional style chalets are dotted along Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate.  A million visitors enjoyed the delights of the Christmas market last year.

Original and unique. Items crafted from the wood from old wine barrels
Original and unique. Items crafted from the wood from old wine barrels

A seasonal tradition

Visits to Christmas markets are fast becoming one of the UK’s favourite seasonal traditions.  It doesn’t matter where you are in the country, you are never too far away from a Christmas market.

Hurry, only one week left…

York is a Christmas shopping heaven with its eclectic mix of shops and the magical Christmas market. The festive shopping started at St Nicholas Market In mid-November and will continue until December 23rd. The ancient city and the market combine to provide a very Dickensian feel with a hint of Victoriana with the busy market stalls which sell everything – crafts, local produce, and lots of quirky things made in Yorkshire. 

 

Colourful, eye-catching and tasty. A homemade confectionery stall
Colourful, eye-catching and tasty. A homemade confectionery stall

York Railway Station
York railway station is a ten minute walk from where it is all happening.  This is a really great opportunity to soak up the city’s medieval charm and enjoy the festive flavours that transform York into such a magical place.

Traditional chalets

The St Nicholas Fair is at the heart of Christmas shopping in the City of York https://www.visityork.org/whats-on/christmas .  Over 100 traditional style chalets are dotted along Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square, The Judge’s Lodging and Coppergate.  A million visitors enjoyed the delights of the Christmas market last year.

Traditional wooden cabins that house the Christmas market traders
Traditional wooden cabins that house the Christmas market traders

Visits to Christmas markets are fast becoming one of the UK’s favourite seasonal traditions.  It doesn’t matter where you are in the country, you are never too far away from a Christmas market.

A good excuse to experience a local hostelry

And of course there are many pubs – many of them boasting their own unique piece of history and local ales and homemade food.