Staithes by the sea

The first thing that struck me about this town was that it was completely empty, we hardly saw another person. With these cute quirky little cobble street fishing villages that is very strange. I only saw Staithes with the tide out, I would have loved to have seen it with the tide it, I can imagine it is like two different towns.

We stopped at the Cod and Lobster for dinner here and the mussels were delicious!

There is a craft shop in the village and it was a highlight, it had a interesting collection of very creative arts, paintings on stones, pebbles and twigs used with paint to create framed pictures, woollen crafts, jewellery etc.

Staithes in old english means “Landing-Place”. It was once a very busy fishing town with many boats but is now much more of a tourist destination.

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Robin Hood Bay

Some places feel characterful but touristy and then you get places like this that are full of character and feel completely lived in. This places oozes history, it feels like a town that has a lot of stories to tell. Apparently it was a bit of a smugglers town, bringing in alcohol and smuggling it underneath the cottages through interlocking passageways. There seems to be a few theories about the name as well, there is an old English ballad which claims that Robin Hood encountered French pirates who came to pillage the fisherman’s boats and the north-east coast. The pirates surrendered and Robin Hood returned the loot to the poor people in the village that is now called Robin Hood’s Bay. Honestly this village is just plain awesome!

We stopped in town (at this little white building) at a spot called The Old Baker, where the chef makes his own homemade bread and does the most delicious (and doorstop like) sandwiches you have ever had! We all had the bacon sandwiches, which were the best bacon sandwiches I have ever eaten, I am pretty sure that it is because of the chef’s homemade bread which he told us has only 5 ingredients, it is beautifully fresh and soft.

I wish I could stay in this town just for a week or two, wake up at 5:30am and take photographs of the town, eat in all the little gems throughout the village and sit and look at the sea. I didn’t stay or see as much as of this village as I would have liked too but I am so grateful to have seen it at all. Great place!

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Whitby by the sea

Strange photo to choose for the opening shot I know but this is the building I will remember the most from Whitby. Firstly I am always happy to find a book shop but this one has so much character that there are illustrations of it. The stairs leading up to the second floor feel like they are going to fall down any day now and the second floor seems to slant in every direction.

The bookshop can be found on the older side of Whitby, my favourite part. On my first visit to Whitby I wasn’t sure whether I actually liked it or not, it’s loud, a little rough, crowded and covered and I mean covered in seagull poop. The second time though we went across the bridge to the older side of Whitby (as you can probably tell planning and research is not my strong suite as I didn’t have a clue about Whitby to begin with).

I ended up throughly enjoying my time in Whitby. I am glad that we didn’t actually stay in the village and I really wouldn’t want to live there but visiting it is great. We had some fantastic meals, which is always an important thing for me I love my food (check www.cassandraoleary.com to see why). My favourite meals were in Moon and Sixpence and The Marine hotel, I would highly recommend both.

Whitby has many different views of course, the harbour and the activity on the water, reflections from the houses and boats, the abbey ruins on the top of the hill, the stalls, the beach, the colourful huts, the pier, the crowds, the seagulls and loads of takeaway fish and chips. It is visually stimulating and great for photography and people watching.

I have to admit – Whitby just makes me think of the old Giles comics, I used to love those!

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Helmsley, Knaresborough and bits in-between

When you stay anywhere you inevitably take lots of photographs of some places in-between, places you pass through, places you whizz around and never really have enough time in, places you have been to before and places you plan to one day see again.

We had breakfast one morning in the market town of Helmsley which won the best British market town in 2017. A small, quaint little place with lots of little unique shops, a delicatessen and little cafe’s in which to eat a good full english breakfast (I am going to miss these when I get back to Tokyo).

From there we travelled to Knaresborough passing by what is called ‘Britain’s best view’. It was pretty cloudy when we got there so there wasn’t a lot of light to photograph by. I saw at least 4 gliders in the sky enjoying the views below too.

Knaresborough is however one of my favourite places in Yorkshire. I have stayed in the town a few times and it has a lot of character. The town’s main feature is the Viaduct and it is also home to Mother Shipton’s cave. It is only 2-3 miles from Harrogate which is a great town to shop in and has Betty’s tea room which is always (and I mean always) worth a visit! Such yummy food.

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Castle Howard | Yorkshire | England

What a castle! This castle has been lived in by the Howard family since it was built 300 years ago. The house/castle has 1000 acres of land, covered in beautiful woodlands, with lakes, temples and fountains. They also have some cool shops (important feature for us girls), cool little cafes with some very fresh food, an awesome farm shop and a huge big kids playground that I spent a good bit of time in.

I thoroughly enjoyed the inside of this castle, so many well preserved works of art. For myself personally I was inspired by the sculptures, many of which were placed in beautifully lit areas.

The one hall that you pass through on the route through the castle was simply breathtaking. I spent a long time in it just trying to take it in and my youngest lay on her back on the floor to look up at it all.

I didn’t take quite as many photographs in the gardens as I spent the majority of my time in the adventure playground with the kids. I should have taken pictures of that too.

I do have a favourite photograph this time though. And it is the one below. I loved the sculpture at the end of the corridor and couldn’t help but be grateful for whoever the clever soul was that placed it in such beautiful light. That light really helps to show the emotion of the sculpture. Beautiful.

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Grosmont – North Yorkshire Moors

Grosmont is a small village in the Esk Valley in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It is home to the old steam trains that go from Whitby to Pickering. The trains were stopped and the station was closed in the 1960s but reopened in the 1970s thanks to the efforts of some steam train enthusiasts.

The village itself is tiny and the busiest place in the village is the station tavern pub right next door to the station. Most of the town is on a hill so you have to like a good climb. Its good for the butt muscles lol.

I have to say: if you do visit this town be sure to pop into the Geall Gallery, the artist is always in there and his work is stunning. I found the gallery beautifully inspiring.

The town is in a fantastic location, it’s a quick drive to Whitby from here and there are many walks from this village. On one of my afternoons there I walked up the hill (bent over at an angle just to get up it lol) and followed what I thought was a footpath only to end up in a farmers backyard. Luckily the farmer was very friendly and gave me some advice about walks nearby. He was a very sweet man with a little fishing hat and glasses, I couldn’t help but smile because he would have been a perfect character for a Wallace and Gromit animation. His accent was adorable too and stuck in my head for the rest of my holiday. He told me to go to the end of his farm and visit his cows, he told me they would be pretty friendly and he wasn’t wrong, once in the farm field after the first cow started towards me they all got up and started walking towards me, I was ok with one but when the whole lot were near I scampered back over the fence lol. I do love Yorkshire and it is so great to be out in nature. It is so different to being in Tokyo.

I tell you one thing these cows have the best view, I bet you they have witnessed some amount of awe inspiring sunrises and sunsets.

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