Monday 5 December 2022

A walking weekend…by accident!

Traditionally, me and Mr Dunnit are by now looking forward to a winter weekend away with two, sometimes three other couples. I should probably clarify that the other couples are friends: of ours and to each other. We all know each other. Good grief, you know what I mean. And actually, while I’m clarifying and therefore digressing, I should clear up the use of the word ‘traditionally’. I think we’ve been away five times for a Christmas prelude, so it’s probably not, strictly speaking, a tradition. I’m not entirely sure how long a thing has to run before it’s an official tradition. I wonder if it’s worth a discussion, or more likely, it’s probably just me that doesn’t know or has this sort of nonsense on her mind. 
Anyway, for reasons of logistics and diaries, we found ourselves planning a weekend on our own. Not a problem of course, we’re pretty good at being together! Taking advantage of not having to force friends to drive a ridiculous distance for 3 nights, we over extended. Four nights and we went to York. Because let’s face it, if you’re going to hack five hours up the road in the pouring rain, it’s got to be a place that’ll look nice in all weathers. And it did. My what a handsome and elegant city. Yorkshire has generally held onto a lot of its ‘we must build impressively big’ Victorian architecture and the houses on the roads into York prove that very nicely. It was the week that the Christmas Market opened and so there were festive lights and outdoor treats as well as shopping and history. Oh the history! We were actually planning to explore the Viking past - York was the most important Port in the Viking world and there’s a lot to be discovered. We didn’t though. York has a fantastic medieval history too, and a railway history, and we were planning to learn more about these, too. We didn’t though.

We walked, and gawped. It was difficult not to. Starting by going round the city walls, up and down staircases at the gates, getting some unexpected and marvellous views. Even those hundreds of years ago, it was a big city and a lot of buildings were squashed in within the safety of those walls. It puts Victorian cheek by jowl with Medieval and older, and newer. Every now and then there were modern extensions on buildings that made me question the sanity of planning officers. But, things have to evolve and buildings particularly have always been adapted to accommodate needs and lifestyles. Some of the gardens, especially behind the Minster, seen from the height of the walls were just wonderful in their autumn glory. 

You can see the Minster from almost everywhere within the city and on any approach to it, just with other cathedrals in Britain, it’s beautiful and huge, and deeply impressive. The life, faith and religious leadership of our late Queen has been immortalised in stone on the front of the cathedral. Whatever you think of the art of the statue, it’s marvellous to think that it will be there for hundreds and hundreds of years to come, and is not only a great tribute to Queen Elizabeth II but also a spine tingling continuation of the way our forbears have paid tribute to our Queens Kings and Statesmen.

We weren’t able to go inside York Minster, it was graduation week and there were ceremonies and services every day; no matter, we’ll be going again! It was lovely to walk around the town watching graduates and graduands in their billowing gowns with their families. 
There’s a famous shopping area called The Shambles and some of the streets are no more than alleys and there are lots of what I always knew as ‘snickets’, ‘gunnels’ and even ‘opes’, but here they were referred to as ‘snickles’. Cute!

This 14th century house over three floors is a tea shop. The ground floor is a kitchen, narrow stairs lead to space for four tables, and another set of very narrow stairs leads to another space with four tables. It originally housed three families!
There was so much to look at, so much to take in and enjoy. We browsed the Christmas market too, on the day it opened, and late that day walked back into town to enjoy the lighting. A great start to our festive month and my word, we look forward to our next visit. 


Robyn said...

thanks for the travel log- it mostly likely the only way I will get to visit over the pond in this lifetime.
My SIL says, be careful what you do at Thanksgiving, it will become a tradition- guessingyoucould apply that to any family holiday- no best sell by date!

Helen said...

I love York and the Minster is well worth seeing inside when you go again. Did you find Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate? Said to be the shortest street in England (or one of them)

Christine said...

What a wonderful place!!!
Love all your photos, thanks for sharing them with us.
Very pleased you had a good time . . .

BJ said...

Oh WOW looks amazing, hope you're having a super time. BJ

Anonymous said...

Ooh lovely not been to york somce my brother graduated more than 30 years ago! Would be interesting to see the modern extentions mentioned too, as you say things change and adapt. I remeber walking rhe walls and also gawping at the gardens too!

Crafting With Jack said...

Lovely photographs, York is a fabulous city, we didn’t go this year when we were near. The traffic was so busy it put us off. I love The Shambles - well it is where the Harry Potter shop is 🤣 Happy WOYWW. Angela #11