Loop: Travel

  • Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. (Not abroad I'm afraid)

    I've recently had a 6 night break away, 2 nights in Gainsborough, 2 nights in Haworth (Bronte Country) and 2 nights in Harrogate.

    You wouldn't be interested in the Gainsborough stop as it was a Brother in law visit. However part of the journey from there to Haworth takes you on the M62 and past Junction 32. Now, apart from being a road junction, there is an Outlet Shopping Centre called "Junction 32". It's not all the high end stores that you find at places such as Bicester, but it has shops such as Next, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Clarks and a host of other High Street stores. If you are passing close at any time it's probably worth a visit and the parking is free.

    On Sunday afternoon we arrived in Haworth. My wife is a Bronte fan, hence the visit. It's mainly one street which is quite steep so if you are not into walking too well, it would be better to park at the top (although you can't drive up Main Street as it's for access only and gets smothered in visitors). The reason for parking at the top is because the Parsonage (where the Bronte family lived) and the church (where the father was vicar) are up there.
    We actually stayed in The Old Registry, at the bottom end of Main Street, on a B & B basis. The breakfast was superb both days. I had a full Yorkshire breakfast on the first day with local produce including black pudding. On the second day I opted for porridge to start followed by locally smoked kippers. I wish I could have brought a load home, they were delicious.

    Although we arrived in Haworth on Sunday, we hoped to visit the Parsonage on Monday or Tuesday, we didn't realise that those were the two days of the week that it was closed!!! Undaunted, on Monday we went into the graveyard and had a clear view of the rear of the Parsonage from there. Although, obviously we couldn't go in. The good news was that we were, instead, able to visit the church the following day, as that is only open on a Tuesday at 12:00. To me that was more important, as although the Brontes obviously lived in the Parsonage, they were no longer there. But the church was not only visited by them, it's where they were interred, in a vault underground to the right of the altar. Perhaps I should point out that when they died the current church didn't exist, the old part of the original church in which they were interred, was incorporated into the current building.

    What could we do on the Monday when we were a little lost as to what to do? Well, we discovered that there is a railway station at Haworth, not mainline, but a local volunteer operation - the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway - real old fashioned steam, which on that day ran 4 trains covering the 5 mile journey from Oxenhope down the Worth Valley via Haworth to Keighley. For £13 (or £12 for concessions) an adult could board the train, travel to the end of the line, then travel past your boarding station to the other end of the line, then travel back to where you started. We went to Keighly, then had a look around, then boarded the next departure to Oxenhope.

    Most people will have seen the film "The Railway Children", it was filmed on this line and, in May, there was filming of the sequal "Return of the Railway Children" due for release next year. At Oxenhope Station is a display of various stock including the original engine decked out with the flags. There are also sets which will be seen in the new film.

    So although we didn't get to where we were hoping, we had a better day out than expected.

    We visited the church, St Michael & All Angels, when it opened on Tuesday. There is a permanent display in the area where the family were interred, with lots of information and items to purchase around and volunteers happy to answer any questions they may know the answers to, it's another nice little visit. There is no charge, however it's always nice if visitors manage to find the donations box.

    Just a little tip, when we arrived in Haworth, we managed to park, free of charge, on a section of Rawdon Road without any restrictions in force. It was just alongside the Central Park. Because we walked everywhere whilst in Haworth, it meant we could park up on arrival and drive off at the end of our stay.

    Our hotel didn't have parking for guests, but had an arrangement with another hotel for parking at £3 per night.

    Food in Haworth was good, we ate at The Fleece on our first night where I had a roast pork dinner, and Haworth Old Hall on the second where I had kleftico.

    We then moved on to Harrogate for the last two nights, staying in what was described as a boutique hotel, but what I would describe as a hotel!

    It was functional but nothing exciting and pretty much ordinary fare for breakfast. What it had going for it was that it was within walking distance of the town centre, especially as we had booked an Afternoon Tea at Betty's, but more of that later.

    On our first morning there we had booked to visit Harlow Carr, the RHS garden.
    Having been to Wisley many times, it made a nice change to see somewhere different. To be honest, although nowhere near the size in comparison, I found it to be a charming place with friendly and personable staff. There appeared to be enthusiasm in abundance and I was impressed enough to want to go back at some stage.

    That afternoon we did our trip to Betty's. There isn't a lot I can say about it really other than it is highly over-rated and not somewhere I would rush to return to, nor (to be honest) even take a slow stroll.
    Now I've been to quite a few afternoon tea establishments as my wife almost has a fetish for the places. This was probably near the bottom, if not at the bottom, of the list! The good places bring you your stand and explain what everything is on it, what the sandwiches are, what the cakes are etc.. We weren't even pointed in the direction of the menu which was on the table and told you what you were getting. It was a case of food delivered, tea delivered, we're off.

    The sandwiches, one of the most important parts of a tea, were odd sizes and shapes. I have no idea how they managed to get it so wrong. What was surprising was how small the milk jug was, but more surprising than that was when you asked for another pot of tea and they told you that you would only get more water as that would be a tastier drink! What?

    I have, as I've said, been to better places and some of those ask if you would like any more sandwiches, cakes or scones, sometimes being served initially with a plain and a fruit scone. We were given a fruit scone and offered nothing else. (My daughter would have hated that as she only has plain scones - it's just as well she stayed home).

    So yes, a disappointment without any prospect of returning.

    Due to traffic it took a little over four hours to drive back home. It had been a good break, apart from Betty's. Most people in indoor scenarios wore masks (obviously not whilst seated in food establishments). I didn't feel at all worried about catching COVID.
    We've been back over a week now and I did a Negative Lateral Flow test on arrival home, I've just done another Negative Lateral Flow test, which is good news and shows that you can travel, visit places and eat out safely.

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Travel

A discussion group for people who are interested in travelling. On holiday or just visiting other parts of the country. Recommendations for places to go, sightseeing, restaurants etc

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