Next morning we set out on foot from the hotel on Clifton road and walked into the city. Having seen Paul safely into his meeting I set out to start the day I’d planned out in my head many times. The Minster was first on my list but I fell at the first hurdle because it was closed for a graduation ceremony. On to my next stop the Cat Gallery on Stonegate where I had a wonderful time choosing one or two items and a nice chat with the lady on duty before moving on to my next adventure. As the Minster had been closed I popped down to see if Barley Hall was open, I’d been before a number of years ago but thought that if it was open it would replace the Minster for the morning’s activity but alas it too was closed.
I decided to look in one or two shops around the Stonegate/Shambles area and then wandered down towards Betty’s Tea Shop which always looks so elegant from the outside but I decided to have coffee in Border’s bookshop instead as I can’t resist the combination of books and coffee.
Entrance to The Shambles
My next port of call was Clifford’s Tower as a) I wanted to use my new English Heritage card and b) to take some photos from the top. I climbed the steps to the kiosk and flashed my card at the girl on duty in the kiosk – ‘Are you going in on your own?” she enquired “Yes.” I replied – it was only afterwards that I wondered why she asked that question. Is it strange for people to go in alone? I clambered up the steps to the top and took photos of the views from all sides. Looking across at the Minster’s towers, the York wheel and the ice rink that was being constructed in front of the courthouse and the Castle Museum.
Roofscape showing the York Wheel
Then I went across to the Castle Museum where I had a warm bowl of soup before setting off to look at the exhibits. All the wonderful street scenes like Kirkgate and Half Moon Court I remember from previous visits were still there – enlivened by sights and sounds and animators dressed in period. The policeman made me jump as he stepped out in front of me. About two hours later I returned to the café for a pot of tea and a piece of carrot cake.
Then it was time to meet Paul from his meeting at the Hilton and we set off to wander around the now dark streets all lit with Christmas lights.
Christmas Tree in Fountain Square
After a wonderful evening meal at Bella Italia on Petergate we walked back up Bootham and Clifton road to our hotel.
The next morning after a wonderful breakfast we set off to drive home via Tadcaster, Otley (where we had morning coffee) and Ilkley. Then down to Halifax, Huddersfield and Holmfirth where we stopped for a late lunch/afternoon tea and then down to Glossop, Buxton, Leek and home.