York, England

Sadly my week in London was over. I said goodbye to that sweet
flat on Sloane Square and was standing in the Kings Cross Train
Station waiting to board a train that would whisk us away to the
City of York, England.
In planning this trip we knew a week in England would not be enough,
so we decided to extend the trip and visit the walled city of York for
an additional four nights. So after a quick, but scenic train ride, we
were standing outside of the train station in York and queuing up
for our taxi ride to our hotel for the next part of our adventure.

The Guy Fawkes Inn in York is a 4 star AA rated Inn located within
York’s city centre directly opposite the York Minister. Built on the very
spot where the notorious plotter was born, it’s perfect for anyone who
loves an Inn filled with historical character. It has a bar serving beer,
a 1 AA restaurant and thirteen beautiful, individually furnished rooms
with flat screen Tv’s. The check in process is very informal. You
just walk up to the bar, give your name and you are checked in.
The ambience of the inn is so unique with its dark wood, gas wall
lights, candles and miss matched furniture. Our room was a nice
size, with 2 double beds overlooking a courtyard.

Guy Fawkes was born in this house in 1570. He is known for the
Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a failed attempt against King James I
of England and VI of Scotland by a group of English Catholics. The
plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the state opening
of England’s Parliament. The plot was revealed by an anonymous
letter and during a search of the House of Lords at midnight on
November 4th, Fawkes was discovered guarding the 36 barrels of
gunpowder. Eight of the conspirators, including Fawkes were
convicted and sentenced to hang, drawn and quartered.
After the conspirators were caught, people went to the streets to
celebrate by having Bonfires in honor of the King and Parliament
being saved. That tradition is still celebrated in England every
November 5th, but instead of bonfires there are fireworks and a
Halloween like celebration.

Literally just steps from our Inn sits the huge York Minister, the largest
Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe. Built in the shape of a cross
and faces east towards Jerusalem. The word “Minster” is Latin which
means “Place of Learning”.

As you enter the church through the South Transept you will be facing
the North. The North and South Transepts are separated by a Lantern
Tower where you look up and see the incredible workmanship of the
ceiling of the Central Tower. The North Transept is elaborately decorated.
The huge Five Sisters Stained Glass Window is facing you. A memorial
to women, this is the largest lancet window in the world.

Because the Minster was right outside our Inn, we were here once or
twice a day, including three nights of attending the Evensong performed
by the Minister’s choir, made up of children and adults. The music
was beautiful and different every evening. It just made for a lovely
enchanting highlight to this beautiful historic city.

York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England. The city
has a rich heritage and is a popular destination for millions.
As there are so many incredible sites, we decided to take a City
Sightseeing Bus tour, to get to know the city more. We were glad we
did, as it was very beneficial going around the perimeter of the city,
seeing sites we would have missed. One incredible site was that of
the Lendal Bridge overlooking the River Ouse running through the town.
We walked the wall around the city and it was so quiet and beautiful.
We were able to see the roof tops of many homes with their lovely
English gardens in full bloom. We went to a couple of great museums,
walked through some lovely gardens, saw Clifford Tower part of
York Castle. This city is a must see.

The Lendal Bridge over the River Ouse that runs through the town. The streets of York are a delight to walk passing the historic buildings, the
beautiful gardens, the overall landscape of the city is truly exceptional.

The Shambles is an old street in York, England, with overhanging
timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth
century. The butchers use to hang their meat on the hooks hanging
outside their stores. There was once twenty-five butcher shops on
this street, and although the butchers have vanished, you can still
see the hooks outside the shops which are now a mixture of stores,
restaurants, a bakery, a bookstore and souvenir shops.

There was one place I had to go when I was in York and that was
Betty’s Tea Room. It is a family owned business that is based in
Yorkshire, England. Betty’s products are handmade and uses the
highest of quality ingredients. There are six Betty’s Tea Rooms in the
Yorkshire area. The family has often refused to expand to other
areas of England, due to the fact, they want to keep a watchful eye
on every detail.

This is a very popular place with not only tourist but also locals.
Lines are usually very long and finally the second time of trying to
get in, the line was manageable. We probably waited thirty minutes
to get seated, but it was well worth it. We had afternoon tea and it
the highest of quality. The restaurant is lovely, bright and colorful,
and the staff very attentive. It was one of the best teas I have ever
had and was so glad I had the opportunity to visit this tea room I had
always heard so much about. As you enter the restaurant there is
a bakery that sells a wide variety of Betty’s desserts and tea cakes.

We found Michael’s Brasserie that is below a quaint little hotel, so
we thought we would give it a try. It was excellent. The food was
exceptionally good and reasonably priced. Home cooked typical
English dinners, Yorkshire pudding with beef, mushrooms in an ale
gravy with potatoes and vegetables. They had fish, steaks, chicken,
and the desserts were wonderful. We actually ate here two nights
while we were in the city.

Our visit was coming to a close soon and we pretty much saw what
we wanted to see and much more. We were able to get in a little
shopping and just make these few days a relaxing vacation.
I really loved my visit to York, especially our time spent at the Minister, and
our walk along the walls of the city. It really gives you an insight as to how magnificent it must have looked at one time. Seeing the site of the Minister towering above the other buildings and trees, was beautiful.
This is truly a remarkable lovely city.