Over Easter weekend I made my way from London to Yorkshire to visit a dear friend of mine, who kindly planned an action packed weekend for us.
Our first stop was a lovely walk and catch up around Temple Newsam in Leeds. The Gardens and small streams were beautiful and I imagine in better weather (we had drizzle) the flowers and scenery would have been breathtaking. Since the weather wasn’t playing along though, we decided to get our Disney on and watch Beauty and the Beast remake – definitely worth watching no matter what age!
On our second day, we travel to Whitby, after a fortifying coffee we hiked the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey Castle. For a small fee of £7.60 (per adult), you can tour the Benedictine Abbey Castle ruins that overlook the North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby. The Castle sits on top of a hill surrounded by amazing views of farms and cute cottages. After making our way back down the side of the steps we wandered around the town and popped in and out of the charming shops. Of course, we had Fish ‘n’ Chips for dinner, but I forgot to do the ‘northern tradition’ and order gravy on the side.
On our way back to the hotel we spotted signs for Yorkshire Lavender – our curiosity got the better of us and we followed the signs to see what we may stumble on, and glad we did. We pulled in a purple field and the fresh smell of lavender flower greeted us. We wandered around the shop and admired all the amazing items that proved the many uses of the flower. We saw a little tearoom at the back of the shop and decided to have a cuppa before setting off again. As we check out the menu we spot lavender ice cream! Who knew such a thing existed?! We simply had to try it and both ordered a serving each. The ice cream was a pleasant surprise and definitely worth a try.
The third day has to be my favourite day. We drove to York in hope of a shopping spree; however, being Bank Holiday Monday, many of the shops were shut – a shock to the system for a city girl like myself! With heavy rain pelting down, I spent the day walking around in soggy trainers. So, why was this my favourite day? I got to visit two amazing and fun shops that were open, a lush chocolate and coffee café and there was also chocolate festival!
The first shop we popped into was the Yorkshire Soap Co. As we walked down the cobbled path we see bubbles floating in the air leading us to this magical shop. How can a shop be more magical? Play Disney music of course! The Yorkshire Soap Co shop was full of stunning handmade soap, other bath products and candles moulded into cupcakes and sweeties. I think we easily spent about an hour admiring and smelling all the goodies. Not only were the products a lovely sight, but the design and displays in the shop were wonderful too. Although they have an online store I am so jealous there isn’t a store closer to home to visit regularly.
Right next-door was Imaginarium, a shop full of weird and wonderful trinkets and gifts. Again, the displays stop you in your tracks and make you wish you could take the whole store home. Definitely, the place to go for wonderfully unique birthday and Christmas gifts.
Close to these fab shops is the York Cocoa House where you can relax with a coffee and selection of chocolate treats. The Cocoa House also offers workshops for all ages, where you can get stuck into making all kinds of treats. Sadly, we didn’t have the time to take part.
Did you know, York was known as the chocolate city? As it was home to chocolate factories such as Rowntree, it is said the air of York used to smell strongly of the delicious chocolate aroma. What better way to celebrate this yummy historical fact than to attend the York Chocolate Festival! Of course, we mosied around trying all the free samples, Yum!
Sadly, the weekend had to come to an end and I had to jump on a train back to London ready to pack for Poland the next day (an article for next week).
I would like to Thank Katie for planning a wonderful trip and I will be back to visit again!
If you like to explore cobbled streets, love soap, chocolate and food as well a touch of history then a weekend in Yorkshire is the place for you. If you would like to see more pictures from my trip please check out my Pinterest or Instagram.
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