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To York and the east coast

Tuesday 30 August, to York and the east coast

The night was pretty cold, but since the sky was so clear, I have sit outside for hours yesterday night, to watch the stars. A hobby I used to have as a kid, although I am surprised about all the names of the starsigns that I have forgotten. But the Milky Way was clearly recognisable, really a picture!
But in the morning it is cloudy again and a light rain falls. We leave the campsite early since we want to see and do a lot today.
The white horse of KilburnFirst we drive to Sutton Bank over, again, very steep hills (25%) to a visitors centre. When we later take a turn to the south we suddenly see The Kilburn White Horse. In certain areas throughout England white horses like this one can be found, figures carved in the white limestone rocks. This particular figure was made in 1857 by Taylor and since 1920 a group of people take care for it.
Castle of York YorkThen we go further south, to the city of York, the historical capital of northern England. We find a parking garage just outside the town centre and walk to the castle and Cilfford's Tower, while the sun starts to shine. The tower once was part of a much larger stronghold and replaces a wooden tower that was burnt to the ground in 1190 with almost 200 jews in it. There were anti-jewish riots and they rather let themselves burn than to surrender to the wild crowd outside.
YorkYork is a considered a city since the year 71 AD when Romans fortified the old Celtic settlement. And still a lot of old buildings can be seen here, but most date back to medieval times. Constantine the Great was pronounced emporor here in 306, so York certainly has its place in history. Only in the 18th and 19th century it started to loose power when the industrial revolution favoured cities like Manchester and Birmingham more. Maybe that is part of the reason that we skip those cities...
First of all we sit down at a terrace on a square for a coffee, then we visit the Jorvik Viking Centre, a Viking museum which has been founded after excavations had proved that York had been an important Viking centre for some time, with the name Jorvik. But we have to wait in a line for half an hour before we can enter the building, even though the holiday here is supposed to be over. But the ride in the viking ship through the building is nice, especially very nicely done. The English are quite good in multimedia presentations, we have seen that already years ago, in London. We would like to start museums like this in Holland, but well, that costs money and rather quite a bit, so that's too big an idea for us.
York YorkThe centre of York still has a medieval sphere with the narrow streets and old buildings. Many houses show tarred, dark brown beams on the outside which we hadn't expected here. We know that it is used in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the German-speaking region, but we have seen it more and more over the last couple of days.
We walk around for hours, admiring the buildings and enjoying the atmosphere. There are several museums nut also modern shopping centres that fit well in this old town. When you have never been to the London Dungeon before must go visit the York Dungeon here, a spectacle that leads you through the 14th century with all the terrors of that time.
The cathedral of York The cathedral of YorkThe cathedral of York is quite special, an immense building. It is the largest gotic medieval cathedral of northern Europe, but this time we don't go inside. We have seen more cathedrals from the inside and today we don't want to pay £ 5 (€ 7,50) to contribute to the maintenance of this building. We have paid enough entrance fees today!
The parking garage is 6 pounds, the visit to the tower 2.80 pounds per person, the vikingcentre 7.45 pounds p.p. and the list is much longer. But we assume the local economy here is thriving, considering all the tourists that populate the city.
Flamborough Head Flamborough HeadAt the end of the afternoon we leave York and drive to the east. Narrow roads lead us along ruins of churches and abbeys an eventually we reach the coast at Flamborough Head where large colonies of seabirds nestle in the limestone rocks. And there is a lighthouse, off course.
SunsetWhile the sun sets we drive back to the campsite and it now feels much colder than the last two days. But the campsite is almost empty, a good sign for the next weeks. Maybe it will be a bit quieter at the places we want to see. First we need a good night sleep and tomorrow we will travel to the west again, to Wales.


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