Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset


Yorkshire is full of anomalies. It contains huge cities and towns, tiny little hamlets of less than 100 people, and vast open spaces. From the gently rolling Yorkshire Dales to the bleak cragginess of the North Yorkshire Moors, it seems that there's a surprise around every corner.

Famed for its' waterfall, which is either magnificent or not much to look at, depending on whether or not it has raines recently!

Of course, Emmerdale is not a real place, and the TV series is in fact, filmed in several locations. This is the Woolpack, the centre of fictitious life in Emmerdale.

A tiny little village that lies hidden inbetween the North Yorks Moors. It has become a major tourist attraction since it became the home of the TV series 'Heartbeat'. It is served by a steep, narrow twisting road, and the North Yorks Moors Railway.

Deep in the Dales, is the town of Hawes. Old, but once upon a time posh, buildings, and this little watefall right in the middle of the town. Hawes is also home to the Wensleydale Creamery, where you can watch Wensleydale cheese being made, and try and buy all the different flavours, and other products in their shop. They are sponsored by Wallace and Grommit no less!

Helmsley was once an important market town in the Dales, and this fact shows in the magnificent central square, with its' monument and impressive buildings.

Quite one of my favourite places. It's the kind of place you have to know is there to find it. It's along the road from Bolton Abbey to Hawes, and if you blink, you'll miss it.
The first day we went there, we stood in the middle of the almost dry river bed. It rained overnight, and when we went back the next day, the spot where we had stood was under water. The ducks enjoyed it though!

Knaresborough has a fascinating and varied history. Its roots go back centuries and throughout its long history it has been peopled with a wealth of characters, from Hugh de Morville, murderer of Thomas Beckett on the steps of his cathedral at Canterbury, to Blind Jack, the world renowned road builder.
For most of its history, Knaresborough Castle has been in royal control, and it has retained this long tradition to the present day. It is now in the possession of the Crown, as part of the Queen's inheritance of the Duchy of Lancaster - something that irks most of the Yorkist residents of this pretty little town.
After the battle of Marston Moor in July 1644, the castle was besieged, and finally surrendered when cannon breached the wall on December 20. In 1646 Parliament ordered the castle to be rendered untenable, and by 1648 demolition had commenced.

Throughout the town, you can find these reminders of the Civil War, and of the Royalists' battle against the Commonwealth troops

This is the beautiful view from the curtain wall, looking out over the River Nidd, and the Forest of Knaresborough.

Again, a purely fictitious place, but largely filmed in Holmfirth. Here is Ivy's cafe

And this is Nora Batty's Cottage - now home to the 'Wrinkly Stocking tea-rooms'

Incidentally, if you take the road towards Manchester out of Holmfirth, it climbs up over Saddleworth Moor - a bleak, desolate and wind-swept place. I rode over it in torrential rain, which only served to add to the misery and memories of the horrible history the place had during the early 60s.

One of the largest towns in Yorkshire, Leeds is a mecca for shoppers. The shopping area is huge - it would take you several days to visit all the shops, and the market is enormous, with fresh food catering for every ethnic taste, and so many other stalls it's unbelievable.
The city itself does not always present an appearance as impressive as some others, but it has its nice points.
a rather nice mural near the entrance to the markets

One of the many statues, this is Edward, The Black Prince in the City Square, a bronze by Thomas Brock.  There are other statues of other worthy local people (Joseph Priestley, John Harrison, James Watt and Dr Walter Hook) and statues of eight nymphs, light standards by sculptor Alfred Drury.

If you like huge sweeping vistas, then you'll love the open moors.

This is the Hole Of Horcum, along the Pickering to Whitby road. There is a large car park for the viewing point there, and it is well worth crossing the road and staring down into this huge hole in the ground. The colours, and the mood changes with the light and the time of year, but it is always spectacular.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway operates steam trains along an 18 mile line between the market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont, through the heart of the North York Moors National Park.
If you're lucky, as we were, you'll catch a train hauled by the Sir Nigel Gresley, which is on loan from the National Railway Museum in York. It's a splendid way to travel!

This magnificent piece of Victorian engineering stands, as its' name suggests, at the head of Ribbledale, on the Settle to Carlisle line. Appearing, as it seems, out of nowhere, it is a major tourist must-see.

and yes, that's me, riding 'Arfur' (cos he's my 'Daley' transport!)

Once one of the most important Cistercian abbeys in the world, Rievaulx suffered, like many others, at the hands of Henry VIII. It is accessed down a very narrow, very steep road (Rievaulx Bank) and is a place of absolute beauty and tranquility.
As well as the obligatory tea-rooms, it has a nice little museum, showing just how the monks of Rievaulx lived.

Ripley village is as fascinating and visually attractive as the castle which overshadows it, a glorious combination of stone cottages and cobbled squares, past relics and modern reminders of a community which is seasonally under siege.
It stands just off the main A61 from Harrogate to Ripley, and being bypassed, has an air of quiet and peace.
It's also got a marvellous village store, with some of the best pies to be found anywhere in Yorkshire.
The castle is owned by the Ingilby family. Set in a 1,700-acre estate, which takes in the entire village, which was so decimated by the plague in the 1620s that it had to be virtually rebuilt by one of the Ingilby ancestors, Sir William Amcotts Ingilby, who styled the stone terraced cottages on the villages of Alsace-Lorraine which had so inspired him during his travels.
At the 15th century church of All Saints, are a series of marks on the east wall created by Cromwell's soldiers as they executed Royalist prisoners after the battle of Marston Moor.
The Boar's Head Hotel was named in remembrance of King Edward III's brush with death when he fell from his horse in the forest and was nearly gored by a wild boar. Thomas Ingilby of Ripley, hero of the hour, swiftly killed the animal which was promptly turned into the main course at the ensuing banquet, and earned himself a knighthood and family crest for his trouble.

The village tap is in the shape of a Boar, as you can see.

Despite being very busy during the tourist season, Scarborough always seems to come across as a sleepy Victorian seaside town. I think this is largely due to the seafront area being very wide and open, so that at no time does it seem to be crowded. It's also very biker friendly, with ample provision for quality motorcycle parking, in places where cars just cannot get.

The Inn at Tan Hill is England's highest pub, standing 1732 feet above sea level. It's a beautiful, and extremely remote spot. Be warned - if you intend going to it via the Buttertubs Pass (supposedly England's most spectacular pass) from Hawes, be prepared for some extremely tricky roads! There's one road which climbs at the rate of 1:3, which is also little wider than a car, and features a 180 degree uphill hairpin!

We made it, but opted to return via a slightly longer, but less aggressive route! Be prepared also, for the chickens, ducks and sheep who wander in and out of the pub at will, and are generally found snoozing in front of the fire, which is kept alight all year round.

This is their choice of transport in inclement weather..............................'nuff said!

Of course, everyone knows Whitby Abbey, and its' connections with Dracula, but there is much more to this little fishing town.
The Abbey ruins sit high on a cliff overlooking the town, and the atmosphere, even without knowing Bram Stoker's story, is menacing.


York is not only the County Town of North Yorkshire, but also home to the second-most important church in the Anglican faith, after Canterbury. The Minster is large and impressive.
The town itself, has the remarkable Jorvik museum, which allows you to take a time-ride back to the days of the Viking occupation of York, and which was the first of the 'living' museums of this type. It is also home to the National Railway Museum, and the amazing Castle Museum, where you can wander along a Victorian cobbled street, and in and out of the shops.
There is also the Shambles - a warren of narrow medieval streets and alleys, which has coined its' own term for exploring them - 'snickeling'
Altogether a must-see if you're touring the area.

This is the Lendel Bridge in the heart of the city.

The gun outside of the Castle Museum

Part of the impressive buildings which contain the Castle Museum, built around 3 sides of the green.

Clifford's Tower occupies the fourth side.

Even the ice-cream vans are old!

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