Author Topic: Travelling to Yorkshire  (Read 2197 times)

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gorplady

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Travelling to Yorkshire
« on: September 15, 2011, 03:33:17 PM »
So, I know my SO and I have a very romanticized view of Yorkshire (Emma Harte/James Herriot, I know, I know... we are stuck in 1980s British novels/television...) but we have a dream of taking our honeymoon there at some point.

We have gone to this website: http://www.yorkshire.com/destinations/herriot-country/thirsk to help us start to make some plans, but would appreciate any help.

-what are some things we should be aware of when booking?
-when is the best time of year to go?
-should we try black pudding?
-would it be better/easier/cheaper to fly into london and take the train from there or fly into leeds?
-should we give up trying to do it ourselves and book with a travel agent?
-any tips on accomodations?

Thanks!

mechtilde

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 06:21:45 PM »
-what are some things we should be aware of when booking? It depends on where you want to go and what you want to do.

-when is the best time of year to go?
Any time is good. You will find that the really popular tourist locations like York are much fuller on bank holiday weekends, and weekends in the summer. If you're going to the National Railway Museum then be aware that in the school holidays it will be full of small boys. Also please bear in mind that the weather is likely to be a lot damper than you are used to. In winter this is especially noticable. 

-should we try black pudding?
Yes unless you are really squeamish about blood. I love it, myself.

-would it be better/easier/cheaper to fly into london and take the train from there or fly into leeds?

If you get a train, make sure you book well in advance as rail fares can be extortionate. Internal flights can also be an option, and can be cheaper than the train. There are bus services, but they take longer than the train or flying.

-should we give up trying to do it ourselves and book with a travel agent?

It depends- more on the US than on the UK (eg what protection you have if there is a problem with the airline or whatever). It is entirely possible to do it yourself, and the Tourist Information Service for the places you are visiting can be really helpful, including lists of accomodation providers. B&Bs provide good, cheap rooms- usually with a full english breakfast provided in the morning.

-any tips on accomodations?

Bed and Breakfast places can provide great accomodation at low prices. Do book early as they can get full quite quickly during busy periods- as can hotels. You also often get to meet your hosts, who can provide further information for you. Pubs sometimes have bed and breakfast accomodation too. Youth Hostels are also good- although you will often have to stay in separate male/female dorms, and do a small chore. The good thing there is that you get to meet people. Another relatively cheap option is a cheap room in a chain hotel like Quality Inn or similar, although they don't provide breakfast, and tend to be outside the town/city centres.

Whatever you do, do try to book in advance. Most places will let you do it online, and may have special offers for early booking, or midweek/weekend packages.
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gorplady

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 10:02:04 AM »
Thanks! I am not squeamish about blood but my SO is...

mechtilde

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 10:17:02 AM »
It doesn't actually loom like blood- it really does look black on the outside, and is a dark reddish brown inside, with some fat mixed in.

What are you interested in BTW? I could make some suggestions which are a bit off the beaten tourist trail.
NE England

Bethalize

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 10:50:35 AM »
-what are some things we should be aware of when booking?
Yorkshire is a big place. Public transport is dodgy in rural areas i.e. not in a big town or a city. I'd hire a car.

-when is the best time of year to go?
May to September for nice weather. No guarantees though : this is Britain

-should we try black pudding?
Totally! Have it fried so it's crisp. Super as part of a full English breakfast.

-would it be better/easier/cheaper to fly into london and take the train from there or fly into leeds?
Fly to Leeds if you can. London airports are quite a way out of the transport hub so you have to travel to get to the point you can start travelling North. York is fairly easy to get to by train, but you aren't looking at staying in York, are you?

-should we give up trying to do it ourselves and book with a travel agent?


I don't see why.

-any tips on accomodations?

I like self catering accommodation so I can cook like a local and be on my own schedule. Bed and breakfast are okay but make sure you have other facilities such as a residents lounge or you will be stuck in your bedroom. I don't like them for more than a weekend because I get sick of eating out.  Hotels are slightly better but now dinner is extra it's like a B+B in that way.

Avoid the Station Hotel. Nice place, terrible noise problem. The room they gave us a compensation for the noise on night one was still so noisy I would have asked to move!

If you like 80s TV don't forget to visit the real Brideshead.

mechtilde

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2011, 11:23:09 AM »
On the subject of hotels- some are good, some are bad, some are indifferent. Some offer great value for money, some are not worth it at all. Some of the biggest and most expensive can be, quite frankly, indifferent. It can be hard to tell. I've never had a problem with B&Bs though, and as long as you don't mind having just a room and not much more then places like Travelodge are OK.

I don't know why I forgot about self catering- that can be great!
NE England

squashedfrog

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2011, 11:38:48 AM »
Yorkshire has to be one of my fav places to be honest,  DH is from there and I always find it one of the most beautiful, if vertical places I've ever been to. 

What is it that you would would like to see/do while you are there?  I would recommend some walks and see if you can find a nice cottage self catering while you are there.  If you get a nice village you can eat out at a country pub quite cheaply. 

Also, if you fancy a trip to the sea - please try Whitby, in North Yorkshire its beautiful does the best fish and chips ever.  Its gorgeous with the maze of little cobbled streets and shops, and the ghost walks are fab there - (the Bram Stokers Dracula Connection) and the view from the ruins on the clifftop is just wow. 


Snooks

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2011, 04:13:11 PM »
Howarth is nice for a visit (Bronte country).  Seconding the advice to hire a car.  From what you've said it sounds like you want countryside rather than cities (Leeds/York) so bear in mind that the roads will be small and winding (if you get travel sick stock up on travel sickness pills!).  The three peaks are lovely for walking, as is Malham.  Harrogate is a pretty town for a day out too.  Check out National Trust holiday cottages (http://www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk/) for somewhere a bit different to stay.  Also Yorkshire is big as a county by UK standards and it's made up of four parts but I know that UK ideas of distances are different to US ones so that may not bother you.

Bethalize

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 08:50:53 AM »
York City is lovely but on Friday and Saturday it turns into Stag/Hen capital of the North. Avoid it then if you possibly can, or at least avoid the pubs. We had to have drinks in the hotel, something we wouldn't usually down South. However the hotel bars in York were much cheaper that I expected.

 We had a lovely dinner at Baker's Bistro (highly recommended!) if you're a foodie.

kareng57

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 09:07:01 PM »
We loved Yorkshire, although my advice is kind of outdated - 20+ years....

If going in the off-season I wouldn't worry too much about booking everything ahead of time - it's an area where you'd like to have some flexibility.  We used BritRail when we were closer to London, but I wouldn't want to be that dependent on it further North; we picked up a rental car in Chester.  Dh did the driving rather than me, but you quickly become accustomed to narrower rural roads.

B&Bs can be great - but North Americans need to understand that there's definitely a different standard there.  In NA, B&Bs often are "destinations" on their own - with hot tubs, down duvets, gourmet breakfasts etc.  For the most part, in Great Britain they do cater to the "budget" market.  Not that that's a bad thing, but the service can range from wonderful (one owner made her son get up at 6 am to drive us to the train station, despite our protests) to downright surly - that one was in Inverness, but the price was sure right.  Overall, the room will be pretty utalitarian, with the bathroom down the hallway.  And while the breakfasts might not be gourmet, they're generally very satisfactory and filling - you could get by with only a light lunch.

Re the last sentence - do be careful if you're planning on a visit to a pub for a quick snack in the mid afternoon.  I think this may have changed since then - but when we were there, pubs closed at about 2 pm and didn't reopen till about 6 or so.

Snooks

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 04:40:28 PM »
...

Re the last sentence - do be careful if you're planning on a visit to a pub for a quick snack in the mid afternoon.  I think this may have changed since then - but when we were there, pubs closed at about 2 pm and didn't reopen till about 6 or so.

Smaller pubs will generally stay open but stop serving food around 2pm, chain pubs/restaurants will generally serve all day.

I'd agree about the B&B differences.  If you do fancy "roughing it" then look at Youth Hostels www.yha.org.uk they're generally quite nice but you might end up in a shared dorm or pay more for a private room but the food is always well priced and decent quality. £5 for breakfast, £12 for a three course evening meal.

Bethalize

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 05:02:45 PM »
B&Bs can be great - but North Americans need to understand that there's definitely a different standard there.  In NA, B&Bs often are "destinations" on their own - with hot tubs, down duvets, gourmet breakfasts etc.  For the most part, in Great Britain they do cater to the "budget" market.  Not that that's a bad thing, but the service can range from wonderful (one owner made her son get up at 6 am to drive us to the train station, despite our protests) to downright surly - that one was in Inverness, but the price was sure right.  Overall, the room will be pretty utalitarian, with the bathroom down the hallway.  And while the breakfasts might not be gourmet, they're generally very satisfactory and filling - you could get by with only a light lunch.

Good post. Do particularly note that unless a bedroom is specified "en suite" you are going to share a bathroom down the hall. Bed and breakfasts are quite often in people's homes so you don't get five star hotel service, you get whatever they feel like giving. Check the reviews of any place for a heads up.

gorplady

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 10:46:37 AM »
Wow... these are all great responses and very helpful!

I'm nervous about driving in the UK, though. I'm from the US.

While we are there, we want to:
 
-hike in the Moors
-eat really good food
-see the beautiful countryside
-visit the World of James Herriot
-see unique places
-avoid large crowds
-SO wants to drink in a pub

Renting a cottage for a week sounds interesting... I might look into that.

NestHolder

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 01:25:11 PM »
A couple of sites that may be useful to you:

http://www.enjoyengland.com/    Put 'Yorkshire' into the Search bar and you'll get lots of useful stuff.

http://www.bitesizebritain.co.uk/county/yorkshire/brochures/    This one looks as though it'll give you lots more information. 

As for driving - I very much sympathise, as I would not wish to be driving in a country where the road signs and systems were unfamiliar, particularly on the 'wrong' side.  You should be able to use public transport for a lot of the places you wish to visit, but you will need to do your research beforehand.  When you've figured out where you want to stay, investigate day trips by coach, and the local bus service (if you are at a B&B, the owners may well have good advice for you).  And, take courage if you need to hire a car!  I've driven a 17-seater minibus, which is quite an intimidating prospect (particularly in the narrow country roads), and survived.  If you stick with driving yourselves around the countryside and using public transport/feet in the cities, you shouldn't have too hard a time of it.

kareng57

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Re: Travelling to Yorkshire
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 09:40:33 PM »
Wow... these are all great responses and very helpful!

I'm nervous about driving in the UK, though. I'm from the US.

While we are there, we want to:
 
-hike in the Moors
-eat really good food
-see the beautiful countryside
-visit the World of James Herriot
-see unique places
-avoid large crowds
-SO wants to drink in a pub

Renting a cottage for a week sounds interesting... I might look into that.


We stayed at a B&B in York where the owner had actually written out a driving-tour for "James Heriot Country".  It was very useful - and the particular B&B actually had in-room baths, albeit pretty basic - separated from the room only by a curtain.  But it was a nice change from the usual down-the-hall routine.  Even if I could dig out the name it probably wouldn't be useful to you now though, it was so long ago.

And on the subject of bathrooms - do look and see if, outside the door at floor-level, there's a white switch.  If there is one, switch it. :)  It'll turn on the hot water for the shower.  I had a couple of tepid showers before I figured this out.

Re cars: do either you or your SO know how to drive stick-shift?  That's still pretty "standard" :) there (excuse the pun).  I think it's indeed possible to rent automatics, but a lot more expensive.  Plus, gas is generally about twice the price that it is in NA.  That being said, you really won't see much of the countryside from a train or an inter-city bus, although it might be possible to book a day tour-bus excursion from a centre such as York or Skipton.  If either of you can drive stick-shift and is fairly confident, you probably won't find the "wrong" side of the road too much of a problem.  Most people do seem to adjust pretty easily.  We did find the major roadways to be quite well-marked, that wasn't a problem at all.