Beautiful English Countryside of the North York Moors from staying in a Country Hotel

This is a very short posting. I may change my posts to become weekly from now as to have more time to work on each story and improve the quality overall. Expect some more interesting stories coming soon!

I stayed in a beautiful country hotel near to Scarborough in the North York Moors. Sadly, I would not recommend this hotel no matter it’s lovely surrounds due to the extreme incompetence of it’s staff unless you are looking for a Faulty Towers type of experience. I did write a piece during my stay there but it seems to have completely disappeared.

View of the country hotel from the car park.

A lovely view from the grounds of the hotel.

The lovely dining room where I had breakfast the first day. I didn’t bother to have the included breakfast on my second day though.

WIFI was available in the well-appointed bar. This was a place where we were off the grid, no cellular signal here so WIFI was the only communication available with the outside world.


This was a lovely place to sit and work. Less so in memory if you later lose your work, as in my case.

Despite being advertised, lunch was not available. The ducks asked me to share my veggie snacks that I had brought with me but then spit them out. Click on the next image to view a short video.


Hiking on little trails around the property.

A hotel guest fishing for mackerel.


Another view of the hotel.

The charming green lounge off the main hall near reception.

Looking across the pond.

So beautiful, but I do warn that the staff were very untrained as of my visit in June, 2013. It was as if none of them had ever been to an inn or hotel before. Or the people in charge had gone to get some eggs and never returned. Some years previous.

Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you will look around and click on “Follow” at the bottom right of your screen so you don’t miss an adventure! One easy click to unfollow so it’s no risk. Cheers! Darren


Visiting the home of the Famous Bronte Sisters in Haworth, England

The Bronte Parsonage in Haworth


The Bronte Parsonage in Haworth

I pull away from Leeds in the direction of Haworth on a Sunny Wednesday in late June. The city suburbs continue for quite a while as I make my way upwards with ever increasing views. I am able to pull over to capture one of the views, but most of them escape my capturing with traffic behind me and nowhere to stop. It’s a lovely drive nonetheless and a beautiful day to enjoy it.

I arrive to the Bronte Parsonage before noon and enjoy a wander about the home where the famous Bronte sisters wrote several of their greatest novels. The Bronte sisters had a vague notion that they would receive less credit as authoresses so Anne, Emily, and Charlotte all published under male pseudonyms.

The Bronte family had moved to Haworth in 1820 when their Dad, Patrick Bronte, took the position of perpetual curate of the Haworth Church. Hardship soon followed with the death of Mrs.Bronte and of his two eldest daughters all within the first 4 years. Thereafter the Reverend decided to keep his remaining three daughters and one son close-at-hand. They were home schooled in a very creative environment.

From all accounts the Bronte home sounds to have been a warm, safe, nurturing home. Despite growing-up without a Mother, the Brontes seemed to live lovingly. Servants were considered an extension of family. The girls would sit in the warm kitchen and listen to stories from their maid, an older woman who started with the Bronte family when she was 52 but who in fact outlived most of them.

As part of their creative pursuits, the Bronte children enjoyed writing little books. The first ones were perhaps made for Branwell’s little toy soldiers and were penned so tiny as to be suitable for the tiny fictitious readers. All had a penchant for writing apart from Branwell who became a painter.

There was a school set-up for clergy’s daughters where the Bronte sisters were able to continue their eduction beyond home schooling. They also worked as governesses before finding literary acclaim.

The three ladies went on to become three of the most important literary figures in history. 1847 saw the publication of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey. The sisters would spend late lights writing and reading their works to each other with discussions in the dining room as they honed their craft. Their brother died the following year from tuberculosis and soon after Emily was taken by the same disease. When Anne also contracted TB, Charlotte took her to Scarborough with hopes that the seaside cures would help her condition. Sadly, they did not and Anne was soon buried in Scarborough in 1849. (You can see some views of Scarborough in one of my postings from the day I visited Whitby and Scarborough. Just click on the destination to find it.)

Charlotte married despite having misgivings. She and her husband lived with her Dad at the parsonage I visit today. Sadly, in 1855 Charlotte was also taken early during her early months of pregnancy so that poor Reverend Bronte outlived all of his six children.

Incredible views leaving Leeds in the direction of Haworth.


Most visitors will arrive to Haworth at this train station.


Standing in front of the Bronte home. The addition on the right was added by the next curate of Haworth who had his own private income.

The garden is heaped with graves. They did not understand the dangers of grave seepage and this was definitely an issue for the water supply here where the graveyard was filled to overflowing.


Fun times in the graveyard between the church and the Bronte’s home.



A view of the school from the other side.

The church where Patrick Bronte was curate was replaced a few years after his death with this one.



The village is right on their doorstep just through this alley.

This view from Haworth Church gate of the Bronte Parsonage.

The main street of the very picturesque village of Haworth.

Some views around Haworth.







During the time of the Brontes, Haworth’s main industry was looming. A large cottage industry where many people worked on looms in their homes.



I take my lunch at the Cookhouse where I sit on the patio and soak-up the lovely ambience of Haworth.

Sadly I have saved no room for dessert as the “cheesy bake”came with a good portion of garlic toast and salad. The service was friendly and swift. My server has relatives in Canada and I think she is probably a future-traveller herself.


These lovely meadows are actually directly behind the Bronte Parsonage and visitors can walk along the periphery.






I leave Haworth going out the opposite of where I entered as I came from Leeds but I’m going to Manchester. I pulled-over at the edge of the village to take-in some more glorious views.





I stop again only a few minutes out of town to take in more of the amazing views.


Some of the roads were narrow for my North American standards, but if you are driving between Manchester and Leeds this route is longer but just incredible. Even if you don’t have time to visit Haworth, the drive alone is an absolute treat.




I feel like I am driving through time stood still, so beautiful are the country pastures.

If I had to guess, I’d say that Laneshawbridge has a population of about 7. I think there were 2 homes, give-or-take.


The image below is a video. If you click on it you should be able to view a 360 degree view from where I was standing.






Arriving into the Northern Quarter in Manchester where I will be staying 3 nights above a pub.

Click here for a link to a video slideshow of my Day including the lovely countryside and Pennine moorlands between Leeds and Manchester via Haworth.

I finish my day in Manchester where I will make my home above a pub for the next few days. My first pub stay, it should be interesting.


Visiting Seaside Resorts in Yorkshire; Whitby (where Dracula was written) and nearly Scarborough

Whitby is a coastal town in the North York Moors National Park of Yorkshire. I happened through Whitby on my way from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to a country hotel near Scarborough. A very scenic town of less than 14 thousand residents, I had not known it’s reasons for having become famous, it’s reputation as being a pretty seaside resort had precluded them.

We’ve all heard of Captain Hook. His adventures of exploring the globe during a more adventurous and less predictable time are the stories that fascinate children all over the world I expect. Captain Cook first went to sea from Whitby as an apprentice. The home of the shipowner with whom James Cook started his sea career is now the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.

One would also likely familiar with Dracula. The original story was written by Bram Stoker while holidaying in Whitby in 1897. A large part of the original book was actually set in Whitby, although Hollywood spinoffs have featured Transylvania much more. I did not have time to visit Whitby Abbey, the setting for Dracula’s arrival on land.

Another asset Whitby is famous for is it’s deposits of jet, a coal-like substance mined from it’s seaside cliffs that was made famous by Queen Victoria when she wore jewellery made from jet during mourning. The term “Jet Black” comes from this jet, I had only learned that recently from one of my favourite podcasts in which two very clever linguists answer questions about word use, linguistics, and etymology. It’s a fantastic and entertaining show, the two hosts are playful and light heated. You can look them up on iTunes, I have them to automatically update on my Blackberry through whatever system that is. Podcasts are free.

I came into Whitby around lunchtime on a Sunday with the idea to have some lunch and to wander about for a few hours. However, the best I could find for parking was restricted to 40 minutes. If I could have found another spot to double my time I would have, but the town was completely over-run with daytrippers. In retrospect I should have perhaps ignored the time restriction and paid any possible fine that came my way, it would have been well worth it to explore the town further. As it was, my responsible citizenship won-out so I had a very brief run about the main waterside areas before accepting defeat that I could not find better parking. I’m happy to pay any premium for parking where there is little available but I could find none.
The approach to Whitby on England’s East Coast.

Whitby was really crowded on a Sunday afternoon.

I think I found THE LAST parking space behind a small caravan. Sadly, it only gave me 40 minutes to see the sights but all the more reason to return for a proper visit. On weekdays.

I’ve never been one to enjoy the excitement of crowds. What a popular spot!

I’m growing my hair the longest it’s been since high school! I guess I’m a proper hippy now with the beard and long hair!

I did not have time to cross the bridge to the other side where several very interesting historical places wait to be explored.

Several people had the idea to visit Whitby on this lovely weekend.

Looks like a remote scene from some far off fishing village. That side of the river does have fishing trade, but one could not consider this remote I don’t think.


Today is Father’s Day so I took a photo to post on his Facebook.



Whitby seems a lovely place and I look forward to visiting it in more depth in the future.

Even if I did only visit for 40 minutes, I am glad that I visited Whitby. It has now entered my list of places to visit for a few days, WEEKDAYS. At “The Greedy Pig” where I stopped to get a sandwich on my way back to the car I asked him if the crowds were so large because of Father’s Day. “No, it’s like this every weekend when the weather’s nice.” So may I also recommend to you, Whitby has enough visitors on the weekends throughout the summer so perhaps aim for weekdays like I will myself in the future.

Robin Hood Bay

Next I had set my GPS to visit Robin Hood Bay. This town has a reputation as another lovely place but the incredibly slow bumper-to-bumper traffic from 2 miles away had me change my mind midway. I had programmed the GPS coordinates of a car park, this town is somewhere that I researched to park at the top and then walk into the town. “Don’t even think about driving to the centre,” I had read in a guidebook. But with this endless stream of cars from 2 miles away, I could not imagine that on my arrival there would be any parking spots left nor anywhere to even pull-over to pause. So I gave Robin Hood Bay a miss.

There is a 6-mile cliff-top trek from Robin Hood Bay to Whitby, and a 20-mile cycling route to Scarborough. I’d like to stay a week in Whitby sometime and to be sure to have my bicycle with me again to enjoy these activities.



From a private driveway near Robin Hood Bay I now programmed the Sat Nav to take me to a car park in the centre of Scarborough. With a population shy of 60 thousand, this is the original seaside holiday town of England. This happened due to it’s inclusion in a 1660s book promoting medical benefits of “taking the waters” in which a spring in Scarborough was included.

I have heard that today Scarborough has become a typical British seaside resort town of slot-machines, donkey rides, fish and chips, and tack souvenir shops. But I don’t know myself because I was unable to stop here. The two car parks I encountered were both full and the streets had many free spaces but the signs indicated “disc parking only”. I didn’t know what this meant, I just knew that I did not have a disc.

I pulled over on a high road above the ocean that was lined with independent hotels. I took some photos of the lovely views I could see from where I was, but I did not want to leave my car illegally parked to go exploring. So in Scarborough I only visited for about 2 minutes.

I may visit Scarborough in the future if spending considerable time nearby, but from what I saw I would not stay here. Certainly I would not venture over on a weekend, at least by car. If I had come specifically to Scarborough and then could not park I would have been very disappointed.
Really, I cannot offer much opinion as to this town as a destination having only driven through it. I know someone from York who really likes Scarborough but I also know a tour guide who pleaded with me not to stay there because there are such better places to spend one’s time.

There was lots of parking available but not for visitors so I pulled-over for just a moment to take a few pics before giving-up and continuing on to my final destination of the day. I think it’s important for the locals to be able to park on their own streets, I don’t mean to suggest otherwise.

A lovely view high above the North Sea.

Many of these pretty buildings contain small independent hotels with lovely views.


I was unable to decide whether this is a place I should return to during my 2 minutes or so while I was illegally parked. There are other lovely towns I would definitely give preference to first though.

From Scarborough my journey continues to “near Scarborough” where I now stay in a country hotel. Ducks look up at me longingly as I sit under an umbrella, keying away at a patio table overlooking the gorgeous countryside. I’m not decided what I think of this hotel yet, it is very picturesque and the public areas are very well appointed visually. I say visually because in the one area of the hotel that has wifi, there are no chairs with tables. There are lovely red leather sofas and armchairs and low coffee tables, but two of us balance our electronics on our laps to awkwardly use the only signal. I had planned to spend a day working on my blog postings here, so I am not delighted with the set-up. I have a SIM card in my iPad so I had expected to be able to use my own internet throughout the grounds, but I have no cellular reception here. I am off the grid.

This travel story will continue in the next posting.

Thank you for reading and I hope you will check out some more of my many travel stories on this blog. If you enjoyed this posting, please share it with your friends by clicking on the “Facebook” button below or sharing with them.

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Gorgeous Yorkshire Countryside, Lovely Cottages, and a visit to Dalby Forest

This posting is out-of-sync with my travels and was originally scheduled to post on August 3rd. I have traded it with Norwich to add more variety into the mix. Thank you for reading!
Some lovely cottages near Scarborough in Yorkshire.
Notice the mailbox within the rock wall is from Victoria’s era.
I love these little honour-system sales racks along the roads. Please put bills under a rock so they don’t blow away.
Another honour-system display. This person is selling plants for 50p (75 cents).

A lovely couple I met at the country hotel suggested I drive through Dalby forest rather than simply follow my Sat Nav to get to Castle Howard. What a fantastic suggestion that was, I really enjoy the gorgeous countryside on the way to Dalby Forest, and then the forest itself was also peaceful and handsome.
Especially nice was there was very little traffic through here. I was able to pull-over whenever I liked to take a photo. That usually seems awkward or impossible when traffic is coming in both directions and cars are on your tail. This was a wonderful drive. On a Tuesday in June.
The little specs are sheep.
Look who I came across! Just kidding, that’s just me.


Another honour-system cart, this one has lots of offerings from a small family farm. In addition to trusting passers-by with the items, they also trust them with cash. Money is provided so you can make your own change. I hope everyone is good at maths! (In the UK math is plural.)

When you extend trust to people, they tend to honour that trust. People are more likely to steal when you suspect them of stealing. These honour-system set-ups remind me of a lovely English-style tea house North of Toronto in Kleinburg. There, customers help themselves to scones, cakes, tea, coffee, and pastries set-up individually-priced but buffet style. On exiting, the customer tells the cashier what they took. There is a nice feeling there, it feels like a step back in time. That’s how I feel here too. A time when strangers trusted each other. How lovely.

If you visit Dalby forest, try to have some time to walk some trails or hire a bicycle. I was visiting Castle Howard later today so I didn’t have time to stop. The drive was lovely anyway, day ticket to pass through the forest was £7.



Yorkshire has plenty of lovely countryside and perhaps many of the iconic type of cottages that North Americans imagine is England. In reality England is a modern country with mostly modern city dwellers living modern lives, so it is a treasure to come upon these picturesque towns, villages, and countryside that beacons to an earlier era. A must visit
If you have enjoyed this posting, please click on the “follow” button at the bottom right of your screen. I try to share two of my adventures every week and you can unfollow at any time with a simple click, so no big risk!

Thank you for visiting ! I hope you will stay and look around a bit! Cheers! Darren

The next posting will be the seaside resort of Great Yarmouth in 4 days.