Exploring North Yorkshire

If you have read my previous blog post you’ll know that a few weeks ago we ventured up to North Yorkshire for a long weekend away. We stayed in a gorgeous little cottage situated in the attractive town of Helmsley. Our trip mostly consisted of walking and eating, it was the perfect weekend away. Max and Oscar always get so excited when they see their bed and bags being put into the car and they will insist on jumping in as soon as they get the chance to make sure they don’t get left behind!

As soon as we arrived in Yorkshire we were blown away by the vast countryside and rolling hills, intersected with deep dales. We couldn’t wait to get out and explore! Firstly, we investigated the local town and had a quick drink at a pub before heading off for a walk. Time was getting on a bit by the time we arrived due to the 4 hour journey that morning so we went on a local walk that was just down the road from our cottage.

The walk took us across the gorgeous Helmsley countryside before going down into a valley. Much to Max’s appreciation, a river flowed along the valley floor, so he eagerly ventured down to explore. A couple of weeks before our trip, Yorkshire had a snowfall, so a thin layer of icy snow had collected on the ground. I wasn’t expecting to come across such a beautiful valley hidden away on a simple countryside walk, it was rather breathtaking. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to capture a photo of it because it was getting dark.

The following day we decided to have a beach day! I really enjoy going to the beach, mainly because Max and Oscar absolutely love it and seeing them happy is just the best feeling ever. The beach we chose to visit was Whitby. We let the dogs have a run around on the beach for a while before investigating the town. Maximus is always on the lookout for clusters of rock because of the tidal pools nestled amongst them that he enjoys splashing about in. The big scary waves are a bit too daunting for him!

Something I found fascinating about the places we visited in Yorkshire, including Whitby, was that the majority of their rooftops were red so all the buildings sat together in a well coordinated manner.

It was very windy on this day so we were quite windswept by the time we headed back! However, before leaving we went deeper into Whitby on the hunt for a pub for a late lunch, but were unsuccessful on our search. This was until we came across a pub called ‘The Stables’ on the outskirts of Whitby, which, as the name suggests, was a converted stables. Intrigued, we decided it was the perfect place to fill our hungry stomaches! I certainly wasn’t disappointed, the food was of a very high quality and the decor was in keeping with the building’s history. Max and Oscar were very smug after having some salmon skin, it’s their favourite treat and it’s very good for them. With all our taste buds satisfied, we headed back to the cottage.

On our way back, we stopped off for another walk that caught our eye. This was my favourite walk because it was exactly what I was hoping to experience in the Yorkshire Moors: rolling hills laden with heather and bracken. After climbing down the steep valley side (not looking forward to the climb back up!) we were in awe of the vast beauty of the hills that towered over us. It was breathtaking and, as usual, the photo just does not do it justice.

After a busy day outdoors it was lovely to warm up by the fire when we got back (with Friends on on the TV of course!). I love log burners, they make a house so much more homely and cosy.

Rested up, we headed to ‘the best view in England’ on a foggy morning…

However, luckily for us, the fog had passed in perfect time. As soon as we arrived at the view we literally saw the fog clear, we felt quite smug! The sight left in front of us was stunning. The gorgeous green land stretched for miles with bracken filled hills dotted around in the distance. But, what immediately caught my eye was the soft blue lake that rested in a crater. This lake holds an urban legend too, supposedly being bottomless! Fascinated by this lake, we decided to hike down to it and investigate its beauty.

After a long hike down (almost falling several times due to the slippy mud!), we arrived at the lake and paused to take it in. Whilst this admittedly sounds cliche, it had quite a magical feel to it.

Whilst admiring the lake, we caught glimpse of a rope swing hanging from a sturdy tree and felt very tempted to give it a go! This usually isn’t my thing as I don’t trust that the rope is strong enough, but after some persuading I gave in and I’m so glad I did. It swung out from the arch of trees and opened up onto the entirety of the lake. Even though it was only for a second it allowed us to appreciate the lake even more. After having one go I was desperate to go again, I really surprised myself. On the other hand, Maximus was very confused, wondering what on earth we were doing on a flying log thing! Whenever we swung back he would jump up at us and bark with unsure excitement.

After some fun, we decided to tackle the steep climb back up! It was difficult but it made me feel great afterwards. But of course, Maximus made it look easy! With that walk successfully completed, it wasn’t long before we were out walking again. Following a quick bite to eat to refuel we found another place to explore: Rievaulx Abbey. Rievaulx is a small little village hidden away in a valley, home to the ruins of an old historical abbey.

Rievaulx Abbey was founded in 1132, making it the first Cistercian abbey to be established in the north of England. As we wandered through and around its ruins, we were impressed by what remained of it. Maximus looked rather regal amongst all the grand stone structures.

Following this, we then went on a beautiful walk in Rievaulx that followed a low lying river through several fields. Being tucked away in the valley it was so peaceful and relaxing to stroll through. The river then took us to a picturesque woodland laying on the side of the valley, where a panelled path guided us through the tall trees. Unfortunately, we had to turn back after this because it was getting quite dark, even though there was a lot more exploring to be done.

Our plan was to then go out for a meal at one of the pubs in Helmsley but by the time we arrived back we all agreed that an Indian takeaway sounded much more appealing after busy day of exploring! Even Max was very reluctant to leave the cottage when we got back because all he wanted to do was snooze by the fire!

The following day we had to head home which we weren’t ready to do! We really enjoyed our trip and there was still so much left to explore. We went for a walk along the heather hills that morning before our long journey back.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to North Yorkshire, we had a lovely time and are keen to go back soon.

Thanks for reading,

Charlotte & Maximus x

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