Birthday Trip to York

Hello!! Well it’s good to be back. πŸ™‚ Not from York I mean, no, that trip was a couple of weeks ago and amazing. I mean back from the intense course I was on last week. Jeez, I feel like I left reality for a whole week, totally immersed in the world of Project Management. No cooking, no computing, just immersed in books. My routine was simple. Get up, study, go to the course, come home, eat, study, sleep, repeat. You get the idea.

City of York Gate Emblem

So, on Saturday when I re-entered reality, and started making mince pies, I finally began to feel Christmassy! It’s a relief last week is over. It had to be done, yes a necessary qualification for me, but I’m really glad it’s all over. I’m qualified now, with the other 50% of the results not due out until the end of January. So fingers crossed for then. And enough said.

So how are you all? Hopefully getting into the swing of festive things? πŸ˜€

There is a festive recipe tomorrow, before Christmas, but for now…….

As I mentioned in my previous Skinny Lamb Curry post I did manage to edit our York photographs from Lynne’s recent birthday trip there. I’m glad I’d spent time at the Photography Academy with Scott, prior to going to York, with all he taught me still fresh in my mind so I could practice those tips. That was invaluable. I hope you enjoy the pictures below as much as I enjoyed taking them and then editing them, I’m feeling so much more confident about the results.

Lendal Bridge

We were in York from Sunday 7th December to Wednesday 10th December. It’s such a beautiful historical city and fortunately for most of those days we were extremely lucky with the weather. Yes, it was bitterly cold, but the winter sun and the light were just perfect for some great photos, and of course the dry weather meant we were able to walk the city walls. Probably the best way to see the city and to get the best views!

Lynne Ice On Wall

The walls are about 3.5km long, and there’s plenty of places to come off them and to go for a coffee in one of the abundant coffee and home baking shops. We needed this to heat us up! The wall was a little slippery with ice in places. You can see the look of concentrationΒ fear on on Lynne’s face!

View of York Minster from Gate

You can see different views of York Minster from all around the wall. It’s magnificence dominates the landscape and it can be seen from miles around.

View of York Minster through trees

It’s hard not to get carried away with snapping lots of pictures. I did! It was really difficult to select which were the best ones to publish here.

York Railway Station

York Railway Station. The sunlight here is completely natural. I love how it shows the brick work. The station itself was opened in 1877, and at that time, with 13 platforms, was the largest station in the world. The building on the right is the Royal Station Hotel. At that time most railway stations were built with huge luxurious hotels beside them. In the age where travelling took much longer than it does today, these hotels were part of the whole Victorian travel experience.

York Railway Station View

This station was built outside the city walls. The original one was built within the station walls but much too small for the railway expansion at that time.

City Gates

Most of the city walls still remain. There are obviously gaps now cut into them for traffic to flow in and out of the city.

Black and White Wall Shot

One thing about the wall (as you can see in this black and white shot) is the fact at some points there are no railings. Meaning you have to be especially careful when it’s wet and icy!

Skeldergate Bridge

Skeldergate Bridge is another piece of stunning Victorian architecture in York. Opened in 1881, it was the third crossing of the River Ouse. Last time Lynne and I were in York, the River Ouse had flooded and was about a metre higher than in this photograph!

View West off Skeldergate Bridge

The view off Skeldergate Bridge, westwards, shows old moorings and buildings on the left where previously, when tall ships sailed into York, they would have had their cargo (wool/textiles/agriculture) removed and stored here.

Lynne Cliffords Tower

Cliffords Tower has been part of York’s history since the Vikings. Originally built of timber before being destroyed by fire in 1190 and then by a gale in 1245 it was rebuilt of stone soon after to protect York from the wars with the Scots!

Cliffords Tower

What remains now is more of a ruin. We opted to avoid walking up to get a view off the top! It was cold enough at ground level. πŸ˜‰

York Minster

We walked through York and to York Minster. It is open to the public but it does cost! So as we’ve been in before this time was just a stop to take some pictures. That’s all I should say about the cost……

Lynne York Minster

Lynne looks cold doesn’t she? I think it was this about at this time we headed into York for hot coffee and cake!

Wall Gate Walk Over

Back on the wall walk you can see how high the wall was built in certain places to protect the city. This is at Micklegate.

Wall Walk Pavement View

This part of the wall is to the North of York Minster. A little more sheltered for walking in compared to some of the other more exposed parts. Did I say it was cold? πŸ˜†

York Minster Portrait Late Afternoon

It was later in the afternoon when I got this shot of the Minster from the wall. The late afternoon sunlight glinting off the facade.

York Minster Landscape Late Afternoon

A York Minster landscape shot similar to the previous photo. (Trying to be arty πŸ˜‰ ).

Museum Gardens Ruins

I love this photograph! We were walking through the Museum Gardens and the remaining sunlight of the day was caught just in this one ruin window. It was completely mesmerizing. Stunning. I stopped for a while to take several photographs and imagine what it must have been like, when this building was still a church, and the light was pouring in through the medieval window.

Museum Gardens Ruins Second

A second photo of that sunlit window. I deliberately moved to where it was darker to try and capture the light differently. It looks somewhat eerie here wouldn’t you say? I could have looked at it for much longer, being taken in by its enchanting hold.

Ouse Bridge

As the city begins to get darker, and Lynne and I are in much need of some food (and wine πŸ˜€ ) this is the Ouse Bridge which we will cross to get back into the part of the city where our hotel is located.

View West from steps of Ouse Bridge

Walking up the steps of the Ouse Bridge, the view is West, with the sun setting behind the buildings in the background.

Coat of Arms of the City of York

The final shot of this day is the Coat of Arms of the City of York, which was on the Ouse Bridge. The netting is there to stop birds from getting onto the nice paintwork and decorating it in their own special way! πŸ˜‰

National Railway Museum

No trip to York is complete without a visit to the world’s largest railway museum! A particular favourite of mine. We visited here on the Tuesday. Again, not a first visit for us, Lynne’s second, but for me I remember first being here in the early 80’s and completely entranced. Even for Lynne, who is not as enthusiastic as I am about the museum, she still enjoys the visit and it’s different every time we go.

Lynne and replica Rocket

Here’s Lynne about to board a replica of Stephenson’s Rocket! (Well if she were allowed) The actual one is kept in the Science Museum in London. There is also another working replica kept here too.

Replica Rocket

Funny to think that this is what started the whole railway revolution, such a long way back in 1829! And there’s a statue of the man himself in the back ground. Robert Stephenson.


On 3 July 1938, this A4 class locomotive Mallard raced down Stoke Bank at 126mph to set a new steam locomotive world speed record. That word record still stands today. Awesome!

View of the Great Hall

The Great Hall is full of so much railway history.Β This former engine shed is home to over 300 years of railway history including some of the biggest locomotives in the National Collection. I think Lynne was trying to hide here, probably bored of my history lesson (which I’ve toned down here too, ha ha!).

View over the Great Hall

This is a place you can literally spend all day in. And being free it’s a great place for kids too, and big kids like Lynne and I πŸ™‚

Whilst in York we also visited several excellent restaurants. Monday night atΒ kapadokya was a fantastic Turkish restaurant where the owner personally recommended a selection of mixed grill meats and salads for us. Tuesday night we were at Krakatoa, an Indonesian restaurant, with a reputation that certainly didn’t let it down! Fantastic curries!

Well, as much as I could continue writing and oozing enthusiasm for York and our trip away, I do need to wrap the rest of the Christmas presents. But I’ll be back tomorrow with that festive baking recipe I promised. Speak to you then! πŸ˜€



  1. JUST WOW. And Neil, you photos look amazing!! That workshop really did you well!
    One day, I hope I will get the chance to go to York, until then I will just revel in these!

    • says:

      Thanks so much for those amazing comments Susie! πŸ˜€

      I’d love it if you could head over here to York! Let us know when you’re coming and we’ll show you round πŸ˜‰

        One day we hope to get my mom to Ireland–that is her dream. I was supposed to visit my girlfriends in Edinburgh and Swansea in 2009, but I got a terrible bladder/kidney infection the week of and had to cancel TWO DAYS before. I was gutted. Instead I went home and spent Spring Break at the doctors’ and on antibiotics.
        Time to make up for it, methinks πŸ˜€

        • says:

          Gosh, that sounds terrible having to cancel 2 days before your trip! πŸ™

          Edinburgh is 45 minutes from me, so see you’re not going to get away with visiting here when you are able to, and not getting a visit form us!! πŸ˜†

          Sounds like a great future “round” trip for you, Ireland, then Edinburgh, then Swansea all in a circle!

  2. Gorgeous photos! I went to York for my birthday last year, we also had amazing sunny weather (in January!) Beautiful city!

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