The following morning our bus took us to Whitby. The drive took us through the beautiful North York Moors National Park. You'd think we'd be tired of the beautiful scenery but we weren't.
Our first stop in town was the Whitby Abbey. Anita had advised everyone to bring a jacket as the Abbey is up on a bluff overlooking the sea. She was right and it was windy but sunny.
Once again Anita showed us how to avoid paying to pee. I'm happy to say we never paid the entire tour.
We had an audio tour of the Abbey museum before going outside to view the actual site of the Abbey. The Abbey was built in the 7th century. The view of the North Sea and the village below were spectacular. Hard to believe how well this was constructed back in 657 AD by the Saxons.
The Abbey sits on a bluff that has 199 steps to the village. Lucky for us the bus left us off at the Abbey.
The village people used to carry the caskets up these 199 steps to the Abbey for burial.
There is also a footpath if you don't take the steps, but the steps are much easier.
I think everyone immediately fell in love with the quaint whaling town of Whitby. We walked down the steps into the village and had some time before our lunch to visit the shops. Whitby is famous for Jet Black jewelry that Queen Victoria loved and the shops were full of it.
I wish I had taken photos of our lunch restaurant. Anita had told us this would be our best fish and chips ever. Once again, she was right! The place was called Trenches. On a big chalkboard was the name of the fisherman that caught the fish and also the farmer who supplied the potatoes for the day. It was absolutely the best fish I've ever had. I did try the Yorkshire mushy peas, but I can live without them, but at least I tried them.
After our group lunch the bus picked us up and drove back through the National Park. Our next stop was a tour of the Castle Howard. How do you possibly describe the size of this castle?
I was happy that Bill took this photo of the fountain while we were still inside the castle as they turned off the water at 3 pm because of the drought.
This room had Ruben and Gainsborough paintings among many others.
Bill asked the same question he's asked in every castle--"How did they accumulate so much wealth." He got the same reply. "They married well."
There was a room that showed how they filmed Brideshead Revisited.
That's how we spent a typical day while we were in York.
Now you know why I didn't have time to blog at all while we were in the UK. I must confess, that England, Scotland and Wales wouldn't have been my first pick of countries to visit but since it was on sale and Bill is Welsh we went. Now that I can sit back and reflect on it, I'm so glad we toured it. It's one place I could go back to.