Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Sights & Sites
Durham Cathedral – College; 011-44-019-1386-4266;; definitive Anglo-Norman Romanesque structure & among world’s greatest places of worship; since 1986, UNESCO World Heritage Site; beyond main door – and famous Sanctuary Knocker, which medieval felons struck to gain 37 days asylum within – is spectacular interior; 1st European cathedral to be roofed with stone-ribbed vaulting, which supported heavy stone roof & made possible to build pointed transverse arches – 1st in England & great architectural achievement; central tower (great views) dates from 1262 CE & entirely rebuilt in 1470; Galilee Chapel, dating from 1175 CE, features rare surviving examples of 12th Century wall painting (thought to feature portraits of Sts. Cuthbert & Oswald); Venerable Bede tomb; make sure to see also 14th Century Bishop’s Throne, stone Neville Screen (1372–80 CE), which separates high altar from St. Cuthbert’s tomb, & mostly 19th Century Cloisters (where you’ll find former Monk’s Dormitory, now 30K volume library displaying Anglo-Saxon carved stones).

Barnard Castle
Sights & Sites
Barnard Castle – Scar Top (A67 near Galgate); 011-44-0183-363-8212;; ruined medieval castle situated in town of same name; medieval St. Margaret chapel on site; stone castle built on site of earlier defended position from around 1095-1125 by Guy de Balliol; between 1125-85, his nephew Bernard de Balliol & son Bernard II extended building; in 1216 castle besieged by Alexander II, King of Scotland; still held by Balliol family although ownership disputed by Bishops of Durham; when John Balliol deposed as King of Scotland in 1296, castle passed to Bishop of Durham; around 1300 Edward I granted it to Earl of Warwick; in 15th Century castle passed by marriage to Neville family; in 1477 during Wars of Roses, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), took possession (became among his favorite residences); over next 2 centuries Nevilles enlarged & improved estate & created impressive castle; when Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland attainted for role in Rising of North, Neville estates sequestered; in 1626 Crown sold castle & Neville property at Raby Castle to Sir Henry Vane; Vane made Raby his principal residence & abandoned Barnard Castle, removing much of its masonry for Raby improvement & maintenance; castle is in English Heritage custody & open to public; of particular interest are 12th Century cylindrical tower & 14th Century Great Hall & Great Chamber remains.

Greta Bridge
Sights & Sites
Rokeby Park – Egglestone Abbey Abbey Lane (close to Rivers Greta & Tees confluence); 011-44-018-3369-5692;; Palladian-style country house; pronounced “rookbee” or “rowk-bee”; private home of Sir Andrew Morritt but open to public on selected days; original English home of Toilet of Venus by Diego Velázquez (now known in English as Rokeby Venus, hanging in National Gallery, London); Sir Walter Scott was regular visitor & used as setting for epic poem Rokeby in 1812.

MIDDLESBOROUGH (includes Norton on Tees & Teesside)
Cafe Lilli – 83-85 High Street; 011-44-016-4255-4422;

Sights & Sites
Saltholme Wildlife Reserve & Discovery Park – Seaton Carew Road (Teeside, Port Clarence Stockton-on-Tees); 011-44-016-4254-6625;; 1K acres former industrial land transformed into world-class nature reserve; state-of-art building with panoramic views over huge wetland; 3 architect-designed hides; walled wildlife garden, designed by Chris Beardshaw; cafe.

Sights & Sites
Alnwick Garden – Denwick Lane; 011-44-016-6551-1350;; recently restored formal garden complex; largest poison plant garden in England.
Dunstanburgh Castle – Dunstanburgh Road (between Craster & Embleton); 011-44-016-6557-6231;; 14th Century fortification on Northumberland coast; built by Earl Thomas of Lancaster between 1313-22, taking advantage of site’s natural defences & former Iron Age fort’s existing earthworks; Thomas was leader of baronial faction opposed to King Edward II & probably intended Dunstanburgh to act as secure refuge, should southern England political situation deteriorate; Thomas probably only visited his new castle once, before being captured at Battle of Boroughbridge as he attempted to flee royal forces; Thomas executed & castle became Crown property before passing into Lancaster Duchy; Dunstanburgh’s defenses expanded in 1380s by Lancaster Duke John of Gaunt; maintained by Crown in 15th Century & formed strategic northern stronghold in region during Wars of Roses, exchanging hands between rival Lancastrian & Yorkist factions several times; by 16th Century Warden of Scottish Marches described it as having fallen into “wonderfull great decaye”; King James I finally sold into private ownership in 1604; Grey family owned it for several centuries; increasingly ruinous, it became popular subject for artists, including Thomas Girtin & J. M. W. Turner; by 1920s, castle’s then owner, Sir Arthur Sutherland, could no longer afford to maintain & so placed into state guardianship (1930); used as WWII observation post & refortified with trenches, barbed wire, pill boxes & mine field; Dunstanburgh Castle golf course built around property in 1900 & expanded by Sutherland in 1922; in 21st Century castle owned by National Trust & run by English Heritage.

Sights & Sites
Bamburgh Castle – Radcliffe Park; 011-44-016-6821-4515;; built on dolerite outcrop, location previously home to Din Guarie (native Britons) fort & may have been British kingdom regional capital from realm’s foundation in 420 until 547; in 547 citadel captured by Anglo-Saxon ruler Ida of Bernicia (Beornice) and became Ida’s seat; briefly retaken by Britons from his son Hussa during war of 590 before being relieved later same year; grandson Aethelfrit passed it on to his wife Bebba, from whom early name Bebbanburgh derived; Vikings destroyed original fortification in 993; Normans built new castle, forming present one’s core; William II unsuccessfully besieged it in 1095 during revolt supported by its owner, Northumbria Earl Robert de Mowbray; after Robert captured, his wife continued defence until coerced to surrender by king’s threat to blind her husband; Bamburgh then became treigning English monarch, Henry II’s property (he probably built keep); in 1464 during Wars of Roses, became 1st castle in England defeated by artillery, after 9-month siege by 16th Warwick Earl Richard Neville; Forster family of Northumberland provided Crown with 12 successive castle governors (400 years) until Crown granted ownership to Sir John Forster; family retained ownership until Sir William Forster (died 1700) was posthumously declared bankrupt & his estates, including castle, sold to Lord Crew, Durham Bishop under Parliamentary Act to settle debts; deteriorated but restored during 18th & 19th Centuries; finally bought by Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, who completed restoration; castle still belongs to Armstrong family & is open to public; used as film location since 1920s, featuring in films such as Ivanhoe (1982), El Cid (1961), Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Elizabeth (1998) & both Macbeth adaptions (1971 & 2015).

Sights & Sites
Lindisfarne Castle – Holy Island; 011-44-012-8938-9244;; located in what was once volatile border area (not only as between English & Scots, but also when being attacked by Vikings); built in 1570-1582, around when Lindisfarne Priory went out of use (priory stones used as building material); very small by usual standards, more of fort; sits on island’s highpoint, whinstone hill called Beblowe; when James I came to power in England, he combined English & Scottish thrones & need for castle declined; in 18th Century castle occupied briefly by Jacobite rebels, but quickly recaptured by soldiers from Berwick who imprisoned rebels; they dug their way out & hid for 9 days close to nearby Bamburgh Castle before making good their escape; in later years castle used as coastguard look-out & became something of tourist attraction; Charles Rennie Mackintosh sketched in 1901; in 1901, became property of Edward Hudson, publishing magnate & owner of Country Life magazine; he had it refurbished in Arts & Crafts style by Sir Edwin Lutyens; walled garden, originally garrison’s vegetable plot, designed by Lutyens’ long-time friend & collaborator, Gertrude Jekyll between 1906-12 (it is some distance away from castle itself, restored between 2002-06 to Jekyll’s original planting plan); open to visitors; provided shooting location for Roman Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac (1966), as well as his MacBeth (1971).

Sights & Sites
Dunstanburgh Castle – Dunstanburgh Road (Northumberland Coast AONB, between Craster & Embleton); 011-44-016-6557-6231 or 011-44-034-4800-1895;; ruined castle dating from 14th Century with twin-towered keep, plus sea views & picnic areas.

Bars & Nightclubs
Cluny II – 34-36 Lime Street; 011-44-019-1230-4474;; former whiskey-distillery; intimate bar that also has live performances (comedy, music, etc.).
Grey Street Hotel – 2-12 Grey Street; 011-44-019-1230-6777;; modern, pretty boutique.
Hotel du Vin – City Road (Newcastle upon Tyne, at Allan House); 011-44-0844-736-4259;; early 20th Century building with courtyard, housing elegant, contemporary rooms & bistro.
Malmaison – Quayside; 011-44-0844-693-0658;; 122 bedrooms & suites; bar-restaurant.
Brasserie Black Door – 16 Stoddart Street; 011-44-019-1260-5411;
7 Stories – 30 Lime Street; 011-44-084-5271-0777;; café in bookstore-museum.
Biscuit Factory – 16 Stoddart Street; 011-44-019-1261-1103;; 2 floors devoted to galleries and studios.
7 Stories – 30 Lime Street; 011-44-084-5271-0777;; bookstore-museum, with focus on children’s books from 30s.
Sights & Sites
Hatton Gallery – Quadrangle, Claremont Road; 011-44-019-1222-6059;; art gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne (Great North Museum component), based in the University’s Fine Art Building; founded in 1925, by King Edward VII School of Art, Armstrong College, Durham University in Richard George Hatton’ honor (professor at School of Art); Richard Hamilton’s seminal Man, Machine & Motion 1st exhibited here in 1955 before travelling to ICA, so Hatton claims Pop Art’s birthright; permanent collection comprises over 3.5K works, from 14th Century on (including paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings); star is Merzbarn, among few surviving Kurt Schwitters’ structures (rescued from barn near Elterwater in 1965); other important artists represented include Francis Bacon, Victor Pasmore, William Roberts and Paolo di Giovanni, Palma Giovane, Richard Hamilton, Thomas Bewick, Eduardo Paolozzi, Camillo Procaccini, Patrick Heron and Richard Ansdell.
7 Stories – 30 Lime Street; 011-44-084-5271-0777;; children’s books museum with focus on 30s.

YORKSHIRE & HUMBER (includes Beverley, Harrogate, Haworth, Helmsley, Kingston-Upon-Hull, Leeds, Ramsgill, Rotherham, Selby, Skipton, South Dalton, Walton & York)
Broadgate Farm – Beverley Road (Walkington); 011-44-0148-288-8111;; set on 19 acres of fields & woodlands, these upscale cottages in converted brick farmhouses are 1 mile from Walkington village & 2 miles from Beverley town center; 6 airy cottages feature wood-beamed ceilings, sleep 4-10 people & have full kitchens, washer/dryers & private garden/patio areas, as well as free WiFi, flat-screen TVs & iPod docks; most have 2 stories & include heated floors, wood-burning stoves & 2 or more bathrooms; guests can visit farm animals living on-site; otters on nearby rivers, puffins at Flamborough; birdlife.

Hotel du Vin Harrogate – Prospect Place; 011-44-0844-736-4257;; created from 8 Georgian row houses; overlooks 200 acre common; bar & diningroom.

Sights & Sites
Bronte Parsonage Museum – Church Street; 0111-44-05-3564-2323;; maintained by Bronte Society in Bronte sisters’ former home; surrounded by moorland; Brontes spent most of their lives here and wrote their famous novels in these surroundings; among oldest literary societies in English-speaking world.

Star Inn – Harome; 011-44-014-3977-0397;; Michelin-starred; try “parkin” for dessert (gingerbread served with rhubarb ripple ice cream).

Mercure Hull Royal Hotel – 170 Ferensway (City Centre); 011-44-084-5620-0900; or; originally known as Station Hotel, this grand Victorian building changed name to Royal Hotel after Queen Victoria’s 1854 visit; today, can stay in Queen Victoria Room, from which she waved to crowds; ask to see 2 remaining rose-tinted windows she ordered for her visit.
Sights & Sites
Annison Building – 124-127 Witham Street (East Hull, at Great Union Street; 011-44-014-8230-7880;; 26 surviving stables, as it was formerly home to City of Hull Mounted Police; also was funeral parlor; dubbed Hull’s most haunted place; local historian Mike Covell hosts tours of building every Saturday evening.
Charterhouse – Charterhouse Lane (West Hull, at Sykes Street); 011-44-014-8232-0026;; founded as almshouse for elderly in 1384 – role that continues to this day; present building has connection with 1 of Hull’s best-known poets, Andrew Marvell, who served as MP for Hull during 17th Century.
Ferens Art Gallery – Little Queen Street; 011-44-014-8261-3902;; alongside Old Masters & 20th Century British art, has intriguing reserve collection.
Humber Bridge Road Deck – Ferriby Road; 011-44-014-8264-7161; or; single-span suspension bridge was longest (of its type) in world when opened in 1981; inside road deck, constructed of welded steel box sections, is place hidden from the traffic passing overhead.
Queen Victoria Room – 170 Ferensway (City Centre, in Mercure Hull Royal Hotel); 011-44-084-5620-0900; or; originally known as Station Hotel, this grand Victorian building changed name to Royal Hotel after Queen Victoria’s 1854 visit; today, visitors can see room from which she waved to crowds & 2 remaining rose-tinted windows Queen Victoria ordered for her visit.
St. Charles Borromeo – 12 Jarratt Street (City Centre); 011-44-014-8232-9100;; ornate, grade-2, listed church built in 1829; houses burial vault beneath; last burial in 1849; interior worth special trip to see.
St. Mary’s Cemetery – Air Street (West Hull, Old Sculcoates); 1st mentioned in 13th Century.
Subway Street Tunnel – under Clive Sullivan Way (West Hull); provides pedestrian link to now derelict St. Andrew’s Dock; scene of large explosion in 1970 when tanker carrying liquid gas hit tunnel roof.
Trolleybus Posts – Chanterlands Avenue (West Hull); isolated green poles are reminder of trams that once operated in city; last tram service ran in 1945, with trolleybuses, which used much of same network equipment, running until 1964.
Victorian Police Cells – Paragon Interchange, on Ferensway (City Centre, integrated rail & bus station); 011-44-09-9080-8080;; closed during mid-20th Century; 2 Victorian cells, larger of which could house up to 20 people at 1 time; closed to public today as general rule; call for assistance.
Romeo & Juliet’s – 2 Jameson Street (City Centre); once-famed nightspot, closed since 1991; still awaiting redevelopment.

Malmaison – 1 Swinegate; 011-44-0844-693-0654;; 100 bedrooms & suites; bar & restaurant; in former bus company office.

Yorke Arms – Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale (at Pateley Bridge); 011-44-014-2375-5243;; featured in Trip; peaceful rural location; housed in medieval building dating to 11th Century (nearby Fountains Abbey monks made cheese in cellar); 11 charming & spacious rooms; 4 modern courtyard rooms; rooms start at £345, which includes dinner & breakfast.
Yorke Arms – Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale (at Pateley Bridge); 011-44-014-2375-5243;; featured in Trip; peaceful rural location belies sophistication of distinctive cooking, which has consistently led to being rated among top 5 restaurants in UK; emphasis on seasonal ingredients, creative combinations of flavors & elegant presentations; wild garlic tarts with artichoke & apple or truffled rabbit & smoked chicken with persimmons; main courses might include honeyed quail with polenta & marjoram or John Dory with scallops; fabulous dessert selection.

Sights & Sites
Wentworth Woodhouse – Wentworth; 011-44-012-2635-1161;; country house with longest country house façade in Europe; also, largest private house in UK; over 200 rooms and covers 2.5 acres; surrounded by 180-acre park and 15K-acre estate.

Cawood Castle – Cawood; 011-44-016-2882-5925;; gatehouse, with domestic wing to one side, all that remains of Cawood Castle, one-time York Archbishopric stronghold; Cardinal Wolsey arrested here; in 18th Century CE gatehouse used as courtroom.

Angel at Hetton – Hetton; 011-44-017-5673-0263;; featured in Trip; characterful country inn with 9 simply furnished bedrooms (6 doubles & 3 suites) in 2 newly-converted buildings, short stagger from inn; free WiFi access, televisions & iPod docks.
Angel at Hetton – Hetton; 011-44-017-5673-0263;; featured in Trip; real Yorkshire pub character with mounted shotguns on walls, ancient beams & old 18th Century bar; coal fire; communal rooms have all been appropriated for dining; consistently high service standards; starter specials include “Angel’s Little Moneybag” (seafood in pastry with lobster sauce) and Saddleback pork shoulder, fennel risotto & apple; mains include local rare-breed suckling pig, Bolton Abbey lamb or sea bass fillet with scallops, salmon paté and fennel sauce; full English featuring homemade black pudding; breakfast here is long and indulgent affair not to be missed.
Sights & Sites
Bolton Abbey – just off B6160 & A59 intersection; 011-44-017-5671-8000;

South Dalton
Pipe & Glass – West End; 011-44-014-3081-0246;; 15th Century coaching inn on Yorkshire Wolds’ edge; rooms decorated in bright colors & each has own themed herb garden.
Pipe & Glass – West End; 011-44-014-3081-0246;; 15th Century coaching inn on Yorkshire Wolds’ edge; hearty fowl & meat dishes; homebrewed Yorkshire Nectar.

Wakefield (includes Nostell & Walton)
Waterton Park Hotel – Walton; 011-44-019-24­25-7911;; 65 rooms, most with golf course, lake, or woodland views; 22 rooms on island in Walton Hall; hideaway cottage on grounds.
Sights & Sites
Nostell Priory & Parkland – Doncaster Road (Nostell); 011-44-019-2486-3892;; Palladian house located near Crofton (close to Wakefield); dates from 1733; built on medieval priory site; remains Lord and Lady St. Oswald’s family home.
Wakefield Museum – Burton Street; 011-44-019-2430-5356;; eccentric taxidermy.
Walton Hall – Walton; 011-44-019-24­25-7911;; beautiful Georgian Mansion on island surrounded by 26-acre lake; accessible only by picturesque bridge; formally home of Charles Waterton, eccentric 19th Century naturalist & traveller; Squire Waterton transformed lake and surrounding parkland into world’s first wild fowl reserve & sanctuary; many wildlife species still breed here today.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park – West Bretton (Wakefield); 011-44-019-2483-2631;; open-air gallery showing work by international & UK artists, including Barbara Hepworth & Henry Moore; changing exhibition program, rather than permanent display; situated on Bretton Hall (18th Century estate which was family home until mid-20th Century when became Bretton Hall College) grounds; architectural structures, follies & landscape features; camellia house, deer park & shelter (recently converted by American sculptor James Turrell into installation), & ice house; underground gallery space in Bothy garden & exhibition spaces at Longside (hillside facing original park).

Alexander House – 94 Bishopthorpe Road; 011-44-019-0462-5016;; comfortably furnished rooms within 7 minute walk to city center; breakfast included.
Heworth Court – 76 Heworth Green; 011-44-019-0442-5156;; 12 minute walk to York Minster; breakfast included.
Hotel du Vin – 89 Mount; 011-44-0844-748-9268;; 44 bedrooms & suites.
General Tourist Information –
Sights & Sites
Castle Howard – Castle Howard Road; 011-44-016-5364-8333;; ornate, gilded 18th Century stately home set in landscaped grounds with fountains, trails & lakes.
Shambles – between Victoria Road & Spital Street;; old street with overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as 14th Century; once known as “Great Flesh Shambles,” probably from Anglo-Saxon Fleshammels (literally “flesh-shelves”), word for shelves upon which butchers display meat; as recently as 1872 25 butchers’ shops located along street, but now none remain; among buildings is shrine to Saint Margaret Clitherow, married to butcher who owned & lived in shop there at No. 10 Shambles (now cufflinks shop but still features priest hole fireplace that ultimately led to her death.; although butchers have now vanished, numerous shops on street still have meat-hooks hanging outside & below them; 5 “Snickelways” lead off Shambles.
York Minster – 1A Chapter House Street; 011-44-019-0455-7216;; city has extensive Roman and Viking history; begin visit to town with walk around city’s 13th and 14th Century walls and then head to York Minster; chief attraction are Gothic, stained-glass windows; south transept’s Rose Window, grisaille glass of 13th Century “5 Sisters” window, and “Great” east window (largest sheet medieval stained glass in world).

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