Welcome to 'Kelly's Guide'...
A sort of Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island," from a lovely Goathland Guest House instead! Here you'll find local information, news from the house, short tales and observations and anything else which springs to mind as I type.
What a curious start to March… it’s been cool towards downright frosty, there was a sprinkle of snow, and there’s been a lot of sunshine with an ‘occasionally-brisk’ wind. Here’s hoping the old adage of ‘… in like a lamb, our like a lion’ has a more appealing sounding alternative. Then we’ll be all set for a lovely March. The daffodils are peeking through at the bottom of the garden, the jasmine is out by the front gate and snowdrops abound. It’s been another busy winter, with Room 1 getting a fresh lick of a paint, a new wardrobe, new chairs and best of all – a new king-size bed! Room 5 looks very different with more grown-up wallpaper and Room 7 has a new-look, too. As the first bedroom we refurbished back in November 2009, it was nice to go full-circle! Se our Facebook page for photos…
And after a hectic February, we have a couple of days of Spring-cleaning lined up before an increasingly busy March kicks-in. The flurry of DIY-related activity being wound down promises that the season is just about upon us… March means we have waved goodbye to our ‘Winter Warmers’ until November. In the section that was previously dedicated to the winter warmers on our homepage, you’ll find details of ‘what’s on’ through the Summer and the link to the next ‘Winter Warmer’ season from November 2015. You’ll note that the link to our New Year package has been removed – sorry, we’re already fully booked!
Our comprehensive ‘What’s On’ guide is available from the homepage, to help you plan your stay… open air theatre productions at Castle Howard? Art exhibitions at the moors centre? One of the hugely popular agricultural shows? A weekend away to watch the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’? Take a look; it really is packed with great ideas. It never ceases to amaze me, how much there is to do throughout the year in the area. As though acres upon acres of moor land, miles of coastline, footpaths that criss-cross the area and link to the Lyke Wake and the Coast to Coast and views that can a take a day to of simply watching to fully appreciate, weren’t enough; there are farmers markets, agricultural shows, craft fairs, theatre productions, galas… In August for example, Glaisdale hosts a theatre production of brilliant quality, in a wonderfully quirky setting where you can enjoy a pre-show glass of wine in the garden. Throughout the summer, you can catch a steam train on the Esk Valley line and enjoy great music and real ale whilst being whisked through stunning scenery. Or you can sit outdoors, enjoying a picnic, and watch open-air theatre in the middle of Helmsley Castle. Or enjoy one of the top-rated Jazz festivals in the country just down the road in Scarborough. And catch a steam train to Whitby and avoid all the hassle of parking in the town, arriving full of nostalgia for a bygone era and ready for fish and chips. I think I’ll spend the rest of the year pretending to be a guest!
What else? Our hard work continues to pay dividends, as our efforts were, (somewhat wonderfully), recognised for the fourth year running with a ‘Traveller’s Choice’ Award from Trip Advisor for 2015. And in the words of Trip Advisor, “… Traveller’s Choice Award is the highest honour a hotel can receive from the Trip Advisor community. It’s based on the reviews and opinions of millions of travellers, and is awarded only to a very select and distinguished group of hotels.” So we’d like to say thank you very much to those who have stayed with us and then reviewed your stay on the site. Long may it continue! And just as soon as the lambs arrive and make Goathland complete again, I’ll be sure to pop some photographs on Facebook.
You might like to know, for example, that if you've had a leisurely Saturday hopping on and off the NYM Steam Railway, eaten an ice-cream or two and whiled away an hour watching the sheep nibble their way up The Common, that you won't need to drive down to Whitby to enjoy fish and chips... Eskdale Fisheries in Sleights is a great spot, with picnic benches in the garden outside so you can enjoy fish and chips at their best - open, in paper, in the sunshine!
Ever heard about the little pub you just have to visit in Beck Hole? Just a mile from Goathland by car and little less to walk down the Rail Trail... The Birch Hall is one of the best and smallest pubs in Britain, complete with sweet shop and beer garden. Enjoy a 'Beck Hole Butty' and a pint of 'Beck Watter'!
Sandsend... glorious beaches, good coffee and cake at both 'Sandside' and 'Wit's End', art gallery, pub, a 'foodies' shop and just a couple of miles north of Whitby town centre. Perfect. But don't tell anyone else about it!
For fish and chips, 'The Magpie' is rightly famous. Cue the queues! Alternatively head over the swing bridge into the old town and keep to the right... you'll find Hadley's. It's good. And Fortune's own-smoked kippers (find them on Henrietta Street), can even be posted home for you.
For a walk from our doorstep, follow the Rail Trail down to Grosmont - head to the Geall's Art Cafe for coffee and cake to set you up for the walk back. Or pope into the Old School House Coffee Shop for a slice or scrumptious chocolate cake. And you can even cheat and catch the train back to Goathland Station.
One of our favourite 'drives' starts by heading out of Goathland towards Egton, then up through Glaisdale and on to Danby. If you're peckish en route, stop in Lealholm for a home-baked treat from the bakery and enjoy it whilst looking at fantastic views towards the North Sea. Beyond Danby you'll find Castleton before circling back towards Hutton-le-Hole. Stop off at the Red Lion at Blakey Ridge for a spot of lunch or just a cheeky drink. By Hutton-le-Hole you might need to stretch your legs around the shops and if you forfeited lunch after your hearty Fairhaven breakfast, head to the Blacksmith's at Lastingham for an early dinner and then head towards Pickering for a straightforward drive back to Goathland, or towards Stape for a more adventurous route across the top of the moors!
What's happening now?
And right now? Well, today's guests have arrived and are sat beside the fire enjoying scones, chocolate buns and orange and coconut cake. There's serious planning going on deciding where to eat this evening and I think the Magpie's menu has tempted some! It's the 50th anniversary of the line closure on the NYMR with additional engines running; plenty of photo ops! The National Park Centre at Danby is open daily again now with exhibitions galore and with Burton Agnes Hall's 'Snowdrop Spectacular' in full flow, I think the weekend is planned for many...
Hopefully, that’s whet your appetite. If you’d like to see off the winter in style and need a quick reminder that spring is on its way, come and join us. There are wonderful views, glorious walks, empty beaches and miles of un-chartered heather moors right outside the front door and within a few miles in each direction. Inside, there are 15-tog quilts, an open fire, a well-stocked bar, a kettle that’s rarely off the boil and more books, films and cds than you could shake a stick at. I can think of few things better than a few days away doing nothing more taxing than planning the next walk, via which pub and tea room and working up a healthy appetite for dinner after a hearty breakfast. We look forward to seeing you soon!