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. Crikey, October has arrived already! This year the Autumn Steam Gala is a little later than usual, and we have a house full of enthusiasts hoping to a dry weekend to enjoy a number of steam engines running up and down the line. We’re serving dinner for thirteen on Sunday, with duck, chicken, fish pie and steak & ale pie all on order for mains, with gooseberry bakewell, chocolate brownie, a fresh fruit platter and cheese & biscuits to follow. And no doubt a little wine, some Black Sheep, a spirit or two, before tea, coffee and mints by the fire and a little ‘putting the world to rights’ for good measure!
Next weekend we have a group of walkers coming to stay for the third year running – a sociable weekend for like-minded friends to enjoy some of the walks Goathland and the area have to offer. They will be eating with us, too, so some more good food and good company to come! Then it will be Railway in Wartime Weekend, and then a 65th birthday celebration weekend (and dinner again!), plus half-term, and then the Goth Weekend. Busy, busy, busy.
We have a list of outdoor jobs to get done before the winter weather – railings to sand and paint, the garden and veggie patch need some TLC and lots of tubs of flowers to get ready for winter planting, plus some painting of woodwork and a last foray into the garden before Autumn turns into Winter.
We’re still holding onto some good weather, too. With the exception of some fog to start the day here and there, we’re seeing plenty of sunshine and it has been unseasonably warm during the day… just some grass frost overnight to come. The sweet peas never made it this year (nor any of our neighbours’ either, strangely), but the calendulas are hanging on, and though the garden mint failed a couple of weeks ago, the spearmint and fennel are holding on!
It will be our local Harvest Festival at St Mary’s on 7th, which is always a lovely service. Some of the youngsters at the local primary school are budding comedians and it’s amazing to see several generations turn out for an incredibly busy service every year. The trees are starting to turn and across the moors the purple has given way to golds, making it look distinctly autumnal.
October seems set to be as busy as the last few months… there’s lots happening in the area, with the Railway in Wartime on the NYMR 14th – 16th, Whitby Blues Festival, Rose & Brown’s Seaside Vintage Fair, East Yorkshire Thoroughbred Car Club displaying their vehicles at Goathland Station and Scampston’s Autumn Plant Fair, all to come! And as the month goes on, there are two new exhibitions at the Inspired By… Gallery at Danby, produce fairs at Castle Howard, MusicPort, Ryedale Book Festival, the Bram Stoker International Film Festival, loads of Halloween-themed events on the local railways and at local country houses and the Whitby Goth Weekend to start November.
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 pop 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 what’s happening right now? Well, we’ve got guests out at the Mallyan in the village, at the Magpie in Whitby, the Wheatsheaf at Egton and a few sat watching the fire with hot chocolate and brandy (for medicinal purposes, obviously.) Most will spend the weekend up and down the railway lines (there’s a Beer Festival being held at Goathland and Levisham stations for good measure!), though a couple may be tempted to see the last couple of days of York’s huge food festival. And I’m sure we’ll make a cuppa or two, and give our guests a sugar boost (a Canadian malt loaf, an orange cake, scones and chocolate buns this weekend), between days out and dinner!
Tempted to join us? I hope so. We’d love to hear from you once you’ve got some dates in mind… sit, walk, snooze, explore, cycle, climb, catch a train, hop on the Coastliner, catch up with that book you’ve been meaning to read since you unwrapped it at Christmas, eat, drink and be merry… Well, I can think of worse ways to spend a few days! And few places better than here to spend them…