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.
Halfway through the year already! I can’t help it… “It’ll soon be Christmas!” I have to say this here; if I say it out loud in front of mum, she’ll demand to know what happened to the summer and clip me around the ear!
Well, what a beautiful end to June (and hopefully) start to July! It has been glorious – towels drying before you can peg them out, the grass growing before you put the mower away and still sunny at 9.30pm. The lupins and peonies look stunning, the calendulas are spilling out of the pots waiting to flower and the fennel and mint are reaching for the sky! The village is busy with walkers, cyclists, school trips and anyone in need of a little sunshine and peace. Our guests have spent the day exploring the area, some happy just to pootle about the moors and enjoy different view from a different bench each hour, and others determined to see everything in a 50-mile radius!
Back to business however… This weekend sees the NYMR Swinging Sixties weekend and Heartbeat Car Rally, plus the Northern Soul Weekender returns to Whitby Pavilion and Burton Agnes Hall hosts the 2016 Jazz and Blues Weekend. Then it’ll be the Classic and Vintage Vehicle Weekend up and down the North York Moors railway, before the Ryedale Festival commences on 13th July, with events across the district. We’ll be scooting over to the other side of the county in a few days time to enjoy a day at the Great Yorkshire Show – talk about coals to Newcastle, we’ll be leaving the land of sheep, cows, rolling hills and country pursuits, to enjoy a day of sheep, cows, rolling hills and country pursuits…
Some more dates for your diaries: there are two exhibitions running together at the National Park Centre at Danby throughout the month; Malton Show is 3rd July in the beautiful Scampston Park and Scarborough hosts ‘Seafest’ from 29th – 31st The Great Seaside Vintage Fair will take over Whitby Pavilion on 16th & 17th July and Ryedale Show rounds off the month on 26th July at Welburn Park, Kirbymoorside. Just in case you needed a reason to visit!
Open-air theatre productions take place at Helmsley Castle and Castle Howard, there are country and agricultural shows galore, the Music and Ale train on the Esk Valley Line and even county cricket in Scarborough. 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. 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 can I tempt you with throughout July? Craft Fairs in Goathland Village Hall; Produce Markets, Tom Jones live at Castle Howard; York Maze, which is back bigger and better than ever, and Whitby’s small but perfectly formed Pannett Park Museum is hosting two exhibitions indoor, with the glorious gardens on display to enjoy the sun. The Steam Trains are running on a full timetable from Pickering through to Whitby, the Birch Hall at Beck Hole is open 7 days a week 11am – 11pm and if we’re going to see some sunshine, this is the best time to book a break and take your chances!
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, our guests are split between dinner at the Station Tavern at Grosmont (newly refurbished and boasting a hearty, home cooked menu and highly recommended!), enjoying a sneak tipple from the bar after a day exploring Helmsley and mooching around the village enjoying every last scrap of evening sun. They’ve walked to Grosmont (for cake at the Old School Coffee Shop!), they’ve explored every inch of Whitby before enjoying a slice of banana and walnut cake with a cuppa in our lounge and dipped into all the bays from Staithes to Robin Hood’s Bay!
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…