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. Another month, another ‘Kelly’s Guide’… I can hardly keep up! The days fly by in a whirl of breakfasts, cleaning, baking, tea trays, bar drinks and back again! Hopefully a new month will see the return to summer-like weather. We saw some stunning blue skies, lots of sun and warm weather at the start of July, and it tailed off a little as the month progressed. But the sun is back out and promises a lovely sunset, and the five-day forecast suggests warmth and sun. Here’s hoping! The garden is in full bloom and the garden mint, spearmint, fennel, calendulas, ??? and pinks are growing quicker than I can cut them for the vases. The sweet peas are valiantly holding on despite the best endeavours of Goathland’s mice finding their way into the veggie patch, and smell stunning on the hall table when they’re cut.
We finally got to Rillington Fields to pick some fruit today, and came back armed with thousands of raspberries, hundreds of redcurrants and a hearty tub of tayberries! Hopefully next week will see the tayberries out in greater numbers and we can go again. I’ve had great fun freezing them on baking trays ready for the desserts for this winter’s ‘Winter Warmers’ (and eating the odd one which disintegrates into frozen morsels!), and making compote for breakfast. The trip out also gave us chance to stock up on the Beez Neez Apiary’s Yorkshire honey with ginger, which is proving so popular with guests that we’re buying jars for them to take home…
Anyhoo, more local updates… the lambs are steadily being weaned and their mum’s are reappearing newly clipped. The Common has had its first good cut of the season and everywhere looks incredibly green. The North York Moors birds of prey stand is back in the village most days, giving visitors the chance to meet owls, eagles and hawks to name a few. The steam trains are running on their busiest timetable outside of gala weekends and Whitby seems to have more visitors than ever!
What else is happening in the area? Esk Valley Theatre’s Annual Production gets underway from 6th – 29th, with Ben Brown’s ‘All things considered.’ Picture the scene; you’ve pre-booked your tickets (or we’ll happily do it for you), and having enjoyed a pre-theatre dinner at say The Stables at Cross Butts, or the Board Inn at Lealholm, you arrive to a beautiful theatre in the heart of the moors, before enjoying a drink on the lawn and then settling down to watch a performance by an acclaimed professional company… Tempted? Mum and dad have been to the annual production the last four summers and rate them higher than anything they’ve seen at York Theatre Royal in recent years (which is saying something!)
And three dates firmly in our diary, are Whitby Regatta from 14th – 17th, Egton Show on 26th, with Goathland Village’s Fruit and Veg show on 8th. We hope to enter our first exhibits this year, with some home baking! Goathland & Glaisdale Hunt will be parading at Egton Show and the whole day is a treat! There’s Scarborough Cricket Festival from 5th – 10th and Castle Howard’s Proms Spectacular on the 22nd.
Some more dates for your diaries: Danby Show is on the 12th (the area always deserves a visit, especially the NYM Visitor Centre), Whitby Folk Week runs from the 22nd – 28th , with events across the town, plus the famous Whitby Regatta will be on from the 14th – 17th. With the boat race, events across the town and the Red Arrows display, it’s always a busy and fun weekend. And staying in Goathland means you can catch the train down, enjoy it all, and then catch the train back to tranquillity when you’ve had enough! Then Bilsdale Show is on the 29th, both Burniston and Farndale have theirs on 31st, which is also the same day that Hunmanby Silver Band play at Levisham Station in the afternoon.
Our comprehensive ‘What’s On’ guide (find the link on our homepage), will help you plan your stay throughout the year… open air theatre productions at Castle Howard and Helmsley Castle? Art exhibitions at the moors centre? Afternoon tea on the Steam Railway? 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… Throughout August, 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. 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!
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?
What else can I tempt you with throughout August? The Steam Trains are running on a full timetable from Pickering and 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!
And what’s happening right now? Well, our guests are split between enjoying every last moment of their day out, and coming back in for a sit-down and freshen up before dinner at the Mallyan Spout, the Postgate at Egton Bridge and on the Pullman Dining Train. Oh, and our new arrivals are in the guest lounge sampling homemade scones and being lulled into an early evening snooze by the open fire! And tonight sees local Firefighter’s band ‘Fat Medicine’ play the village hall with a pie and pea supper!
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…
P.S. We have received our ‘Certificate of Excellence’ from TripAdvisor, for 2015.
P.P.S. It’s the special ‘Hall of Fame’ version, as we have held this accolade every year since it was introduced… that’s 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015! Chuffed.