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.
Well it’s the 1st May and we’re well on the way to ‘May Flowers’! Tulips, cape daisies, blossom on the trees, everything is green, potatoes in the veggie patch, the lawn needing mowing every week and daylight after 8.00pm… love it! With the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ this weekend, there are flashes of blue and yellow everywhere – bikes, bunting, flags - and my personal favourite in the front garden of the hill climb out of Grosmont, a blue and yellow sign that simply says, “Dig in lads!” The atmosphere in Grosmont was amazing – crowds cheering, three locos in the station in full steam, tooting their horns for every rider en route and glorious sun after the grey clouds caused havoc on the drop in from Glaisdale, having dampened the road.
The Whitby Spring Goth weekend took place last weekend and now we can look forward to a long summer before the Halloween version much later in the year…
All the local walks seem like new walks at the moment – everything looks so different again when the hedges are green, the flowers blooming and the trees are full. There are lambs everywhere and are a great ‘musical’ accompaniment to our walks, whether they’re demanding another feed or playing very elaborate games in excited groups whilst their mums enjoy a break! Young deer are being spotted both along the Rail Trail and on the fields behind the house, with a group of seven youngsters frolicking across the old railway line from field to field, wonderfully oblivious to us out on a walk! There are grouse popping up left, right and centre when you venture onto the moors and the gorse is out in abundance.
May looks busy with the Malton Food Lover’s Festival, Pickering Game and Country Fair, several craft fairs, markets and festivals and exhibitions galore at the Inspired by… Gallery at Danby to name just a few. Our comprehensive ‘What’s On’ guide (find the link on our homepage), will help you plan your stay throughout the year… outdoor festivals at Burton Agnes Hall or Scarborough Open Air Theatre? 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… In August for example, Glaisdale hosts a theatre production of brilliant quality, in a wonderfully quirky setting where you pick your own seat and leave your name on it, whilst you 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? Well, our Four Star Gold status has been awarded again by Quality in Tourism, along with our Breakfast Award... so it's fair to say we're pleased! It's always nice to know we're consistent!
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?
What’s happening now? Well, there’s baking to plan for a busy weekend… a lime and coconut loaf and a sticky almond loaf I think, and obviously mum’s scones – their popularity continues to soar and amaze! And we’ve got guests freshly returned from dinner – the Mallyan and the Wheatsheaf at Egton for most this evening – and now sat chattering away in the lounge; 10 people who haven’t met until their stay here, sat together in front of the fire with a treat from the bar, chatting away like old friends!
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…