We recently stayed on a farm near Harrogate, a stunning area in Yorkshire. It felt incredible to be out of the cramped London streets, and breathing real fresh air! We had been recommended some places nearby. A must visit was a place called Knaresborough. If you Google search Harrogate, you are sure to find a photo of a large train viaduct, with a quaint river running underneath. This photo is in fact taken in Knaresborough, and when we saw this sight in real life, it took our breath away.
The town looks like a train-model-professional had set it up. The river flowing through the middle, the pastel coloured houses dotted up the hill, looking perfectly unorganised. The houses and buildings seem to look exactly as they would have done when originally built. The church chimes out its bells: loud, proud, and thankfully in tune. Luckily, it was the day of the town square market. We rounded the corner to find a real life Town Crier, sharing the news for the town to hear. We were in a real life fairy tale town!
The streets are narrow and twisty, making driving our large VW Crafter a bit of a mission. How we managed to get out of the backstreets confuses me still. If you are planning to drive in this area, make sure you are confident with doing hill starts. So confident, that if you put a matchstick box behind your back wheel, it would still be intact after you take off. Additionally, make sure your hand brake works properly, or you may not find your vehicle where you parked it.
Living in London, you get used to other human beings ignoring you, not seeing a smile from others, and you don’t even think about someone saying “thank you”. So, when we leave London, it does come as a bit of a shock to how kind others are. But Knaresborough seems to even exaggerate how kind other people in other towns are. There were constant smiles, politeness, and they were always wanting to help.
Possibly the best view of the town is from the castle ruins, on the very top of the hill. A fantastic spot to build a castle! Even though the castle is not really intact anymore, there is a lot of information that helps you visualise what it would have been like. For someone who has now seen many castles, the best part about the castle was the view over the river. It looks like someone has out a tilt shift lens over the whole village, framed so perfectly by the train bridge. This is the money shot!
The best way to finish a visit to a small town in England, is to go to a sweet tea shop and get yourself some tea and scones! This we did. In this village, there are quite a few options for tea houses. One interesting one is the tea house that was an old apothecary, and the oldest pharmacy in England. As I feared for what liquids may have been in that building, we opted for The Ugly Duckling. This tea house is on the river, with a fantastic view out the window. The service here is wonderful, and the ladies who were working there were so sweet and helpful!
It was a brief visit to this lovely town, but we now highly recommend it to all who are travelling through Yorkshire.