Some time ago Linda and I picked up an offer on kgbdeals – on the internet, for a two night stay in a hotel in the spa town of Harrogate for £99 - £50 each, £25 per night each, including breakfast… in a hotel! You can hardly get a Bed & Breakfast for that price these days!
Anyway, I was not long home from the Outer Hebrides than we were off to Yorkshire. Linda drove – down the A68 to Corbridge in Northumberland, where we stopped for lunch and a stretch of the legs! It’s an attractive old town, from Roman beginnings as Corstopitum, a supply town for the military on Hadrian’s Wall. In fact much of the stone used in the buildings you see today is from the old Roman town.
We chose the pub to eat at, because of the cat sitting inside the window, a very friendly cat by the name of Mittens, we found out. In fact Mittens decided to curl up and go to sleep on the jacket I had taken off and laid on the bench seat beside me! You can tell I love cats!
To work off our lunch we took a little walk up one street to the square where we found the old St Andrews Church dating back about 700 years – quite a bit of Roman stonework in there- and the Vicar’s Pele, a small tower house used by the vicars of St Andrews in centuries past. The shops, inns and houses are very attractive, the inns having very typical names such as The Black Bull, and the Golden Lion. I’ll bet there’s also a Red Lion around somewhere. I’ve a feeling that’s the most common inn name in the country! From the square we took the other road back, and before getting back into the car took a look at some shops and an attractive gallery in the beautiful old Town Hall building – just as nice inside as out!
The gallery was well worth a browse, with some very interesting quirky objects and some great paintings. There was also an exhibition showing strange people models, by Matthew Roby, which quite amused us, like the Bubblegum Queen and Penelope Pincushion.
My favourite was Thirteen..
Then there was the most wonderful 3D wire picture by H Sharpley. The central double walls leading to the front door stick out from the picture. It’s magnificent! Holly Wright made the amusing little hen on it perch in the hen house. It’s an egg holder! Of course! What else could it be?
So, time to move on. We wouldn’t arrive in Harrogate in daylight, but I was confident enough of the centre of Harrogate to be able to find our hotel, the St George, and so it proved. What we did lose though was the carpark… but it turned out the lane with the bollards across it was the entrance. The park was full so we were directed into a side street with a permit. We’d bring the car into the park in the morning after breakfast and leave it there while we went exploring.
That night we had tea in The Winter Gardens! The glass roofed interior of the 1897 Winter Gardens was demolished in 1938, but thankfully the entrance and beautiful marble staircase were retained, and now form the entrance to the new Winter Gardens!
The Westminster Arcade looked rather nice, all lit up. We’d explore it the next day…. and more or less opposite our hotel was part of the Harrogate Exhibition Centre, looking for all the world like a traditional Georgian theatre or hall, but it is mainly glass, as we were also to see the next morning!
So back at the hotel we had a drink in the comfortable bar before taking the lift to our room overlooking the car park at the rear of the building! It was quiet at least!
Talk again soon.