January 31st, 2013


Holiday In Brief

Ruth broke a tooth the first night in Scarborough so we spent much of Monday in Malton- about 20 miles inland- which is where the nearest dentistry department is. While Ailz and I were tootling around the surrounding countryside we came across the church at Barton le Street- a Victorian rebuild which contains one of the finest collections of Romanesque sculpture in the country.

Monday evening we had dinner at Il Piatto- a fabulous italian restaurant about 100 yards from the hotel. We ate there on Tuesday night as well. The highlight- for me- was a rice dish with melon and capers. I never knew you could do anything with melons except eat 'em with a spoon (and a sprinking of ginger) or tear them with your teeth.  Well, you can.

Tuesday we went to  Whitby. The Abbey (would you believe it?) was closed. The cliff-top church (the churchyard is crumbling away and showering the houses below with human bones) is basically Romanesque but set up as a Georgian preaching box with three-decker pulpit, high-sided box-pews, ramshackle galleries and a free-standing stove with an iron chimney that goes up through the roof. It felt like a rag and bone shop.

We expected Whitby to be full of Goths (it usually is) but apparently they don't come out in winter. 

Wednesday we came home via Rudston (which has the tallest prehistoric standing stone in Britain) and Sledmere with its two completely bonkers war memorials. We stopped for lunch in Harrogate.  

Other places we visited over the four days: Kirkham Priory (a pretty ruin in a secret valley) Malton Priory (a pared down monastic church- very odd) and Robin Hood's Bay (reached by a scarily steep and narrow road).