Aye Veterinary – Yorkshire 2008

Posted: June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Long before Doc Martin drew us to Port Isaac All Creatures Great and Small left us with a Yearning for Yokshire and the Dales. Of course there is more to Yorkshire than just The Dales – lots Moors in fact:). So after some Welsh rarebit in Conwy we headed off to Manchester and into Yorkshire. First stop was Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal gardens to rip one off at Ripon. I always assumed that if I had married Princess Anne, as many royal insiders had predicted. then Studley Royal would have been my MI5 nickname. I mentioned this to CLP and she said neigh in what was a very good impression of Princess A actually. In England you see plenty of ruined abbeys and a garden or two but these were rather impressive.

Next it was on to Thirsk which we were using as our central point and had booked 3 nights at Fern Cottage which was ideally located in the lane behind “The World of James Herriot” . James Herriot was of course really Alf Wight who set up his Veterinary Practice in this town so it was an appropriate choice for our base of operations. Unlike Port Isaac the filming locations for ACGAS moved around a few towns and locales in Yorkshire. Fern Cottage itself was a lovely cottage and of course as we always found in England private parking is at a premium and think we were very lucky in 2 trips and 2 hire cars not to pick up one scratch!

Next day dawned bright and clear which was perfect for our day trip to Whitby in North Yorkshire situated at the mouth of the River Esk and looking out on the North Sea. Two major attractions had drawn us here – Whitby Abbey and its association with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and also the Captain Cook connection. The ruins of Whitby Abbey are impressive indeed especially given their location on the headland dominating the landscape. It is very atmospheric and we saw it on a clear bright morning – it would be rather stunning late in the afternoon with the sun setting. Cue stunning photos ( of the morning variety)

Whitby was also where Captain Cook learned his seamanship apparently. Guess we Aussies have Whitby to thank for being discovered? It was a very pleasant walk around with an old fashioned row of amusement parlours on one side of the street and the harbour full of boats on the other with clear evidence they catch a lot of oysters around here. Whitby is also well renowoned as a place for Goths to aggregate but on this booteeful day it was all flip flops and ice creams

Next day it was time to discover some Moors. They even had a Moors centre devoted to this. Maybe just another excuse to charge us for some parking?? It was a pleasant walk around on another pleasant day but there was nothing special here and certainly no werewolves lurking. Perhaps we needed to come back at night. perhaps we needed to find a Pub stat.

At least I was able to catch a rare glimpse of 3 Beavers together

Next day it was time to travel to York by train. I was starting to wonder when we were going to see some Herriot sites given we were in Herriot country. Apparently York Minster is rather impressive. It is indeed. There are many cathedrals in England and they are all impressive. I can state this with confidence because after 2 weeks in UK I had seen 3026 Cathedrals. There are lots of cathedrals in UK. Cathedrals also tend to dare you to climb the stairs to the top. I got sucked in the first few including this one but I had a rather life changing meeting on this trip that convinced me some things are best left unknown. There was no Hunchback – or Hunchfront sadly- but I simply assumed one of the gargoyles had sprung to life and decided to wander down the stairs.CLP has a sense of humour – guess she must have really. Our trip to Yorkshire was turning into shambles. Funny you should mention that.

Next day we planned a train trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which gave us a chance to check out a well known TV/Movie site – Goathland. The Station has been used as Hogsmeade in the Harry Potter films and Goathland itself was Aidensfield in the Heartbeat TV series. As we sat there I kept thinking of Johnny Cash and couldn’t help myself singing along – I hear the train a acoming, a coming down the track… So we sat around for a bit and then remembered we never watched Heartbeat or indeed more than one HP film so time to move on and catch out a couple more castles and a couple more abbeys (basically one or the other on every second corner) and then on way home checked out The White Horse of Kilburn.

White Dork of Goathland ^^

White Horse of Kilburn – >>

Next day it was finally time to catch up on some ACGAS sites – off to Askrigg on our way to Richmond. First stop was a typical country pub – The Bolton Arms. One thing we knew from the TV show is that in this area there are plenty of stone walls and narrow roads. It is beautiful countryside as portrayed in the show and we stopped along the way a few times and did the whole thermos and “Nice” biscuit deal. I don’t mind the narrow roads in the country side but they are a bit hairier in town when there are invariably cars parked as well!

In Askrigg we discovered Skeldale House which bears little resemblance to the house on TV but then they were mainly inside shots. The Kings Arms pub was actually The Drovers Arms on the show – from the show you had the feeling you were in a more remote pub somewhere atop a hill in the Dales but as usual reality is usually disappointing.

The Darrowby Surgey is recreated in the Richmondshire Museum in Richmond. There were a few more cathedrals to see and an abbey or several and then headed back to our digs in Richmond – and it started snowing. Magic. Yorkshire was a great place to spend a week and one short blog doesnt really do it justice – do yaself a favour

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