Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Trip to Charming Towns in Yorkshire

I recently went on another of Woods Coaches trips, this time to three charming towns in Yorkshire – Thirsk, Helmsley and Pickering.

I always enjoy sitting back on other people’s trips. Much as I enjoy running my own, it’s nice to be taken sometimes, instead of always doing the taking.

The first of the three towns was Thirsk. I’ve always liked Thirsk. It has the bustling air of an old market town, which is exactly what it is. I visited the splendid church of St. Mary again, but this time visited the crypt, where a teashop has been installed. Very nice too.

I also ventured, for the first time on foot, across the bridge to the area known as Old Thirsk. I believe that this is where the original settlement was, before the Normans built the castle (of which only earthworks remain) in the shadow of which the present town was built.

Then we climbed up, via the spectacular Sutton Bank. Even on a dull, murky day the views were outstanding.

Next it was on to Helmsley. Since I was last there, English Heritage have built a Visitor Centre, which doubles as a Tourist Information centre, for the castle. Unfortunately, it was pouring with rain all the time we were in Helmsley, but that didn’t stop me enjoying what is really a very picturesque little town.

The last stop was at Pickering. I went into the church, of course, and admired the mediaeval wall paintings. I have seen wall paintings before, of course – there are splendid examples at Lutterworth, for example – but here at Pickering the quality and indeed the quantity are something special.

I had a look at the castle, and strolled out to the terminus of the steam railway – this is the one that has a junction with the British Rail line to Whitby at Grosmont. It stops at Goathland, which features in the TV series “Heartbeat”. While I was at the station, I was lucky enough to see a train steam in.

So it was a good day, in spite of the weather. I have a trip of my own to Yorkshire soon. The Captain Cook Country Tour is on Thursday 13th July, and we will be visiting Marton, Staithes and Whitby.