Tuesday, April 17, 2012

North Yorkshire at the Wignall's

 After Russ was discharged last Monday, we took a 3 hour train from Birmingham to Darlington, traveling northeast.  Uncle Paul picked us up at the station and immediately commenced our tour of his area. We stopped in the town of Reeth for hot tea as it was quite cold.

Paul is a jokster, much like Cramer and Russ so started calling Russ his "cripple friend" from Day 1.
 Paul and Jayne welcomed us to their beautiful converted barn house. This is the new addition, which used to be a cottage. Now, it's another living room and sitting room on the first floor with a wood-burning stove, which we used nightly.
 In order to keep their grass trimmed in their yard, they have 6 rams that graze all day.
  Paul & Jayne are avid rally car racers and have traveled the globe in their antiques. Currently, they have 12 cars, many from the 1920's, but they also have a modern red Porsche Boxter. The maroon Sunbea 1929 Drop top Coupe was the one we took the next day.
 The cars are kept in four garages on property and another shed off-property. They live in the quaint village of West Witton, full of fields of sheep.

 We were really impressed with not only their gorgeous home but the amazing car collection.
  I also liked the rams, their "pets".
We stayed in the bedroom just above renovated cottage which had beautiful views of the valley and the sheep.  As we were up north, the temperatures were much cooler.
 On our second day, Paul took us out in his 1929 Sunbeam Drop-head Coupe for a 5 hour drive through the neighboring towns. It was quite spacious.
 We drew some attention from admirers as they saw us traveling in this "chitty chitty bang bang" auto. Paul & Jayne take great care of their vehicles so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to tour the villages.
  We stopped in several villages, including Hawes.

We saw a Shetland cow as well who looked right into the camera when Paul honked his horn.
Paul also took us to the Black Sheep brewery. We took a long tour of the facility and got to drink a half pint of one of their creations at the end.

The brewery sits next to a rival brewery that's owned by a brother. The one brother broke off and created his own Black Sheep, which is doing very well.

For dinner, we joined Jayne's Nephew, Jeremy and his Greek wife, Ellie, for dinner at a local pub. Pub food has changed dramatically in the last decade. It's much better than it was when we visited England 16 years ago.  We had a lovely dinner together.

They allow dogs in pubs so I met "Paddy", who was a tourist from the south. He had a big day hiking the many trails.
I ordered a nice gnocci with mushroom sauce with a whole round of goat cheese topped with rocket, which tastes like arugula.
We learned from Ellie that their kids had never met an American before, so the next morning, she brought Andrew (11yr) and the twins, Amy & Sophia (8 yr) to meet Russ, who borrowed Paul's stetson cowboy hat. He came out and said, "Howdy, parner! How're y'all doin?"  They were truly fascinated with the American accent and it took a while to get them to go swimming.
Jayne's mother, Beryl, who is an active 89 yr old took good care of us during our stay. She prepared our breakfasts for us and kept us company.
I hope that I'm as energetic as Beryl when I'm 89!

On our final day, Jayne and Paul took west through the mountains to the sea. We stopped at the North York Moors National Park for some coffee where they recently opened up a museum. They had one area with a computer screen, a scanner and several objects. When we placed the objects, like the hiking boot, on the scanner, the screen described the object and its relation to the national park.
This was an abbey which was created in the 1600's!

Our drive took us to the west coast to the city of Whitby. We saw a castle on top of the hill which overlooked the sea and the village below.
We arrived near 2pm and queued up at the Magpie Cafe, the most famous place for fish and chips in the area. It's reported that they serve the best fish and chips in all of England! People line up around the restaurant to enjoy their seafood dishes.
We had a nice window table and enjoyed our leisurely afternoon lunch.
I had a crab and poached salmon salad which filled my plate. It was so large that I couldn't finish it. Russ had a 1/2 kilo of mussels in wine & garlic broth and then a "small" plate of the traditional haddock fish & chips.

The sun came out and although it was quite cold, we were able to enjoy the walk around the town.

I found a fish & chips restaurant, called Russells!
The seagulls were aggressive and caught the pieces of bread I threw before they landed in the water. The gulls were fighting each other for pieces of food.
The marina housed many boats and yachts and this one caught our eye.
We drove 170 miles that day from West Whitton to Whitby and back through various towns. In one of the areas, we saw a peacock crossing the road.

There were also various hiking paths like this one entitled "Roman Road". We thoroughly enjoyed our scenic drive by our lovely hosts, Jaye and Paul.
Thank you very much for your warm hospitality!  
We look forward to seeing you in Niseko in the winter!

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