Friday 6 May 2016

A Trip to North Yorkshire

Recently, Mike and I took a little trip to North Yorkshire. As some of you might know, I occasionally write for a travel website, and we were lucky enough to be gifted this trip away so that I could review The Feversham Arms Hotel and Verbena Spa in Helmsley.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and were immediately enchanted by the picture perfect little market town and the stone exterior of the hotel. I have a certain affection for stone buildings. In Kent, where I grew up, you just don't see them - everything is red brick - so when I see stone houses like this, I know I'm in the North!

A Trip to North Yorkshire 1 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 2 - Helmsley

A Trip to North Yorkshire 3 - Helmsley

A Trip to North Yorkshire 4 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

First things first, we checked into our room, and had a quick look around. The style was very "country cottage". There was a bedroom and separate living area with tea and coffee making facilities, a sofa and armchair and a stack of books and magazines to read.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 5 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 6 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

I fell in love with this little fellow. He was our "do not disturb" sign!

A Trip to North Yorkshire 7 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

The bathroom was lovely and full of natural light due to skylights in the ceiling. Plus, they put a candle by the bath, which was very thoughtful of them!

A Trip to North Yorkshire 8 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 9 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 10 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

Both the bedroom and living area had large patio windows, which led out onto a balcony, but exploring that would have to wait till later as I was booked in for a facial at the spa. (I know, I know, it's a tough life!)

A Trip to North Yorkshire 11 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

I will say right from the off that the Verbena spa is the number one attraction at this hotel. My facial was incredible and left my skin looking smooth and clear and feeling amazing. I was so relaxed during the treatment that I very nearly fell asleep! I also loved the delicate, beautifully fragranced Temple Spa toiletries my facialist used, not to mention the list of recommendations she kindly provided for me afterwards. You don't have to be staying at the Feversham Arms to enjoy the spa facilities so if you're ever in the vicinity and feel like being pampered, I can recommend this place!

A Trip to North Yorkshire 12 - The Verbena Spa

A Trip to North Yorkshire 13 - The Verbena Spa

With my facial finished - and my skin glowing - I headed back to the room to meet Mike. It was well into Friday afternoon and after a long week, we were feeling just a little bit sleepy. As the sun was having a bit of a moment in the courtyard, we decided that relaxing on our balcony with a nice cup of tea was all the excitement we needed.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 14 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 15 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

The sunny courtyard was full of people enjoying the outdoor pool. I have to say, they were a lot braver than me! The pool was heated, but even so, the outdoor temperature didn't even reach double figures the whole time we were there, so I certainly wasn't about to go swimming! The whole pool area looked very pleasant though, and I can imagine during the summer months that the courtyard becomes a little sun trap and it's actually quite nice to take a dip. Not this time though, thank you very much!

A Trip to North Yorkshire 16 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 17 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

I was quite content to sit tight and enjoy my tea instead.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 18 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 19 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 20 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

Jumper, jeans - Topshop, Boots - Zara

We had a quiet night, eating in the Italian restaurant Gepetto's in the centre of Helmsley. I didn't blog this place and it doesn't seem to have a functioning website to link to, but I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a restaurant in the area. It was very popular and we thoroughly enjoyed our food.

The next morning, we were looking forward to a bit of exploring, so we kicked things off with a good breakfast in the hotel restaurant - eggs and bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms, tea and pastries, toast and fresh grapefruit juice. Yum.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 21 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 22 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

Suitably fuelled up, we jumped into the car, and set off on our adventure. Our first stop was the North Yorkshire Moors. 

I hadn't really seen them properly before, and they're just breathtaking. Wild expanses as far as the eye can see, rolling fields of coarse heather, and not a soul in sight beyond the occasional sheep.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 23 - North Yorkshire Moors

A Trip to North Yorkshire 24 - North Yorkshire Moors

A Trip to North Yorkshire 25 - North Yorkshire Moors

A Trip to North Yorkshire 26 - North Yorkshire Moors

It was so picturesque in the sunshine, but still wild and rugged. You can just imagine how gloomy and foreboding it must look under stormy skies. A very fitting setting for "Wuthering Heights"!

It was pretty cold and windy up there, so after a little while, we continued on. Not too far away was Whitby, a coastal town I was sure I had visited as a child and really liked. As soon as we arrived at the harbour, I could see that my memory had served me well.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 27 - Whitby

A Trip to North Yorkshire 28 - Whitby

A Trip to North Yorkshire 29 - Whitby

According to my Aunty and Uncle, who are basically experts on every inch of Yorkshire, Whitby is a great place to get traditional English fish and chips. After all, the fish couldn't get much fresher! However, that was one experience we were forced to put off for another time. We were unfortunate enough to arrive in the town in the middle of its bi-annual goth weekend, and as soon as we got further into the centre, we could hardly move for the crowds of people in full goth/steampunk regalia. Typical! It was a real shame, as the town really did look lovely with its narrow winding streets and old-fashioned tea rooms, but as it was we just couldn't wait to get away from the crowds. Why does this sort of thing never happen to Rosie from The Londoner?!

By this point we were starting to feel peckish, so we headed back to the hotel, just in time to get showered and changed and have a few minutes to relax in the bar with a drink before dinner.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 30 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

Set out like a cosy living room, the bar was the perfect spot to sink down into an armchair, sip at a kir royal and chat about the beautiful scenery we had visited that day. And to peruse the menu, of course.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 31 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 32 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

A Trip to North Yorkshire 33 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

When we had finished our drinks, dinner was served in the hotel's Weathervane restaurant, an interesting room with glass panels in the ceiling and enormous lampshades.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 34 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

We started our meal with fresh, warm bread rolls, lashings of butter and some good red wine. A combination which, if I'm honest, I could quite happily live on for the rest of my life.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 35 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

Mike and I both chose a starter of red mullet with mussel chowder, fennel and chervil. This was absolutely beautiful. I never used to be a fan of mussels, but they've been steadily growing on me! I could eat this all over again right now.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 36 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

For the main course, I went for fillet of Angus beef with a marrow and horseradish crumb, spinach and sprouting broccoli. And yes, those are crisps! I'd never seen anything like that at this kind of restaurant before, but they went surprisingly well with the beef. The dish was rich but very, very good.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 37 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

Mike chose the lighter option of turbot with quinoa risotto, salted carrots and celeriac. It was as good as it looked, although I think he could have eaten a larger portion!

A Trip to North Yorkshire 38 - The Feversham Arms Hotel

With dinner over, we headed upstairs for our second and final night in the hotel. The following morning, after another hearty breakfast, it was time to check out. We debated going straight home, but I had heard that the famous Fountains Abbey wasn't too far away, and had always wanted to see it. So we decided to take a little detour on the way back.

We were both so glad that we did.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 39 - Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey is an old monastery which was founded by a small group of monks in the 1100s. Over time, it grew to become one of the largest, wealthiest and most powerful abbeys in the country, but it was abruptly closed down in the 1530s when Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Catholic church and dissolved all the monasteries and nunneries in England. What remains is a glorious ruin, bursting with atmosphere. You can almost hear the footsteps of the monks in the eerie half corridors that still stand, all covered over with grass.

A Trip to North Yorkshire 40 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 41 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 42 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 43 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 44 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 45 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 46 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 47 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 48 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 49 - Fountains Abbey

A Trip to North Yorkshire 50 - Fountains Abbey

Isn't it stunning? You can just imagine how imposing it would have looked back when it was a functioning monastery, with all the buildings intact and the windows full of stained glass. It was so spectacular to see it up close, and we both agreed it had been the highlight of our trip. North Yorkshire is full to the brim of beautiful places to see - most of which I haven't even begun to explore yet - but I cannot recommend Fountains Abbey enough. If you're ever headed to this part of the world and can only see one thing, make it this!

Mike and I both thoroughly enjoyed our trip away, and I'm looking forward to exploring more of this lovely area at the next opportunity I get!

Have you ever been to North Yorkshire?

Kate x


  1. Great photos and the hotel looks really nice! I love your boots by the way! x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness

    1. Thanks Heather! The boots are my current obsession! x

  2. Looks like you had an amazing trip! I have never been to North Yorkshire myself, but I would have loved to see all the goth/steampunk people. Especially Steampunk really fascinates me.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    1. You should have seen some of the costumes! Amazing attention to detail. x

  3. We've never visited North Yorkshire but it looks like a great option for a weekend away. The hotel looks beautiful! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

    1. There's so much to see in North Yorkshire - you could fill many weekends away! x

  4. Wow what a beautiful place. Hope you enjoyed your time there. Great post!


    Tamara -

  5. It sounds like you had an amazing trip away! All your photos look so beautiful and I loved reading about your time in North Yorkshire. Can't say I blame you though for not braving the pool, there's no way I would of either in this temperature. I'm glad you both enjoyed it, Katie xx

  6. Gosh, the photography is outstanding in this post, Kate, it felt like I was there with you. Never been there and I've only been to Germany back in 06 but I do hope to travel Europe in the future. And that boots, I can see why you're obsessed with it, it's lovely!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. Thank you Shireen, that really means a lot. And yes I have an unnatural attachment to those boots! X

  7. Wow what amazing pictures - such a beautiful place! X

    ♡ itsjessiejane ♡

  8. Wow, beautiful images! :)


    Photography & Fashion Blog

  9. great pictures it makes me want to go out and travel !

  10. so cool that you were gifted a trip, it looks lovely! i'd love to explore more of england next time i go out there :)

    danielle | avec danielle

  11. It quite a wonderful place, honey! Really love this. :)

    Would you like to follow each other, dear? On Bloglovin, perhaps. Let me know ;)
    Love, Marie Roget | Marie Roget Shop

  12. What an amazing travel diary - you certainly made the most of your visit! The nearby rolling hills remind me of previous trips up north and the hotel's spa sounds utterly wonderful. Also, how lovely you write for a travel website - I hadn't known that until now! :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice | Magazine Subscription Giveaway x

  13. Such a beautiful Travel Diary Kate, the views from the Monastery at Fountains Abbey are incredible, I need to book a trip down to North Yorkshire from reading this post! I love your pictures, from the food to the hotel room & your outfit is pretty, I love the boots <3

    Serene | I Am Serene L

  14. Stunning photo's but it's not just up north where you can find stone buildings and houses here in the south west we have them too, my little town Nailsworth is all stone :)

    Meme xx

    New Post:
    Cat Hampurr Subscription Box April

    1. Ah of course! The south west isn't an area I'm that familiar with - although I would love to visit more as there are some really beautiful spots- but I have seen a little of it, so I should have remembered that! X

  15. Seems like a very pretty and relaxing place. Beautiful pictures.

    Tega Enai
    Have a great week.

  16. This sounds like the perfect getaway from London and I just love the look of the hotel, not to mention that the old looks absolutely divine x

    Beauty with charm | Benefit Cheekathon Giveaway

  17. Great photos! Looks like an amazing trip!!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  18. Wow stunning photos, this place is SO picturesque! The pool area looks lovely, but I don't blame you for not going in! What a relaxing treat:)

    Style Sunrise☀


  19. Thanks for sharing your trip! These pics are lovely and I'm dying over your booties! Great post!

  20. Looks like an amazing place!

  21. Looks like you had such a relaxing weekend away! I've never been to Yorkshire before, but I would love to go!
    Aleeha xXx

  22. Great photos - you give such a nice sense of what the place felt like. Love the glass balcony. While I'm not one for old ruins and castles, the green grass in your pics makes me want to walk around and explore them. Hope you had a relaxing getaway.


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