Carol and I are planning on cycling the Garonne and Midi canals in France over 2 weeks in July. Catching some sun and some days of Le Tour. We travelled to York part holiday and part travel experiment at hauling bikes on and off trains and in and out hotels all useful stuff for the summer.
We left Kirkcaldy on a Tuesday on a local train, no booking required, to Edinburgh then changed onto a Cross country train which required booking. The transfer went without a hitch with the bike reservation tickets safely attached to the bikes and our seats not far from them. A swift trip to York and we were wheeling our bikes through darkened streets in no time. Carol had booked us into the Best Western right outside the Minster and with that edifice looming over the city it was not a problem finding our hotel. The staff could not have been more helpful storing our bikes for us and helping with our panniers
We did not have a lot planned apart from walking the city walls, completing the treasure hunt similar to what we had done in Edinburgh, a visit to the Minster and some cycling. Happily we got all this done and more.
On Wednesday we walked around the City wall something that has been on our bucket list for a wee while. The wall is not complete so you come down off it a few times but a bonus is that it is well signed with plenty of information boards almost all of which I have forgotten of course!
We came off the wall and walked down by the river. Although the worst of the flooding was over. There had been flooding at the weekend which had left some of the riverbank under a few feet of water.
We visited the Minster on Shrove Wednesday and were informed that it was free that day, unfortunately the undercroft was closed. We elected to pay the fee and climb the 200+ steps to the top of the Central tower which afforded amazing views for miles on a startlingly clear day.
Inside the Minster was pretty amazing as well, they have a crew working full time on restoration with an apprentice scheme for stonemasons.
On Thursday we went out for a cycle. Following cycle paths, signage and our noses. On the way we found an amazing cycle emporium called Cycle Heaven and it was. This shop had indoor bike parking and an amazing cafe as well as being chock full of shiny attractive bikes, books, clothing and accessories everything you could want. Strangely it was Carol who came out the shop with a purchase and not I!
The break was drawing to a close and with our last day we completed a York treasure map from hunt fun.co.uk. This was similar to the hunt we had done in Edinburgh and was devised by the same company. These treasure hunts tend to concentrate on areas and attractions that are slightly off the beaten track or off the wall. Well worth a wee investment if you are heading for a city break and would like a small distraction.
Unfortunately the journey back with Virgin was not as uneventful as our trip down. The train was almost an hour late and never made up any time. Thankfully we were travelling first class so some free nutrition was very welcome.
During our time in York we ate at a number of establishments one I would highly recommend for it’s ale and food is House of the Trembling Madness. Café wise there is afe 68 in Cycle Heaven and Crumbs Cupcakery both amazing. A bit of a disappointment was the Reading café in Rowntree park.