A Travellerspoint blog

York Railway Museum

Very interesting railway museum

overcast 18 °C

We caught the bus to York and wandered around the city. I suddenly thought I should get my hair cut, went into a shop to make an appointment. Of course you can't do it straight away as needed the hair dye test. Had the test and made an appointment for the following Monday morning. You have to wait 24 hours after the test before you can make an appointment. They also have to retest everyone after a year in case of changes. Very strict rules over here. In the afternoon we walked to the Railway Museum. It was a short walk and was well sign posted. This place is very large. It is not a dusty place with rusty trains. It was very clean and tidy with gleaming trains everywhere. Apart from the garden train which was deliberately left in its run down state. There must be hours of volunteer labour put into these trains to get them to such good order. This museum has won many awards, including European Museum of the year award in 2001. It is the home of the national collection of historically significant railway vehicles as well as a collection of railway memorabilia and pictorial records. It is the largest museum of its type in Britain and covers 20 acres. The part we visited was housed in three huge halls. There was a tented theatre set up behind the buildings showing the film 'The Railway Children' and a play ground and food places especially for the children. Children were well catered for here with lots of special children's areas. There was a collection of royal trains displayed from Queen Victoria's early trains through to those used by Queen Elizabeth II up till the 1970's. I liked the small carriage set up for Queen Victoria's sister. The flying Scotsman train was interesting. There were so many trains of interest too many to mention. On display was the train and carriages that transported Winston Churchill to his burial site at Blenheim Palace. There was a lot of video footage on this. It was a huge state funeral. The 4468 Mallard was pretty cool. Railway enthusiasts would love this museum once they entered it would be hard to extract them. We enjoyed this museum. One large room was crammed with railway memorabilia. It was clean and tidy and in cabinets just such a lot of interesting railway stuff to peruse. You could easily spend a whole day here. There was a live demonstration showing a train being turned on a turntable. There was free entry to the museum but they like to receive a donation. We had coffee and cake. Everything set out in a railway theme including the dining seating. All to soon it was time to head home to cook dinner and feed the hungry cat, Geoff is the cats favorite even though I was the one that feed it.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 14:04 Archived in England Tagged train museum Comments (0)

Leeds to York

Love Home Swap in York.

overcast 19 °C

After a good night sleep in our comfortable bed and a late leave time we felt refreshed and ready for the next adventure. We arrived in York at 2.00am. This place we found no problem and as it was on the outskirts we had no trouble finding the house. Parking was behind the house. We had everything well explained to us and there were plenty of brochures to peruse. We soon made ourselves at home in this cosy home, which came with a shared cat. Still don't know what its name is. We ventured over to the large shopping complex not far away for some supplies. We had been left all the basics as well as some treats. We had a restful afternoon and evening. The next morning we caught the number 5 bus, a short walk away, to the Opera Theatre where we got out. The theatre having major renovations. We soon found our way into the city through an arch on the historic walls that surround the city. We found a bike cafe for a tasty lunch before wandering around the city getting our bearings. We came across the Merchant Adventurers Hall, so decided to take a look. This is a medieval guild hall, and was one of the most important buildings in the medieval city. It was built in 1357. It was granted the status of the Company of Adventurers of York by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century. The main part of the building consists ofthe Great Hall and the undercoat, which was originally a hospital or alms house for poor people of York. The great Hall is a timber framed structure and is the largest timber framed buildings in UK still standing and used for its original purpose. After viewing this we decided to visit York Minister. The Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of Saint Peter in York is commonly known as the York Minister. The minister is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second highset office of the Church of England. The minister has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house. The Chapter house was amazing loved this part. There is always so much history in these churches and this was no exception. Even with all the tourists they were holding a church service in one of the many chapels. This church had a large area which included audio visuals of restoration work. The ornate lead light windows need cleaning from time to time. What a delicate job this is from the careful removal of the lead light to the cleaning process of years of grime. Just when we thought we had seen everything we realised there was a huge underground area. One area showing A former army building that lies undeneath the minister, during a renovation of the foundations in the early 2000's this was discovered. Lots of treasure was found and now on display. Off to catch the bus home. Geoff has been adopted by the shared cat. It is always waiting for our return.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 14:31 Archived in England Tagged in york siteseeing Comments (0)

Dublin to Manchester, Manchester to Leeds

Heading to our 'Love Home Swap' in York

overcast 18 °C

After our very busy last day in Ireland we were happy to get a good night's rest at The Clayton Hotel near Dublin airport. We had to leave early as had a car to drop off, no scratches once again. It was good to share the driving while in Ireland,just don't ask me to drive on the other side of the road, Also had a plane to catch. This time no problems this time till I put my back pack on then went to grab my ipad, "where is my ipad". First a feeling of panic, then check the trays that had already been put vertical for there return journey. There it was on its side. A promise to myself to visit a stationery shop and plaster it with stickers. The problem it blended in with the grey tray. This happened way back in Auckland when I glanced back and saw my ipad. Whew. Another quick flight uneventful flight from Dublin to Manchester. Then it was back to Eurocar to hire our third car from the same place, knew the drill by now. Instead of charging extra for me to drive they upgraded us to a big car, plenty of boot room. We headed off towards Leeds. I made a decision that we would stop in Leeds for the night. We shared the driving. I don't know what happened to the day but it was night time when we arrived. Parking was good we parked in the Novetel car park. This place had a very comfy bed and we didn't have to leave till 12.00 noon the next day. We got our bags in our room then headed out to look for dinner. Reaching the city was through the rail way station. We wandered around the almost empty city then I spied Pieminister. What a great choice I had the most delicious steak pie with gravy and mushy peas. By now I was very hungry, have noticed I get a little grumpy when this hungry. I would go back to Leeds just to have some more pie. The pastry was crunchy but thin. Yummmmyy. We were naughty had dessert, we did share.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 14:29 Archived in England Tagged travelling Comments (0)

Trim, Newgrange and The Battle of the Boyne

A varied lot of siteseeing

sunny 19 °C

Our first stop on this Sunday was to Trim, in County Meath, Ireland. It is situated on the River Boyne. The town is noted for Trim Castle - the largest Cambro-Norman castle in Ireland. Other features are two ruined churches and the river is popular for fishing. Trim Castle (or King John's Castle) was built in the late 12th century following the Norman invasion of Ireland. We enjoyed wandering around the town and Castle. This day all National Trust sites were free to enter. We are members of the Trust so would have got in here anyway. We wandered over the historic bridges and walked in the park where we found the ruins of a church. We met a historian along the way who gave us a lot of history of the place. Back on the road again still two more circles on the map to visit. To tell you the truth I had no idea this day what we were visiting till we arrived at each place, so it was a nice surprise when we found these varied places. Second stop was Newgrange. Newgrange is a prehistoricmonument in County Meath, Ireland. It was built during the Neolithic period around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. The site consists of a large circular mound with a stone passageway and interior chambers. It is speculated that it had religious significance. Human corpses were placed in it along with cremated remains. Various grave goods were deposited alongside the bodies. There was a large tourist building here, cafe, gallery and museum. We didn't do the bus trip to Newgrange site as had to wait a good 2 hours. It was busy due to it being a free day. Instead we had lunch with an interesting couple who live 1/2 the year in Latvia and half in California. They still considered themselves war refugees. The lady was not at all happy with what was happening in Latvia. After lunch spent a long time looking around the interesting museum we learnt a lot about the monuments and how people of the time would have lived. Soon it was off to circle number three on our map placed there by the man at our first stop in Dublin. This was another interesting site. The battlefield of Boyne. We arrived to the cannons being fired. The museum was well done with lots of information on the battle. The battle took place in 1690 between the Catholic James II and the Protestant William III of England and Scotland, who, with his wife, Mary II (his cousin and Jame's daughter) had overthrown James in England in 1688. The battle took place at the River Boyne near the town of Drogheda and resulted in a victory for William. This turned the tide in James's failed attempt to regain the British crown and ultimately aided in ensuring the continued Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. We watched various enactment of people dressed in costumes from the 16th century such as forging, doctors instruments and various musical instruments played. We then wandered around the gardens and found a band playing we listened to this for awhile. We headed to the cafe for a coffee before heading to our hotel in Dublin close to the airport. We used the postcode and it took us right there. We were puzzled as it had a different name. Luckily we had a little photo that looked like the hotel. The name had changed two months earlier. It was now called Clayton Hotel. It looked like the place had been given a makeover it was rather flash. We ate in the bar area that had comfortable seats. There was also a separate cafe in this place. It was a good price and very close to the airport also there was a service station very near here. A very busy day and a great finish to our Irish holiday. One thing we noted was that Ireland does not have the mountains like you would find in New Zealand it was mostly flat and rolling countryside.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 13:01 Archived in Ireland Tagged siteseeing Comments (0)

Cliffs of Moher

Spectacular cliffs of Moher

semi-overcast 18 °C

From Limerick we head to the West Coast to view the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The man at our Dublin hotel had circled all these different places he thought we should visit in our short time in Ireland, he said this was a must see. The cliffs are spectacular. They rise 120 metres above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head and reach maximum height at O'Brien's Tower at 214 meters. The area immediatelyrics north of here has become a world famous surf spot with the famous Aileen's wave drawing world class surfers. At times the wave reaches 60 feet. It featured in the movies Sea Fever and Wave Rider. The cliffs get their name from an old fort called Moher that once stood on Hag's Head at the southernmost part.. it being the height of the tourist season they were heading here by the bus loads. These are one of Irelands most visited attractions. It was good to be independent, no pressure lots of time to enjoy the cliffs. At times it was a little blustery here, then the winds died down and it was quite warm. We walked a long way to the left and took photos. It is a long way down. It was interesting that they had a plaque in memory of all those that had died on the cliffs. We then headed out to the right hand side and climbed up in the turrent. Good views from there. We then headed to the hobbit like buildings buried unerring the hill. The facilities are tucked into the hill to avoid intrusion on the site. Even the parking is sited a little walk away. There is a large restaurant, so and interactive media displays covering geology, history, flora and fauna of the cliffs. The new facility was opened in 2007. We had soup here. There was so much food here we just wanted a light lunch. From here we took a coastal route before driving Towards the East. We drove through The Burrren, a national park. Huge area of limestone, lakes and cliffs very different. We were impressed by the farm and country houses while driving around Ireland.. There were lots of lovely homes. Obviously they have to build in a similar style to keep the Irish look. We headed towards Mullingar area still three circled places to visit. While driving there booked a bed and breakfast farm stay on line on a farm. Got there to find no free bookings. Realised we had put in the wrong date, this probably happened as the date was booked out. Anyway they were a lovely couple who found alternative Accomodation for us with a relative. When I managed to get Geoff to stop talking farming with the farm owner , the farm owner drove in front of us all the way to our accommodation. This Accomodation b&b in an award winning country garden. The place owned by an elderly couple who have done b&b's for 40 years. We didn't meet the wife she had an ear infection. The man of the house was very friendly. They had 7 rooms. They weren't doing a lot of advertising as trying not to take on two many guests. A German couple turned up as well. It was comfortable and we drove into town for dinner. Bed & Breakfast places seem to be similarly priced as the 3 star hotels.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 04:21 Archived in Ireland Tagged cliffs of moher Comments (0)

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