Beautiful, historical North Yorkshire

Statue of Captain James Cook, Whitby, North Yorkshire, EnglandLife’s twists and turns, call them coincidences or serendipities never cease to amaze. In May I had stood by the harbor in Genoa, Italy, the birth place of the infamous explorer, Christopher Columbus. Three weeks later, quite unintentionally, I found myself standing before Captain James Cook, Whitby’s most famous seaman and Columbus’ predecessor by several hundred years but an equally renowned voyager.

Captain James Cook born in Whitby yorkshire EnglandIn 1766, as commander of HMS Endeavour, (built in Whitby), Cook sailed for the first of three Pacific voyages. Navigating thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas, he mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific, in a detail and scale not previously achieved. Although killed in Hawaii in 1779, he left an unprecedented legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge.Description under the Statue of Captain James Cook, Whitby, North Yorkshire, England

I was nearly a thousand miles north of Genoa on the bleak, english, north yorkshire coast. I had arrived in both places unaware of the pieces of history awaiting me and was enthralled.

As you stare out to the North Sea, cold and threatening even in mid June, you cannot help but admire the courage and determination of such men. Wedded to the vast unpredictable ocean, battling ferocious weather systems in appalling, cramped living conditions on their tiny fragile vessels it is a wonder they survived, returning to share their incredibly brave discoveries which changed history forever.

Beside my sister and our husbands we Fishing town of Whitby North Yorkshire, England. Home of the famous explorer Captain James Cookstood and marveled at Cook’s statue, dominate above the small fishing town of Whitby. Steeped in history, dating back to 684, across the harbor, the ruins of the Abbey, referred to as 'Dracula's Castle' in Whitby North Yorkshire, England. Home of Captain James Cook‘Dracula’s castle by the locals, quivered menacingly, clinging to its fragile spot on the cliff side.

Hundreds of years of people living sparsely Whaling Industry in Whitby North Yorkshire, England. Home of the explorer Captain James Cook.and simply, surviving from the bounties of the forbidding waters, crashing forebodingly in a never-ending rhythm of timelessness. Casting their fishing nets and hauling in their days toil as they were tossed and thrown at the mercy of Poseidon. Once the 3rd biggest ship building town in England and a center for the the Whaling fishing industry from 1753 to 1831 Whitby is proud of its historical links to the sea.  I shivered in admiration and a silent thankfulness that we earned our living in a different way.

North Yorkshire Moors, EnglandJourneying across the Moors to Whitby, the ghostly wails of Bronte’s ‘Heathcliff’ screeching in the scrawls of the seagulls, I marveled at how the ravages of the centuries had left this stunningly beautiful yet desolate landscape unchanged. Rolling moors carpeted in low-lying heather and gorse stretching for miles, frequently to be shrouded in swirling coastal fog. Although north of the Bronte sister’s yorkshire home, the terrain was similar. It was easy to imagine Jane Eyre stumbling, blindly lost in both bodySteam Train on North Yorkshire Moors, 15 miles west of Whitby and mind.

Delighted we watched a small spiral of ‘cloud’ come towards us from the far distance as the north yorkshire steam train puffed and shunted into view. Once a main transport link now full of tourists reminiscing over a time past.

Yorkshire is deservedly deemed as one of Britain’s areas of outstanding natural beauty. From the dales in the south to these northern moors the scenery is spectacular. The golden stone architecture is reminiscent of England’s southern Cotswold’s, the area is also rich in history. Just over a hundred miles south of the sixth century Viking settlements at Lindisfarne, there are castles, monasteries and ruins of dwellings also dating back to the Vikings and before. Dominated by Mills and the late eighteenth century wool industry, powerful industrialists and landowners peppered the area with magnificent stately mansions. Castle Howard, Nunnington Hall, Scampston Hall, Newby Hall and Burton Agnes to name but a few, the latter of which we visited.

Burton Agnes, North YorkshireBurton Agnes, an imposing country seat, originally a Norman dwelling, still in existence today beside the main house, dates back to Tudor times

Original Norman House at Burton Agnes, North Yorkshire, England

Original Norman House

Inside Norman House at Burton Agnes, North Yorkshire, England

Inside Norman House

Like many similar properties, it is enveloped deep within the countryside and one wonders about the past difficulties of travelling to and fro via horse and carriage.

Hall at Burton Agnes, North Yorkshire England

Hall in Burton Agnes

The immense wealth required to run such an estate is also hard to envisage; the heating, cleaning, clothing and

Living Room in Burton Agnes, North Yorkshire

Living Room in Burton Agnes

feeding of such a household. How the staff, both inside and out must have toiled, especially on the occasion of a Bed at Burton Agnes where King James I slept on his route from Scotland in 1602royal visitor such as Burton Agnes had in 1602, the bed of James 1st, who stayed here on route from Sotland to London, still proudly displayed today.

Walled Garden at Burton Agnes, North YorkshireOutside we were dazed by the beauty and tranquility of the property’s immaculate grounds and delightful walled garden. Here time seemed Walled Garden at Burton Agnes, North Yorkshireto have been captured and held, plants and shrubs of all varieties, lovingly tended over many years to still display both their grandeur Walled Garden at Burton Agnes, North Yorkshireand simplicity. Such special, treasured moments spending time with those you care about yet seldom see, surrounded by the exquisiteness of mother nature’s bounty, gently revealing all its loveliness.

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5 thoughts on “Beautiful, historical North Yorkshire

  1. Caroline, I have been enchanted with your writings. Thank you soooo much. Hope to see you before too long. Maybe you and I and Sarmi can have lunch together. hugs Ann

  2. Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?

    Thanks!

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