Tuesday, 14 August 2012

ACM Out & About | Steam Trains & Fine Ales

Steam trains and fine ales. About three weeks ago now we took a little jaunt to North Yorkshire. Its a place we love dearly, a place we go back to time and time again. While we were there we decided to take a little trip to Whitby and what better way to travel than on board an old steam train. The train operates along an 18 mile line between the market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont, through the heart of the North York Moors National Park. They (NYMR) also operate trains to Whitby on certain days of the year. The railway passes through a variety of scenery, from wooded valley to heather clad moorland. It also calls at picturesque villages along the way and offers access to unspoilt countryside and the sea for walkers and cyclists.

We had to get amongst this (we're not train geeks or anything, we just couldn't let the chance to ride on one of the earliest and most historic lines in the North of England pass us by, we appreciate good old stuff like this), so we got our tickets to travel from Pickering to Whitby.

We arrived at Pickering station at around 8:30am and had a look around while we waited for the 9:00am train to arrive. Soon as you stepped foot on the platform you immediately felt like you had taken a step back in time. The station roof was built to the designs of the original structure which was installed in the middle of the 19th century and there was loads of old miscellaneous items on the platform such as luggage carts, cases and advertisement signs.


The journey was a comfortable one and at 10:45am we arrived in the seaside town, Whitby. It was overcast and a bit chilly (I was beginning to wish I never wore shorts). 

Whitby functioned as a fishing settlement until, in the 18th century, it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling, trade in locally mined alum and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellrey. It's also home of the Abbey ruins at the top of the East cliff, it's the oldest and most prominent landmark, where Caedmon, the earliest English poet, lived. The town also has strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema; most famously in Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. 

After a bite to eat we had a couple of hours to kill, before our train back to Pickering was due, and what better way to spend it than in some of the cool little pubs this seaside town has to offer. Nearly all of the pubs served traditional ales which was a bonus! Once we hit the pubs and the bevvies were flowing time didn't half go by, and before we knew it we were running back to the station to catch our train.

We arrived back in Pickering feeling rather worn out, however being greeted by sunshine and warm temperatures soon picked us up and we decide to round off the trip in 'The Station Hotel' (which was only a few feet away from the train station), with a few pints of 'Greene King IPA' and a couple of games of pool. All in all a great day out, here's to the next one!ACM

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