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Wintering at Harmony House

Harmony House Boutique B&B is a great place for a winter getaway or weekend break. Amidst miles of open countryside, huge skies that go on forever it’s a wonderful place to be!

We are very near York city. It’s so lovely to come back to such relaxing and peaceful surroundings after a busy day or two sightseeing in York, or shopping at the York Designer Outlet nearby.

Below are just. few things that are still worth doing in the winter months.

Castle Museum

We thought we would just ‘pop into’ the Castle Museum for a little look. I had forgotten just how much is in there. When they claim there’s something for everyone, it’s true. It’s fabulous and one can lose oneself in there for the best part of a day. Indeed, we did. It has both ancient and modern history, which is unusual for such a place. I thought I recalled seeing Madame Tussaud’s waxworks last time we were there, but they were nowhere to be seen this time. Though that detracted from the experience, not one jot.

We were all mesmerised by the mock Victorian Street, Kirkgate. It is so very detailed and interesting and not in the least bit meagre. We loved the fact that you could actually buy the ‘olde worlde’ sweets in the sweet shop too, and what’s more, we did!  

One last point on the museum…if you don’t get time to finish it all in one go, they do a free return for one year in exchange for your email address. Sweet!


The Snickelways of York

Now this, this, is an experience that we’d recommend to anyone and everyone! Have you ever heard of such a thing as a ‘snickelway’? We certainly hadn’t. I had a little book given to me by a friend a couple of years ago and a guest pointed out to me the merits of reading this book! The book is called A Walk Around The Snickelways of York, by Mark W Jones, published in 1983. The book shows all the walks around the alleyways, ginnels and snickets to find places one would never come across just sauntering around the main streets of York. I found the whole concept of walking around the city of York, within the walls and without hardly setting foot on the regular roads, enticing and intriguing to say the least.

The book takes you through the whole tour section by section, map by map and narrates the whole lot. After sneaking though the first snicket at ‘The Hole in the Wall’, we were already hooked!

The whole tour takes you around 3.5km of snickelways, so be prepared for a bit of a walk. (Grab your brollie for just in case and wrap up warm!) However, as we soon found out, the trail often crosses roads in the city where you can stop off for a cheeky bun or a drink, and we did just that. Because the book is the age that it is, we found that a couple of places were no longer rights of way (someone had occasionally stuck a padlocked gate or even a building to bar our way), but using the little maps, it’s easy to get back on track.  If you’d prefer something more up to date, there’s a little information on this site, but I’m certain that it won’t be nearly as much fun!

The Cat Trail

The Cat Trail is something on my to-do list on a fine day, that we didn’t get around to doing. It sounds like a bit of fun, to while away a couple of hours whilst wintering in York and again to see some areas and buildings one wouldn’t otherwise get to see.

Did you know that there are 22 cats in York that haven’t moved a muscle in centurys? There is a whole trail dedicated to finding each and every one of the carvings. You’ll find them on roofs, scaling walls, lounging on windowsills, or hidden away and a little more difficult to spot.

Why not have a go yourself and let us know how you get on? You may even get around to it before I do. Just remember to look up!

You can download the map to the trail.

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