After watching the Harry Potter films a few too many times we have harboured a secret desire to ride in an old fashioned steam train through dramatic countryside whilst pretending we’re on the Hogwarts Express. Thankfully, during our North York Moors adventure we were able to do just that.
We boarded the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering and managed to get one of the little compartments. The red velvet seats, tiny glass lamps and dark wood panelling made it feel very magical indeed. We were even able to take our little four-legged friend along for the journey.
We passed over heather clad hills and chugged through fern filled valleys at a dignified pace before arriving at Goathland Station, the site of Hogsmeade station in the films.
We walked along the pretty harbour front and out to the pier…
After all that exertion we were ready for some lunch. Of course it had to be fish and chips and when in Whitby they have to be from Magpie Cafe.
WARNING – you will be watched over by jealous seagulls.
Energy renewed we browsed the cobbled back streets, admiring the autumnal displays in shop fronts and turning down tiny alleyways to see the work of local artists.
From there we climbed the steep stairs up to the abbey, passing a gothic church and graveyard full of birds on a way up. Even in the middle of the afternoon it was a little spooky and you can see why it inspired Bram Stoker to write his famous novel. We wound back down the stairs into a cosy cafe with a sign saying it welcomes ‘happy dogs’ . The cheery atmosphere and hot tea soon dispelled any ghostly thoughts.
It was then time to say goodbye to Whitby and board our train. We may have been sad to leave, had we not had the promise of a hot meal on arriving back in Pickering.
Dog in tow we had reserved a room in the snug at the White Swan. They had set us a table in the bay window overlooking the market place. It was draped in white linen with a candelabra giving a cosy glow from the street.
We ordered roast moorland grouse, served with bread sauce, redcurrant jelly, game crisps & watercress. It was perfect for the season and a real taste of autumn.
Now you might think we would be too full for desert, but they don’t call us the greedy sisters for nothing and when we saw the Black Sheep ice-cream listed on the pudding menu we just couldn’t resist. Oh and we added a scoop of cherry and white chocolate to that too.
A perfect end to a perfect day.