First stop was to return to north Lincolnshire, the inspiration for Endless Skies. Coupled with the fact it was our silver wedding, it seemed an excellent excuse to stay at the incomparable Winteringham Fields. It was a delight to be in the village again and a real pleasure to put faces to the names of some local readers who were kind enough to meet up with me – socially distanced on the green opposite the hotel – to buy a copy of the book.
We also visited RAF Scampton, something we had been meaning to do for years but had never quite got our act together to book in advance as security clearance is needed. The heritage centre is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who also act as tour guides. Although the focus is the Dambusters squadron there is plenty about the rest of the history of the base, including the Red Arrows, whose home it is. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Then it was off to the Yorkshire coast, somewhere we had never visited, but I had seen so clearly in my mind’s eye when reading fellow Sapere author Valerie Holmes’ books. Valerie’s blog was a source of valuable information for our trip and I’m delighted that she will be guesting here next Saturday.
Our cottage was perched high above the cliffs between Ravenscar and Robin Hoods’ Bay and was perfect for walking. Almost by accident we discovered the Bramblewick restaurant, which we booked for Sunday lunch. It was so good we went again for an early supper on our last night. It is a prime example of how exceptional somewhere tiny can be when it focuses on a few key dishes and does them incredibly well. Nothing nouvelle cuisine about the portion sizes though.
With so much to see in the area we decided to focus on Yorkshire’s abbeys. Our trip to Rievaulx, so stately and calm in its sheltered valley, was made all the better for meeting up with my long time mentor, saga writer Margaret Graham. As ever with Margaret, we had a right old giggle.
Next abbey was Whitby with its stunning location high on the cliffs. But the town itself was scarily full of visitors and we had to escape to the beach to feel comfortable. Maybe it was this, or maybe the fact that Whitby Abbey is so hyped, but it really didn’t do it for us, although there is no denying the views are spectacular.
Last abbey was Fountains and it was definitely worth the long drive. Like Rievaulx it’s tucked away in a valley, but the atmosphere there is incredible, especially first thing in the morning when we had it to ourselves. As my husband said, you could almost hear the monks chanting and there is something really special about those rare moments when the past is so close you can almost touch it.