Beverley to Durham with Some Yorkshire Gems

posted September 24, 2010 by Holly Hayes part of trip: UK + Western Europe 2010

Cathedrals and cities are great, but our very favorite type of photography project in Britain is a good village church. We got to check out a couple of these after leaving Beverley, and one was especially fantastic.


The first one (above) was in the village of Bainton. It wasn't all that notable but really fun to visit - it was pouring rain and blowing wind outside and it was so cozy to find the door open, go inside, turn the lights on, and have a look around. It wasn't that big of a storm, but there was still something comforting about taking shelter in a solid stone building that has withstood storms for 800 years. We had the place to ourselves and turned off the lights when we left.

The next one was even cooler, as it had some great stone carvings from the 12th century. The village is called Kirkburn, and the name is a good sign we're moving north - "kirk" is still the Scottish word for "church." We stayed longer at this one and had a wonderful time with our tripods trying to do justice to the magnificent baptismal font, which looked like it was carved by someone with about as much artistic skill as me. Here are some highlights:

Exterior of Kirkburn Church

Carved doorway (inside the porch in the photo above) - I've never seen one quite like this before.


Carved font (12th century)

Detail of aforementioned cartoonish carvings - look at those Gumby arms!

A saint says "What up?" (or similar)

Tower with some scary-looking stairs


Our next stop was Scarborough, not for any historic site in particular but just to check it out and have lunch. It's a fairly big seaside town built mainly in the Victorian era. It was very blustery, but we enjoyed the sea views and some Victorian architecture. The main hotel from that period, the Grand Hotel, seemed like it hasn't changed much since it was built. The lobby full of quiet elderly folks only added to the lost-in-time atmosphere!



Then it was on to Whitby, our main destination of the day. This turned out to be one of the windiest experiences we've ever had! Some of the gusts just about knocked me sideways and poor David's ears got so cold, he bought an English Heritage scarf in the gift shop. But we still had a great time, as we love Whitby and we got a few of those much-coveted sunbreaks in the clouds.

Whitby Abbey in a rare moment of sunshine

Whitby Abbey and the sea

From inside

Whitby parish church

Another view of the church


Around 4pm we arrived in Durham, where we are spending the night tonight. Our hotel, the Radisson BLU, is wonderful and such a nice change from last night. Our room is really spacious and pretty, the bed is big and comfy, I have plenty of space to work on the computer, the internet is generally working great, and parking is convenient. We would both love to stay here another night if we had time.

The Radisson BLU Durham

The hotel also has a great location right next to the riverside path from which there are great views of the town, castle and cathedral. Since the sun was peeking out of the clouds, we took advantage of that shortly after checking in. Durham is such a beautiful town.


We didn't make it up to the cathedral itself tonight, and I'm not sure that we will tomorrow morning either! I'd like some more exterior photos from closer up, but the weather has been bad ever since our earlier walk, and they don't allow photos inside (grr). We were starving by dinnertime, so opted for a quick solution - Chinese buffet at a place along the river called "inshanghai." It was good enough. Then it was back to the room for photo downloading, blog composing, and finding a place to stay tomorrow night. I'm up later than usual tonight getting all that done (almost 11:30), but it's been a great day.

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