The Ferens Art Gallery Hull was closed for around 16 months for a revamp.
This regional art gallery with an international reputation was to be a prime feature of Kingston-upon-Hull's year as UK City of Culture 2017.
It reopened to the public on January 13, 2017 following a £5.2m refurbishment.
Representatives of the mainstream media were allowed a special publicity visit Thursday January 12 and the morning of Friday January 13 and then it was once again open to the public.
We visited Friday January 13 within its first hour of reopening and it was bustling with activity.
The open or winter exhibition was and still is occupying more than one gallery as locals, not so locals, amateurs, semi pros and professional artists work is put on display. Most of the art works are available to buy but the majority are quite pricey.
You could purchase a catalogue from the gallery shop to check out prices, artists and more. We visited around 10 days later though and a chart of the works in the open exhibition including prices is on one gallery wall.
Red stickers on art works denotes they are SOLD.
The open exhibition includes at least a dozen or so sculptures. There are also works of art using mixed mediums such as paint and material.
The other temporary exhibition, and one attracting huge numbers of visitors, is the Pietro Lorenzetti Renaissance masterpiece which was bought by the Ferens Art Gallery for £1.6m. This is in the first gallery to the left as you enter.
Other galleries are occupied by some of the gallery's excellent core pieces including old masters and maritime work.
We checked with gallery staff and you can take photos in all galleries, preferably without flash photography, except for in the Pietro Lorenzetti Renaissance gallery.
I did note however that the press and mainstream media who visited the gallery pre-opening had snapped plenty of images of that work of art.
Ferens has a large shop, decent sized cafe and clean unisex toilets. There is also toilet access for people with disabilities and a lift to reach the upper floor.
To the right as you enter the Ferens there is a gallery specifically for children, young and old. Take a look and have a play. Some of the activities and exhibits are perfect for children with physical or mental disabilities.
The Ferns is situated in Victoria Square close to the Hull City Hall, Queen's Gardens, Princes Quay shopping Centre, and Maritime Museum. Other museums, shopping areas and the Marina is within walking distance.
The Ferens comes under the Hull City Council and like the city's other museums is free to enter.
These are a few snaps from our first visit.
A huge wind turbine blade made in the Hull Siemen's factory has been temporarily installed in Victoria Square.
The following are just a few on display as part of the open exhibition.
A couple of the old faithfuls in the Ferens.
Address: Queen Victoria Square, Hull HU1 3RA
Mon - Sat 10:00 to 17:00
Sun 01:30 to 16:30
Hours subject to change
Just where is the island of Gozo?
Gozo is situated in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies off the western tip of Malta. Gozo and its much smaller sister Island Comino are both Maltese. There are also much smaller, uninhabited Islands.
We visited Gozo for a day whilst holidaying on the Island of Malta. We booked our excursion through the local tourist board trips which were called TIS Tours. A minivan took us to the ferry port, at the northern end of Malta. The van and its driver boarded the large ferry with us and then escorted us around Gozo.
You can book accommodation on Gozo itself and spend your whole vacation there if you wish. There are hotels and guest houses. Some guest houses are converted farmhouses and may be quite luxurious.
Gozo can be reached by sea or by helicopter from the mainland or from Comino.
We loved our day trip to Gozo
At the time we visited Malta was especially hot and humid. Gozo was very warm but less humid. The capital and the port were both quite busy but the rest of the island was fairly tourist free. Yes, there were travellers but not to the same extent as on Malta. Our two week vacation was early one September.
The price of a ferry trip across to Gozo, and transport at both sides of the water, was good value. The van only held about half a dozen or so passengers and was OK. However for those sat at the back it was a bumpy ride.
The ferry passes the tiny island of Comino, with its peaceful, turquoise waters, as it approaches Gozo.
Mgarr is the name of the place where the ferries dock on Gozo. This town has a market, churches, museum, shops and many fine buildings to visit.
Gozo has some nice sandy beaches, one that has red sand.
This beach is in the north of the island of Gozo and is called Ramla Beach. This popular beach is never spoiled with hordes of tourists despite its perfect location. Sandy beaches are unusual around these parts and Malta itself only has a couple of sandy beaches. However Gozo seems to have more than its fair share of glorious stretches of sand.
We visited Marsalforn, which according to our guide is where local Maltese often choose to spend their vacations. Originally a simple fishing village, Marsalforn has developed over the years into one of the most popular seaside resorts on Gozo.
Toward the centre of the Island of Gozo is Victoria, or Rabat, the Island's capital. Here you can really feel as if you have taken a step back in time. With ancient architecture and history around every corner Victoria offers some welcome shade from the heat of the sun whilst you soak up a little history.
Is Gozo for me?
Gozo is much greener than Malta and has a much quieter pace. It all depends what you are seeking from Gozo. If you prefer lively holiday destinations stay on Malta and visit Gozo for a day or a couple of days.
Gozo is perfect for those seeking relaxation, a step back in time, historical sites with some welcome sun and water sports. Remember though Gozo is only a small island and may not suit those that soon become bored.
One thing to bear in mind is that visitors either love of hate Malta and Gozo. Lucky for us we loved the Maltese Islands and plan to return in the future.
GOZO IN GENERAL
CURRENCY- The official currency is the Euro
LANGUAGE- The official language is Maltese but most locals speak English also.
FOOD AND DRINK-It is possible to eat a fairly European diet but traditional Maltese fare is tasty and is more readily available these days.
SHOPPING-There are not as many tourist shops selling dross as there are in some holiday destinations but you can find some gifts to take home.
THINGS TO DO IN GOZO-Visit Malta and or Comino, swim in the clear waters or enjoy a little fishing and or scuba diving.
Forget the Greek debt crisis and take a chance on a Greek Island vacation.
In such austere times the islanders need as many visitors as possible and you should be able to get a good deal. The Euro remains weak against the English Pound which for British tourists is an added a bonus.
My love affair with the Greek Islands
You may have already guessed if you have read any of this writer's previous travel reports about the Greek Islands that I love this unique destination.
I may have only visited a handful of Greek Islands but that has been enough to form an eternal love affair with the region. Given the time and money I would hope to visit many more of these Islands and with around 1400 to choose from I will definitely be spoiled for choice.
Ten reasons to visit the Greek Islands
Visiting the Greek Islands is odd.
If you visit a country many times you will find other visits there are always similar, even if you travel to a different destination. The Greek Islands are not like that.
Each Greek Island has its own little differences and peculiarities. Those islands in the Ionian Islands tend to be lush and green receiving plenty of rain out of season. Others will have a dry climate which will have resulted in a more barren terrain.
Whether you are looking for a beach based holiday, one with history and culture or simply one that has a laid back lifestyle, there will be a Greek Island perfect for you. Some are very commercial and lively whilst others have retained traditional Greece traits and charm.
Greek people are lovely. Of course there will be the odd rogue Greek but that is true of people anywhere in the world. However, on the whole, the Greek Islanders will treat you well. They are respectful, friendly, polite and warm.
Food and Drink
The Greek Islands offer a diverse range of food and drink. For those wanting basic European cuisine there will be appropriate fare available. Traditional Greek foods and Greek food that is a little European is also on offer. Moussaka, Kleftiko, Greek Salads, Ouzo, Dolmades and Souvlaki are as tasty as they sound. Depending upon the Island and its location there may be local fresh fish dishes and Calamari or Squid.
Fair enough some of the beaches in the Greek Islands are better than others. However, one thing is for sure, there is no shortage of beaches. Beaches such as Vai beach on the Island of Crete will be busy in high season but it does have lovely sand. The beaches on the Ionian Island of Lefkas are almost all made up of shingle, pebbles or stones.
Most of the Greek Islanders are very comfortable on and in the water. As an Island people this is hardly surprising. The Greek Islands offer a range of water sports. For example, Lefkas has a world famous wind surfing bay at Vassiliki in the South of the island, due to the winds that regularly blow through this bay. Other Islands such as Rhodes offer boat trips and ferries to other Islands whilst islands such as Zante offer turtle watching boat trips. Scuba diving is available on many Greek Island.
Want warm weather but not sizzling hot scorching sun? Prefer to holiday where the sun is so hot the sandy beach is unbearable to walk on with bare feet? Due to the amount of Greek Islands and their varied locations it is possible to find an Island with weather that will suit you. May and September will usually be cooler months but of course the nights will draw in quicker each day. June July and August are usually hot and dry but again it depends which Island you are visiting.
I don't quite know what we expected when we first visited the Greek Islands. One thing for sure though is we did not expect to experience such beautiful scenery; again though it depends on the Island. There are many Greek Islands that have stunning scenery, mountains, lush vegetation and more.
Well I do not mean the clubbing here. What I mean is the birds, butterflies, flowers, plants and trees that you find on so many of the Greek Islands. The wildlife is diverse and often so different to back home.
For those that love to go clubbing, dancing, drinking and more whilst on holiday there will be an Island for you. Faliraki on the Greek Island of Rhodes and Laganas Bay on Zakynthos have the reputation of being perfect for those seeking a wild time on holiday.
Peace and quiet
Alternatively those seeking peace and quiet are also catered for. Even Islands with a lively reputation have pockets of traditional Greece and peaceful havens. Opt for locally owned traditionally run accommodation instead of large hotels.
Having initially thought that I may struggle to find 10 reasons to holiday on a Greek Island I now realise I could find many more including;
One thing to bear in mind though, before you hot foot it down to your local travel agents, is that accommodation tends to be over rated in the Greek Islands. By this I mean that, what is rated as 4 star on the Greek Islands, would probably only be a two or three star elsewhere. Take this into account when you book your Greek Island vacation.
Now go on. Off you go and book your Greek Island holiday. You lucky devil!
The historic city of York, Yorkshire, England, is a mere 38.2 miles from my hometown Kingston-Upon-Hull, yet we had not visited York for more than 20 years. In March 2012 we put that right, with a long weekend break as part of a 60th birthday celebrations.
York was a city so familiar to me as a child, teenager and young woman. School trips to York were frequent due to the relatively short traveling distance and the number of museums, galleries and historic buildings to be found all over the city.
You may wonder how come we had not visited York in such a long time and the answer is not complicated.
Married for more than 40 years now hubby and I have never owned a vehicle; neither of us drives. We walk a lot, cycle although less often these days and use public transport. The privatisation of the railways in the UK played havoc with some regional services.
The last time we had visited York we faced either a long bus journey or a train journey that was not a straightforward one.
All of this meant that for us, with two rescue dogs sharing our home, a day trip to York was not worth the hassle. By the time we arrived it would almost be time to return.
Yet I had a yen to visit York again for some time. So our long weekend break was to be a treat and I wondered what would have changed, if anything in York.
There was no change as far as getting there went
Works on a local train-line meant that we had to take a coach to a small village called Brough, then walk to a train station in order to get a train to York. We then had to change trains at Doncaster. Ultimately the journey was twice as long as it should have been. It was as well that we were staying over.
So did York live up to our expectations?
Yes it did, and some. Once we had located our Bed and Breakfast accommodation we decided we would explore York. It is not a large city but we managed to get lost.
The old part of the city has ancient walls with a couple of historic gates leading out. Mistaking one gate for another we ended up with a mammoth walk.
Once bitten twice shy though and by the second day we had found our "York legs".
The bonus with walking a great deal day to day normally is trekking around a city such as York is no problem.
There is so much to see as you wander around plus ample numbers of pubs and cafes around. A must see for many visitors to York, including us, is the National Railway Museum. As we walked to the NRM we passed so many other sights.
York Minster was so central to our accommodation we used it frequently as a way to get our bearings.
After passing the Minster, the famous Shambles is nearby. We first walked past a statue. The statue of Constantine was drawing a crowd of tourists, all angling to take the best shot of it. We had to snap the accompanying sign though which made us laugh.
Glancing down the Shambles the familiar overhanging buildings had not changed at all. This is now a shopping area and full of tourists, especially at weekends.
A walk past the park, Yorkshire Museum and York Eye eventually led us to the NRM. Although it was March the weather was kind. It was cold and crisp but a beautiful spring day. So we took in these sights before we finally entered the NRM.
The National Railway Museum was one place that had changed since our last visit. It is close to the railway station and that has been radically overhauled too. The Museum is just so large.
Finally for us, and the many children visiting the museum, the icing on the cake was the Hogwarts Express. It was sited outdoors but many of the engines are indoors; perfect for British weather.
We decided on a round trip walk back. This was partially so we could remember where the various attractions are located in York. We passed the Jews or Clifford's Tower which is close to the Castle Museum. Both are well worth a visit. The Castle museum is large and has many displays. The Jews Tower is worthy of a visit more for its historic significance. At the foot of Clifford’s Tower a plaque marks the darkest chapter in the history of York’s Jewish community.
"On March 16th 1190 a wave of anti-Semitic riots culminated in the massacre of an estimated 150 Jews – the entire Jewish community of York – who had taken refuge in the royal castle where Clifford’s Tower now stands."
If you have enjoyed this virtual walk around York and get the chance to visit do so. The attractions detailed here are just some of those waiting for you to discover.
This photo-essay is just a glimpse on many attractions in the historic city of York.
In the last couple of years The Yorkshire Museum York has undergone extensive changes. The building is located in a pleasant green area, in the centre of the historic city of York which skirts the River Ouse.
York has so many attractions such as museums, historic buildings, churches, shops and more.
The Yorkshire Museum though has to be ranked as one of the city's best places to visit.
The museum's official website details, "The Yorkshire Museum reopened on 1 August 2010 following a nine-month £2million refurbishment project. Five new galleries now showcase some of Britain's finest archaeological treasures and many rare animals, birds and fossils, in exciting new displays. Our aim is to make the Yorkshire Museum a must-see destination in a tour around the beautiful city of York. Come and see us this summer and give us your verdict, whether you're a regular user of the museum or a first-time visitor. The refurbishment work has also restored the museum's Georgian building, letting in more natural light and opening up spaces that have been divided up over the years. The museum was opened in 1830 by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and was one of the first purpose-built museums in the country."
We visited this museum in early March 2012 and were pleasantly surprised.
The recent renovations meant that the museum is in pristine condition.
There was one exhibition still awaiting completion but there was so much more to see that it did not matter.
If you are exploring York you will find that the Yorkshire Museum is close to the York Eye, The Railway Museum, the River boat trips, shops and cafes. Part of the gardens plays host to the York Mystery plays.
On entering the museum the main forecourt included an interactive Roman display. Tap on an image and the Roman soldier or villager came to virtual life on a life-size screen and talked to visitors. Fascinating for young and old children and adults alike.
Also included in the Yorkshire Museum is a large lecture theatre where when we visited museum visitors could watch a brief film showing the time-line for the history of York.
The gardens cover ten acres and reach as far as the York Art Gallery. Historic buildings and remains of ancient walls are surrounded by green areas and flowers. For our Spring visit it was daffodils brightening up our days.
The website carries full pricing and opening time details which include.
Museum - We are open daily from 10am - 5pm, except for 25 and 26 December, and 1 January, and will be closing at 2.30pm on 24 and 31 December.
Gardens - The gardens are open daily from 7.30am, except for 25 December. From late October until late March, they close at 6pm, and during the summer months they open later into the evening.
Entry to the garden areas is free.
Check out the website for current prices and upcoming exhibitions by following this link.
A visit to the historic city of York in Yorkshire, England can leave you overwhelmed with the choice of attractions on offer.
If you have never visited before sifting through what is available can be time consuming. All too soon your visit will have ended and you may have missed some good opportunities.
Already we have detailed shopping in York, especially in the area known as the Shambles, and a visit to the National Railway Museum, NRM, but what about organised walks?
York is a relatively safe and trouble free city. It is not massive. Bear in mind though that some of the cobbled streets are hard on the feet. You should feel safe and comfortable wandering York's old and its modern streets. Organised walks though enable you to get to your destination, gain valuable information and walk about in the added safety of a small group.
Ghost Walks can be fun. There are many such walks tramping around the old town each night. The cost varies as does the route and starting place. Most offer price reduction concessions.
Clifford Tower, or The Jews Tower, is a well-known landmark in the City of York, and the itinerary of some ghost walks include this place.
However there is a Jewish History Trail which includes Clifford's Tower as well as other places associated with the past Jewish community.
Clifford's Tower is actually the Keep of what was York Castle.
On March 16, 1190, 150 Jews were under siege in the Tower. In an act of collective suicide the Jews set fire to the Tower. The full history of this event and the tower can be read at Wikipedia Here.
The York Jewish trail takes in a Norman house, a Jewish cemetery, synagogue, Jubbergate, a medieval synagogue and Clifford's Tower. Clifford's Tower is visited by many tourists each year. Some simply wander past on their way to the nearby Castle Museum. Others wander up the steps and take photos. It is worth a visit though.
Closed during the off-peak season apart from weekends.
Check out the current opening times and prices on offer by following this link.
[York is a busy tourist attraction most tines of the year. Bear this and school holidays in mind when you plan a visit]
The Historic City of York is in Yorkshire England. If you want history look no further. This relatively small city is packed to the rafters with attractions and history. Not that far from this blogger's home town it was a familiar place for day trips as a child. In recent years the visits have been less frequent. The problem is that for a medium sized city there is just too much to see comfortably in one day.
This was rectified earlier this week with a long weekend stay in York. Arriving by train Saturday lunchtime and departing Tuesday lunchtime there were still plenty of attractions left for us to visit next time. That is all to the good as we are already planning a winter break when we can include a little Christmas shopping.
To write about York as one long blurb would be too much. Therefore the visit will be split into different reports. This one will detail The Shambles and shopping in York.
So what are The Shambles?
The Shambles is a very old street in the City of York. The buildings overhang the street and many are lopsided to say the least. It is quaint, charming and more often than not packed with sightseers. A narrow, cobble street runs through the middle but it is traffic free.
Surprisingly York was damaged in the World War Two German bombing. Luckily however the City still has many of its original buildings and features. Some have been restored and but for signs declaring this you would not know.
The Shambles date back to the fourteenth century. From then until the 1800s butchers shops populated the street. These days they have vanished. These days the shops are more "gentrified" including a hand made chocolate shop, gift shops galore and unusual shops. Close by the market offers a cheaper supply of the usual tourist goods. The Shambles is not a cheap place to shop.
According to wikipedia various UK towns have their own shambles. "Shambles" is an obsolete term for an open-air slaughterhouse and meat market. They also got their names from having been the sites on which butchers killed and dressed animals for consumption. The Shambles in Stroud still has the hinged wooden boards attached to the shops, and hosts a regular local market"
Well it is much more civilised these days. Pubs, cafes and restaurants abound in the area. The Shambles itself is surrounded by a wide shopping area which includes the usual Marks and Spencers, Banks and the like as well as more unusual shops.
As so many of the streets are cobbled they can be hard under foot. Wearing sensible footwear or not is up to you but be warned. If you do not your feet will soon ache.
Along the Shambles there is a house that is a small shrine. It is free to enter.
It is a shrine to Saint Margaret Clitherow. Inside you will find a traditional Shambles room with dark wood paneling and a low ceiling. A small altar and pray area has been arranged here.
In 1586 Margaret was arrested.
She was accused of harbouring Roman Catholic priests. It was a time when the holy Roman catholic faith was not allowed in England. In an attempt to protect her children from being forced to testify and probably tortured Margraet refused to enter a plea to the court. For this she was crushed to death. This was the preferred punishment for those who refused to enter a plea at that time in our English history.
Wikipedia details how Margaret was killed, "She was killed on Good Friday 1586. The two sergeants who should have killed her hired four desperate beggars to kill her. She was stripped and had a handkerchief tied across her face then laid out upon a sharp rock the size of a man's fist, a door was put on top of her and slowly loaded with an immense weight of rocks and stones (the small sharp rock would break her back when the heavy rocks were laid on top of her). Her death occurred within fifteen minutes; she was left for 6 hours before the weight was removed from her corpse. After her death her hand was removed, and this relic is now housed in the chapel of the Bar Convent, York. After Clitherow's execution, Elizabeth I wrote to the citizens of York to say how horrified she was at the treatment of a fellow woman: due to her gender, Clitherow should not have been executed."
If you visit the shrine spare a prayer or thought for Margaret be you religious or not. It is a peaceful place amongst the thronging 21st Century shoppers roaming The Shambles.
It was only in the 20th Century that Margaret became recognised for her courage and sacrifice. She was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and canonised in 1970 by Pope Paul VI along with other martyrs from England and Wales.
If you visit the Shambles pre Christmas you will be in for a treat. However at any time of year it is a fascinating place to visit.
This writer is very lucky to have the historic city of York within easy travelling distance. York has history by the bucket loads, it also has shopping, a wealth of museums, beautiful nearby countryside, the races, Castle Howard a short distance away and so much more.
When you visit York, be it for a day, a weekend or a vacation you will find that there is just so much on offer. Located in the county of Yorkshire, God's Own Country, England, there are the Dales and coastal resorts close by.
Take a boat trip down the River Ouse in the heart of York to the Bishop's Palace; experience a flavour of days gone by at the Jorvik, Viking, museum with smells, sights and sounds of the past; visit the quaint shops in The Shambles or check out the Castle Museum which needs a full days' visit in order to do it justice.
Around 1,000 years ago York was one of England's leading cities. Its power may have gone but this has been replaced with bags of tourist appeal.
Just a few attractions on offer
The Castle Museum
York's Castle Museum is very large. It includes life-size replicas of days gone by and gives the visitor glimpses into bygone years. These are in the form of sitting rooms, prisons and streets, for example. The museum shows a wealth of history over quite a period of time. Its recreated Victorian Street includes an actual shop that was moved to the museum. Displays around the museum include the sixties and Castle prison.
Castle Museum covers a large area and may not suit those with mobility issues. There is a museum cafe and shop.
For further details contact:
York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY. Telephone: 01904 687687
Clifford's or The Jews Tower
As children in 1950s England we tended to refer to CliffordsTower as the Jews Tower. This was because in 1190 the Jewish community of York took refuge in the tower. At that time the tower was made of wood.
Some of the persecuted Jewish community taking part in this siege committed suicide.
Eventually the tower was set ablaze and those Jews who did not die in the tower were killed when they emerged. This early anti-semitism was very much a sign of the times.
When you visit Cliffords Tower there is little to actually see inside but it does offer wonderful views of York. It is also quite a poignant place to visit as you read a little of the history of the Jews and the Tower.
Jorvik, Viking Centre
When the Jorvik Viking Centre first opened the queues waiting to enter were huge. Boards were placed along the queues indicating how long the waiting time was to enter. It was often more than a three hour wait to enter this unusual museum.
During the last 25 years over 15 million visitors have visited Jorvik. Thankfully the waiting time is usually much less these days, however, queues are still the norm. Avoid the school holidays for a more relaxed visit.
Jorvik has a full program of events each year. As an example of pricing a standard adult ticket is £10.25 but there are concessions.
National Railway Museum
At one time the National Railway Museum at York was called the Transport Museum. However, its modern name is fitting, as York played such a huge part in the English history of the railways. With over 300 years of history and over 1,000,000 objects the National Railway museum is popular with both young and old. The bonus is that entry is free but you can leave a donation.
The museum is located at Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ.
The museum's opening times are:
Daily 10.00am - 18.00
Closed 24, 25, 26 December
The Shambles is not just one street but rather an area of medieval twisting lanes with quaint houses that overhang the road. The upper floors of these houses are close to each other. So much so that people could reach out to each other from the upper floors. There are many unusual shops around the Shambles but just wandering around the old buildings is interesting. The Shambles is always busy with visitors and this means that shopping here can be pricey.
York City Walls
The ancient city walls are open for the public to walk around. You may find however that some areas are restricted. The wall was built by the Romans in the first century AD. The original walls took a series of batterings over the years and much of them was re-constructed in the middle ages. Walking the walls gives great views and a lesson in history but take care.
Whether you have religious belief or not York Minster is a great place to visit. Having suffered a serious fire some years ago it has been lovingly restored. As well as the Minster there are many churches well worth visiting around York.
York Mystery Plays.
When I was a teenager studying at school our class visited the mystery plays at York. Held in the open air, close to the ancient city walls the setting is perfect. Visitors from around the world visit the York mystery plays but England being England remember that it could be cold when you visit. We took outwear but still found that toward the end of the play, as darkness fell, it was very cold. The atmosphere is brilliant though.
York races may not be host to the biggest national racing events but they play their part in the racing calendar. Check out upcoming race meetings.
Castle Howard, film set of the TV series Brideshead Revisited, is near to York. It is a magnificent stately home with indoor and outdoor attractions.
A boat trip on the River Ouse
Boat trips along the River Ouse are popular. You can take an organised boat trip and enjoy lunch on board. The excursions usually pass the Bishop of York's Palace.
York's tourist Guide
If you are considering a visit to York or just want to learn more about this fascinating city check out the link to the tourist guide. Details of local attractions, addresses and prices are available on the site. There is also information regarding suitable accommodation.
York has good train service, bus and coach links and is only a 45 minutes drive from the Leeds/Bradford International airport.
The attractions briefly detailed above are only a sample of some of the best available in York. Check out The Treasurer's House, Yorkshire air museum at Elvington, York Dungeons, York Art Gallery, Mansion House, Barley Hall, The Ghost Walks and so much more.
A great holiday destination
Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands and really has something for everyone but as always it is imperative that you choose your holiday resort well and consider the best time to visit.
The East of Crete tends to have the hottest, driest and sunniest weather and it is not unusual for this side of the Island to experience no rain at all from April until late September. However early in September there can be strong winds.
The West of the Island however can become overcast and have some rain at almost any time of year, although on the whole it is still very warm. The West of the Island also has a different feel from the East.
There are many small places to visit around the Island, really far too many to mention them all, so I have detailed some of the main resorts and these should fit most peoples requirements.
These are all on the Northern coastline of Crete.
There are resorts on the southern side but these are not visited quite so often by British tourists apart from day trippers.
We took a local bus to Irepetra and loved this resort although it was windy when we visited. My poor suntanned back blistered due to being sandblasted on the beach!
Still I would like to stay here if and when we visit Crete again.
Ag Nik, Agios Nikolas, has a good bus station with a reasonable timetable. Buses travel all around the Island and are good value. Not far from the bus station just alongside the tiny beach was our favourite taverna. Locally caught swordfish was Hubby's favourite whilst I preferred the Kleftiko. This was lamb in filo pastry. I have eaten this dish on different Greek Islands but it was totally different here in Crete.
For those interested in Ancient history there are the remnants of The Palace of Knossos nearby.
All in all Crete is a great place to holiday. The locals are warm and friendly and all speak fluent English. The currency is now the Euro.
Watch out though. If you visit in high season, or certain resorts, as you may find the night life frightening. Choose the perfect time and place for you.
Hints and Tips
Rethymnon had some great shops and places to eat and is a large resort. It has a quarter that has venetian influences and this shows in the architecture.
Chania, pronounced HANIA, is a great place to buy local leather goods. There is a large market here which is interesting to visit. Chania is a lively place and was bustling with people when we were there. There is an airport close to Chania.
We also visited Souda Bay and for some of our fellow travllers this was there main reason for the visit. It holds a war memorial dedicated to those who lost their life as part of the World War Two battles on Crete. Even though we had no personal links here we found it a sad, peaceful, pretty, quiet and moving place to walk around.
As part of this tour we also visited Crete's only natural lake.
Lake Kournas had ducks, pedalos, a cafe, some mystery and those dreadful Greek toilets which are two foot plates at either side of a hole in the ground. Still they caused quite a bit of hilarity amongst us tourists.
The lake is surrounded by mountains and it was here we saw our only sight of any rain during the whole of our two-week holiday. It was only a brief display of rain splashes and it was still very warm.
The Samaria Gorge can be visited by booking a specific excursion here. We decided to give this one a miss. It is a long and tiring day, or so we were told. It involves a coach and bus trip as well as a long, hot walk through the Gorge. However if you want to see fabulous views and experience the flora and the fauna this could be for you. Come prepared though.
Animal welfare or lack of it
Animal Welfare in and around the Greek Islands leaves a lot to be desired. I thought long and hard about what image to display here. In the end I opted for the Save The Animals Of Crete, image. There were some dreadful images of half starved dogs that ended up being euthanized.
As an animal lover this is one of the hard things I find when travelling abroad, especially in Greece. Dogs and cats tend to live a street life. Some eat reasonably well but they often have no true home. Tourists will feed dogs and cats tit-bits and often buy pet food at local stores.
If you do this remember that the animal may not be able to stomach rich tinned pet food. Use your common sense and always take care of your safety. If you are bitten you could be facing Rabies shots or worse.
Up to now we have always fared well with the local dogs and usually have one or two following us around. It is not easy as you are damned if you do and damned if you do not, as far as feeding these animals goes. Just follow your heart.
This problem is not just a Greek problem but is all too frequently a European one.
If you can offer any financial assistance to animal charities fighting this lack of welfare please give generously.
Where in the world do you want to go today? One Woman uses personal experiences to show you some of the best places to visit in the United Kingdom and beyond. Enjoy!