I recently visited the North York Moors and found plenty of romantic inspiration there. The stark beauty of the famous Haworth moors is absent, but the stunning scenery of the Hambleton Hills and surrounding countryside has a serene, timeless feel – just one reason why the area was popular with the medieval monks who founded several monastic dynasties there.
Rievaulx Abbey, Fountains Abbey, Byland Abbey, Kirkham Priory and Whitby Abbey are all worth a visit and it’s easy to see why over 800 years ago St. Aeldred described Rievaulx as ‘Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world.’
There are plenty of historic houses in the area too, including Castle Howard, Beningborough Hall and Newby Hall (setting for the recent ITV production of ‘Mansfield Park’). The spa town of Harrogate has a pump room museum and great shopping. Given my fascination with all things Georgian/Regency, I particularly love Fairfax House in York – the finest Georgian townhouse in England….
Fairfax House, York
There’s a virtual tour here to enjoy but if you’re in the area, make sure you go along and soak up the atmosphere!
I caught up on some editing and scribbled down ideas in my ever-handy notebook during my stay. However, I failed miserably to resist the lure of Betty’s tea shops – their fat rascals are to die for!
Most exciting of all, my complimentary author copies of The Paradise Will were waiting for me when I returned home….I really love the cover by David Young!
The Paradise Will is published by Robert Hale on 30th April 2008 – for more details and to read an excerpt, go to my web-site www.elizabethhanbury.com