My time in England was spent with family visiting as many towns as possible. I was so busy traveling that I barely had time to write. So to make up for it, I’ll be posting a mini series of each town and country I visited while traveling during Christmas and the New Year. Most of what I describe were free and are a great way to save money.
Yorkshire, the region is beautiful. The drive between Manchester and York was breathtaking. It was as if I was transported into a movie. Often I had to remind myself I wasn’t in Scotland because of how green the landscape was. The entrance to York is a beautiful archway that was once part of the Roman wall. The romans occupied much of England, and parts of the wall are still in the town.
Since it was just before christmas time, lights decorated the streets and carolers filled the corners with as much cheer as possible. As an American one of the coolest things for me was seeing how far back each building dated. The oldest one I had found was a restaurant that had been there since the early 1300’s. Most of the American History starts on the east coast and goes as far back as the 1600s, not including the Native American history.
York even has a pub that is “The Most Haunted Pub in Great Britain.” It dates back to 1410, and the inside smells awful. But I mean, think of how many people have used that bathroom.
The most notorious part of York would probably be The Shambles. It’s this street where, for whatever reason, the buildings are falling into each other. Supposedly it has to do with piping and the fact that the building is old. However, the coolest part is that part of Harry Potter was filmed on this street. Since the buildings are so unique and caving in, the filmed part of Diagon Alley there.
One thing that caught my attention was the Guy Fawkes house. At first I wasn’t sure who he was, but after a brief history lesson, I quickly learned the importance of Guy Fawkes. Long story short, he was England’s most notorious traitor. Fawkes had plotted to blow up the British Parliament building and kill King James I. Fawkes was apart of the English Catholic conspiracy, and was formed after Queen Elizabeth I passed in 1603. The group was formed by 13 men who were upset at the mistreatment of Catholics in a predominantly Protestant country. On November 5th 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellar of the Parliament, along with 36 barrels of gun powder. He was caught tortured for three days and executed. However, the day he was sentenced to be executed he climbed up the ladder and jumped off, snapping his own neck.
Now November 5th is a recognized holiday filled with bonfires and fireworks to celebrate the defeat of Fawkes and life of King James I. They even have a famous nursery ryhme you might recognize;
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason, and plot
From the equally famous V for Vendetta, which even stares Fawkes infamous mask.
A day spent in York is a truly magical experience filled with plenty of history.