York England: York’s Chocolate History

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Chocolate first arrived in Britain in the 17th century in the form of a drink. London was the first place to have a chocolate house in 1657. It was the place where men went to drink chocolate, gamble and chat amongst each other .

The first ever solid chocolate bar produced in Britain was by J.S. Fry & Son’s from the city of Bristol in 1847, followed by Cadbury’s in 1849 then Rowntree’s in 1935.

York’s Chocolate Story

On one of our tour stops we stopped outside York’s Chocolate Story a museum and popular visitor attraction. We didn’t go inside, but had a briefing on the story about the Rowntree’s brand from our tour guide. However, I would most definitely love to pay a visit next time to do the interactive tour and chocolate tastingπŸ˜‹.

Rowntree’s was founded in 1862 in York by Henry Isaac Rowntree. After financial difficulties, he was joined by his brother Joseph Rowntree who turned the company around and the brand become Rowntree & Co.

The Rowntree brand went on to develop some of the UK’s first solid chocolate and most favourable chocolate bars such as Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties, rolo and Quality Street etc.

Rowntree’s was purchased by the global company Nestle in 1988, who have since re-branded many of the products under their own brand name.

I suddenly have a sweet tooth and feel the need to go and raid the kitchen cupboard, so until next time πŸ˜‰

Natalie x

York England Part 2: The Longest Medeival Town Walls In England

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Our next stop on our walking tour was York’s City walls.

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York city centre is surrounded by the longest medieval town walls in England at just over two miles long. A complete walk around the entire length of the walls would approximately take around two hours and is completely free.

The walls are mainly dated from the 12th and 13th century and were built to keep the city from being invaded by the Scots. Although, by the 18th century the walls were no longer needed for defence.

By 1800 the walls were in poor condition for that time, which led to corporation applying for an act of parliament to pull them down. At the time, York had a strong influential opposition that objected to this and by the 19th century corporation backed down and the walls were ordered to stay.

in the 19th century work was carried out for restoration of the walls for public access, although it was too late for some parts, but thankfully substantial portions remain.

Check Points

I would highly recommend walking the full length of the walls as they lead you to many sights.

There are check points for guidance around the walls which will lead to:

Barker Tower

Micklegate Bar

Baile Hill

Clifford Tower

Fishergate Tower

Fishergate Bar

Walmgate Bar

The Red Tower

Layerthorpe Bridge

Monk Bar

Bootham Bar

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Stay safe

Natalie x

York, England Part 1: Off with their heads!

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York is a historical medieval city in the North of England located between London and Edinburgh. It is often described as one of the UK’s most treasured and loved cities. In fact, some would even regard this as England’s number one city. The city is often voted number one in surveys as the most beautiful cities in the UK.

Not only is it beautiful, it has incredible history dating right back to 8000 and 7000 BC, and this can clearly be seen right throughout the city.

First stop: Micklegate Bar

The first stop we made was to one of the gateway’s to the city. There are four main gateways, Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Micklegate Bar and Walmgate Bar. The gateway we entered through was Micklegate Bar, the most important of the four. For centuries monarchs had stopped here to ask for permission from York’s Lord Mayor to enter into the city.

Dating back to the 12th century Micklegate Bar has seen a gruesome and bloody history. Decapitated heads of traitors and rebels were once displayed on spikes at the top as a warning for anyone entering the city. Some of the victims heads included Sir Henry Purcey and Richard, Duke of York. Richard The Duke Of York was one of the most, if not powerful man in the UK until he literally lost his head.

Ghost Stories

There has been many ghostly encounters reported, mainly from Sarah Brocklebank. Sarah was the young daughter of a man who had been an 18th century gate keeper. Apparently she had lost her father’s keys to Micklegate which resulted in him loosing his job. There have since been several reports of people seeing her inside Micklegate Bar and around the surrounding area.

People have also reported seeing glowing eyes at the top of the Bar 🀀

Until next time.

Natalie x

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

I finally visited York, UK

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I finally to visit York! Well, I say this because I’ve actually been to York on several occasions, but it has always been to visit family members. My family live in the beautiful countryside of York, tho this is quite some distance from the centre of York, so I had never actually seen this incredible city.

I travelled here with my sister (My partner in crime) which was refreshing since I’m usually travelling alone.

The tour company we travelled with

We travelled by a coach with a company called Smile Adventures. The company specializes in day and weekend tours around the uk from Manchester. The coach picked us up at 8am in the city centre. On arrival, we had a small tour of the city for around 2hours then we were left to explore by ourselves. The full day trip cost around Β£32 at the time of booking.

I would highly recommend this company.

I look forward to sharing the adventures of this trip in the next few posts.

Natalie x

Conwy: A little treasure town

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Conwy Castle

Hi there!πŸ™‹πŸ½ It’s been a while, hope your all keeping well and in good health.

This blog is a continuation of my last few blogs from my time in Wales. If you liked the last few places I’ve mentioned, here’s another town which is just minutes away from those places and worth a visit.

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Conwy is a beautiful quaint medieval market town situated in the north coast of Wales. The town is also surrounded by the countryside with an overlooking view of Snowdonia, making it one of the most beautiful and unique places to visit.

I visited here after my visit to Llandudno and the Great Orme and was pleasantly surprised. It was just one of those places I felt immediately excited about.

Here are some interesting facts about Conwy

1 It’s home to the smallest house in Britain

Known as the Quay house of Conwy, this tiny little home measures only 10 feet deep and not even 6 feet wide and is split into two floors. The tenant a local fisherman named Robert Jones who stood at 6-foot-3inch lived here up until 1900. As you can imagine the rooms were too small for him to have been able to stand up fully. As a result of this he was forced to leave the home and the home was declared unfit for human habitation. The home is still owned by his descendents and is now one of the favourite visitor attractions in Conwy at Β£0.50 for adults and Β£1 for adults. Note: It will probably be the quickest you’ve ever spend Β£1 but it’s an interesting 30 seconds πŸ˜‰

2 Medieval Walled Town

Conwy has the most complete and best preserved medieval walls in the UK. The walls can be walked around mostly for free however, there are few sections that require a small fee.

3 Conwy Castle

Conwy castle was built by King Edward l during his conquest of Wales between 1283 and 1289, it was designed by the Master builder, James Of Saint George. This castle is one of the best preserved Castles in North Wales, along with it’s incredible walls and tower this castle has been featured in various photos and paintings.

Note: Some of the outer parts a free to walk around but to go inside theres a small fee ( see prices below)

Adults Β£8.80

Child (under 16) Β£5.40

Family ticket (2 adults & 3 children (under 16) Β£25.10

Senior Citizen Β£7.10

Students Β£5.40 ( Note prices based on 2020 prices)

The first thing I did on arrival was explore the Conwy Castle.
Peeping through the walls of the castle (Look at the countryside in the far distance 😍)

4 Suspension Bridge

This magnificent bridge was design by Thomas Telford a Scottish Civil engineer, architect, road, bridge and canal builder. The bridge is connected to the castle and the two together are just incredibly magical.

After visiting the above attractions it was time for lunch. I found a little traditional place called the cheese room around about 2 minutes walk from the castle.

This shop sells such a wide variety of cheese. I hadn’t even heard of many of them! I wanted to purchase a lunch box and take a selection of cheese home. The staff were so helpful and helped me pick out a great cheese selection, allowing me to sample whilst sharing their knowledge about the cheese. Never had much knowledge about cheese until visiting here.

With just a short time left before moving on to the next destination, I had a little walk around to catch a glimpse of the surrounding area.

The Quay

Until next time, stay safe and thank you for reading

Natalie x

Llandudno and The Great Orme

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Llandudno is another place we stopped off whilst visiting the picturesque North Wales. Located between Bangor and Chester and is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations.

Llandudno is an old Victorian-era seaside resort with a 19th century pier and is said to be once an old favourite of queen Victoria. Along the pier you’ll find a number of shops, games arcades and not forgetting the wonderful views.

Llandudno pier

You can take a relaxing walk all the way to the end of this pier, the views are incredible!

The Great Orme

Llandudno is also home to the Great Orme (Y Gogarth in welsh)

The great orme is a huge chunk of limestone headland and is one of Llandudno favourite places for tourism.

The Great Orme has it’s own country park that can be accessed by cable car, tramway, by car or if your fit enough by taking the hike up.

No matter what way you choose, you will not be disappointed with the beautiful views, wildlife, fascinating geology, archaeology and history.

A shot taken from the top of the limestone

Just opposite of where I took this shot is a church and graveyard named after it’s founder St.Tudno, one of the seven son’s of king Seithenyn. It was built in the 12th century on the Christian site that dates right back to the 6th century.

If you are thinking of visiting Llandudno, don’t miss out the opportunity to see this Great little place.

Thanks for reading and a happy New year to you all! And a huge thank you for your continued support! It’s very much appreciated xx

A place to wash your spirit clean, Snowdonia

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In September I visit North wales. One of the places I stopped off at was Snowdonia National Park, the largest national park in Wales and the proud owner of the highest mountain in both England and Wales. Yes, you probably guessed it, Mount Snowdon. Did I climb mount Snowdon? No I’m far too lazy for that, but I did hike a little into some moutains, after being driven up most of the way that is, Sshhhhhhhh!

Although my face says different, I really was having the time of my life here πŸ™‚

I visited on a minibus shared with eight other travellers. We were taken to the most tranquil place, it literally felt like we had the whole national park to ourselves.

I honestly could not believe how beautiful and relaxing this place was! It was so silent with only the sounds of the waterfalls. It was like stepping into another world where everything stood still. A place where you could forget every worry in the world, a place where you could wash your spirit clean.

If your thinking of visiting North Wales, this is one place not to be missed.

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚ Stay safe x

Exploring Liverpool Part3

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Video from my day trip to Liverpool three months ago! Better late than never.

Thanks for watching πŸ™‚ Stay safe x

Exporing Liverpool Part 2

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Hi guy’s! Sorry it’s taken me so long to post part 2. I’m not the most efficient with getting my posts up but I promise to do better.

Before I get started……

I would like to welcome all of the new blog followers. Welcome and thanks for coming over and showing the blog some love. Also, I would like to thank the rest of you guys who have been here supporting … Thank you for your continued support here at Nattytravels, it is well appreciated, I’m truly grateful. Thank you!!

Taking off from where I left off

If you didn’t read part 1, you may want to take a look as this carries on from where I left off.

Albert Dock

Albert Dock

We arrive at Royal Albert Dock…. Albert Dock is a construction of docks and warehouse buildings which opened in 1846 and is part of Liverpool’s waterfront World Heritage Site. It was used for the loading and unloading ships from the warehouse. The construction design of the building made it a popular storage for precious item cargoes such as sugar, brandy, cotton, silk and tobacco etc.

As well as dominating the worldwide trade in the 19th century, the docks was involved in a number of things like, events of WWll when the cargoes become the target of German bombers. The bombs hit the docks and warehouses throughout the day and night during the May Blitz in 1941, which left a considerable amount of harm. In addition to this, the building was awarded a grade1 listing post-war, in 1960 and 1966 or was being considered for being demolished, in 1976 it is issued with a conserve and protect, by 1981 it is completely abandoned but is included in the regeneration of Liverpool.

Today the iconic Royal Albert Docks is home to arts and music culture, galleries, museums, restaurants, bars and a floating pop up cinema and attracts visitors of worldwide visitors a year.

Mathew Street

The street is an iconic street in the middle of Liverpool city centre, widely known for the cavern club, where the Beatles performed several times in their early years. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit inside because it was closed.

This street is one of the most popular streets in the world to experience a little Beatles history. The street is filled with a number of other Beatles themed bars in-fact, everything is Beatles themed. It’s just a great, quirky street to walk down and enjoy.

I enjoyed seeing this wall of fame of The wall of fame bar and kitchen.

Wall of fame

Hangry and confused by Eleanor Rigby

We’re taken to the monument of Eleanor Rigby. Not going to lie, I had no idea who she was and what her connection was with Liverpool. Nonetheless, I stick around in anticipation, even though I’m starting to feel a little grumpy due to hunger. Here’s what I could make of what I was being told:

  • Eleanor Rigby is a woman or name which was believed to be an inspiration for one of the Beatles best selling songs.
  • Paul McCartney has denied this to be true, saying it is a frictional character he made up.
  • There is a gravestone in Liverpool bearing the name Eleanor Rigby, a women who died in her 40’s in 1939. The gravestone has become a tourist attraction as part of the Beatles memorabilia, even though this lady is not associated with the Beatles
  • someone purchased the deeds to the gravestone for thousands of pounds

Now I’m stood looking at her monument! Yes! She actually has a monument! I don’t know who the statue is of, but it’s her monument πŸ€” Now I’m hangry and confused! πŸ˜‚

I leave the tour here as it goes overtime and I had a table booked at Cosy Club, which is a lovely little place to stop by if your ever in Liverpool.

The World Museum

Whilst having lunch at the Cosy room, I searched for places to visit as many places were still closed due to the pandemic. I wanted to visit the Slavery Museum or the Tate Liverpool, but neither one of them was open. It was a choice between The Walker Art Gallery Or the World Museum I chose the World Museum. So glad I did.

Spread across five floors, this museum is huge keeping you intrigued for hours. It’s offers such an educational and fun experience with its exhibits that range from live bugs, human anthropology, natural history, dinosaurs to space. In addition to this, there’s also an aquarium and planetarium.

This is probably the most impressive museum’s I’ve visited to date. Although some exhibitions were closed, I could see everything they would usually have to offer. This is a fabulous place for a family day out, there’s something for everyone here. I loved the mummy room!

Real mummies 🀀

Time flies when your having fun. This place kept me entertained so much I had lost track of time and it was time for me to catch my coach home. But not without any dilemmas.

My Dilemma

Before I’d arrived at the world museum after recharging my phone earlier using my compact charger, my battery was now low. I didn’t want to film too much as I needed to use Google maps to direct me to the coach station because I don’t take in directions very well.

I come out the museum switched on Google maps within 2 minutes my phone was dead. ‘It doesn’t matter, I’ll find my way’ I thought to myself. Then I suddenly realized my tickets were on my phone. Also I didnt have my bank card, I’d been paying for things using Google pay, so I couldn’t even purchase another ticket.

With 10 minutes to go before my coach is due, I manage to find a shop and convince them to let me use their plug socket to charge my phone. Whilst here, I get chatting to the shop assistant, loose track of time then realise I have two minutes before the coach leaves.

I leave the shop turning google maps back on and embarrassingly run through the city centre. I turned the corner, see my coach and start shouting to the driver as he’s about to step on to the coach…I get there, go to show him my ticket on my phone and my battery dies. Good job he believed I had a ticket and kindly let me board the coach πŸ˜‚.

Exploring Liverpool UK Part 1

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Like many it’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to travel so, when the UK relaxed it’s locked down rules, I ventured on a day to Liverpool.

With no time to waste I booked a Β£5 return ticket with National Express . I had no idea what to expect or if many places were going to be open. I was just happy to get out of the house.

There was only around 5 other people on the coach all the way there, and back for that matter. If I’m honest, I really enjoyed that there wasn’t many people on board, It was the most peaceful journey ever!

If your not familiar with Liverpool

Liverpool is a port city and metropolitan district of Merseyside in the North West of England. The Docklands and many other areas of the historic city centre were named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004. It’s home of the world famous Beatles, Liverpool football F.C, Everton F.C and is an incredible attractive and popular city due to its stunning Albert docks, buildings, museums, culture and it’s witty people.

Whilst I was on the coach, I managed to book myself on a Β£10 2-hour walking tour of the city on TripAdvisor.

The tour started at 11am and we were to meet at the Beatles statue at pier head. The tour was based around the culture, architecture and of course, the beatles.

We started at pier head taking in the views of the seaport and rich surrounding buildings, whilst listening to the stories and history behind them.

King Edward Vll Monument
Museum of Liverpool
The seaport

As you may or may not know Liverpool played a crucial role in the slave-trade. Our tour guide spoke on Liverpool’s slavery links.It was a topic that often popped up during the tour as Liverpool largely earned it’s first wealth through its links with the slave-trade. London, Bristol and Glasgow were other major cities with crucial links in the UK in-fact, the UK earned it’s first Capitalism through it’s links with slavery.

Links to slavery

The city expanded rapidly during the 18th century due to its trade with America and The West Indies. The profitable trades involved the trading of slaves in west Africa, who were traded for spices, sugar and other plantation corps in the West Indies.

The cities Maritime played an important role in bringing Liverpool to be a global force and power. The trading of slavery made the city and it’s slave traders rich off the back of human suffering. Mersey ships forced almost 1.5million African people traded in West Africa into slavery, who were sent to America and the Caribbean.

The slave ships were often built in Liverpool or repaired in-fact, ‘Liverpool Merchant’ was the first slave ship recorded leaving for sail from Liverpool.

Where the ships would pull in to be repaired

Very few slaves passed through Liverpool but, the slave-trade made this city rich and powerful as Liverpool became the number one port, taking over London and Bristol.

This is very evident in the city as we walk around and have the buildings and streets pointed out. Liverpool is filled with rich buildings and grand houses built with slave money, many of the cities prominent streets and buildings are named after slave traders and merchants such as Bold street, named after Jonas Bold a slave merchant who became mayor of Liverpool in 1802, the port of Liverpool Building which has stone carvings of slaves ships on the facade, penny lane is another, named after James Penny a slave trader and many more.

The port of Liverpool Building
Royal Liver Building
Liverpool Town Hall
Liverpool Train Station

Bold street

We arrive at bold street. Bold street is one of the nicest shopping streets I’ve ever seen.

Full of independent stores, cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants where you can sample food from all over the world, it’s most definitely a great place to visit.

What was most striking to me, was the richness of this street and the architecture of the buildings, they’re spectacular.

We learnt that sailors used the street back in the 18th century, to measure rope for the sailing ships needed for the busy port industry.

Moving on….

We move through the city being shown a number of buildings and monuments, until we reach a more modern Liverpool, where we walk through Liverpool One shopping centre.

Liverpool one

Liverpool one is the largest open air shopping centre in the UK. All the shops have been designed by different architects, so every shop has it’s own uniqueness making it quite interesting.

Leaving it here….

In order to not make this blog too long, I’m going to leave it here for now.

A little uncomfortable

Although it is hugely uncomfortable talking about Liverpool’s slave links, Nonetheless I feel I can not write a blog without mentioning it, especially in the times we are living in right now. Despite it’s past history, I find it to be one of the most beautiful, interesting and historical cities in the UK.

Liverpool acknowledgements

In 1999 Liverpool apologised for its involvement and the affects it has had on the black communities.

In 2007, Liverpool opened The Slavery Museum to commemorate and offer education and understanding of the slave legacy.

Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

Best wishes x