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 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™‚

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: The river in the sky

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Hi! πŸ™‹πŸ½ Hope your all keeping well.

This will be the last post on North Wales, until I get to revisit again. Just wanted to share this incredible attraction.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

Some of you may have heard of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, for those who haven’t. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is located in Llangollen and one of North Wales biggest attractions. It is built over the River Dee and is the highest Canal Aqueduct in the world.

It was built and designed by Thomas Telford, with the help and advice of William Jessop. It took 19 years to plan and build between the years of 1795 and 1805.

Would you dare walk along here? I did!

The views are absolutely incredible! It feels like your actually flying from up there, it’s mesmerising!

It actually doesn’t look that high on the pictures, it is! If your scared of heights, this could be quite a challenge.

Additional Information

It’s free to walk along the tow path and aqueduct or you can take a 45mins to a 2 hour boat trip, which will take you over the structure. I didn’t do this, but here’s a site with more information Llangollen Wharf

Parking is available nearby

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Stay safe 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.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

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

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