Chloe has played a huge hand in making me eat more cake this year. Her tales of afternoon teas, drool-worthy cakes and endless amazing recommendations have sent me off on many adventures of late. I was seriously honoured when she asked me to share some of my adventures with you lovely people! **WARNING** said adventures are not all cake-related, but much cake was eaten whilst adventuring!
The Mr and I have moved about a fair bit over the last few years, from Glasgow to Kent to Essex and then to the North East (Middlesbrough to be more precise). When we found out that we would be moving back up North we were so happy! The Mr is from the North West, so much closer to home for both of us.
Now, it can be tough for a new North Easterner to find their way and to figure out where you can get the best coffee, the tastiest cake and where you can find the best views around. This little blogging community has helped me no end. There's always someone who can recommend where to grab the best cuppa and the yummiest cake (Chloe!). So, in the six small months that I've lived here, I've managed to rack up a hefty list of favourites which I'd like to share with all you lovely people. Here goes...
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
If you've not had the chance to visit this beauty, then please please do! YSP is essentially a HUGE open air gallery, set in the beautiful Bretton estate in the Yorkshire countryside. You can spend the whole day wandering around appreciating the art and the breathtaking estate itself. Currently they have work from the famous Henry Moore, the amazing Ai Weiwei and Ursula von Rydingsvard to name but a few. I usually get bored and stuffy in "normal" galleries after about half an hour, but the landscape (and lack of 'stuffiness') kept me captivated for hours and hours.
Oh North East, you have so many cities for me to drink coffee and spend all my money in! Newcastle and Leeds are of course up there with my faves (ain't no beating Glasgow ;) ), but lately I've been lusting after the Shambles of York and the bridges of Durham. For me, you can't beat a good old fashioned stroll along the Shambles, a walk along the walls and maybe some afternoon tea in Bills! The Museum Gardens and the river Ouse also float my boat and I've made many memories here that I hold dear.
Durham is a newbie for me. I only recently visited this lovely old city. I am a big bridge fan and man, I wasn't disappointed! We found a lovely spot sitting down by the river to have a leisurely pint and we were pointed in the direction of one of the best coffee joints I've been to in a while, Flat White (thanks again, Chloe!). Not only is the coffee amazing, but the sandwiches and the GIANT scones are a must! A walk up the windy streets to the university and the cathedral will soon burn off all those scone-shaped calories, so don't worry! While you're up there, the Diving into Durham exhibition in the Palace Green Library is something not to be missed (which we would've had it not been for the lovely tourism volunteers in the city centre), the things people find under bridges in the river, eh?
Did you know that we're pretty much right in the middle of two national parks? Yup, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors are right on our door step (not to mention a couple of others that aren't too far away), much to my Mr's delight. O is camping and hiking obsessed, so as you can imagine we've been out enjoying nature's bounty on quite a few occasions! We've been camping and hiking in Pickering here, pod camping just outside Pocklington here and shacked up in a micro-barn here! There's no shortage of outsdoorsy things to do up here so, go on, get outside!
So if you're a newbie to the North East, or a lifer that's looking for adventure, you're in the right place!
Meet the Writer: Lou writes Whisky and Pancakes and blogs about her new life in the North East with her fiancé Oscar (O). They love weekend adventures, eating yummy food and drinking beer and whisky.