Nights away from Field Cottage occur less often than I would like. All our furry additions take a significant amount of looking after – and their nice kennels don’t come cheap. This means that our budget is stretched if we decide to head away, with kennels fees often costing the same as our overnight accommodation! Anyway we can save a few pennies, yet still enjoy a few nights away are welcomed with open arms.
I must admit, that despite our want to save – cheap hotel chains are not something we have ever really dabbled in. Being a little nervous of having a room that isnt up to scratch! I like my sleep ( ALOT ha! ), and an uncomfy bed or a noisy spot would spoil my time away. And Matt’s since he’d have to listen to my complaining 😉
However, when the Travelodge approached me to offer us a city break in one of their recently upgraded rooms, with ‘a comfy new king size bed, complete with a cosy duvet and four plump pillows’ – I thought it would be the ultimate test! A sneaky mid week break, and the possibility of opening my eyes to a new way to holiday on a budget? Why on earth not?!
It didnt take us long to settle on York. Matt spent a significant amount of his childhood there, and his brother and family still live just outside the city walls. This coupled with the promise of beautiful architecture and an abundance of good food meant I was sold on the idea!
We flew into Leeds Bradford before 11am and picked up our trusty steed for the next few days, a sweet little Fiat 500. With a soft top! Her pretty appearance went a little way to sedate me after a troublesome car hire experience…. but thats a story for another day!
We knew we could not check in until 3pm ( though I know they will look after your bags for you if needs be! )so we took a little detour on our way to York. Stopping in Harrogate for a stroll, in what turned out to be the last sunshine of the day – and a spot of lunch. I had 1/2 a pint of prawns in The Drum and Monkey – followed by some queenie scallops. The perfect light lunch before jumping back in the car.
Arriving at the York Central Travelodge was fabulously hassle free. Parking outside for an hour for little over a £1 allowed us to be checked in but the rather charming lady at reception ( I wish I remembered your name, cos first impressions really count – and you were lovely ), before moving our car to the near by QPark. The website specifies that it is an 8 minute walk, but that’s a very slow meander I am sure. 5 minutes and we could be in our hotel room! It was also a bargain once you validated your parking ticket with a ticket collect from reception. Only £2.50 from 5pm – 10am!
After moving our car we made our way into York centre for a wander, a rather damp wander at that. But thankfully the pubs are welcoming, and the ales warming. We spent our first evening in York bar hopping before eating in Bill’s – I had fond memories of there Haloumi and hummus burger from my trip to London last summer. And I was glad to find it was still awesome 😀 Tucked up in bed by 10pm after a few too many beers, and bottle of red – we had kicked off our holiday with a large dose of relaxation.
A casual start admiring the view from our room and enjoying our breakfast boxes. These are a great offering from the Travelodge with muffins, yoghurts, juice & breakfast bars. Perfect for a light breakfast and easy to breakdown and pop into your handbag. Then we set off to The York Dungeons – we had booked the night before, which I would definitely advice doing for any of the Dungeons ( Im a bit of a connoisseur lol ) however being midweek and off season the dungeons wheren’t too busy. I wont say much about them – as I wouldnt want to spoil the story telling, but we had great fun. And even Matt left agreeing it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours! I will get him to Disney yet 😉 Even just for the photo opps – check out our York Dungeons photo for all the lols…
I had done a little bit of internet research – and had the York Cocoa house on my radar. However we stubbled across it during our afternoon explore – and quickly book onto their afternoon course. Chocolate bar making? Yup, that ticks all the boxes for me ok! It helps that the shop was exquisite. And the smell…. *disappears off into a dream world of chocolate* I decided on dark chocolate and to add orange and bergamot to mine – it was wonder. Floral and fruity! You can see it here.
We popped to Matts brothers house after out chocolate class – and spent a few relaxing hours catching up. Perfect. We headed to the Tesco Express down the road for a few bits and bobs for dinner afterwards. I don’t recommend trying to cut up an avocado with a spoon…. #nuffsaid
This was a favourite day – and exposes my true love of the countryside. After a super nights sleep we decided to make use of our little fiat and do a spot of exploring.
Top of the list was a trip to Malton – a place that was recently declared ‘Yorkshires Food Capital’ by none other than Antonio Carluccio! A lovely little spot for a morning browse, and a spot of breakfast. There are few greater pleasures in life than a particularly good sausage roll. And Costellos Bakery provided the goods – the baker was from Strabane – its a small world!
After that we headed on to Castle Howard, somewhere I had heard so much about yet never managed to get too. Truly stunning and we were blessed with good weather. Nothing says British summertime like a lakeside ginger ale 😉 Following Castle Howard with Beningbrough Hall rounded our day in the Yorkshire countryside off perfectly. Of course I took ALL of the photos, too many to share in the post. So you can most certainly expect a follow up on these too. I am destined for life in a country manor…. I am sure of it!
We waved an early goodbye to Travelodge York Central and went on our way. Via a spot more countryside of course. What a super way to spend a few days – and how chuffed am I to have found a budget hotel I feel I can trust. From the amazingly comfy beds and massively spacious room, to the charming ladies – Im certainly going to bear them in mind for my next short break. Who knows, maybe I’ll manage to squish in a few extra holidays after all 😉
Thanks to the Travelodge for inviting us to stay with you – we had a wonderful time!
Do you have a favourite hotel chain? Or anywhere you think I should make sure to add to my must visit list?