Monday 7th May until Friday 11th May – 18th meeting of 2018
Day One – Monday
Our eagerly waited holiday had arrived. For followers of our blog you will know that we go on a short break once a year and allow the husbands to accompany us! So this year we had our group of nine, six husbands and one lady that joined us – making a grand total of sixteen.
We had booked to go the Warners Leisure Hotel, Nidd Hall in Harrogate, Yorkshire using Jay and Kay Coach Tours, which is a very good local holiday company. After being picked up by mini cabs we all arrived at Hall Place and got settled on the coach which left at 10.45.
The coach was full and we were seated at the front of the coach. Dave our driver introduced himself and gave us a plan for the day. We had two stops on the way and arrived at Nidd Hall at 4.30 pm. After collecting our keys we went to our rooms. We were in different parts of the hotel and it was quite a challenge for a few of us to find our rooms!
We met in the bar at 6 o’clock for a drink before dinner. We had two nice tables in the dining room which were reserved for us for our stay. Our first meal was superb and I must stay that all the meals we had during our stay were delicious. We had a lovely waitress who was very pleasant and fun!
After our meal we went to the bar and the ballroom but unfortunately couldn’t find a good spot to all sit together so we decided to stay in the bar and watch the show from there. A lovely evening but we were all quite pleased to go to our rooms and bed after the long journey.
Day Two – Tuesday
As well as taking you to your holiday destination, Jay and Kay Coach Tours also offer a full day excursion and a half day excursion and today was a full day to York. So after a very satisfying breakfast we were off to York. A drive of about one hour through the beautiful countryside and weatherwise it was lovely, sunny and warm.
Once at York our group split into smaller groups so that everyone could ‘do their own thing’. As it was my first visit to York I opted to go into York Minster. I joined a guided tour group and thoroughly enjoyed it. A magnificent building with so much history. After this I had a wander around town. The buildings here are beautiful. I had a stroll around the wonderful streets admiring the Victorian houses and stopped for some lunch in a cafe in the Art Gallery but opted to sit outside in the sun! There is a lot to do here and I had a walk through The Shambles market and down to the river and spent the last half an hour sitting outside the Minister with an ice cream listening to a man playing an assortment of songs on an upright piano. A very enjoyable time.
Back on the coach we exchanged stories and between us I think we had covered all of York. Museums, Art Gallery, some had been on a river cruise, some had been brave enough to climb the many steps in the Minster to see the glorious views from the roof top and between us we must have covered every inch of the streets of York.
Back at Nidd Hall we enjoyed a drink before dinner and in the ballroom there was entertainment by a trumpet player, comedian and a show provided by the entertainment team.
Day Three – Wednesday
The start of our day today was a very concerning time as one of our ladies was very ill and was taken by ambulance to Harrogate hospital. Two of our group went with her, two decided to stay on site and the rest of us carried on as today was our half day trip to Harrogate. So after another hearty breakfast we set off for the half-hour journey.
Dave gave us the option of going to Harrogate or the nearby RHS Garden Harlow Carr gardens. Most of our group opted for the Gardens but as I had never been to Harrogate I choose Harrogate. Another sunshine day and after a walk around I went to the Tourist Information and was given a map and suggestions of what to do.
This is a beautiful town. The buildings are amazing and I went into The Winter Gardens which is a Wetherspoon’s pub and enjoyed a cup of tea in the garden. The building is spectacular and goes back to the days of Harrogate’s former Royal Baths which included the Winter Gardens. It was built so that visitors could relax and stroll in any weather and the building is light and airy with high ceilings and plants everywhere. In my opinion one of the best Wetherspoon’s I have been in and I’ve been in quite a few! From here I strolled through the town passed the Famous Betty’s Tea Rooms and enjoyed a lovely walk around Prospect Gardens. I really liked Harrogate and could have spent more time there.
Once back at Nidd Hall we got a message to say that our friend was being kept in hospital and that the two that accompanied her were on their way back. We met up with them and all spent the afternoon sitting on the terrace and relaxing. I spent a bit of time exploring the building. Nidd Hall is a Grade 11 listed building built in the 18th century by a wealthy Bradford wall merchant and is set in 45 acres with award winning gardens. It has a wonderful staircase and lovely decorated ceilings.
After a very tasty three course dinner a couple of us went to the cinema room and watched the film Dunkirk. During the course of our stay a selection of films were shown in the cinema room which were very enjoyable. The rest of our party spent the evening in the bar and watched the entertainment show.
Day Four – Thursday
Today was a free day for all. Four decided to take cabs and spend the day in York. Our friend was still in hospital but her son arrived to visited her and stay with her.
There was lots to do today so a few of us made a plan. We went to the ballroom to take part in the quiz. We really enjoyed it but the questions were hard and unfortunately we didn’t win but it is the taking part that is important, well that’s what my Mum used to tell me! From there we joined a tour of the grounds given by the Head Gardener. This was really good and lasted about one and half hours. The gardener told us the history of the gardens and explained how it all works. With only four full time groundsmen they certainly work hard keeping the grounds immaculate and building projects and areas for the guests to enjoy. After this we had a quick drink and went back into the ballroom where we watched a falconer displaying owls, kestrals. The show was lovely. There was a slide show giving details of the birds. The owls flew around and one even left his perched and flow around the ballroom and landed on the bar! Quite a fabulous show which we all thoroughly enjoyed. We also had a tour of back of house with one of the entertainment girls explaining the lighting and sound systems and also the very tiny dressing rooms! I found this very interesting.
We then went back to our rooms and got ready for our last evening meal. This was, of course, delicious and enjoyable.
Our last evening in the ballroom was good and after watching the show we had a drink and chat before going to our rooms to pack and bed!
Day Five – Friday
We were all up very early as our cases were collected by 7 o’clock ready to go on the coach. We had a really lovely full English breakfast and a nice chat with our waitress who had looked after us so well during our stay.
Unfortunately our friend was still in hospital and would be for another few days so would not be travelling back with us.
We were all on the coach and ready to go at 9.30 am. Our journey home was very slow as traffic was really heavy at the start and the motorways were slow with speeds limits of 40 and 50 mph at quite a few points. We had two short stops before getting back to Hall Place where are taxis were waiting to take us to our homes.
This was a great holiday that was enjoyed by all of our group. The weather was lovely warm and sunny with the only rain falling at night. We did lots of varied things and enjoyed each others company and look forward to hopefully doing the same next year!