Last month I delivered my spiel to the very knowledgeable developers at Fujitsu-Siemens in Bracknell. I thoroughly enjoyed the speaking (as always), but there was little opportunity for exploration in a town where the motto seems to be "you can never have enough concrete".
This week I was in York. Actually, the training took place in little place called Pocklington, but I was staying within the city walls. On the evening I showed up, I met up with some of the northern Britpackers and had a grand old time, even though I didn’t sample the local brew: the wittily named Yorkshire Terrier.
I had been to York once before, many years ago, and I remembered it as a charming place full of winding streets and old buildings. My memory was accurate. York is a beautiful city.
I left York this morning. I had planned to simply walk from my hotel to the train station but I was waylaid, seduced and disarmed by the sight of York on a bright, crisp Winter’s morning. There’s many a winding street and rickity building to keep a medievalist happy.
There’s something about walled cities. Of the cities I’ve visited in Italy, one of my favourite is Lucca, walled and well-preserved. Then there’s Volterra with its Etruscan walls. York is the English equivalent to those Tuscany treasures.
Within the walls, York feels like the biggest village in England. It has the kind of half-timbered houses I’d normally associate with places like Oxfordshire. The only real giveaway that you’re "up North, like" is the way that the locals sound like understudies for Wallace and Gromit.
I’ve put together a pictorial record of my morning stroll around York.