Saturday, 27 November 2010

Visit to York for the St Nicholas Fayre.

Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely day out in York. It’s that time of year again when the St Nicholas Fayre markets are in abundance. In every available square the market stalls appear with their vast choices of goods and gifts to buy. Most of the stall holders dress in Victorian garb to emphasise the nature of this annual event.  York itself is dressed up in her finest Christmas dressage to compliment the season of goodwill. Horse chestnut venders are everywhere offering their winter warmers of roasted fare. Even the trees and the Victorian lamps which are dotted around the shopping districts don’t get left out and also receive Christmas lights or decorations to suit.

In order to sustain all of this Christmas shopping, shoppers have an abundance of choices for replenishment in the vast array of Cafe’s and Restaurants liberally sprinkled on every street.  In York, there are no cars travelling along the narrow shopping areas so shoppers are spared the constant interruption of traffic and so can safely wander around using the full width of the cobbled street as they do so.  I also find its very hard to get lost in York, as no matter which street you wander down you always seem to return to the St Nicholas Fayre markets situated on Parliament Street.

Hot chocolate and Brandy

On practically every street corner or spare area, street musicians were playing festive music to lighten up and lift the spirits of weary shoppers.  We sampled the wares wherever there were any samples going, sang along with the street players, took shots of just about everything as we trudged around both the market stalls and the shops.

Street musicians in York

Fluffy Bunny

I bought K a new hat. Her other one had the tendency to perch on top of her head rather akin to a tea cosy. This one makes her look like a cute and snuggly teddy bear. She is lucky. She suits hats.  She also found the elusive gift shop where she had (on one of our previous visits to York) seen a York t-shirt. Tucked down one of narrow streets, its called Pandora's Gift shop.  I ended up with yet another fridge magnet.

The weather was very kind to us. Yes they had received a very thin layer of snow in York which hadn’t settled, and the entire day was a showcase of clear blue skies. Okay, it was cold and as the afternoon wore on, it became colder but at least we didn’t experience the horrible rain that we had to endure last year.

Having Christmas Lunch in York

We had a Christmas Dinner for our lunch in Browns. It wasn’t until I was sat down that I noticed they did a child's portion which in hindsight I would have been better ordering as I simply couldn’t eat all of mine.  Following our lunch break, we made our way to the Minster to take some photos. 

It looked magnificent in the winter sunshine, although I did notice that the work is still being carried out at the rear.  You can’t get the whole of the Minster in one single shot, it is so vast and tall.  No photo can do it justice in my opinion, you really have to see its size and vastness for yourself with your own eyes.

York Mister in Widescreen

Winter sunshine always lends everything that you shoot in a different light I feel. Its not a warm light and because its lower down in the sky, longer and deeper shadows are cast, giving your subject a deeper contrast to when shot in the warmer summer months.  York is in my view an absolute photographers paradise. Small narrow streets containing some wonderful buildings.  I love taking pictures there.

K with a Santa's Beard

Eventually we made our way back towards the bridge, where we stopped for a tea (or in the case of K, a Santa’s Beard) and a well earned rest for our aching feet.  We hadn’t found any new trainers, nor had we purchased any presents either but we had enjoyed another wonderful day out at the York St Nicholas Fayre.  If ever you happen to be in Yorkshire at this time of year, I do recommend paying a visit to this fabulous annual event.

TG  (More photos of our day over to the right in my flickr sidebar gadget. Just click on them to see them all.)


  1. Nice trip for you two and everything looks wonderful. Is that brandy and hot chocolate in the first photo? And whatever dessert K has in the last photo looks scrumptious :)

  2. Yes Jen it was our first port of call! Cadbury's delicious hot chocolate with lashings of Brandy! Just what you need on a cold winters day!

  3. ...and you were expecting rain or snow. How nice to get sunny weather instead.

  4. MMMMM
    Hot chestnuts...reminds me of when i was a little girl and we used to go visit an uncle my dad used to bye us a little bag each at the station before we got on the train i can smell them now mmmmm
    By the way nice to see you i have only just found your blog

  5. yes Dave it was a most welcome surprise as snow had been forecast. the sky was a really clear blue as well.
    Lo, so glad you have found me at last! I have honestly never tried them but they do seem to do a roaring trade in York at Christmas time.

  6. Such a nice way to shop - one Christmas we stayed in a cottage near Ludlow and it was very snowy but we bought all our Christmas fair in the market on Christmas eve amid the choir and band of the salvation army. It is one shopping trip I will never forget.

  7. Hi
    Have you and Kay been to Mother Shiptons Glen in Yorkshire it is really lovely and i am sure Kay would love all the things hanging up that have turned to stone
    I was 21 and engaged to a guy who had relatives in Yorkshire and we went to stay with them
    I have never forgotten it we also walked round the York wall, i will see if i can root out the photos

  8. That would be nice Lo. I went to Mother Shiptons cave when I was a young girl but haven't been since, maybe somewhere for us to visit in future

  9. Aaaah, i agree. York is lovely at this time of year and is certainly a photographer's paradise! Nice photos and I love that blue sky!

  10. What a super trip!. K looks like she is enjoying herself.

  11. Penny as long as it involves eating drinking and spending, she's happy!

  12. Thanks Emm for the comment. Yes I love York. We haven't been as often this year as we normally go, lack of funds to blame mostly. Will have to try harder next year.


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