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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)