We had travelled to Yorkshire on the evening of the 8th March for a family funeral the day after.
Day 1: 8th March 2023
As we drove North on the M1 the weather became increase worse. Then after Nottingham we could hardly see road markings because of the snow. Luckily the motorway was empty and we managed to stay where we thought was in the middle of the motorway until the blizzard cleared. We called ahead to the hotel and were told we needed to be there by 10 pm despite already booking as a late arrival. A portent of a typical Travelodge to be avoided.
The car told us we would arrive at 9.50 pm and this time pressure stopped us from stopping for a comfort break or our originally planned stop at a services for a meal.
Navigating our way through Bradford in a blizzard was just as frightening as the sat-nav stopped working and it was only Google Maps on an iPhone that helped us through. Then the sat-nav in the car started working again.
We arrived at the Travelodge just before the evening staff left for the day at 21:50. The next door Toby Carvery had already closed. We were advised that the Toby Carvery closed early as it didn’t want to be regarded as a pub and attract the wrong sort of ‘customers’.
We were advised that our options for food were limited as there was no where to eat in the immediate area. So using a credit card (!) we bought crisps, chocolate bars and assorted junk food one item at a time!
Day 2: 9th March 2023
The Travelodge in Keighley was definitely not the best place that we could have chosen to stay. The ‘hotel’ was in the back of what had been a mill owners’ house . On much earlier visits the house had been one hotel with a walled garden and a good reputation. This used to be where family stayed when visiting. Now it was split into a Travelodge and a Toby Carvery and had moved down market!
The Toby had the original main entrance and a flat car park. The Travelodge was on the side around a steep corner and had a car park down below where buildings used to be. The only breakfast that was available was a pre-packed and I picked up ours early in the morning.
After breakfast we left for Silsden and to the funeral. While we waited the snow came back and we had to shelter inside the church. We were soon chatting to a man in a boiler suite who was apparently trying to fix the heating. It was a lovely surprise to find out that this man with a broad Brummy accent was the vicar who liked to fix things himself.
At the wake we learnt that we should have stayed further out of Keighley at the Premiere Inn – note for next time!
I made a detour to have look where I used to live in Keighley. The cobbled streets had al gone, my school now had houses built in the top playground and every street was lined with parked cars…
Evening at the Toby and the hotel
I parked in the flat car park of the Toby Carvery as the snow had started again and I did not want to have to drive up out of the car park below the building again.
We were early enough to eat at the next door Toby Carvery. Despite the snow storm the restaurant was very busy. Perhaps not what we intended for a meal but it was definitely better than the junk food we had the day before.
The view out of our bedroom was not the best and by the late evening the blizzard was back.
Day 3: 10th March 2023
In the morning the snow had stopped and we could get a better view out of the window…
The outside of the hotel was in need of as much repair as the inside. Breakfast was again the pre-packed boxes. We kept the drinks from them just in case we needed them over the next few days on our travels.
Outside the road down from the Toby had lost a lot of the snow. My car had four or five inches of snow and to save our efforts I did drive down to the hotel entrance. The road from the car park below was white and I was pleased that I had parked outside the Toby.
The Yorkshire Dales
As we were already in Yorkshire we had decided to extend our visit and go to Nidd Hall again. We passed through Silsden again as we headed towards Harrogate and Nidd Hall. The Dales covered in snow were as beautiful as I remembered. We were lucky that the main roads were clear.
In the national park I pulled over into a layby that had several days of accumulated snow for my photo opportunity.
And then for my friends these images to show how deep the snow had been…
The Nelson Inn
It was 11.30 am and as we passed the Nelson Inn we decided to stop and have a coffee.
By the time we had relaxed and drunk our coffees we checked out the lunch menu and decided that we would stay longer and have some lunch! We moved to a proper table and ordered an excellent lunch.
By the time we were leaving the restaurant was filling up with lots of reserved tables – clearly a popular place to eat outside of Harrogate.
The roads to Nidd Hall were all clear of snow. Then after parking almost in front of reception, we had the keys for our room in the main building. We had upgraded to a Warner’s Signature room for our stay.
After unpacking we braved outside and had a brief walk around the grounds.
Nidd Hall has a separate restaurant to the where the evening’s entertainment is performed, the Late Lounge. There we watched a performance by the house band, the Northern Lights. This was followed by one of the hotel’s resident entertainers singing songs from musicals etc.
Day 4: 11th March 2023
After breakfast we went to Knaresborough for most of the day. We had planned to visit Mother Shipton’s Well but unfortunately it was closed for the day.
To see more images from our time in Knaresborough click here.
Back from Knaresborough I explored the gardens past the lake.
We went into one of the large rooms on the ground floor and ordered from the Brasserie menu…
In the evening the main entertainment of the stay was ‘Jackson Soul and the Starlights’ who played the biggest hits from Motown.
Day 5: Sunday 12th March
The plan for our last full day was to visit Grassington and be back in time to watch the promised country music concert in the afternoon.
On the way we stopped at Stump Cross Caverns for a morning coffee and to visit the famous caverns.
The caverns were fascinating and we took our time as we explored them. Everyone we met at the caverns were friendly and helpful and it was a pleasure to visit.
In Grassington we first explored the shops and one of the pubs before we walked down to see Linton Falls.
RAF Menwith Hill
We usually passed RAF Menwith Hill as we sped along the A59 towards Harrogate but today we reached this road we found a layby and stopped for these pictures.
Marti and Rich at Nidd Hall
The promised country music concert was in the Late Lounge.
There we joined about a fifty or so other guests for the afternoon concert from Marti and Rich who were billed as ‘Yorkshire’s answer to Nashville.’
Last evening’s entertainment
The first part of the evening was a set from Northern Lights and this was followed by a performance from the hotels’ entertainment team singing a selection of three decades of British music.