We meet at the hotel at 2 pm for our short coach ride into York. Here we will have a guided tour of the magnificent Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral north of the Alps. Afterwards we visit the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey and the King’s Manor.
A drinks reception follows at the hotel followed by a talk on the personalities involved in the dissolution of the monasteries in Yorkshire. Dinner will follow.
We set out for Selby Abbey by way of the village of Aughton, once home to the Aske family. Selby is one of the few abbey churches to survive the dissolution intact. A strong Norman nave gives way to a Decorated choir containing a superb medieval Jesse window. We travel to Beverley for lunch and spend the afternoon at Beverley Minster. Here we see one of the finest Gothic churches in England, a collegiate church of stupendous beauty and elegance. Beverley is a fine town with another large church, St Mary’s, worth a visit and there will be time to explore the streets
Today we travel north to Rievaulx and Byland abbeys. Rievaulx’s setting is a grand location in the bend of a river and the scale of the work is evidence of the wealth created by wool. There’s time for lunch at nearby Helmsley before we move to south to York to spend the rest of the afternoon free in the city.
Dinner will be available at the hotel.
The morning begins with a journey through Blubberhouses pass to Bolton Abbey. Here the abbey nave is still in use and the ruined choir forms an evocative fragment in this tranquil river valley. Next we visit Ripon Minster with its Saxon crypt and fine Early English front. We move on to perhaps the most romantic of all Yorkshire’s ruined abbeys – Fountains. The monumental tower and huge vaulted cellarium together with the sheer scale of the church create a striking sense of place. In the eighteenth century the valley around was landscaped by William and John Aislabie and forms one of the finest water gardens in England. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A leisurely breakfast will be served and the spa facilities will be available for guests before disperse during the morning.