Travel Guide To York And The Howardian Hills | The Chuffed Store Travel Guide To York And The Howardian Hills | The Chuffed Store

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We have collaborated with Kitty Pennybacker and Lu Mason to put together the perfect recipe for a weekend away in Yorkshire. Pack your walking boots and let’s go..

Arrive and spend a day in York, exploring and pottering around the city, and then make your way out to Kitty Pennybacker’s dreamy garden cottage for a blissful few days in the Howardian Hills. The perfect weekend mix of city break, restful countryside and wild adventures. This is a real insider’s guide to an undiscovered area of Yorkshire. A local’s love affair with the rolling hills and timeless woodlands.

First up, York. York is a mediaeval city full of history and heritage. Weave through the city’s pedestrianised streets and spend a day exploring. Our very own Lu Mason lives in York and has given us her top tips for what to do and where to go. She recommends you go to York Art Gallery which has a really outstanding studio ceramics collection. It’s called the Centre of Ceramic Art and celebrates British ceramics. Its collection is the largest and amongst the most important in the UK and covers the entire British studio ceramics movement. 

Her favourite spot for a bite to eat is the wonderful cafe in Micklegate called Partisan. Its delicious cakes and art covered walls make it the perfect place for a breather. The cafe often exhibits Lu’s work, so if you’re lucky, you may get to see some of her work in the flesh. Lastly, a hop tip from Lu is the Crescent Community Club in The Crescent. A former Working Men’s Club, now venue hosting comedy and super fun music nights. A great place to go dancing.

Now, to the countryside…Kitty Pennybacker’s garden cottage is a hidden gem in a quiet hamlet overlooking open countryside only 30 minutes from the city centre.

For real beauty get the train from York to Malton, through the countryside, and see the Castle Howard station stop. A superb way to arrive. 

Kitty’s cottage has a wood burning stove, soothing views of the fields where their horses live and charming English interiors. The perfect place to relax. You could have a whole weekend hunkered in sitting by the fire, only going out for fresh air and al fresco lunch on the private patio. Help yourself to vegetables from Kitty’s walled garden, just ask when you arrive and she will show you what is growing. 

There are several footpaths out of the hamlet and the local village Terrington has a really good village shop with lots of homemade food. Best of all is it runs pub nights at the village hall every few weeks.


On The Doorstep 

Castle Howard has a great farm shop with local meat and the Boat House by the lake has fantastic views over the lake. It has Capability Brown landscapes and a wonderful drive along the avenue through arches to get there.

Go for a walk around the grounds. The best views are from the New River Bridge to the Temple of Four Winds and across to the Mausoleum. It is a good 1½ hr circular walk around the outside of the grounds, great for getting to see the Howardian Hills. Pretty Woods has the oldest oak tree on the estate.

The Yorkshire Arboretum has a simple but good cafe with fab coffee and soup. Kitty loves walking around and looking at all the trees. There are tours and art exhibitions there too.

If you fancy a pint in an antique full pub, go to The Grapes Inn in Slingsby where you’ll find lots of locals drinking at the bar and pizza early evenings on the weekends.

Visiting Malton

Malton is a local market town now called The Food Capital of the North. There are monthly food markets which are really fun on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Go and stock up on goodies for your evening in the cottage and breakfast in bed on Sunday morning. 

Where to Eat

Florian Poirot is the town’s own macaron maker, a French man who came via Nestle Chocolate factory in York. It’s amazing and really worth buying some.

Go to Bluebird Bakery for special bread on Saturdays – the Challah loaf and Pugliese sourdough are a must and are only available on Saturdays.


Go to Roost Coffee & Roastery for a flat white, it’s the cheapest in the town and they roast their own beans so it’s worth buying a bag while you’re there.


The Purple Carrot is a super delicious vegan cafe. Very hippy interiors and the food is very special. Kitty loves the kofte balls.


Go to The Talbot for a really nice chic setting for lunch. In the summer, sit on the terrace with lovely views over the river.

Malton Fisheries has fresh fish from Whitby every day and the staff are very friendly. “We love to get crab for crab linguine from here.” (Kitty Pennybacker) 


La Trattoria for a great pizza place or a more authentic sparkler with your birthday cake Florios Pizzeria. Proper Yorkshire experience with early bird specials.


The Spotted Cow is a historic 16th century pub that has re-opened recently after four years. The new owners have kept the pub true to its roots, which in the past was known predominantly as a racing and farmers pub situated next to the livestock market. 

What to Do 

Go to Palace Cinema for a cinema trip in a family run place. It is independent and full of character.

Magpie Country Antiques has a few shops on the cobbles of the shambles where you can find some wonderful candlesticks and cutlery.

For art lovers, Hanging Stones is a 45 drive from Ganthorpe Garden Cottage. “It is what we think is the best 5 hours of our lives – absorbing the countryside and seeing some incredible art. Without giving too much away, you will need very sensible walking shoes, a picnic and matches for the little fire you can make in one of the huts. You will need to book in advance, collect the keys and allow 5 hours. Set off early to get the sunlight as it gets very cold in the valley. It is amazing!” 

Thirsk Hall Sculpture Gardens is another great place to visit. This is a new project bringing exciting contemporary art to the area.


Day Trips to the Coast

Kitty loves going to Cayton Bay for a walk with her dogs. You will see the surfing community of North Yorkshire here. Take a picnic and a hot flask as there is nothing here. And take your swimmers if you’re feeling brave. 

Scarborough is great for the classic arcades and a walk around the town which has beautiful buildings. We have heard amazing things about a budding art scene here. The Old Parcel Office is a gallery located in a historic station building, well worth visiting, and Embers is lovely for lunch or dinner. 

Hunmanby Gap is another beach Kitty loves to go to. It has a large expanse of sand and still feels very wild.

Boggle Hole has an amazing youth hostel with fantastic food. Make sure to wait for the tide to go out. To the right, at Ravenscar beach, is a really safe and beautiful beach to swim at. You can park in the garden of Stoupe Bank Farm for £1, a hidden gem.

It’s always good to set off early for any beach trip as it can get very busy. And take a picnic if you haven’t planned where to eat.

We think this sounds like a brilliant trip. Beautiful walking, perfectly wonky pubs, heaps of creative inspiration and a real reset. Book Kitty Pennybacker’s cottage here 

@lumasonbaker . @kitty_pennybacker_knits . @visitmalton . @yorkartgallery . @partisanyork . @thecrescentyork . @castle_howard . @yorksarboretum . @thegrapesinnslingsby . @thepurplecarrot_Malton . @chef_florian_poirot . @thetalbotmalton . @the_spottedcow_malton @the_palace_cinema @oldparcelofficeartspace