Before we set off for Poland we spent a week touring friends and family in the UK. One place we'd never been to was York where my sister in law now lives so we set off up north to check it out! Arriving as the sun was setting over the city we stretched our legs after a few hours sitting in the car with a walk along the River Ouse.
Crossing the impressive Millennium footbridge we walked along the banks of the river towards the city centre - York is prone to flooding and I couldn't believe how high the water comes - these pathways are often completely under water!
There are some impressive properties along both sides of the river... as well as some more modest digs. Did anyone ever play with Sylvania Families when they were younger? I can just imagine them living somewhere like this!
A bit further along the river where the Ouse meets the Foss we crossed over into town. A lot of the old city wall remain in ruins and stand guard as you enter, in tribute to the city's history.
Saving further city exploration for another day, we turned our compass to our stomachs and headed in search of refreshments, finding them on an every so cheerful street at the Angel on the Green.
Little did we know, the weather gods were not on our side and our evening stroll was to be the most we saw of the sun during our time in York. Tasked then with finding wet weather friendly tourist attractions, we set off for Castle Howard, an incredible stately home less than a half hour from York city centre.
Sweeping down the imposing "driveway" the magnificent, private residence rises from the hills - home to the Carlisle branch of the Howard family to this day it's quite the sight to see - even in a torrential downpour!
Stepping inside, the sumptuous bedrooms, great halls and lavish state rooms furnished with world renowned works of art are open to the public (tickets are £20 per adult) and friendly and knowledgeable guides hover around each room to offer information and stories as you wander through the house at you're own pace.
I loved hearing tales of how all the children grew up together on the estate, what books they read, and how they lived. I mean, just think of the dinner parties!
Sadly, as did many estate's of it's kind, the house found itself in trouble during world war 2 - following a fire in the great room and the collapsing of the dome and the death of family members, the women left behind were tested to their absolutely max. An incredible exhibition gives some insight into what it was like in those unimaginable times.
Can you even fathom receiving a telegram like that?
But onto happier subjects. Lunch. Still keen to avoid the outdoors we hunkered down in the castle cafe with the biggest sausage roll I've ever seen in my entire life.
Before we spotted a break in the clouds and made a run for it Malton - which locals have labelled the food capital of Yorkshire. And you can see why.
We did a little tour of the old town square before some spots of drizzle chased us away - if only we had a chariot to take us back to our manor instead of a Ford C-Max.
But a princess can dream right?