Destination Focus: Landscapes and Cityscapes

The great British weather was on our side once again this week. What promised to be a wet weekend on the North Yorkshire Moors turned out to be glorious sunshine with the occasional thundery downpour, which we thought just added to the fun! The scenery on the moors was never ending and unexpected, one moment you're taken aback by a sheer rock face jutting out from the mountain side, the next a local sheep is slowly sauntering past as you look out to sea in the distance. 

Whitby was lively and it was great to see so many people enjoying our heritage coastal towns once again. It didn’t take a moment to escape the vibrant town centre and we soon found ourselves hypnotised by the boats bobbing about in the harbour, with the impressive abbey ruins above creating a dramatic backdrop. The town's two piers were ideal for a quiet, nostalgic wander out to sea and the adjoining West Cliff Beach was such a lovely spot to watch the waves rolling in. Be warned, though, the incoming tide does have a tendency to creep up on you and we may have retreated with slightly soggy shoes! No bother though, a short stroll past the colourful beach huts brought us to the 1930’s vertical cliff lift that swiftly took us back up to the town to dry off.

Next stop, London! It was great to be back in the capital after being unable to travel for so long. There’s always so much going on here that every visit feels like your first. A stroll through Green Park led us to Buckingham Palace, where we were lucky enough to see the Royal horses in all their finery trotting past an immaculate display of bright red flowers at the top of The Mall. We continued on to St James Park where an abundance of delicious coffee, cake and ice-cream stalls lined the paths, along with a surprising array of wildlife, including the local Pelicans! The beautifully kept border of tropical plants outside St James's Café were a welcome surprise - look out for banana trees, orchids and palms!

From St James Park we walked proudly through Royal Horseguards Parade, past number 10, the Cenotaph and Big Ben to Westminster Pier where a smooth boarding allowed us to get comfy before our cruise along the Thames. Passing the famous buildings that line the river feels like a trip down memory lane. The soaring heights of The Shard, the imposing walls at The Tower of London, the impressive engineering at Tower Bridge and the feeling of pride as you sail past HMS Belfast – cruising through the capital really is a wonderful way to see the sights.

You’re guaranteed a warm welcome with a trip up north and the dramatically different scenery makes you feel a million miles away. As ever, London didn’t disappoint, and was still noticeably quiet as many people continue to work from home. Whether you're heading north or south, England still has so much to explore - and we'll certainly be looking forward to our next 'staycation'!