checking in: the principal, york

A beautiful traditional hotel with a modern botanical twist in the heart of one of the U.K.’s most picturesque cities.

It was the weekend after the Christmas holidays had finished. The weekend after normality had resumed, and life had swung back into its grey ways as it tends to do. It was also the weekend of J & I being reunited post-festive-break. Post-spending every moment together. The week between had been hard and so, we felt incredibly lucky to be gifted a stay at the Principal Hotel in York – a chance to catch up, and enjoy a wonderful city.

The Room
The Principal is that building that you’ll know if you’ve ever been to York. Hop off the train, out the station, and just on your left you’ll spy its majestic architecture and gardens. The Chapter House, its bar, is literally right next to a platform! I’ve seen it so many times before, but I'd never really thought about it, figuring perhaps that it'd be fairly archaic inside. Instead, it's the epitome of modernity, sleek and open.

The rooms are really nicely sized, and super cosy.  Oh, and the bed is huge! We walked into ours, and I was immediately enamoured by the views of York Minster, as well as the stylish accessories dotted around the dwelling. We moseyed around, absorbed by all the itsy bitsy ornaments and framed photos.

The City
After obsessing over the room, we dumped our stuff and headed out into the city. We wandered along the cobbled streets, and down Stonegate, stopping in shops to have a quick browse. We popped into The Cross Keys for a bite to eat, a place which serves up good old fashioned pub grub! Careering past York Minster, we then headed back to the hotel to make the most of the facilities. Once we'd finished our dinner, we ventured back into the city again; the gift of this hotel is that the centre of York is essentially on your doorstep! It's a five minute walk beside the beautiful river.

Our first point of call was Sotano, our favourite bar and charcuterie on Little Stonegate. It serves Mediterranean tapas plates and classically-inspired cocktails, and is the perfect place for a date. I'll do a post soon all about the city of York!

The Experience
The Principal is somewhere you'd want to cosy up in over the full weekend. The communal areas are gorgeous, especially the Garden Room. I can imagine sitting there, reading your Sunday paper, sipping tea, and feeling absolutely content. We had dinner, followed by breakfast the next day, in the Refectory Kitchen & Terrace, the stunning contemporary conservatory style restaurant. It was especially beautiful and brightly botanical under the morning Winter sun. I loved the decor, and the extensive menu, as well as the limitless buffet set up. It was the best I've ever encountered in a hotel.

We also made use of the swimming pool and jacuzzi. Such a treat! Everything at the Principal felt like a necessary indulgence, a slice of sleek, accessible luxury. 

I'd highly recommend the Principal! It's a really special hotel, filled with character and class. The perfect stay for Millennials looking for a romantic getaway.

 Check out's at 11am, and check in's at 3pm daily. They also have two other hotels, in Manchester and Edinburgh! 


PS... This postcard partly made the trip! (The toiletries were dreamy)

Photos by Jimi Hunt

*I was gifted a stay at the Principal York, but my views and love for the hotel are very much my own!

why i love yorkshire

From Harrogate to Hull, Scarborough down to Sheffield, the sea to the sky – and all the eensy weensy villages inbetween – Yorkshire positively shines. Isn’t it crazy to think that this place is purely a collection of counties? To me it's like a kingdom, complete with it’s own ways, its own tongue, and it’s own culture. A world quite unlike any other. 

I’m not from Yorkshire. I wasn’t born here. I’ve technically only lived here for four years of my life (though the countless summers, Christmases, and odd breaks inbetween would amount for a whole lot more). When I first arrived in this neck of the woods, I was fourteen. I was young. I was heartbroken, having just moved from Brighton, my birthplace and my soulmate, to a tiny village surrounded by fields. Gone were the days of walking into the city centre, of getting buses to parties in Seven Dials and Hove, of feeling free to do and pursue whatever I wanted. 

The next two years passed in a blur of camping in fields, walking miles to friends’ houses, getting lifts from parents through the greenest green, and seeking refuge in the woods when things got tough. Though I ached for the bustle of the thriving metropolis, I revelled in the wide, open spaces. The warm, friendly faces. The pubs down the road, the corn that’d been sewed days before. We sat chatting and smoking in the haze of maize and I quickly grew to love it.  

I left Yorkshire in 2008 for another slice of the globe with a massive sense of self-pride and a notorious nationalistic mindset... Texas. Though completely different places, both to me had lots of striking similarities. Both seemed like ideological islands set away from the rest of the country, yet still immersed within everything. Both to me were filled with people who's identities were so proudly intertwined with the land under their feet. In Yorkshire, there is rarely an event where you won't get groups of people chanting "YORKSHIRE! YORKSHIRE! YORKSHIRE!" over and over again. In Texas, we pledged allegiance to the state flag everyday at school... Now that's pride. 

After returning from America, and four years spent back at uni in my hometown, Yorkshire felt like the place I was longing to get back to. Unfinished business, maybe. A need for somewhere known but still new, perhaps.

I've now been in Leeds for two years, and although I'll always miss the South, my soul relishes this place. 

I love the independent roaring spirit of Yorkshire. I love the scenery. I love the cities. I love the way the sun shines on the Leeds-Liverpool canal, I love the jutting rocks in woolly landscapes, I love the reviving rolling hills, the DIY arts scenes, the people that say hello to you in the street. 

There's a lot of other places I love deeply too, but the sweeping sense of both belonging and calm that these counties bring me is so far unrivalled. 

Yorkshire, I really do love ya.


the perfect lake district staycation

Here's how to have the perfect Lake District staycation, discovered in December on a trip to the village Baycliff. 

- Go with on a three hour hike
- Get your feet stuck in the sand, and fall in puddles in the dark.
- Find the Buddhist temple.
- Head to the beach, and feel the rippling calm.
- Go to the local pub, eat glorious homemade food, drink wine, and laugh lots.
- Amble round Ambleside.
- Eat apple pie at the Apple Pie.
- Take stupid photos.
-  Wear lots and lots of layers.
- And in the morning right before you leave, head down to the water, drink coffee, and smile. 


8 north yorkshire wanders to blow away the blues

What's the best antidote for the January blues? For me, it's got to be getting outdoors. I always have to remind myself how lucky I am residing in Leeds and having friends and family in North Yorkshire, to be so close to some absolutely astoundingly beautiful wanders.

So today, on this bluest of Mondays I thought I'd list some of my favourites...

1// Aysgarth Falls

Drive through Leyburn to Aysgarth Falls! Walk along the river banks, pop down on to the little beaches, and witness the force of the hydra. Make sure to veer by West Burton Falls while you're up this way too, and also Hawes - a dreamy little town filled with cutesy cafes, shops and waterfalls. 

2// Druids Temple

When the sunshine streams through the trees, this place just feels a magical. There's also the sweeping views of the reservoir below, that enhance its meditative and breathtaking qualities. Oh, and there's The Bivouac nearby, which is a glamping hotspot and also a great venue for a coffee!

3// Reeth 

Drive through the Dales, past the dry stoned walls, over to Reeth! Walk and talk, and maybe even stop in the village of Low Row nearby for probably one of the best views I've ever seen! 

4// Osmotherley

Go to the stunning village of Osmotherley, drive to the Sheepwash and walk around the reservoir. It's somewhere I always return to because of how beautiful it is! From here you can drive up over the Yorkshire Moors, see the purple heather, and get a sweeping view of the surrounding valleys. 

5// Richmond

Head here and peruse the shops of this market town, then drive down to the Station cinema, park up and walk over this gorgeous bridge towards Easby Abbey and back round again. Make sure to stop in to the Station for a cup of tea afterwards

6// Sutton Bank

This picture doesn't do it justice in the slightest. Drive up and up and up to Sutton Bank - it's a lovely walk, from which you can see the whole of the Tees valley. It's also an official Dark Sky Discovery Site, one of two in the North York Moors. There's also a cracking tearoom by the car park!

7// Lake Gormire

Near Sutton Bank is the mystical Lake Gormire, tucked away in the woodland. Walk around the water, climb the trees, and stop in at the Carpenter's Arms for a pint after you're done! 

8// Ribblehead Viaduct

I've only been here when the wind was howling, and the rain was pouring, so I'd like to go back when the weather's slightly less bleak! But, just at look at that view...

Where do you like to go?