Leaving the train at York is always a feast for the eyes.I usually cross the station using the footbridge, so I can admire one of the great “cathedrals of the Railway Age” [to borrow a phrase a website called “Railway Architecture of North East England“] and take everything in. Then I usually turn left when I leave the station, onto Station Road, passed the waiting taxi cabs and face my first York landmark, The Royal York Hotel, a Grade II listed building designed by William Peachey of the North Eastern Railway. The hotel opened in 1878, a year after the present railway station, and was the flagship hotel for the North Eastern Railway Company’s flagship hotel, according to a certain on-line encyclopaedia.
I can’t say I have notice The Royal York Hotel’s window boxes in the past, but they must have looked particularly charming on this particular occasion [either that or I wasn’t rushing passed then in a hurry to get somewhere for once]!
Not all visitors to arrive in York, I’ve noticed recently, head into town, having passed through the historic city walls, having turned into Station Rise; in fact I’m probably in the minority. Station Rise has always been, in my lifetime, home to The North Eastern Railway Memorial, dedicated to the 2236 men of the company who lost their lives in the Great War, buses coming out of George Hudson Street (named after “The Railway King” George Hudson, railway pioneer, Conservative politician, dubious businessman and debtor) and this impressive Edwardian red brick building, which is now The Grand Hotel and Spa.
A plaque, a piece of history in itself, informed me that, “This building, now the headquarters of British Rail, Eastern Region, was head office of the North Eastern Railway from 1906“. I think I’m right in saying that York became the headquarters of the Eastern Region when it amalgamated with the North Eastern Region in 1967 and ceased to exist in 1992 [but if you’re an expert in these matters, feel free to correct me], so the plaque was already something of a curiosity when I started to notice the plaque when I was a much younger man than I an today!
The plaque also describes the different elements of the North Eastern Railway badge, which is one of the most noticeable ornamental details and can just be seen below the bay window in first photograph and in detail above.
Grade II listed, Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent, railways, Ribbledale, Ribblehead Viaduct, Settle and Carlisle line, Settle and Carlisle railway, Trains., viaduct, views, walking, Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge
The impressive Grade II listed Ribblehead Viaduct was a heart warming sight as my walking companions and I trekked from Pen-y-ghent to Ingleborough, probably because it was one of the most recognisable structures in Ribblesdale from which to take a bearing. The viaduct carries the Settle to Carlisle railway line over the Ribble Valley and we narrowly missed a steam train crossing, although we could hear its distinctive tones [we also had to the privilege of seeing and smelling the black smoke blown from its chimney, down the railway embankment, across a couple of farms and straight up into our eyes and noses].