Dirty Thirty

Never too old for a tutu...
Never too old for a tutu…

2015 may have been a so-so year on the reading front but it was the year I turned the big 3-0. Indeedy do. We had so many lovely bookish adventures last year but our trip to York for my thirtieth had to top it all. So, donning the tutu my 5 year old niece very kindly bought for me and bagsying an astonishingly cheap hotel deal, the other half and I proceeded to explore the winding old streets of York; its bookish nooks and oldy woldy pubs, for the first time.

number 1

With my deep love of history, real ale and all things bookish, I’d always been told that York would be absolute heaven. It really was and I’m hugely embarrassed that it took me 30 years to experience a city that really isn’t very far at all as the crow flies. Nestled within the city walls we discovered a cornucopia of cobbly streets, wonky buildings and, best of all, cute bookshops to explore, spandangling window displays included.

PicMonkey Collage

The Minster Gate Bookshop features at the top of every York book shop list and was the one place I was hell-bent on visiting but, unbelievably, very almost missed! After a good hour getting lost in the windy medieval streets, we finally chanced upon this absolute treasure trove, nestled in the shadow of the Minster.

PicMonkey CollageSet over five floors in an old Georgian town house it’s hard to believe this shop has only existed since 1970; so cosy and bedded-in does it feel. Although (as you can see from the pic above) there are countless sections to explore I found myself routed to the spot in the ‘bargain basement’ fiction section downstairs. Lordy lord. Brand new books; contemporary and classic fiction all as cheap as cheap as can be. It is, if you’re ever lucky enough to be visiting York, the nicest way to while away an afternoon. Indeed I got so lost in my perusals that the OH had to come and bring me back to reality after I’d been down there for well over an hour….sigh…

PicMonkey Collage

Dotted around the outlying streets are some nicher offerings, like Janette Ray’s colourful shop above. Others are open by appointment only, I tremble to think of the delights inside.

PicMonkey Collage

Our shabby-chic hotel was the perfect place to retire after a day of hardcore city tramping. The cosiest corner to settle down with my book haul, which included the following:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou –

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

The Luminaries  by Eleanor Catton

The Lazy Tour Of Two Idle Apprentices by Charles Dickens & Wilkie Collins

The Perils of Certain English Prisoners by Charles Dickens & Wilkie Collins

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Mugby Junction by Charles Dickens

Crash by J.G. Ballard

The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier

Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier


Bingo! Have those of you who’ve had the pleasure of York before got any favourite corners of this fabulous ancient city? If you haven’t been please do take some time this year to give yourself a wonderful weekend out and report back here to let me know what you think!

8 thoughts on “Dirty Thirty

  1. I love York. My parents took me there when I was young and I have loved it since. What a wide ranging book haul. I love ‘I know why the cage bird sings’. I really must read more Arthur. C. Clarke. I look forward to seeing what you think of these books


So...what do you think !?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s