Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The Christmas Pudding Scone Tour in York

If you're looking for an excellent National Trust day out in the run-up to Christmas, I have the answer for you and it's.....York.

To follow my suggested one day itinerary, you need to go Thursday-Sunday between 9 November and 15 December, as that's when you'll be able to pay homage to the eighth wonder of the modern world, the legendary Christmas Pudding Scone with Brandy Butter at Treasurer's House, AND fit in a trip to Goddards, home of the Terry's of York family and their all-conquering stocking filler, the Chocolate Orange.

However, if you want to take your time and fit in shops/the Christmas market as well (and I do recommend this strategy, because York is a beautiful and historic city), then you'll need the Premier Inn on Blossom Street for a night's sleep. 

If you only have eyes for the Christmas Pudding Scone with Brandy Butter, on the other hand, you can go pretty much every day between November 9 and 21 December as Treasurers House will be open and waiting for you (check the opening times though, just in case).

It's not National Trust and you have to pay to go inside but the good news is that a) it's right next door to Treasurer's House and b) you can join free guided tours, which come highly recommended by me. The Minster opens at 9am and the tours start at 10am so you can get an early start to your day.


York Minster

2. Head to Treasurer's House
Treasurer's House is five minutes' walk from the Minster and opens at 11am. I know for certain that they only serve freshly baked scones, so you don't have to worry that early visit = yesterday's leftovers. The tea room is in the basement and is very atmospheric, plus it's table service, so grab a nice table, order a Christmas Pudding Scone with Brandy Butter, and inform any travelling companions that you might need to eat in silence as words will fail you when it arrives. Remember the first rule of Scone Club: take a picture and send it to me BEFORE you eat it.


Treasurers House

3. Walk the City Walls
The Walls aren't National Trust either but they're really worth doing. Climb up the steps at Bootham Bar, which is right by the Minster, and walk along. There are a couple of stretches where you have to drop down to street level and pick up the wall again later on but it's never that far (although weirdly it's not that well signposted on the ground, so you will need your wits about you and/or Google Maps).


York Walls

4. Visit York Castle
There's actually not much left of York Castle - Clifford's Tower is pretty much the only remaining piece and it's run by another heritage organisation who shall remain nameless. However, when you come down from the Walls at Fishergate you walk past the Tower and it'd be a shame to ignore it. There's a museum and they're doing some Christmas stuff so keep an eye on their website. 


Cliffords Tower

If you get back up onto the Walls after the Castle Museum, follow the route to Micklegate. If you then disembark the Walls at Micklegate, it's a fairly straight 30 minute walk to Goddards on the Tadcaster Road. There you can marvel/weep at the history of the Terry's chocolate dynasty and have a second scone brought to you in their beautiful dining room cafe.


Goddards

I need to point out that other good scone regions are available but York is just particularly good at Christmas. 

You can also listen to the podcast that I recorded at Treasurers House.

There's all to play for as the National Trust Scone Quest approaches its final year. York has admittedly delivered scone excellence but other contenders for Scone To Rule Them All have also emerged:
Remember to send me your pictures!

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