Following the Yorkshire Gastro Trail with Inntravel
This weekend I took advantage of an amazing opportunity. To join other foodie bloggers on a fabulous day out, following the Yorkshire Gastro Trail around the North Yorkshire countryside, in collaboration with the generous folk at Inntravel.
A confession to make
I have a little confession to make though, I signed up without fully reading the itinerary. A ‘ Yorkshire Gastro Trail’ piqued my interest and my taste buds from the word go. I merrily signed up. Happy days. When I paused to read the full schedule, I realised that the Yorkshire Gastro Trail around Malton, the self-professed ‘Food Capital of Yorkshire‘ would be preceded by a 7.5km self-guided walk from the idyllic village of Coneysthorpe to Welburn. Whilst we walk a lot as a family, with our half-crazed puppy and at least one whinging child, a swift look at the map and I realised that for me, this wouldn’t be a ‘walk in the park’.
For anyone who knows my ‘back-story’, they will know that a mere two to three years ago a back injury meant that I couldn’t walk from my back door to the washing line. I couldn’t carry a lightweight bag of shopping let alone my little girl. I couldn’t get in and out of a car without help. A 7.5km hike up hill and down dale with seasoned walkers? Possibly not my best plan.
Would it be worth it? A resounding YES
Armed with a camera, a pair of walking trainers that I hadn’t ‘worn in’, a heavy waterproof coat (despite forecasts of glorious weather) and more than a little apprehension, I set of to Malton to meet fellow bloggers and our guides, Caroline and Amy.
Our guides handed us maps and directions, all smartly printed and well-researched and we set off at a pace and with much enthusiasm. Gassing away nineteen to the dozen, as bloggers are want to do, we missed our first key turn in path and were gently guided back to the route by the pros. Somewhat shamefaced we took our map reading responsibilities a little more seriously from then on (and I’m secretly glad that I’m not the only person in the world who twizzles a map around until it ‘faces’ the way we are going).
Yorkshire Fresh Air and Fabulous Company
I won’t tell a lie. For me the route and pace was a challenge. I was clearly the least fit member of the group. The glorious weather left me huffing and puffing and ‘glowing’ is definitely far too polite a word! But it was oh, so worth it. Stunning views, dozens of photo opportunities, copious amounts of fresh Yorkshire air and fabulous company. A dashing peacock even made an appearance mid-route.
Carefully planned routes, insider information
The premise behind the Inntravel brand is that you take a ‘Slow Holiday’ and step off the beaten track. You follow the self-guided (in our case a self-guided UK walking holiday) route as your heavy luggage travels on ahead of you to your next hotel destination. In my ‘Life Before Kids’ we walked every weekend. We have never been keen on poolside breaks with the masses, preferring to get out and explore the ‘real’ destination.
With Inntravel you benefit from walking carefully coordinated routes packed with insider information and no heavy luggage to carry. A winning formula if you ask me.
We were collected at the end of our walk in the immaculate village of Welburn and after a white-knuckle taxi ride we were delivered safely to the fabulous Talbot Hotel in Malton.
As someone who likes to see the ‘real’ destination and get a feel for the people and the place, Malton did not disappoint. As we arrived at the Talbot Hotel, feeling seriously under-dressed and over-sweaty for the occasion, we were greeted by the infectiously enthusiastic hotel manager who regaled us with tales of the hotel’s history, the dramatic generation of the once floundering market town of Malton and the continued ambitious plans for further regeneration. Following a delightful light lunch (entirely gluten free for me!) we embarked on an abridged version of the ‘Malton Food Tour’.
Local passion, incredible food
From sipping craft gin at Macmillans with the effervescent James Macmillan, to sampling gluten free sausages at Food 2 Remember, gushing over the exquisite macarons at Florian-Poirot Patisserie, lusting over gluten free deliciousness at the BlueBird Bakery through to possibly one of the best ice-creams (sorry – gelato) at Groovy Moo the food tour was a foodies dream from start to finish. The food was fantastic, the welcome warm and generous and the people a joy. I found myself looking wistfully in estate agent windows, fantasising about a house move. I don’t think my waistline would thank me for it though.
Already Planning a Return Trip
There are so many other hidden gems I want to visit, the Cookery School looks amazing, the Food Festival at the end of May is a no-brainer and I’ll be first in the queue for the next Gin Festival. Thank you Inntravel and thank you Malton, we’ll be back!
This post is written as part of a gifted opportunity and collaboration with Inntravel – All opinions are my own.