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The Tuesday trees: Oh, to be in England, now that April’s there

April 13, 2011

This week’s Tuesday tree comes sneaking in literally at the eleventh hour. (Apologies to all readers east of Western Europe, for whom it is already Wednesday!) We are just returned from a lovely short break in York, one of the jewels of England, a city with many good memories for both my husband and myself. I look forward to sharing some images of this most picturesque city with you once I have unpacked and sorted through the hundreds of photos I took. Meanwhile, here’s a brief glimpse.

Spring is in full bloom in Yorkshire. The beech and maples and horse chestnuts are already in leaf and the cherries are heavy with blossom:

But just look at the background to this cherry tree. Is that a glimpse of gothic tracery?

Indeed it is.

Across the lawns of Dean’s Park soars the massive limestone bulk of York Minster, one of the greatest medieval cathedrals of Northern Europe.

The trees are at a lovely stage, enhancing every view of the minster without concealing it.

The old city is still largely surrounded by its medieval defensive wall (some of which is based on Roman fortifications) and the walk along the walls is a green and peaceful way of seeing the city. Walking part of the way round on Sunday, after morning worship in the Minster, I thought that the combination of Spring-bright trees and ancient architecture was pretty near perfection.

 

The title of this post comes from the first line of Robert Browing’s poem ‘Home thoughts, from Abroad’.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2011 9:46 am

    Will look forward to your photos of York. It’s likely to be one of my daughter’s UCAS choices – we’re just trying to fix up a visit, but can’t make the main open day. So far I’ve only ever had tantalizing glimpses from the train. Cathedral cities and spring go particularly well together.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 13, 2011 12:10 pm

      Yes, don’t they?! York should definitely be on your daughter’s list, I would humbly suggest. The campus is out of town but nice enough, and there are good bus connections with the beautiful city. I visited fairly regularly for academic research and became very attached to the place: good staff and teaching, a friendly atmosphere and this wonderful, inspiring history all around.

  2. April 13, 2011 11:12 am

    Oh! So gorgeous! Unbelievable!!!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 13, 2011 12:12 pm

      Haven’t you ever been to York? Oh, you must, Jodi – you would get so much from a visit. (I’d love to see your version of it in your blog!) It’s easy to reach on the east coast train from Scotland and it’s just an extraordinary, ancient, beautiful city. Watch out for more pictures soon!

  3. April 13, 2011 3:08 pm

    Wonderful photos, Dancing Beastie. You must have a good camera and a very steady hand. 🙂

    I really love York, having been lucky enough to spend a week there 30 years ago at a church conference, with plenty of spare time to explore. I remember walking round the walls and spending ages exploring the Minster and all the other, smaller mediaeval churches in the city centre, some of them tucked away and almost unvisited. Magical!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 13, 2011 11:13 pm

      Thanks. I’m sure it’s the camera, not my hand!

      About the only thing better than studying medieval history in York must be studying theology. That must have been a wonderful week. (I was lucky to be studying medieval nunneries – arguably the best of both!) The city is indeed stuffed with beautiful churches, although some are nightclubs now, which always seems rather profane to me. Better the building is used than knocked down for more shops, though, I suppose.

  4. April 13, 2011 5:49 pm

    Great photos DB! I agree that York would be a great place to go to Uni and it’s not too big a city. We were fortunate to get a posting there 16 years ago and loved the 2 years we had living and working in York. Our visitors book had 102 entries and we were only there for 106 weeks, which shows how keen people are to visit such a beautiful, historic place. Very much looking forward to seeing further photos.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 13, 2011 11:16 pm

      What a breathlessly sociable time you must have had! You were there about the same time as me, then. I’m not surprised that everyone wanted to come and visit you there.

  5. Margaret Lambert permalink
    April 13, 2011 8:07 pm

    So very beautiful, and a nice surprise for the Tuesday tree!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 13, 2011 11:16 pm

      Thank you, Margaret. I know it was a bit of a cheat, but I was hoping you wouldn’t mind! 😉

  6. April 14, 2011 5:03 pm

    As usual…stunning shots! Love visiting your blog and getting a taste of your piece of the world!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 14, 2011 5:48 pm

      Thank you very much, that’s very nice to hear. 🙂

  7. April 15, 2011 8:26 pm

    You picked a fabulous weekend weather wise to visit our county. I consider myself fortunate to live only a short train ride away from York and we head over there every few weeks.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 16, 2011 12:12 am

      Wasn’t the weather amazing? We were so lucky; York couldn’t have looked prettier. Yours is a fine part of the world. York is one of my favourite English cities in any season (though winter in the Vale of York can be pretty fierce, can’t it!).

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