7-13 Low Rd
Leeds, England LS10 1QR
4-Door Compact with Automatic Transmission
1 Day Rental (08:00-17:00)
Total: $124.49 (for 3 people)
Total per person: $41.46
We checked out early and headed over to Europcar for our car rental. If you cannot drive manual, then I suggest reserving an automatic as soon as you can because there aren’t nearly as many cars available. They’re also four times more expensive than a manual car.
Ideally, a bucket list item for me is to rent one of the old classic or vintage British cars and drive it in the Yorkshire Dales. The only problem is, they only have manual transmission and I have no idea how to drive. But in case it is of any interest, the classic car hire that I was looking into is called Dales Classic Car Hire.
The Yorkshire Dales is to the east of the Lake District and so I thought it would be a perfect day trip for our last day in England. It’s home to some outstanding scenery, great castles, abbeys and a breathtakingly peaceful atmosphere – you get to see the old English countryside where there are stone walls which tons of sheep. It encompasses all these moors, valleys, hills and villages full of stone-built villages and stunning landscapes.
Each of the Yorkshire Dales has a different character. The Southern Dales are incredibly gorgeous but definitely less remote. The Northern Dales have the wild heathers and valleys “full of hay meadows, drystone walls and barns”. And in the West, they have the charming, pretty villages and small towns.
Skipton Castle Entrance Fee: £8.10
York Minster Entrance Fee: £10
York Minster Central Tower Fee: £5
We ended up only checking out Skipton Castle and York Minster. Skipton Castle is one of the most complete and well-preserved medieval castles and is over 900 years old! While we were there, we ran into another visitor who informed us that the castle was a great example of our version of a toll-bridge where farmers had to pay a toll to come back to their farmland after catching their runaway sheep. Which, is amazing to learn but also quite unfortunate for those farmers.
York Minster is also a must-see – it is an absolutely stunning cathedral and the official site of the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe. You can climb up the tower(don’t worry, it’s less than 300 steps) as well for an additional cost but they have dedicated times for climbing so we had to forego it. The Nave inside the cathedral is beautiful and is a place of inspiration and wonder and leads up to the Great East Window (1405-1408). What makes the Great East Window so spectacular is that it makes up for more than half of England’s medieval stained glass windows! Lastly, we also saw the the King’s Screen, which is a wall of 15 carved statues of the kings of England. After the cathedral, we had to return the car and head back to London to catch our flight the following morning back to New York City.
Leeds to London King’s Cross
Travel Time: 2h 12min
I highly recommend booking train tickets to London from Leeds online in advance because when we purchased them at the train station, we actually paid £105.20. Per ticket. The price above is the cheapest Standard single for the specified train only and far cheaper than purchasing the ticket at the kiosk in the station.
OTHER TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- Richmond Castle: Norman fortress with breathtaking views of the Yorkshire Dales
- Parceval Hall Gardens: Tranquil grounds, woodland walks, formal areas, south facing terraces, a limestone rock garden and a beautiful rose garden
- Pendragon Castle: Reputed to have been founded by Uther Pendragon, the father of King Arthur. According to legend, Uther Pendragon and a hundred of his men were killed here when the Saxon invaders poisoned the well
- York Cocoa House