Beverley - the fun-sized York
Beverley - one of the best places to live in the UK?
Beverley, in the East Riding area of Yorkshire, has been described in The Daily Telegraph as “the fun-sized York”. Also voted one of the best places to live in the UK by The Times, this quaint town more than lives up to the competition from its rival, York. Renowned for its exquisite 13th Century Minster, the town is home to a lively market, a thriving music scene, excellent flat racing and a medieval skyline that remains refreshingly unspoilt.
So, if you’ve booked a hen party, or a week or weekend away at our wonderful nearby group accommodation, Foldyard House, we’ve done our research and found a plethora of things to do, places to see and delicious options for dining or a quick coffee.
Beverley first became a tourist destination in the 12th Century and the town's pretty cobbled streets and courtyards continue to attract history buffs, music lovers, racegoers and shoppers.
First up on your agenda has to be Beverley Minster. Widely regarded as one of Europe's finest Gothic churches, Beverley Minster is famous for its abundance of 13th Century stone carvings, stained glass and decoration. The church is 393 feet long, making it longer than many English cathedrals, and its long, high-ceilinged nave has been described as almost identical to that of Westminster Abbey. In fact, if any of the Royals are looking for an alternative place to get married, this would be it!
For a taste of medieval Beverley, why not take the colourful town trail? Explore the area from the North Bar towards the Beverley Beck, discovering the trail's 39 unique sculptures which depict the guilds and trades of the area. Medieval Beverley was a wealthy town with a diverse population of skilled workers including carpenters, butchers, jerkin makers, musicians and armourers.
If you’re on a hen do and shopping is more your thing, it’s best to head for the bustling streets of Toll Gavel, Ladygate and Hengate, particularly on market day. The Saturday Market has a vibrant and friendly atmosphere, repeated week after week. As mentioned, the area around the market is home to many smaller, independent shops. Antique shops and craft arcades are tucked away down the narrow streets, and there’s a pub on every corner brimming over with history and atmosphere.
Speaking of pubs, this town has everything from Michelin star dining through to cosy, pub food - there's something for everyone's taste (and budget). Some of the favourites include:
The Pipe & Glass - East Yorkshire's first and only Michelin Star. They are committed to sourcing as much local and seasonal produce as possible while retaining the highest quality. Dating back to the 15th century, the Inn stands on the site of the original gatehouse to Dalton Park, still the residence of Lord Hotham.
If you’re looking for something slightly more intimate, head for the neighbourhood The Pig & Whistle, a bistro and charcuterie bar. Serving small plates, cured meat and cheese, there is also an excellent selection of fine wines, ales and spirits.
The Westwood Bar & Grill has become one of the most popular restaurants in East Yorkshire. It is only a short walk from the Westwood Pasture and offers wonderful views of the black mill, the racecourse and Beverley Minster.
And this is one for hen party groups - White Rabbit Chocolatiers is an artisan chocolate kitchen and shop, crafting and selling its own luxury chocolate truffles, bars and novelties. The name comes from a 14th century stone carving in St Mary’s Church, Beverley, said to be the inspiration for the White Rabbit Character in ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’; what a place to get engrossed into your very own Chocolate Wonderland.
We can’t finish off our blog about Beverley without mentioning Beverley Racecourse, which has been a part of the town for over 300 years. Set in the amazing surroundings of The Westwood, the racecourse hosts right-handed flat racing over one mile and three furlongs and is home to some of the most anticipated races in the UK. The Hilary Needler Trophy, Rapid Lad Handicap and Beverley Bullet are all set here. Along with The Journal Ladies' Day, these popular events have helped the racecourse win national recognition.
Perhaps The Telegraph and The Times have been right about Beverley all along then?