Beverley is a delightful small town in the North East of England with a range of activities to suit all ages, and a huge amount of history and culture attached to it. It’s an ideal low key weekend break, with romantic hotels, some top dining locations and enough galleries, churches and quirky trails to keep you greatly entertained. Here are some top things to do Beverley.
1. Take a walking tour with Paul Schofield. Paul is originally from nearby Hull but knows the whole of East Yorkshire very well. His tours are tailored to the specific groups and are full of personality and fascinating stories. Paul knows not only some hidden gems around the town but also has many stories to suit.
He’s jolly and fun, with excellent local knowledge not just about the history of the area but also local customs, the best pubs to visit and funny stories about the town.
2. Enjoy some fine dining twists on traditional meals at The Beverley Arms. With fantastic views of St Mary’s Church The Beverley Arms is a smart yet cosy hotel and bar/restaurant. The popular restaurant and bar serve real ales as well as some top food choices including a fantastic scallops & black pudding starter. Many of the dishes are recognisable choices but with updated twists. It finds a great balance between classy yet unpretentious, and this is reflected in the guests some of whom choose to dress up for dinner, with others comfortably casual.
The rooms are traditional and elegant, featuring tartans and ornate wallpaper, large walk in showers and tubs with luxury toiletries. It’s a great base to explore Beverley and certainly one of the most popular hotels in the region with good reason.
3. Follow the painting trail. In a rather unique trail around the town, children and adults will enjoy finding the 22 full-sized paintings sited around Beverley. Paintings from local artists Fred and Mary Elwell (whose works were given to Beverley Art Gallery in 1958) make up a fun tour and outdoor art exhibition called ‘Painting The Town Fred And Mary.’
Even for those not particularly art focused it’s a bit different and the outdoor nature of it will certainly keep children interested.
4. Visit St Mary’s Church
You’d be forgiven for thinking that St Mary’s was in fact the cathedral given it’s size, but St Mary’s Church is in a fact a simple parish church, just a large and beautiful one. The outside is spectacular and it’s a lovely place to walk around and admire the architecture.
5. Visit the Market Cross
Beverley is still a popular market town, and on a Saturday the large market stretches across the main square and draws in people from miles around, as well as locals of course. The Grade I listed Market Cross was built in the early 1700s and has been a proud central point of the town since then, drawing people to the market. It bares a number of coats of arms and some detailed carvings making it a beautiful as well as functional piece.
6. Browse the local boutiques. Beverley has some wonderful boutiques and shops including record stores like Bug (pictured below). A top place to start is in St Mary’s Court which has some lovely clothing stores, a popular Gelato spot called Poma and some great unique gift shops.
Beverley is home to many high street brands but if you wander around the side streets and around the main square there are some independent shops including trendy clothing boutiques as well as high end salons.
7. Sample some luxury chocolates at the White Rabbit Chocolatiers. A small shop with some wonderful chocolates and truffles, it has extended and now features a popular cafe. Come for the chocolate slabs in flavours like ‘raspberry & amaretti’, the truffle counter including a delicious cappuccino flavour and the incredible decorated chocolate eggs.
8. Spot the intricate carvings of musicians at Beverley Minster
Beverley Minster is spectacular. It is grand, ornate and makes one marvel at how it was even designed let alone built. Spend a while exploring the different areas, taking note of the charming carvings of musicians dotted around. The minster has some beautiful stained glass windows and even those not particularly interested in religion or architecture are sure to be blown away by its majestic nature.
9. Have a pint of Sam Smith’s at the White Swan. Known locally as Nellie’s this local institution is a popular pub serving very well priced ales from the Sam Smith brewery.
It’s large and traditional with lots of separate areas and a huge amount of history that keeps the locals coming back and the tourists wanting to visit. My dad tells me stories of it having gas lamps and a table with jugs of beers, which conjures up images of something like Oliver Twist. Obviously it has had to update somewhat since then, but only as much as the law requires, meaning it’s like stepping back in time.
10. Follow the trade trail around the town.
Beverley has a rich history of trades and the trade trail is made up of 39 unique sculptures depicting the trades and guilds of the region. In Medieval times Beverley was an important stopping point between York and Hull for coaches and it became a wealthy town with many skilled inhabitants including tanners and carpenters.
Follow the trade trail and spot some street art designs of varying sizes and shapes as you learn about the history of the town.
11. Follow Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit
Lewis Carroll was known to have spent a lot of time in Beverley with his family and a carving in St Mary’s Church surely does bare a strong resemblance to the White Rabbit character in his books. It is believed that this carving was part of the inspiration for the character.
12. Visit the old Friarage and it’s slanty facade.
The old friarage is now a YHA hostel, it what must be one of the most interesting buildings for a youth hostel. Slightly hidden away near the minster it’s a charming old building with some pleasant gardens including old wells, but the main draw is the front side with it’s very slanted walls, from some angles you would wonder how it manages to stay upright!
13. Walk around and take in the old buildings and Tudor timbers.
Beverley has some fantastic buildings, many of which are hundreds of years old. Be sure to look up as you walk around the town and spot some of the the buildings that have stood the test of time including a few authentic black & white timber designs, many with original street signs.
14. Visit The Westwood
The Westwood is very pretty area of natural beauty just outside of the main town area. It is a great place to take a walk (plenty of parking spaces nearby), and take in the fresh air and lovely views, but it’s also pleasant just to drive through if you’re not much of an outdoorsy person.
15. Check out the sand sculptures
The Beverley sand sculpture trail is made up of sculptures from local artist Paul Hoggard. These 12,10-20 ton sand sculptures are housed in some significant buildings around the town including inside Beverley Minster and St Mary’s Church and represent things associated with Beverley through the ages. The sculptures are incredibly impressive and almost look as if they are carved from stone.
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