England Stories and Tips

Part II - Time Consciousness in Pickering

Alley in Pickering Photo, England, United Kingdom

All the way from Leeds, the three colored lines (blue, green, and red) of Coastliner operate almost the same route till Malton, where they congregate then diverge. The blue Coastliner beguiled me for its route to Whitby in North York Moors National Park, a splendid view to harbor and lush fields.

The attempt of taking blue Coastliner was wrecked as I missed the bus schedule and needing to wait for an hour and half for the next. Instead of waiting meaninglessly at York Station, I decided to hop-on the green or red Coastliner, whichever come first, then stop at Malton. In this way I could tour an additional town and capitalize the time I had.

The red Coastliner, or number 843, passed Stockton-on-the-Forest, Barton Hill, before reaching Malton. The scene was mostly rustic. Array of rough-hew stone houses on either side of the roads with its own backyards, sunlight filtered down from the clouds and dappled the glorious meadows, mile after mile of verdant farmland, rolling gentle hills in distance, large green pasture where countless livestock nibbling on them. It was like watching TV programs; the scenes keep changing through the windshields, but just without a remote.

It was around 9:50am when Coastliner 843 reached Malton, a terminal station for all the Coastliners, and all coaches will stop here for at least 15 minutes before continuing its service towards northward or eastward bound.

Malton was an open terminal station. It was chilly to wait at the bus station, especially when the wind started to blow ferociously. I shivered unconsciously in the attempt to warm myself and tucked my hands inside the side pockets of my coat. As minutes passed, my hands started to get numb and all I wished was Coastliner 840 would be there on time. There were a few bulletins mounted on the walls, enumerating schedules for each of Coastliner. I contemplated and came to realize Coastliner 840 will only arrive at 11:10am, meaning in another 2 hours.

Oh boy! I could not be possibly standing here and wait for the bus. Moreover, Malton was a small town, nothing much to see or visit. Then I studied the column next to #840–Coastliner 842 going the same direction as #840 except it ends at Thornton, which will arrive in another 10 minutes. Instead of waiting 2 hours for #840, I decided to take #842, then change to #840 at Pickering. Again, it saved time and Pickering was another town I intended to visit.

After doing a quick math on the time, I could spend an hour in Pickering and catch the ultimate coach #840 heading straight to Whitby at 11:37 am sharp.

The way to Pickering was rural and lessly populated. This was made evident from residential houses were clearly waning, expanse of green fields occasionally punctuated by a few barns or thatch huts, livestock roamed freely, mile after mile of mountains and rough terrains.

Between Barton Hill and Malton was Castle Howard, which was five miles deviated from either of them. There was not much information of the castle from the brochure I had on hand. Furthermore, I did not drive and depend on public transports intensely. In the end, I dropped the idea to Castle Howard completely.

Pickering was located before the starting route to North York Moor National Park and also the historic North York Moor Steam Railway. A small town cuddled with its local shops, restaurants, and markets. Nevertheless was Pickering Castle–a splendid example of a motte and Bailey Castle, well preserved with much of the original walls, tower and remaining. The return journey to Pickering Castle took nearly 3 miles from heart of the town. Very unfortunately, the castle was closed from Nov 1, 2005 to Mar 22, 2006, which my trip falls into this period.

But still, Pickering has a lot to offer. Ambling down the street, there were arrays of pastry shops selling mostly handmade pies, breads, marmalades, creams, dressings, and all stuffs like that. It was mouth-watering and tantalizing just leering at them through the shops’ windows. I got myself a large pork pie–the crust was fluffy and baked to perfection, stuffed with minced meat inside.

There were numerous alleys tucked around the corners. On the outside, it appeared to be quiet and deserted. After a turn, it caught you in a surprise with its flea markets, bustling shops and supermarket where the locals rely on them for daily amenities.

Along Burgate or Castlegate Street, Parish Church captured the attentions of most tourists. A tall and historic edifice rose above the ground, its four sides mounted with clocks and at the base of the church was planted with disarrays of tombs that seemed to be derelict for sometimes. But inside of the church contains 15th century wall paintings that were rediscovered under whitewash in 1851, which made so disparate from the outside.

Now is time to catch my final bus to Whitby!

To know more about what I did in Whitby, further reading in "A Unique Constellation: Whitby’" journal!

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