Have you ever considered a walking holiday? Truly? Well, I haven’t or at least, I hadn’t until this weekend, when I was invited me to discover Yorkshire’s food capital and experience an insight into a walking holiday. Maybe it was the glorious weather, the joyful feeling of being out in the open, or a sign that I’m slightly maturing – but, I thoroughly enjoyed discovering Malton and its surrounding countryside.
Discovering Malton: Yorkshire’s Food Capital
This is a paid collaborative post with Inntravel.
Inntravel, the slow holiday company, invited a small group of bloggers to join them on a 8.5km walk in North Yorkshire’s Howardian Hills and to experience Yorkshire’s food capital, Malton. Why? Well, the slow holiday company wanted us to experience an insight into their Yorkshire Gastronomic Trail, a self-guided walking and foodie tour, teamed with traditional hotel accommodation. Since I spent 24 Hours in Sheffield, exploring more of the UK has been high on my agenda. Since I’ve never travelled north of York, I was intrigued to discover Malton and see what ‘Yorkshire’s food capital’ had to offer.
So, who are Inntravel? Inntravel are a UK company specialising in walking holidays in the UK. They’ve been offering walking holidays since 1984 and not just in the UK – they also offer European walking holidays too. It simple: you’re handed an Ordnance Survey map and a detailed set of walking instructions and you enjoy the great outdoors, while your luggage is transported to the next hotel for you.
Leaving Manchester on the 7.45am train to Malton, I sat bleary-eyed staring at the exuberant conductor as I handed him my ticket. ‘Oh, Malton!’ he exclaimed, ‘It’s a scenic route, you’ll be glad you chose a window seat.’ He was right. Pulling away from Manchester’s urban suburbs, it wasn’t long before the train slipped into Yorkshire to be greeted by vast, open greenery as the train trundled further into white rose county. Travelling over 100 miles, at 10.04am, I promptly arrived in Malton ready to discover the great outdoors.
Meeting Jenni, Amanda, Charlotte and Clare, we took a short taxi journey to Coneysthorpe where we were greeted by an idyllic village which was to be the starting point of our self-guided tour. Just like a customer, we were handed an Ordnance Survey map, a written set of instructions and with a cheerful disposition, we set off to find the village of Welburn.
Coneysthorpe to Welburn
The Howardian Hills covers 204sq km of the North Yorkshire countryside and sits nestled between the North Yorks Moors National Park, the Yorkshire Wolds and the Vale of York. With well-wooded, rolling countryside, patchwork of fields and scenic village. Our route followed tracks and footpaths through meadows and quiet woodland from one pretty village to another.
One of our first spots on the route to Welburn was a beautiful icon, sitting 90 feet high on the landscape of the Castle Howard estate. Noted as one of Europe’s finest examples of a mausoleum, the cylindrical structure is now the final resting place of the Howard family.
Halfway through the walk, we heard an almighty shriek which stopped us in our tracks. Involuntarily, we each spun around to see a beautiful peacock commanding our attention, strutting between the ferns and greenery. Camera at the ready, it hopped onto the wooden logs and stared into the distance, stoically. And there we stood, mesmerised and trying to capture the beauty in all its glory.
We walked for miles, passing rural farms along the way and crossing open fields expanses of until after 8.5km, we reached the linear village of Welburn ready for our journey back to Malton.
Arriving back in the market town, my first impression was that it was quaint and charming and bore the stereotypical Yorkshire stone. First stop, the Talbot Hotel where a table was set for us to enjoy lunch in the sun. We dined on sandwiches, crisps and the most delicious brownies while we listened to David, the hotel’s general manager.
Situated in North Yorkshire, Malton may be a small town but its big reputation supersedes it. The town still holds a weekly cattle market, but its regeneration and rebirth as the food capital of Yorkshire has really put Malton on the map. And it’s thanks to Tom Naylor-Leyland, (a member of the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate – who own the majority of Malton) who decided to launch a food revolution by celebrating the high quality produce on his doorstep.
Next stop was Malton’s Talbot Yard, a food court brimming with independent traders, each supporting each other.
Location: The Talbot Hotel, Yorkersgate, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7AJ
Roost Coffee & Roastery
As a coffee lover, I was most excited to visit Roost Coffee & Roastery: speciality coffee roasters, wholesaler and cafe. Roost is the creation of husband and wife team David and Ruth Elkington who love to share their passion for coffee. Situated at the entrance of Talbot Yard, it’s a great location to sit and enjoy a coffee while watching the world pass by. If you love coffee, Roost is not to be missed.
Location: 6 Talbot Yard, Malton, YO17 7FT
Good baked goods.
Perfecting the art of sourdough as well as baked sweet and savoury treats, Bluebird Bakery epitomises the traditional artisan bakery, with an excellent range of breads. A veritable feast for the senses as you enter the bakery to be greeted by the familiar, comforting smell of baking bread. Selling the largest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever seen, it’s worth a visit just to enjoy the aroma!
Location: Talbot Yard Food Court, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7FT
Florian Poirot: Master Patissier
‘Bonjour!’ He proclaimed, as he tweaked his handlebar moustache, ‘Je suis Florian Poirot, Master Patissier!’
Or, at least that’s what I thought I heard as the UK’s pastry champion greeted us into his Patisserie – a colourful delight with more macarons you could shake a stick at! A veritable Instagram dream! Starting his business on Malton’s market, Florian makes his sweet delights on site at Talbot Yard. We were lucky enough to try a gin & tonic macaron which was made with the gin of his next door neighbour, Rare Bird Distillery. Light, but creamy, with a distinctive gin aftertaste. We found them delicious!
Location: Talbot Yard Food Court, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7AJ
McMillans of Malton
‘Protein Shake? You mean whisky don’t you’
Born over a pipe dream and pint, Father and son, James and Jim McMillan first opened their doors on Malton’s Market Street in September 2016. Entering McMillans, we were greeted by the larger-than-life Jim McMillan who was already pouring us a wee dram of whisky. Born in East Lothian, Scotland, Jim moved to Malton in the late eighties to marry a Yorkshire girl and here he laid roots.
His dedication to showcasing spirits, wine and beer was clear. Offering us numerous samples on our visit. It was a new Spanish sparkling gin that caught my taste bud’s attention. Mixed with Cava and gin, the spirit was warming on the back of the throat but light when mixed with Prosecco. Jim’s character shone through our entire visit and it was hard not to smile at his infectious personality.
Location: 5A Market Street, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 7LY
Leaving Malton at 5.13pm, I marvelled at how much we’d been able to fit into one day and considered when I’d be able to return, with John of course – after the wedding, for sure!