The reason we started this blog is because, in a very short time after moving to Yorkshire, we realised there was A LOT to see and do here.
But rather than let all the amazing things we discovered in those months go unremarked here, we decided to do a couple of #ThrowbackThursdays.
The first, I’m sure to the delight of Harry Potter fans, is Hogsmeade Station… otherwise known as Goathland Station.
We visited the station just a few weeks after moving to Yorkshire – it had been on my list of places to see long before we moved up North and I figured it was worth the substantial drive across to the North Yorkshire Moors.
The fact that it was a bright and sunny early-summer’s day probably helped matters, but the drive on the way up from Leeds didn’t disappoint at all. Going over the twisting and turning roads the surroundings were just as you would imagine – sprawling and hilly and the green and peaceful.
Of course on the way there I couldn’t focus very much on what was around me, I was too busy gibbering on about Harry Potter and what the station would actually look like when we got there.
But as soon a we got to Goathland and stepped out of the car I looked across the road and thought “what on earth is this?”
I mean, it was pretty – very pretty. There was a line of shops with Olde Worlde looking displays in the windows, only it wasn’t a magical Olde Worlde. In fact, it was decidedly Sixties Britain.
As we wandered from shop to shop I peered into the shops and saw a plethora of memorabilia – but only from the TV show Heartbeat, which was filmed in the village. I looked at Chad (slightly despairingly – if you’re after Heartbeat it’s definitely the place to be, but there was very little for Potter fans) and he suggested we look for the train station after a cup of tea (the cafe on the end is very good, if you’re in the area. Try the cake).
After the momentary panic that Goathland Station didn’t actually exist (or was hidden by a particularly powerful charm) we found it following a short walk.
It really does feel like Hogsmeade Station too, or at least a station which hasn’t changed much since the 1920s. To my delight, the shop on the platform sold a good variety of Harry Potter merchandise and an unhealthy, but delicious, array of boiled sweets.
The railway that goes through Goathland isn’t linked to the main network, but is on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This means that they don’t come along very often, and when they do you can see their big puffs of steam long before you see the train itself.
Even before that you can hear the wonderful chug-chug of the engine.
The tickets for passage on the train is a little expensive – we paid around £20 each to go from Goathland to Pickering and back – but if you want to be transported back in time, as well as along the moors, there’s no better way to travel.
- Take the train. If you’ve driven a long way you may as well, and you might just bump into a fellow Potter enthusiast along the way.
- Visit the shop! I picked up some lovely souvenirs and sent a couple by Owl Post (Royal Mail, but the cards had owls on them) and it wasn’t overly expensive for a tourist destination.
Would we go again?
Probably, but I’ll be waiting for us to have kids before we stump up the cash for the train fare again. There’s also [Chad interjects] the chance to go to Whitby at the other end of the track from Pickering, which [I’m told] we did say we’d do.