Oxford, Day 28: Castle Howard and York

Going to York was a great way to wrap up the England trip–we visited Castle Howard and York Cathedral then had lunch in the city. Even if we were in the car for a grand total of eight hours, the extravagant elegance of both places was well worth witnessing first hand. 

Before getting to Castle Howard, we made a pit stop on the “motorway.” Judging from the list of restaurants it looked as if we were transported to a more elegant version of a rest stop in New Jersey that had a Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, WHSmith, and a Krispy Kreme donut machine.
Then when we go to Castle Howard, we saw the main house, the Atlas fountain, the Temple of the Four Winds, and a view of the mausoleum, which is closed to the public. Castle Howard serves as the inspiration for the Brideshead estate in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, one of the books for the Literature of Oxford course. 
The city of York is a half hour drive from Castle Howard and its countryside. The spires of the York Catherdral are visible from the motorway and are just as spectacular up close. It is a really big cathedral. 
My roommate and I ate at a diner called Wackers for dinner, which is a five minute walk from the cathedral.

New Jersey-esque rest stop

Making an attempt to read Brideshead Revisited on the way to Castle Howard

Castle Howard


Brideshead Revisited has been adapted to a 1981 mini TV series and a movie in 2008. Because of the filming projects, the parts of the house that were still in disrepair from a fire in November 1940 were lightly restored and used as sets, as well as the rest of Castle Howard. 

Library, still used today
Castle Howard depicted in artwork

Interior of the chapel
You know a British tourist site’s gift shop is complete when you see a ton of “Keep Calm…” souvenirs

Noisy Dino Puppets–the most random and unexpected thing to have at a British tourist site gift shop

The Temple of the Four Winds

A view of the mausoleum from the Temple of the Four Winds
We were fortunate that a tour group came by and the guide opened the Temple briefly. Since 2001 when  Simon Howard married his wife in the Temple, it is licensed for civil ceremony and open to public use for weddings for roughly 1,500 pounds. Though, compared to getting married in the Great Hall of Castle Howard, which costs 7,500 pounds.

Driving away from Castle Howard on the way to the city

York Cathedral

The Crypt–one of the oldest parts of the cathedral

Chicken Nuggets and Chips at Wackers–America seems to be subconsciously creeping up on me

The World’s largest “softpot” garden, which refers to the  special way the plants are potted using fine cheesecloth instead of traditional pots

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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