Why you should visit Beverley Minster

There are places that have the ability to transform you from feeling heavy, burdened and at the centre of the world to all of a sudden feeling small, childlike and being in awe like wonder.

I walked into Beverley Minster with the weight of work and life stress on my shoulders but like Alice in Wonderland going down the rabbit hole, the further I walked in, I suddenly felt myself shrinking and staring up into this vast, peaceful space.

Coincidentally Lewis Carroll's white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland was inspired by another famous church in Beverley, St Mary's, but the magic and wonderment that the writer captures perfectly can also be felt in the awesome Beverley Minster.
Once a year the Minster throws open its doors as part of the Open Heritage events and invites people to see it like never before. Impressive at the best of times, it dates back 800 years and is larger than one third of all English cathedrals. Famous because of St John of Beverley but lesser known than its counter part in York, which, like the golden child of the family, steals all of the glory.

We walked around early in the day to avoid crowds and admired the space cleared of chairs. It looked even bigger than I remembered from the last time I visited as a teen. I found a safe pair of hands to rest with for a while, enjoying the peace and solitude.
The Heritage Open Day is the most perfect time to visit as there are helpful guides on hand to tell you stories of Beverley's past and the secrets the walls hold. It even gave me the perfect excuse to take my new coral shirt dress for a run out. Perfect for demure and conservative occasions like visiting a church but also vibrant enough to take to lunch.
The last thing I expected when I arrived there was to be told there is graffiti on the walls but lo and behold, it was true! It just happened to be from the 16th century. Similar to the modern 'I was here' tag, it allowed lords, ladies and priests to leave their mark. I like to imagine they contain secret symbols that helped illicit lovers arrange their meetings or tell tales of conspiracy between noblemen.
The guides cover everything from the amazing art and sculpture in the Minster to VIP access up the bell tower to enjoy the far reaching views over beautiful Beverley and see the deafening bells in action.

After a long slow walk around enjoying the majestic and cavernous space, we were parched and in need of some refreshment. Lempickas is the perfect little cafe to enjoy homemade tea and cakes. A 2 minute walk from the Minster, we found a perch outside - perfect for enjoying the morning sun and people watching.
Inside the counter was laden with mouthwatering creations designed to tempt and tease. We started with intentions of having a toasted tea cake each but left with two slices of homemade battenburg as well.
The tea arrived hot and sweet, just how I like it, followed by hot buttery teacakes. Is there anything more comforting and English than elevenses? Next we tucked into the battenburg - one a chocolate and orange variety and the other more traditional kind. Not wanting to miss out we grabbed our forks and shared both cakes. I love food sharing to get the best of both worlds - food envy is real people!
Across the road the medieval market was in full flow with people selling their wares. Like Alice in Wonderland tempted by colourful treats with 'Eat Me' emblazoned on them, fresh strawberries drew us in, and knowing they wouldn't be in season for too much longer, we grabbed a punnet or two to have with cream for pudding later.
Our perfect late summer's day at Beverley Minster was just the tonic and all of those hundreds of years of history so lovely to learn about.

1 comment

I love to hear from people so please don't be a stranger and say hello!