Easingwold is a small and quiet market town 13 miles outside of York, on the way to the North Yorks Moors, that is rarely celebrated beyond its own 5000 inhabitants. But bother to step inside this seemingly sleepy place and Easingwold will slowly uncover its scenic and serene charms.
Not that it has always been this way. History takes us back to Anglo Saxon origins and subsequent Royal ownership, of which stories and landmarks are still evident today. Indeed, the town’s centrepiece, the market square, derives from being granted market charter in 1221, and now a market cross represents the occasion. This listed Victorian canopy structure is a significant landmark which covers another ancient market cross monument underneath. To experience the modern day market in Easingwold, visit the square on a Friday for fresh food and flowers, clothes, antiques and more.
Buildings from different centuries are visible all around the town square, from the 14th century Church through the 18th century Old Vicarage to the 19th century George Hotel. And a historic remembrance from the 20th century is also situated on the market, where the grade II listed memorial commemorates 57 locals who gave their lives in both world wars. A sombre yet beautiful presence.
Circling the square, so to speak, are some great cafes, shops, bars and restaurants. The joyously named duo Ee By Yum and Tea-Hee! provide smiles beyond their fun monikers, the former as a delicious deli and homemade caterers, and the latter serving cracking coffee and home-baked cake, plus hosting occasional pop-up tapas nights. The Curious Table and The Fika Room join them as other lovely spots for coffee and brunch, and for both daytimes and evenings The Olive Branch cooks up bistro beauties in this pretty setting.
A few steps further on, Thornton’s Bakehouse and Butchers do exactly what their name suggests, providing local meats and bakes with real quality and care. Indeed, baking seems a speciality here, with Clark’s, Blakeston’s and Dough and Deli all offering their own unique and tasty takes on it. Plus, more sweet treats can be indulged in at Sugar Mouse, who sell locally produced luxury confectionary.
For those fancying a tipple or two to take away from Easingwold, The Tipsy Fox is just the place to remember your visit by, as an independent specialist drinks store stocking an array of beer, wines and spirits. And there are plenty more shops to browse by and carry a whole variety of goods out of too, from clothing at menswear fashion Charles Hobson, stylish womenswear Georgia Lilly, and fine occasionwear High Society, through home interior experts Easigwold DIY and The Curtain Room, to correctly named wonders The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store and The Flower Shop.
Beyond the eating, drinking and shopping, there are some unique attractions to take in too. Notably, the Easingwold Maize Maze is a great family day out, with the fun maze joined by go-karts, slides, football golf, farm animals and even more. And on the outskirts of Easingwold, Lund Studios is an independent art centre that offers courses in visual arts in a beautiful gallery and studio space. Back in town, more art can be found at The Leaping Hare, who work with local artists to showcase art in their gallery of contemporary British paintings.
All of this can be accessed within half-an-hour of York, driving 13 miles via the A19 and parking up at Millfield Lane, Galtres Centre or Chase Garth Road. And, whilst the old train station is disused, public transport heads here too thanks to the number 40 bus from Exhibition Square in York to Spring Street in Easingwold. The 40 minute trip to experience this lovely little town is well worth it.