Take a stroll through Beverley market early on a Saturday morning and breathe in the sense of contentment of those who live here. The town is alive with locals stopping for a chat, weekend catchups in the bustling cafés, serious shoppers queuing up at the market stalls, dogs and children dancing to the music of the buskers dotted along the main streets between the statuesque Beverley Minster and St. Mary’s church. Beverley has everything a town should offer and more. Below are some of our favourites.
For us, the jewel in Beverley’s crown is the stunning pastureland of Beverley Westwood. Acres of ancient woodland and open space where the cows take precedence over humans and dogs. Sun or snow, it is the go-to place for all those who love roaming or playing outdoors.
Large enough to lose yourself in solitude for a couple of hours and small enough to always pass a friendly dog-walker or family gathering. It is also the home of Beverley Golf Course, Beverley Racecourse, Beverley Parkrun and various open air fitness camps and groups.
Returning back towards the town on a fine day, having circuited the iconic Black Mill, your eyes can’t help being drawn to the magnificent Beverley Minster rising above the town. There is always a new spot, trail, or event to discover there and we have never met a single person who has tired of it.
A favourite way to discover the town is by taking the Beverley Town Trail of Medieval Guilds and Crafts, which depicts 39 of the traditional guilds along the way. The medieval buildings and narrow streets and alleyways throughout the town are a delight to explore. The trail draws your attention to them through observing an abundance of features in buildings and streets that can go so easily unnoticed, even by locals. The trail gives a real insight into the rich tapestry of Beverley’s medieval history. We love how the town centre is still so carefully preserved that you can stand and close your eyes and clearly imagine the scene all those years ago.
The trail also leads you through Beverley’s industrial hub of the 20th century, Flemingate and towards Beverley Beck, another of our favourite walks. Of course, we can’t recommend Beverley landmarks without mentioning the two great churches of Beverley Minster and St Mary’s, both standing proudly over either end of the town. The Minster tower tour is a must-see for taking in a 360 view of the townscape and St Mary’s is home to the most beautifully carved pillars, one of which has the famous carving of the white rabbit believed to be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll.
And it is in the streets around these two churches that we introduce some of our favourite Beverley pubs. If you haven’t heard of Nellies (or the White Horse Inn), then where have you been? You’ll find it on the cobbled street of Hengate in the shadow of St. Mary’s Church, it is one of the oldest pubs in Beverley, dating back to 1660 and still has some of the original gas lighting. A trove of nooks, crannies, snugs and open fires. A pub like no other and the Sam Smiths beer prices always has visitors staring aghast at the change in their hands.
There are plenty of gorgeous traditional pubs around Beverley such as the Tiger Inn, Monks Walk, Sun Inn and Royal Standard. Our current favourite through is Chequers micropub in Swaby’s Yard. No bigger than a large living room but packs in the cordiality of the entire town, a testament to the jovial and enthusiastic nature of its owner Ian, a lover of good ale and conversation in equal measure. An added bonus for the many dog-lovers in Beverley is the welcome given to our canine friends in many of the pubs and it is always a lovely Sunday afternoon when combined with a dog-walk in the Westwood and pint or meal at the Woolpack Inn.
Beverley is also home to some amazing cafés, you are never far from a place to rest your legs over a warm cuppa. We love Vanessas, TC Patisseries (gorgeous pastries!) and the newly refurbished Beverley Arms where you will always find a spacious corner to natter in peace with attentive service.
In the evening, Beverley is foodie heaven with everything from cheap and cheerful to upmarket. Yo Tuk Tuk, the street food restaurant housed at the back of the Windmill pub is never a disappointment, full of flavour and character. The Pig and Whistle is a tiny corner of food bliss, every single ingredient is sourced with care and it is a brilliant spot for lunch with its delicious salads. Ogino, off Butcher Row and Sumo in Flemingate are fabulous choices for Asian cuisine. North Bar is also home to some gorgeous fine dining experiences at Whites of Beverley and The Westwood restaurant.
Beverley is fiercely proud of its independent shops. Planning appeals aplenty are fired into the local council whenever the balance of independents and chains seem threatened. The Refill Jar, just off Butcher Row is Beverley’s rapidly growing zero-waste and plastic free store and has become a firm staple in most town shopper’s itineraries. A couple of doors down is the lovely Beverley Bookshop, we dare you to leave without a purchase. For your home, we adore browsing around St Crispins Antique Centre. Carol Bird interiors in North Bar has a stunning range of luxury furniture, accessories and home furnishings. Their upholstered sofas are works of art in themselves and often require a dedicated sneaky stroll just to gaze in the window. On the other end of the town Galvin Brothers on Flemingate stands out on its own. They fuse handcrafted furniture with simple, modernist design with their own signature kick to each piece.
Outside of the town centre, the newly developed Flemingate shopping area is definitely worth a visit. It may have the first impression of being full of chains but when you big a little deeper, there are plenty of independent bars, restaurants and shops. It is home too to Parkway Cinema which has become a mainstay of the community programming live events, hosting the local film Society along with its main programme. The open layout of Flemingate allows children to roam free and explore the playground and abundant pop-up entertainment on offer. For beautiful gifts with an East Yorkshire stamp, pop into Art and Soul, a showcase for regional artists and makers.
Events are a huge part of Beverley tourism and life. We adore the Beverley Puppet Festival, returning this year. The programme is as big in street theatre as it is with paid events. It is an absolute must for families and visitors who just want to soak in the atmosphere. The Beverley Folk Festival is on again in 2022 which was previously the Fringe Festival that set up after the prior Folk Festival wound down a few years ago. Also, there’s Beverley Food Festival in October, Festival Of Words, the Festival of Christmas, and Beverley Racecourse hosts many events. And there are shows at the East Riding Theatre which is a fabulous, largely volunteer led theatre. It is a lovely hub for an evening out or weekend meet-up.
This is just a toe-dip in the pond, there is so much to discover in Beverley.