Shamefully, I’ve driven through Hovingham but never previously stopped to enjoy the village. Maybe it was on a trip to nearby Castle Howard that I once passed through the place but last week I was lucky enough to stop and spend some time there as I met the local family history group. The visit certainly lifted the spirits on the greyest of days. The red roofs and immaculate buildings sit comfortably up against the wooded Howardian Hills and you can sense a pride in the village without even speaking to a resident. The gulf between the ostentatiousness of Castle Howard and the simplistic beauty of Hovingham is almost immeasurable. The village does have its share of grandeur, however, in the shape of the splendid Hovingham Hall. Built around 1760 by Thomas Worsley, it presides over the village, and is approached from Hall Green with its lime trees, an impressive setting to the Riding School which forms an unusual entrance to the Hall.

Note to self: must investigate more of this fabulous part of Yorkshire.

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