We’ve been out and about in the North East with our Luxe Q30 motor. Here’s our latest road trip:

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Great Ayton

A quaint, North Yorkshire village sitting at the bottom of the Cleveland Hills. It’s the place Captain Cook knew as a child and is picture perfect to explore – whether you’re here for a stroll, a shop, to eat or to coffee shop hop.

Eat at:

Petch’s Pies are the stuff of legend in these parts. Hand-made pies of every type made traditionally to the family’s age-old recipes. Not fancy, artisan pies – just ‘proper’, no-fuss pies. The shop front is a window of pastry!

And the idea is that you come along and accompany that pie with an ice-cream from Suggits. Again, a no-frills shop that is so unchanged that it has become cool and retro without realising it. Unchanged family-recipe ice-cream that has stayed the same for generations. Lick a Suggits’ cornet as you walk along the high street by the river watching the ducks and the daffs.

Joplins Restaurant is a favourite of many. A very good little bistro with a great following. Serves up high standard food using local produce, particularly good fish specials board.

For something a little low key – perhaps a Sunday brunch or a bacon sarnie before a walk up Roseberry Topping on a Saturday morning – head to Fletchers Farm. It’s a friendly, family run coffee shop set in Little Ayton, a green oasis where a warm welcome and good home baking awaits you.

Shopped at:

This is a popular little place where locals and visitors alike can shop local in the truest sense.

There’s Stokesley Butchers (who also sell food to feed the ducks on the river), a greengrocer, a hardware store, post office and bakery.  A couple of farm shops sell great fruit, veg, dairy and meat. We love School Farm Shop.

Buy clothes for the ladies at William Heritage Boutique on the high street – a very smart place with everything from point-to-point tweeds to cocktail frocks and lovely cashmere.

There’s a nice flower shop called Fleur Maison and Coopers Gifts is the place to get a last-minute prezzies– it’s packed with candles, nice-smelling gifts and homey stuff.

Strolled to:

Great Ayton is make for strolling. Walk through the town by the river and then head off in any direction to be guaranteed some fine views and good walking territory.

Captain Cook spent his boyhood here and you can discover more about the explorer at the town’s heritage centre. You can tackle Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook’s Monument for some real fresh-air views. In winter Gribdale is the perfect place to take your sledge for some whizzy fun.

Parked up at:

Pull up at Great Ayton’s Low Green for a stroll along the river – the perfect spot for a family picnic on a sunny afternoon.

Park up by the High Green to discover the village shops, bakery and coffee shops.

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