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July 10, 2015 / Jim Fenton

Europe Day 3: Fenton Heritage Day?

Friday, June 5, 2015

After a little more modest (but still delicious) breakfast at the hotel, we set out for our next destination, York. We first took a short drive to Coventry, site of a cathedral that had been heavily damaged in World War II. Cathedrals are easy to find: the steeples point the way.

CoventryCathedralThe theme of Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in World War II, is (very appropriately) forgiveness. Many sculptures and other writings made the visit a very moving experience. After visiting the cathedral ruins, we were able to climb a surviving steeple for a good view of the city.

We got a little lost on our way out of Coventry, but eventually found our way through the plethora of roundabouts to the motorway. Our plan had been to go next to Sheffield where my research showed some Fenton ancestors may have lived, but I decided to skip that because I was tired of driving. We stopped for lunch and then headed for Hunslet, a suburb of Leeds, where a number of Fentons had lived and a prominent Fenton was said to be buried in the chapel. We went to the oldest church we could find and it was still too new. They referred us to a Methodist chapel which was newer yet, so we gave up and proceeded onward.

The Fenton Flyer, a pub in Church Fenton

The Fenton Flyer, a pub in Church Fenton

On our way into York, we went to the village of Church Fenton, because, you know, the name. It’s also the site of a Royal Air Force base by that name. It was a cute town, and we took some pictures next to the sign, before proceeding on to York.

Kenna and I had visited York once before in the ’90s. We found a hotel just north of the city wall, close to where we stayed on the previous visit. The hotel is quite nice, but like many British hotels in which we have stayed, it was a climb up to our room on the top floor: 56 steps. Good thing we only have to carry our bags up once.

Dinner was at a very pleasant restaurant, Café Concerto, close to York Minster. After dinner we explored a little on foot before turning in.

This article is part of a series about our recent vacation in Europe. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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