8 Reasons Everyone Needs A Trip To Yorkshire

Recently I took a trip to THE NORTH. By the north I mean the north of England and more specifically the lovely county of Yorkshire. If you’ve never been to Yorkshire then you may have this image in your head of an area like a barren wasteland, with nothing but cows, freezing cold temperatures and gravy drinking-Yorkshire Pudding throwing maniacs.

Well, as a former northern dweller I am here to tell you that this is most certainly rubbish… there’s no way we would waste a Yorkshire Pudding like that!

To me Yorkshire is home. It is comfort, it is delicious food and it is friendly hello’s. Although I no longer live in this lovely county, I still take trips there at least once a year to enjoy the areas bustling cities, majestic coastal towns and vibrant rolling hills.

Perhaps I’m being biased but I believe that everyone needs to take a trip to this northern gem, if not just for the beautiful countryside, then at the very least for the food!!

So, if you’ve never been or need some inspiration for your next break, then here are my 8 convincing reasons to grab your jumpers and get yourself to Yorkshire:

1. The North York Moors

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A picturesque national park located in North-East Yorkshire, The North York Moors is an area comprising of over 1,400 miles of stunning natural beauty. Renowned for having vast landscapes of heather moorland, it is a fantastic place to spot wildlife such as roe deer and for those with a keen eye, the occasional secretive badger.

2. Yorkshire Tea

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The tea of all teas, nothing beats a Yorkshire brew and where better to have it than in the county itself! I recommend grabbing a cup at one of the many cosy cafes or tearooms, the most famous of all being Yorkshire’s treasured Betty’s. A family run business established way back in 1919, there are 6 Betty’s Tea Rooms to choose from in Yorkshire, with my absolute favourite being York’s. This grand tea room is fantastically placed in the city centre and serves the most mouth-wateringly delicious cakes to go with your tea.

3. Whitby

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Whitby has to be one of my favourite places in the world. Imagine walking down a cobbled street, lined with knick-knack stores selling Whitby Jet and handmade soaps, then turning a corner and to the sight of a tranquil bay and catching the delicious aroma of Whitby’s famous scampi. Heaven. On top of the cliff overlooking the North Sea stands the remains of Whitby Abbey, an ancient landmark dating back to 657 AD. The gothic architecture is known to have inspired Bram Stokers iconic novel Dracula and taking a visit up to the Abbey or a thrilling ghost walk around the town will certainly demonstrate why.

4. Friendly Folk

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Wandering down a street in Yorkshire don’t be surprised to have a few friendly smiles and hello’s thrown your way, or when entering a shop the odd “alright there pet?” and “thanks love!” from the staff inside. No, you’re not being robbed or hit on (well maybe) or mistaken for someone they know, Yorkshire folk and just incredibly friendly and love a good chat! Take my Grandad for example, by the time he’d popped down to the seafront to buy a 99, he would have made 3 best friends and learnt someone’s life story by the time he got home 30 minutes later!

5. York

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Oh York. If I had to pick somewhere to live in Yorkshire, York would be number one on my list. Riddled with rich history and culture, there are hundreds of historic buildings, museums, fun attractions and sights to see. Take a walk around the ancient Roman City Walls that hug the city, delve into the past at the Jorvik Viking Centre, or marvel at the grandeur of York Minster. If this isn’t enough then take a beautiful cruise down the River Ouse that glides through the city, or munch away at a gluten-free muffin in one of the many cosy, hipster coffee shops. A must-see is The Shambles, which famously influenced J.K.Rowling’s Diagon Alley and now has it’s own Harry Potter-themed shops. You really do feel like a wizard or witch as you walk the area’s crooked streets (especially when you buy a wand, oops!).

6. The Coast

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Yorkshire has so many gorgeous coastal areas. Although the sea may be bloody freezing, it is actually possible to go swimming in it… I’ve tried! Just head there in the summer months or grab yourself a wetsuit, mmm refreshing! If staying dry is more up your street then take a lovely walk on the beach, or sit sipping a nice cup of tea overlooking the crashing waves. Some of the most popular spots on the coast have to be:

Scarborough, known as one of the first ‘seaside resorts’, Robin Hoods Bay, a fantastic spot for picnics and crabbing, and of course Whitby. There is also Bridlington (where I grew up!), with its charming Old Town and picturesque Flamborough Cliffs.

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7. The Food

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Er..hello. Yorkshire Pudding and Fish and Chips?! What more do I have to say? Oh yeh gravy, just put it on everything. Fact.

Best for Fish and Chips: Quayside (Whitby)

Best for Chocolate Brownies: Milner’s Bakery (Bridlington)

Best for Michelin-Star: Burlington Restaurant (Bolton Abbey)

Best for Pub Food: The Star Inn (Helmsley)

8. Family Fun

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The county has a wonder of attractions and events for the whole family. I remember having many day trips out and about as a kid, exploring grand stately homes such as Castle Howard and having picnics at Burton Agnes. You’ll find too, organised events and activities often held across the county, such as Vintage Fairs and Haunted Tours.

Yorkshire is also home to some amazing wilderness. Head off on farm visits and bird spotting, national parks and whale watching, whatever it is just take a camera and get outdoors, who knows what you might spot…

 

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J x

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An Attempt To Explain The Weirdness Of Portland

Portland, Oregon. I was recommended to go here by my good friend Kim. It’s weird she said, so you’re bound to love it, plus there’s a giant book store! Sold I thought and found myself on a bus to investigate!

From Seattle Portland is around a 3-4 hour drive and pretty cheap on the Boltbus if you don’t have a car. It is certainly a unique city, that cherishes it’s quirky edges and colourful buildings.

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The first thing I gathered when I arrived (actually even before I arrived because I spoke to some people on the bus) was that Portlanders are lovely.

From the polite girl who apologised a million times when she bumped into me in the bookstore, to the hostel owner who gave me a free padlock when we had to break into mine (don’t ask), to the chatty old man who told me stories about growing up in the city and thanked me for talking to him at breakfast. Sometimes a bit odd or eccentrically dressed, they seemed a welcoming and friendly bunch that gives Portland it’s spirit.

The second thing I gathered was that this is a hippy city, not hip or hipster but very much hippy:

Hostels have yoga mats, herbal teas and no shoes rules.

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Yoga studios sit next to marijuana shops (which by the way is legal in Oregon and no Mum I didn’t go in 😘)

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In fact these ‘Green Houses’ are EVERYWHERE and I’m pretty sure 80% of the population is stoned, which might explain the chilled vibe of everyone 😂

There are also loads of vintage shops and thrift stores which are pretty neat.

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Mississipi Street in the North East of Portland was great for these and the prices didn’t seem too bad either 😆

Oh yeh and everyone rides around on bikes!

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Or in groovy old cars and trucks!

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Nature is worshipped and the city seems very connected with the surrounding landscape.

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Outdoor pursuits are popular, there are parks and trees throughout the streets and recycling is promoted.

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The cherry blossoms were out on my visit and they were delightful.

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Art is another element that can be found anywhere and everywhere

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Leaning more towards the hipster category, Portland has an array of interesting, quirky attractions. Number one on the list being Powell’s Bookstore:

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This is not just any bookstore, this a Portland bookstore and it is a city. Pick a topic, any topic and  I promise you there will be a book on it, there is just everything!

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I mean just look at this Tolkien collection!!!!

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(FYI there were about 4 more shelves full this was just a fraction of it)

In each section they also had items on sale that had some sort of significance to that genre. For example in the travel section they had travel pillows and maps and things and in the fantasy they had Harry Potter scarves, you can get so much more than just books here!

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Just to point out what I was saying earlier… they also sold yoga mats and the wellbeing genre section was EPIC. Worth noting is that the store does also have a nice cafè where you can sit and read any of the books, there are power outlets as well, so quite a handy place for a stop during the day 😊

The next attractions I wanted to mention were the cinemas. There are a fair few around ranging from modern Cineplex’s to old fashioned styled theatres. I went to one called The Living Room where you could order a full on dinner and alcoholic drinks whilst watching your chosen film in comfort!

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Then of course I can’t forget to mention the food trucks!! These bad boys are scattered throughout the city in all shapes and sizes. They vary greatly with what they have to offer, from burgers, to cheese toasties, to vegan wraps and couscous, it doesn’t really matter what one you choose, it’s a Portland tradition you can’t pass up!

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The rest of the food scene is also amazing. Vegan, gluten-free, whole foods, organic and all that jazz is very popular, which means there’s a great variety of fresh and unique recipes being tried out. Brunch is also a big thing in Portland so I had to try a few out, starting at a place called Tin Shed.

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Special of The Day – Scrambled eggs, asparagus, bacon, tomatoe, cheese grits, a potatoe cake and what they call a Buttermilk Biscuit that’s kind of like a savoury scone type thing but not… just try it! It was delicious 😍

Next up was pancakes at a very hipster resteraunt called Gravy:

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Anyone looking for a new pancake recipe try this: blueberries, pecans and maple syrup. Genius.

Funny/notsofunny story about these pancakes. Shortly after taking this photo I jumped on a bus with my leftovers, picked up the bag of pancakes when I got off… but left my backpack on it. Result – vanishing of said bag, along with money, a new book, my phone charger and a cool Powell’s waterbottle that were inside it… but hey I still had the pancakes at least!! 😆

All in all Portland is certainly a unique place to visit, expect rain, smiles, good food and colourful memories. Just don’t leave your bag on the bus! 🙄

J x