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
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
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.
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
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!
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
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.
7. The Food
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
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…