Y is for Yorkshire

YI know this may come as a surprise to you, but I’m from Yorkshire. I know! I hid that well, didn’t I? Yorkshire people are, quite rightly, extremely proud of their county, which is, in case you didn’t know, actually God’s Own Country. It’s the biggest county in England and its size has led to it being divided up into different ridings and districts several times. The subject of its boundaries is quite complicated and I’m not here to talk about all that today. I want to celebrate the county of my birth, in all its magnificence. If you’ve never been here you’ve missed out, and should rectify the situation immediately!

Yorkshire

Yorkshire

It’s a county of contrasts, encompassing heather-clad moors, rolling dales, glorious coastline, gentle wolds, bleak flat plains, harbours, factories, mills, castles and abbeys. It has a rich history and has played a major part in the fortunes of the British Isles. Most of all, it’s home to some of the warmest, friendliest and funniest people on earth. Not that I’m biased, of course…

the Humber Bridge

the Humber Bridge

I grew up in East Yorkshire, in a small town by the mighty Humber. There was no Humber Bridge in those days, so when we wanted to cross the river to Lincolnshire to visit places like Cleethorpes and Mablethorpe, we took the ferry. This was quite an adventure and I used to love those ferry crossings from Hull to New Holland. Sadly, when the bridge was built the ferry was no longer needed. The bridge is much more convenient but not half as exciting!

bishopburton

Bishop Burton

East Yorkshire has some beautiful little villages, such as Bishop Burton,

Bridlington

Bridlington

which is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen, with its pretty red-roofed cottages and duckΒ ponds. Beverley is a thriving market town and has a wonderful minster and some great book shops! The flat landscape of Holderness, with its crumbling coastline, stretches all the way from the mouth of the Humber to Flamborough. It’s in stark constrast to the gentle, rolling wolds, which are also part of the hidden beauty of this region. East Yorkshire is often overlooked, but it contains some real hidden gems, such as the lovely town of Driffield, “Gateway to the Wolds”, the magnificent Burton Agnes Hall, and the traditional seaside resort of Bridlington with its fabulous beaches, historic old town, and fun attractions.

Bronte Parsonage

Bronte Parsonage

West Yorkshire boasts the largest city in the whole of Yorkshire – Leeds. It’s a very different landscape to East Yorkshire. For a start it’s completely landlocked, whereas both North and East Yorkshire have coastline. It has a rich industrial background, and was known for its woollen mills and coal mines. It has many tourist attractions, including the world famous Bronte

Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge

Parsonage in Haworth, home of Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte, and the stunning Harewood House. It is networked by numerous canals and waterways and has a beauty all of its own. Calderdale is famed for its lovely scenery and waterways and includes the market towns of Halifax, Rippondon and Hebden Bridge, the latter of which has many literary connections – not least the fact that Ted Hughes was born nearby and his wife Sylvia Plath is buried in a medieval settlement in the hills above the town.

Meadowhall

Meadowhall

South Yorkshire was once an industrial heartland, but it’s got quite a reputation these days for its leisure activities and places to visit. It’s the home of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster Races and Magna Science Adventure Centre. The vibrant university city of Sheffield is a busy shopping attraction with Meadowhall Shopping Centre drawing thousands of visitors every day.

Roche Abbey

Roche Abbey

The Peak District is on the doorstep, and Penistone, the highest market town in the country, is a great base to explore the beautiful countryside, with the trans-Pennine trail nearby. Then there’s the ruins of Roche Abbey. Cared for by English Heritage, it has “one of the most complete ground plans of any English Cistercian monastery, laid out as excavated foundations.” (English Heritage: click on Roche Abbey link for more details.)

Goathland

Goathland

Finally, we reach North Yorkshire, the granddaddy of them all. North Yorkshire is BIG and it’s also absolutely beautiful. Here you’ll find a fantastic coastline, adorned with the precious jewels of Whitby, Scarborough, Robin Hood’s Bay, Runswick Bay, Sandsend, Filey, and many other gems. North Yorkshire is home to two national parks – the awe-inspiring Yorkshire Dales and the wild and utterly magnificent North Yorkshire Moors. Outside the parks, you can find such delights as Knaresborough, home to the castle where the knights who murdered Thomas a Beckett in Canterbury Cathedral took refuge, and birthplace of the renowned Mother Shipton – seer and wise woman. Or visit Ripon with its grand cathedral, or York with its famous

Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank

Minster. There are castles and abbeys galore in North Yorkshire, including Rievaulx Abbey, Fountains Abbey and Richmond Castle. The Moors are dotted with pretty villages such as Goathland, famous as Aidensfield in television’s Heartbeat, Hutton-le-Hole where sheep

Thornton le Dale

Thornton le Dale

meander along the road and where you’ll find the Ryedale Folk Museum, and Thornton-le-Dale which has a pretty thatched cottage that must be one of the most photographed homes in the land, having featured on chocolate box lids, jigsaws and goodness knows what else. Β If, after all this exertion, you find yourself in need of sustenance, you can get the finest fish and chips in England in our coastal towns, or visit Betty’s Tea Rooms in York or Harrogate for a fine afternoon tea. We have pubs and restaurants and tea shops galore, so you’ll never go hungry or thirsty.

This post may read like an advertisement for Yorkshire, and I guess it is. I would like everyone to come here and see for themselves how truly amazing this place is. I feel very blessed to have been born here and to have such wonderful places within a short drive from me. My Kearton Bay books are set on the North Yorkshire coast and I have plans to set my next book in the Dales. Maybe I’ll set a book in every area of Yorkshire! Who knows. πŸ™‚

Have a great day xx

10 thoughts on “Y is for Yorkshire

  1. Would love to visit Yorkshire. It’s definitely on my list. I’ve wanted to visit Haworth for years and I’d also really love to see where Sylvia Plath is buried. Lovely post Sharon, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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  2. Haworth is lovely, and the Bronte Parsonage is amazing. Those tiny little books they wrote, and Charlotte’s petite dress and shoes are on display. It’s quite awe-inspiring. The church is right next to it, of course, and the graveyard is on their doorstep. Makes you think how they felt, looking out of the window at that. You can go to the local pub and there’s a plaque to say that Branwell Bronte used to drink in there. The whole town centre is very “Bronte-fied” but it’s a really good place to be if you love their books. There’s so much to see in Yorkshire – I’ve lived here all my life and I haven’t even scraped the surface. πŸ™‚

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  3. What a delightful post, Sharon! Yorkshire certainly has a tight hold on my heart, and I’m originally from Staffordshire. My honeymoon was in Port Mulgrave, I love Whitby for its Gothic connections, my father-in-law completed his Coast to Coast cycle ride at Robin Hood’s Bay in 2012, and next month I am holidaying in Scarborough before attending a friend’s wedding there. I have visited Haworth as well, but at the time we had the dog and toddler with us, so I didn’t get to visit inside the Bronte house. I did wander through the graveyard, however. Had to be done! Well, I could go on, but then we would be here all night. See you soon! πŸ˜‰

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  4. You must qualify as an honorary Yorkshirewoman, Catherine! πŸ˜‰ Whitby is fabulous though I’ve never been to Port Mulgrave. Must add it to my list! Robin Hood’s Bay is very dear to me as that’s the village Kearton Bay is based on in my books. My friend Jessica Redland’s books are set in the fictional Whitsborough Bay, which is based on Scarborough where she lives. The graveyard by the Bronte parsonage is very atmospheric, isn’t it? Apparently it used to flood and the bodies used to be lifted up out of their graves…No wonder the sisters wrote such dark scenes in their books. You must visit the parsonage one day. I really recommend it. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

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  5. So nice to meet another Yorksire lass on the A-Z challenge. I’ve been to half those places mostly through cross country meets. I grew up between Goole and Selby.

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    • Not too far away from Hessle, near Hull, where I grew up, Catherine. Remember going to Selby Market one Bank Holiday Monday and being amazed how huge it was. Seemed to take over the whole town. I loved it. Lovely to meet you! x

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      • I’ve heard of Hassle for sure. I do miss Selby market. There was this almost famous towel seller who talked really loud all day about his towels. It worked.

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