40 Reasons Why We Love Yorkshire

We are very proud of making it to 40, but also really proud that we have retained our Yorkshire roots and identity. There is so much about Yorkshire that makes it unique and here’s 40 reasons why we love it:

  1. Seaside: You can’t beat the East coast for some of the best scenery around, with Yorkshire’s seaside resorts still proving to be amongst the most popular in the UK. Take in Whitby, Filey, Scarborough, Robin Hood’s Bay or Bridlington and you’ve got quintessential Englishness right there.
  2. Breweries: Going right back 200 years, Yorkshire was famous for its breweries and through 20th century mass production from John Smiths, Samuel Smiths and Tetley’s we now find ourselves with some of the UK’s most successful breweries on our doorstep with Saltaire, Theakstons, Black Sheep and Timothy Taylors and some of the country’s most successful independent breweries, such as Magic Rock, Kelham Island and Northern Monk.
  3. Yorkshire Puddings: To many people outside of the region this might be its sole identity, but the Yorkshire pudding has been a staple part of a Sunday roast for generations. There’s an art to making them properly, but get that batter rising just right and this is possibly our greatest export.
  4. Tea: Everyone knows the healing and revitalisation that a cup of tea can bring. It has supported the working lives of the nation for years, and while we can argue long and hard about who makes the best tea, it is probably easiest to agree it is Yorkshire Tea made by Taylors of Harrogate, and then just sit down and enjoy a cuppa.
  5. Henderson’s Relish: A most versatile condiment, and many Yorkshire folk would find a way to justify adding a splash to pretty much anything savoury. Rich and spicy, it is unique to its Sheffield heritage but has spread far and wide, with exiled Yorkies getting it shipped globally in distress packages. And don’t talk to me about Worcestershire Sauce.
  6. Cheese: While Wensleydale might be the most well-known, Yorkshire has been producing cheeses since the Norman invasion. We specialise in crumbly cheeses from Nidderdale, Wensleydale, Teesdale, Swaledale and Coverdale, but also churn out a mean cheddar or Gouda in various cottage creameries throughout the region.
  7. Countryside: Where do you start in describing the breathtaking panorama of Yorshire’s countryside? With rivers, ruins, waterfalls, gardens, valleys, heather and farmland as far as the eye can see, from the Dales north of Grassington and Skipton to the Moors between Thirsk and the east coast, just take it all in, it will never age.
  8. Pubs: Okay, pub culture is not unique to Yorkshire, but we specialise in the traditional and homely inns that have stood for hundreds of years and still provide the same purpose; to welcome people, provide an escape, socialise and serve wonderful ales. Some of the country’s most identifiable pubs reside in Yorkshire and the very fabric of British hospitality can be traced back there.
  9. Bands: Popular culture might easily sidestep Yorkshire en route to the North West, with Liverpool and Manchester providing much of the UK’s music heritage in the last 50 years. But don’t forget Sheffield producing Human League, ABC, Def Leppard, Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys and Leeds giving us Soft Cell, Sisters of Mercy, The Wedding Present and Kaiser Chiefs. Throw in York’s Shed Seven and Bradford’s The Cult and there’s a thriving scene to be explored in Yorkshire.
  10. Artists: With such an appealing landscape and so many layers of culture to get lost in, it is no surprise that Yorkshire has produced a series of great artists over the last century. Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore showcased a range of talents, while David Hockney joins a host of contemporary artists inspired by the rich tapestry of what surrounds them.
  11. Comedians: Nothing identifies a person from Yorkshire more than their sense of humour, and it is no surprise that a comedy heritage can be traced back through Michael Palin, Norman Collier, Ernie Wise, Bobby Knutt and Charlie Williams to more contemporary comedians such as Vic Reeves, Leigh Francis, Toby Foster, Reece Shearsmith and Ade Edmondson.
  12. Authors: Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Charlotte Bronte’s Wuthering Heights are the most famous literary masterpieces to stem from God’s Own County, but over the last century the region has also given us Alan Bennett, JB Priestley, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Barry Hines, Alan Ayckbourn, Keith Waterhouse, Tony Harrison and David Peace.
  13. Footballers: Quite apart from the very origins of the game being traced back to Sheffield, the region has produced some of the best footballers to grace the game, including Brian Clough, Kevin Keegan, Gordon Banks and David Seaman, plus roughly half the team that got England to this year’s World Cup Semi-Finals.
  14. Cricketers: Few things epitomise the spirit and history of Yorkshire than its passion for cricket and the principles still maintained around the many teams and leagues in the region today. And at the very top of the game, Len Hutton, Geoffrey Boycott, Brian Close, Ray Illingworth and Fred Trueman are joined by modern day greats such as Michael Vaughan and Joe Root.
  15. Natural Wonders: From Aysgarth Falls to Brimham Rocks and from Spurn Point to the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Yorkshire is a Geological feast, displaying unspoilt prehistoric history intertwined with greenery and idiosyncratic quirks.
  16. Shopping hotspots: Quite apart from the quintessential pleasures of browsing around the gift shops, craft stores and cottage industries that frequent the cobbled backstreets of Yorkshire’s market towns, the region boasts the boutique shopping of Harrogate, York and Leeds and the big city malls of Meadowhall in Sheffield.
  17. Film Scenes: There can’t be many regions that have contributed so proudly to the UK’s film scene with some of British culture’s finest works stemming from Yorkshire; with Kes, The Full Monty and Rita, Sue & Bob Too displaying working class culture and the fabric of ordinary British life in perfect and time-honoured detail. Some classics have also been filmed in Yorkshire, such as the Railway Children, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows.
  18. Sweets and cakes: Never let it be said that Yorkshire doesn’t have a sweet tooth. It hosts what is believed to be the world’s oldest sweet shop in Pateley Bridge and can also proudly boast the origins of curd tarts, parkin, gingerbread, liquorice allsorts and the Pontefract Cake.
  19. Rhubarb Triangle: A nine square mile triangle between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell in West Yorkshire, this was designated with protected status for the rich harvest of rhubarb it has produced since the 1800s.
  20. Olympians: Even before the 2012 explosion of Yorkshire talent, the region famously boasted Sebastian Coe, Peter Elliot and Adrian Morehouse, but the London Olympics went off the scale, with Jessica Ennis, Nicola Adams, the Brownlee Brothers and Max Whitlock the most famous amongst a host of medallists.
  21. Sculptures: Central to this is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield, while there are also professionally curated sculptures available for viewing in Leeds’s Henry Moore Institute and Art Gallery, plus the Hepworth Gallery, also in Wakefield. Meanwhile, you might accidentally come across some wonderful sculptures at Bolton Abbey, Newby Hall Gardens and RHS Harlow Carr Gardens.
  22. Actors: The list of famous faces from Yorkshire to have graced stage and screen reads like a ‘Who’s Who of modern popular culture’. We have Sean Bean, Brian Blessed, Brian Glover, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Ineson, Ben Kingsley, Dame Diana Rigg and Sir Patrick Stewart. Add to that TV performers such as Paul Daniels, Frankie Howard, Gordon Kaye, Paul Shane and Mollie Sugden.
  23. Place Names: The quirks and eccentricities of Yorkshire are no better demonstrated than by some of the most delightful place names you will ever come across. A visit to some of these needs to go on your bucket list: Blubberhouses, Appletreewick, Cautley Spout, Gilberdyke, Jingling Pot, Mickleby, New Biggin, Pocklington, Sigglesthorne, Swinefleet, Giggleswick and Uncleby.
  24. Museums: Quite apart from creating the history in the first place, Yorkshire is pretty good at capturing and celebrating it too. Take your pick from The National Media & Photography Museum in Bradford, Sheffield’s Magna, all the Viking history to be seen in York, the Royal Armouries in Leeds and the UK’s first children’s museum, which is Eureka in Halifax.
  25. Stately homes: Mixed in with the scenic greenery are a sprinkling of stately homes preserved to show the public a slice of history amidst some beautiful grounds opened up for us all to use. Have a look around Castle Howard, Harewood Hall, Chatsworth and Wentworth.
  26. Theatres: Sheffield is often hailed as the theatrical epicentre of Yorkshire with its twin offerings of the Crucible and Lyceum opening out onto a communal square, while Leeds offers the unique history of the City Varieties and Grand Theatre. Meanwhile Bradford’s Alhambra, York’s Theatre Royal and Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre offer plenty too.
  27. TV settings: We all know about Emmerdale, particularly when it was centred on Emmerdale Farm, and we also know about the essence of Yorkshire life captured by Last of the Summer Wine, filmed in Holmfirth, but you can add to that All Creatures Great & Small, Heartbeat, Downton Abbey, Threads and Brideshead Revisited.
  28. Cities: Much of Yorkshire’s charm is in the quaint tiny villages that appear from nowhere, but Yorkshire’s cities are amongst the most progressive, challenging and thriving in the country. Sheffield, Bradford and York offer a plethora of arts, cultural and retail opportunities, while Leeds has the biggest financial, legal and digital sectors outside London and has become a European retail destination.
  29. Racecourses: With more than 170 meetings held every year, horse racing is a staple part of Yorkshire life and a vital source of income for many towns in the region. From Thirsk, Ripon, Malton and York, to Doncaster, Pontefract, Wetherby and Beverley you can take your pick on pretty much any given day and find top class racing within a short drive.
  30. Sports Grounds: With some of the country’s famous teams such as Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday in the region, don’t be surprised that Yorkshire boasts some of the best and most famous sporting arenas in the country in Headingley, Elland Road, Bramall Lane, Hillsborough, Valley Parade and the John Smith’s Stadium.
  31. MPs: Fair enough, we might not like them or agree with them most of the time, but Yorkshire has produced some stout and unflinching members of parliament in modern times. We can go back a long way to Guy Fawkes if we are looking at political activists, but in terms of MPs we can boast Harold Wilson, Denis Healey, Herbert Asquith and Roy Hattersley.
  32. Music festivals: A more recent phenomenon, but one that is gaining traction. Yorkshire might be famous for brass band festivals and a fair bit of choral and opera, but today we can boast the Leeds Festival at Bramham Park, Bingley Music Live from Myrtle Park and Tramlines in Sheffield, which has evolved to Hillsborough Park.
  33. Sayings: Summed up by the ‘Yorkshireman’s Motto’: “Ear all, see all, say nowt; Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt; And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt – Allus do it fer thissen” the region is famous for a unique take on the Queen’s English, including ‘be reight’, ‘ey up!’, ‘that’s proper champion’ and perhaps the most important one ‘yer brew’s mashin’.
  34. Chocolate making: Yes, it’s true. We gave the world football and beer (to some extent anyway) and we gave them chocolate too, in the form of master chocolatiers at Terry’s in York, Rowntrees in York, Thorntons originally from Sheffield and Mackintosh from Halifax, who originally produced Quality Street.
  35. Rugby League: In these circles there’s only really one code of rugby, and while union is played in plenty of areas around Yorkshire, rugby league has a northern identity that Yorkshire is central to. The M62 corridor is the home of all Super League’s top clubs with Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls winning the most trophies in the modern era and Castleford Tigers definitely on the up, but the whole of West Yorkshire is a RL hotbed which traditionally started long before football began to take over.
  36. Unusual sports: Rolling cheese down a hill, bog jumping, gorge jumping, bed racing, yes it all happens in Yorkshire, but have you heard of ferret legging? Of course you have.
  37. Accents: To the outsider there might not be much difference in the accents, but within God’s Own County there’s a world of difference between the accents of North, East, South and West Yorkshire, so be careful you don’t judge it wrong.
  38. Minsters and Abbeys: Take your pick from the working wonder of York Minster and Ripon Cathedral, to the ruined beauty of Bolton Abbey, Fountains Abbey and Kirkstall Abbey and you have history right in front of you, and set in glorious grounds just waiting to be explored.
  39. Markets: Food festivals and farmers markets are hosted almost every weekend somewhere in Yorkshire, but the tradition of weekly markets maintains the identity of dozens of towns and villages in the area. From Ripon and Wetherby to Knaresborough, Beverley, Pontefract, and Skipton, you don’t have to travel far to witness true Yorkshire folk doing their best for their local economy.
  40. Fish & Chips: Yorkshire boasts several AA and Michelin-starred restaurants and a plethora of big name eateries, but the nation’s favourite dish is still widely celebrated in the region. Harry Ramsden’s may have originated in Guiseley near Leeds but that building is now a Wetherby Whaler, while the Magpie Café is still going strong in Whitby. But on many street corners and shopping parades there remains a local Fish & Chip shop and the ritualistic cry of ‘scraps wi’ that?’
2018-09-13T18:07:25+00:00