Three Things I Miss About Yorkshire

There's a reason Yorkshire is referred to as God's Own County. Scrap that, there's hundreds of reasons, actually. Alright, the South of England might have a few more jobs but it's to the North what Austen is to Bronte; drab, dull and insufferably pretentious.

That might sound a little inane coming from someone who has just chosen to move there for the foreseeable future, and the wealth of opportunities and wonder on your doorstep in London makes it the one exception. Even so, let's be honest, the fairytale world of North Yorkshire will always be far superior, by miles, to anywhere else in England. I made a recent trip back home from university, and for the first time I realised just how many things I missed about my home town...

So as soon as I got back to London, I knew exactly what I needed to do; write a blog post littered with references to Wuthering Heights that could be added to the maze of information around on just how much more everyone loves us northerners.

I lived in York for precisely 18 years and despite my 'Big City Dreams' I loved every day of it. Give me the Yorkshire accent over a Cockney one any day, the cobbled streets of the Shambles over the shops on Oxford Street, and it's about time you started serving scraps with your chips. Seriously though, what do you do with them? Just throw them away? So here, in lieu of my home-sickness, are three of (the many, many) things that I miss about Yorkshire.


There's no shortage of beautiful sights to be seen around the whole of Yorkshire; the rolling hills of the Dales and the Gothic elegance of the east coast seaside towns like Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay. Nowhere else compares. There's nothing nearly as sublime as a bicycle ride up the river Ouse, out of the centre of the city and onto Benningbrough. However, even the beautiful coastline and green pastures are overshadowed magnificently by the most passionate and exciting landscape in England; the North Yorkshire Moors. 

There's a beauty on the moors that's more fascinating than the Dickensian landscape around the rest of the country. The jagged cliffs and heaths of  heather and cotton grass are a delight to the eyes yet so much wilder, full of menace and mysticism. They are boundaryless, liberating and almost supernatural. Walks around Goathland, the drive to Whitby, or an adventure in Haworth transport you instantly into another, more mysterious world, almost Heathcliffian in nature.

You can almost see Jane Eyre standing atop the gritstone escarpment of Stanage Edge, or Cathy stagnant in isolation at the peak of Roseberry Topping. Who knows what treasures or stories you'll find hidden in the ruins of Fountain's Abbey, and the woodland walks at Hebden Bridge. There's more to explore on the moorland than anyone could possibly imagine, so let your imagination truly run wild and don't let the weather stop you.


Science has told us the the Yorkshire accent typifies loyalty and reliability.  That doesn't come as much of a surprise since the old stereotype has always been that the Northern bunch are far more friendly than anyone down the bottom end of England and, quite frankly, it's true. You know you're on your way up North when the train guard starts calling you 'pet' or 'duck' and the lady sitting opposite you actually smiles and wishes you a "good morning". If you'd rather have it any other way, you're a miserable git who has been spending too much time in Hampshire.

After spending a couple of months in London, hearing a real Yorkshire accent is like curling up on the sofa with a brew and some of those scraps that people refuse to serve down here. It's homely and comforting and amusing all at once. The Yorkshire accent is even seen as more intelligent than received pronunciation, which was described as dull and boring. Rest assured, there's nothing remotely dreary about the Yorkshire people. Labelled as 'wholehearted' and 'genuine', there isn't a more friendly folk anywhere that I've been.

I've seen the words Ee By Gum written on mugs and cards more than I've ever heard them actually spoken, but the stereotype of Northerners being warm and welcoming still rings true. It takes some time adjusting from the fast, busy pace of London but the smiles and salutations are worth it. Maybe that's why Yorkshire was named the happiest place in the UK.


"The What?" I hear you say! I imagine most people in Yorkshire don't have much clue at all what on earth the De Grey Rooms are. As a matter of fact, I bet even some of the more routinely unobservant people in York couldn't locate them either, which is a real shame, because the gorgeous Georgian ballroom is an unquestionable treasure that should be taken advantage of far more often.

On a recent adventure to my grandparent's house using York's painfully dreadful bus service, (okay, fine, I admit, public transport is perhaps literally the only category which London wins in) we stopped at the traffic lights on St. Leonard's Place right in between the art gallery - which has temporarily been transformed into a mountain of scaffolding- and the aforementioned De Grey Rooms. I remembered for the first time in a long time all of the memories that had been built  in that building, and in the city over my whole life.

Before we moved back into the old theatre buildings, the De Grey Rooms were the home of my merry band of fellow aspiring actors and theatre geeks; the York Youth Theatre. I was never a good actor, I never will be, but the ten years I spent once a week with those friends and teachers and all of the things that I learned there have become a memory, not just of an old hobby, but a family as important to me as my high school and all of the friends that I made. It was only fitting then that it was also the house of our high school leaver's ball, where I had to say goodbye to some of the most influential and important people in my teenaged life.

I grew up in York, my whole family is there, all my old friends, my old teachers and literally everyone and everything that ever built me. The De Grey Rooms is just one of the many buildings and sites that will always hold so many memories for me. Going back home can sometimes feel like looking through a crystal ball at old recollections and revisiting every feeling again. And despite my dreams of London and the fancies of something bigger, Yorkshire will always hold the biggest place in my heart.


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