We’re here to tell you all about a beautiful county in northern England, just shy of four hours from London: Yorkshire.
Location and Geography
For those of you not familiar with the geography of Great Britain, Yorkshire is the largest county of England covering approximately 7,500 sq miles with something to offer everyone who visits:
Countryside – considered to be the greenest area of England and receiving some eight million visitors per year, Yorkshire also boasts three national parks: The North Yorkshire Moors, The Yorkshire Dales and The Peak District.
Seaside – Yorkshire offers 80 miles of coast and some of the cleanest beaches in the UK. Key coastal towns to visit are Scarborough (where you can get the best fish and chips in the world!), Bridlington and Whitby (home of Dracula).
City Life – York is the oldest city in the UK and dates back almost 2,000 years. Leeds is the second largest financial city in the UK with such names as KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Asda all having offices there. Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield and Bradford all played major roles in the industrial revolution. Hull is a major UK port.
Many quaint shops in the Shambles | ©Beth/Flickr
With records that date back to Roman times, we know that York (Eboracum) was the second capital of Roman Britain after London (Londinium). It was also an independent Viking Kingdom (Jorvik) for about one century before being taken over by England. Yorkshire first appeared in writing in 1065 and in more recent history has been seen at the forefront of the industrial revolution with main industries being in coal, textiles and steel.
Don’t be concerned that you need to learn a new language if you visit Yorkshire! Broad Yorkshire or Tyke as the dialect is known is not so widely used nowadays, but there are certainly many words that are still regularly used. A good one for you all when someone just will not be quiet is “shut ya cake’ole” which in the Queen’s English is “Please be quiet”
Food and Drink
There are a number of culinary delights originating from Yorkshire to temp your taste buds, be it sweet or savory, including:
- Yorkshire pudding to go with your Sunday roast dinner
- Curd tart – pastry case filled with a sweet lemon preserve
- Wensleydale cheese – made famous by Wallace & Gromit
- Beer – Tadcaster is home to John Smiths, a traditional British beer (ale). You can buy a pint in a local pub for around £1.80
- Chocolate – OK, we cannot take credit for inventing this fabulous snack, but chocolate factories such as Rowntrees, Terry’s and Thorntons started in York and many other Britain favorites were created here.
To list but a few: Robin Hood (was born in South Yorkshire and not Nottingham, contrary to popular belief), Guy Fawkes (who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, hence the celebration of Bonfire Night on 5th November), Captain James Cook, the Bronte sisters (famous for writing Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights), Kings Edward IV, V, Richard III and Henry VII, William Wilberforce (politician who abolished slavery in the UK), Dame Judi Dench and Michael Palin.
Sport plays a large part in Yorkshire life; the most popular being football (soccer), cricket, rugby and boxing.
Officially recognized as the birthplace of football by FIFA. Sheffield UFC is the oldest club in the world, with famous players such as Gordon Banks and Kevin Keegan who are both Yorkshiremen.
The Yorkshire cricket club is the most successful in the country having won 30 championships. Famous names include Len Hutton, Geoff Boycott (who went to school with my grandmother!) and the well-known umpire Dicky Bird
To separate themselves from middle-class English players, Yorkshire rugby teams created rugby league in 1906. Popular teams such as Hull FC, Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos have a huge following.
Boxing has always been a popular sport within Yorkshire, and in more recent times, world champions such as Naseem Ahmed and Amir Khan have come around.
Arctic Monkeys at the Wiltern | ©Neon Tommy/Flickr
Some great bands have come out of Yorkshire including the post-punk era Sisters of Mercy and The Cult to the New Romantics Human League, Soft cell and New Model Army. More recently, Pulp (Sheffield), Kaiser Chiefs (Leeds) and the Arctic Monkeys (Sheffield).