A Food & Travel Blog

Yorkshire – It’s Easy to See Why They Claim it as ‘God’s Own Country’

09/05/2018 | By

With rolling hills, sullen skies, close to ancient sites and with more literary references than you can poke a stick at, Yorkshire is definitely my cup of tea!

Yorkshire views

With a wealth of ties to literary greats like the Brontë sisters, Bram Stoker, Tolkien and Ted Hughes, plus an international reputation for it’s tea, a visit to Yorkshire was probably inevitable for me.

The largest traditional county in England, in the 1970’s Yorkshire was divided into four separate regions and, with just a few days to spare after our visit to Scotland, we had to limit which bits of it we had time to visit.

English/Scottish border, Yorkshire

Fond last glimpses of Scotland, from the English border.

I’ve already shared our visit to magnificent Bolton Castle, but there’s so much more to see in this astonishingly gorgeous part of England.

Near Yorkshire, durham cathedral

Just to the north of Yorkshire and not so large or imposing as York Minster in York, Durham Cathedral is no less impressive.  The cathedral was founded in the 11th century, but the bishopric dates from 995.

Window, Durham Cathedral, near Yorkshire

The site was selected by monks fleeing Vikings and searching for a safe, defensible spot to establish their community. According to legend, they followed two milk maids who were searching for a dun-coloured  cow when they found this strategic position, overlooking the River Wear. One of the streets that passes the cathedral is still called Dun Cow Lane, although history fails to mention the fate of the milk maids.

Durham Cathedral, near yorkshire, milk maids on church

The Durham Cathedral milk maids and their dun cow, immortalised on the church.

Yorkshire abounds in fabulous, grand historical cathedrals (and equally interesting small parish churches), fascinating historical remnants tying modern England to ancient Rome, charmingly picturesque villages – and everywhere, picture-postcard vistas of moody skies, rolling hills and all the bucolic images we’ve come to associate with England’s ‘green and pleasant land’.

yorkshire, hadrian's wall

A portion of Hadrian’s Wall.

Just north of Yorkshire and originally 80 Roman miles long, Hadrians Wall runs from the eastern coast of England to the western coast. It is the largest roman artefact in the world, a British cultural icon and the region’s major, ancient tourist attraction. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, much of it remains and it’s possible to walk the 117 km length of the wall along a designated path. The Bloke has plans for us to walk this next year, although we are yet to talk all of the offspring into such a vigorous family holiday. 

Yorkshire village of Hawes

The village of Hawes, via the public footpath.

Sheep in Yorkshire

Even the sheep are ready for their close-ups in this pretty part of England.

While in Yorkshire, I happily realised I had booked our accommodation (in the wonderful Stone House Hotel) in a region made famous when I was younger, by a British  television series called “All Creatures Great and Small”. The weekly show was based on books by a country vet, and was set in the Yorkshire Dales. Heart-warming and hugely popular, it documented a rural vet’s life in the 1930’s and made the stunning Yorkshire Dales as much a character of the show, as the people in it.

Yorkshire, Hawes, River Ure

The River Ure, running through Hawes.

The hotel was just out of a typically gorgeous Yorkshire village called Hawes, and to get there we were able to ramble through the local sheep paddocks, by the river, along the public footpaths. Not a system I think will ever catch on here, these are designated public rights of way, often through privately owned fields, and a wonderful way to enjoy the true English countryside.

Yorkshire sheep dog

As we were leaving we had to slow down for some locals. I couldn’t have asked for a better picture opportunity!


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  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I absolutely love that last pic Amanda! You couldn’t set one up better 😀 You should enter it in a photo comp!

  2. Krista Bjorn

    My goodness, what an exquisite place! Those hills are calling my name. 🙂

  3. Hotly Spiced

    Such beautiful images, Amanda. My favourite is the one of the sheep. I do wish I had your travel itinerary. The stonework is amazing – people back then certainly built things to last xx

  4. Beck @ Golden Pudding

    How fabulous! I definitely knew about the Brontes, but not Stoker or Tolkein, and I love the idea of walking along Hadrian’s wall!