9 Champion Reasons To Celebrate Yorkshire Day
When our content team – a Scot and a Lancastrian – sat down in the Maratopia (virtual) office to brainstorm this year’s company celebration for Yorkshire Day 2020, we were at a bit of a loss to say the least.
But we soon tossed our rivalries out of the window, pulled our socks up, slipped our flippers on and took a deep dive into the internet to reacquaint ourselves with the wonders of Yorkshire in all its majestic rural glory.
I say “we.” Yours Truly drew the short straw on this one. But while I pledge my allegiance to Lancashire, I am forced to admit that the wrong side of the Pennines might not be so wrong after all.
So here goes… get your flat caps at the ready, pour yourself a strong ale, and join us in celebrating Yorkshire Day. Here are 9 champion reasons we’re raising our glasses to Yorkshire today.
1. The views
Ahh, the countryside.
Renowned for its beautiful and unspoiled scenery, the vast expanse of greenery in the Yorkshire Dales is a truly captivating sight.
These rolling hills and valleys are rivalled only by the Yorkshire Coast. You can’t always bank on the weather, but you can certainly count on a beautiful view in coastal towns like Scarborough.
The natural landscape is one of Yorkshire’s best assets, but the county is also home to a number of highly impressive stately and historic buildings reminiscent of Downton Abbey.
This brings us swiftly to our next point…
2. Film and TV
The iconic exterior of Downton Abbey is actually Highclere Castle in Hampshire.
But the series itself is set in Yorkshire, and many county locations have been featured appeared in episodes as well as the 2019 film.
Those who love a good period drama might also recognise historical hotspots like Harewood House from ITV’s Victoria, and Newby Hall from 2007’s Mansfield Park. Emmerdale is another Yorkshire based TV classic, and fans of the soap can even take a tour of the studio where it’s filmed.
The county has also heralded many talented thespians, including Dame Judi Dench, Sean Bean and Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to play the title role in sci-fi favourite Doctor Who. Fun fact: Jodie’s interview on the Late Show was the subject of a hilarious subtitle mishap when the American transcribers weren’t sure how to spell the name of her hometown, ‘Hoodezfield’.
3. Food & Drink
Amongst Yorkshire’s many great contributions to the world is that beloved Sunday roast staple, the Yorkshire pudding.
This humble creation may be as simple as eggs, flour and water, but its versatility may surprise even the most dedicated admirer.
Whilst some enjoy this Northern delicacy with a dollop of golden syrup (each to their own), the Yorkshire Pudding Wrap has become a viral favourite in the last few years. The ingenious recipe consists of a traditional Sunday dinner with all the trimmings (including gravy), wrapped up in a gigantic Yorkshire pudding.
Although no one knows its precise origin, people travel from far and wide to get their hands on one at the Yorkshire Wrap Company in Leeds.
You’ll also find a fine selection of local tipples, ranging from breweries whose delights are well-kept secrets, to distilleries that have found success across the world.
Oh, and for those who like a celebration, Huddersfield Food Festival is an annual favourite with the Maratopia office. While sadly this year’s event will be entirely virtual you can still check out the fun we had last year.
Tea gets its own place of recognition on this list because, let’s face it – there’s nowt like a proper brew.
And of course, Yorkshire Tea is a real source of local pride.
The subject of the UK’s best tea is a contentious issue, and this addition to the list caused a bit of a divide in the office (oops), but you can’t argue with the facts – Yorkshire Tea is Britain’s second favourite cuppa, right behind PG Tips.
Believe it or not, Yorkshire is a bit of a hit with tourists.
Aside from the region’s natural beauty, there are plenty of unique and impressive attractions that bring visitors flocking year in, year out.
Amongst them is Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This one-of-a-kind open-air attraction contains over 80 sculptures and as well as contributions from local artists such as Anthony Goldsworthy and the late Barbara Hepworth, the gallery is frequently home to exhibitions featuring works from artists across the globe. Their current collection includes pieces by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, and controversial Turner Prize winner Damian Hirst.
Alternatively, for those who enjoy a unique gallery experience, Jorvik Viking Centre in York is an impressive and fascinating homage to the city’s Viking past. With life size sculptures, mannequins and models which capture perfectly the history of this curious age, the centre is a top spot for visitors of all ages.
6. Creative Heritage
Yorkshire has a strong but underrated tradition of brilliant creators.
Its literary history includes writers such as Alan Bennet, W.H. Auden and the Bronte sisters.
And there are plenty of historic sites for a travelling bibliophile passing through. In Haworth, the Bronte parsonage in which the sisters lived and wrote has been immortalised as a museum to their lives. Meanwhile, Hebden Bridge, a market town in the Upper Calder Valley, is the well-visited final resting place of American poet Sylvia Plath.
And the coastal town of Whitby has fully embraced its eldritch connection to Dracula author Bram Stoker, celebrating Whitby Goth Weekend every year around Halloween.
Yorkshire has bred some iconic artists too – in recent history, the aforementioned Damian Hirst and Bradford-born David Hockney. The latter has captured Yorkshire’s remarkable landscapes in his own distinctive style
Although its inclusion caused some dispute in an office full of Huddersfield Town fans, we couldn’t omit mentioning the recent promotion of Leeds United to the Champions League (after 16 years), as well as Yorkshire’s other brilliant contributions to the world of sport. \
With two other major teams, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, Yorkshire’s ballers are well recognised on the map.
But outside of football, the county has also produced Olympic medallists Nicola Adams and Jessica Ennis, as well as England cricketer Jonny Bairstow.
It often misses out on the limelight in favour of Madchester, but Yorkshire has spawned its share of chart toppers.
Sheffield’s Pulp and York’s Shed Seven saw great success in the 90s, whilst 2000s indie has seen contributions from the Kaiser Chiefs and The Sherlocks.
Yorkshire has an unlikely link to classic rock too, via glam metal outfit Def Leppard and music producer Mick Ronson, who was one of David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars. Not much of a rocker?
Yorkshire has great connections to the world of pop through locals Louis and Zayn of One Direction, and Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh.
No Oasis though have they R’kid?
Whether it’s the big cities or little towns, Yorkshire is full of inspired entrepreneurs, and no matter where you go, you’re guaranteed to find a unique experience.
The little village of Leyburn in North Yorkshire is home to Ceramic Inspirations. This unique teapottery is unlike just about anything you’ve seen before, with teapots that look like toasters, teapots that look like steam trains – even a teapot that looks like a tin of Lyle’s golden syrup! (Don’t get confused and try to pour it on your Yorkshire pudding.)
If pottery isn’t your thing, perhaps Whitby’s Lucky Ducks may interest you instead – their glassware collections includes just about anything, from ducks to dolphins to Disney characters.
The Black Sheep Brewery in Masham is also a popular stop for visitors – whilst their usual tours are not currently operating, their in-house bar and restaurant and on-site shop make this the perfect stop for your Yorkshire day out.
There we have it – nine great reasons to celebrate Yorkshire Day. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this list as much as this Lancastrian blogger had to grit her teeth writing it!