The Great Yorkshire Show
A Yorkshire institution. The Great Yorkshire Show is England’s premier agricultural event. Created 176 years ago, attendances weren’t recorded until 1842 when 6,044 visited the event in York where it was originally held. In 1950 a permanent 250-acre showground was established in Harrogate. Today, attractions such as country pursuits, gardens, show jumping, art, shopping, food, fashion, flowers and livestock parades bring around 135,000 people to Harrogate across three days.
It came, it departed. After so much planning, preparation and anticipation the Tour de France in Yorkshire has been and gone. Now Yorkshire has tucked into a slip stream of momentum and is pedalling hard to become the cycling capital of Europe. ‘It will take 10 to 12 years to get that,’ explains Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Gary Verity, who helped secure the Grand Départ for Yorkshire. ‘Our cities need to become even more cycle friendly. Places like York are great but some of our other cities have to catch up.’ With places like the North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales and Pennines, Yorkshire will always be spoilt for choice.
Quiz time. Can you name Yorkshire’s Three Peaks. Give up? Here are the answers: Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Covering some 160km2, and rising to 736m at the highest point, their rugged, spectacular features are a unique reminder of Yorkshire’s natural beauty. Over 250,000 people access them each year. Some tackle the trio in a single day (three mountains, 24.5 miles in less than 12 hours) and are rewarded with sensational views and the satisfaction of conquering Yorkshire.
Pontefract was the first place to sell liquorice as a sweet (they have a festival to celebrate the connection every summer), and legendary confectionery makers like Terry’s Chocolate, Rowntree’s, Thorntons and Mackintosh’s, who produced Quality Street, were also founded here. Haribo and Nestlé still make their sweets here. Yorkshire definitely has a sweet tooth. The world’s oldest travel sweets, Simpkins, were crafted in Sheffield and in Pateley Bridge you’ll find the oldest sweet shop in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. It’s been selling sweets since 1827 and is fittingly named the Oldest Sweet Shop.
We love the Yorkshire brewing scene, from the ubiquitous Black Sheep to gems like Huddersfield’s Magic Rock, you’re spoilt for choice wherever you sup. A few must-trys include: Rudgate’s fruitcakey Ruby Mild, Wold Gold by Driffield brewers Wold Top (which won three stars at last year’s Great Taste Awards) and Pale Rider by Sheffield’s Kelham Brewery: a brilliantly biscuity brew that goes great with spicy dishes.
Dry Stone Walls
You can barely move in the Yorkshire Dales for dry stones walls. Together they are the largest man-made feature in Yorkshire, covering some 5,000 miles. The fact these 500-year-old, 3D jigsaw puzzles still dominate so much of the county in 2014 is a testament to the skills of local wallers who created them. They also look fantastic.
Real ale, hearty gastro grub, low beams, open fires, history, atmosphere and a beer garden with inviting views. So many pubs in Yorkshire tick most, if not all, of these boxes. Some fine examples, and Living North favourites, include: The Bull at Broughton, The Carpenters Arms at Felixkirk, The Wensleydale Heifer at West Witton, The Black Swan at Oldstead and The General Tarleton at Ferrensby. But to list them all would require a magazine in itself.