As a humble Yorkshireman, I was a little choked up last week on hearing the news of my home county’s astonishing triumph in Europe. That’s right, Yorkshire has been dubbed King of the destinations at this year’s World Travel Awards, trumping some of Europe’s leading tourist hotspots including London, Berlin and Madrid. And although I was glad of the news; gracious in victory, I was not. As frothy-topped tankards were raised across the region, I couldn’t help but question why Yorkshire, God’s Own County, has never won the prize before.
You see, here at Sykes HQ, we’ve got a bit of a soft spot for this certain county. Our Yorkshire holiday cottages prove to be some of the most popular year on year, and for good reason. Yorkshire is a land of the proper; proper people, proper places, proper food, and of course, proper ale. It’s a mystery then as to why the brightest jewel in the UK’s crown has never been handed the mantel of top European destination before; but then, I suppose I am a little bias. So let’s put all bellyaching aside and celebrate, because at long last, Yorkshire’s done it! And here at Sykes Cottages, we’re ‘appy as a pig in muck! Read on for a brief guide to Europe’s Leading Destination.
Yorkshire’s Pubs & Grub
Think of any staple British fare and chances are it’ll have been born, fed or made in Yorkshire, and I’m not just talking Yorkshire pudding. The county has a wealth of native treats, from Pontefract’s liquorice to the Pikelets of Sheffield, and the same goes for its drink. Yorkshire plays host to around 40 different breweries, each providing their individual take on the classic Yorkshire pint. So if you’re feeling foodie, forget France, Yorkshire is the place for anyone looking to indulge in some top quality grub.
Yorkshire’s Other Inhabitants
When you reach Yorkshire soil, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled. That’s because the county houses a myriad of Britain’s most beloved species, including the endangered red squirrel, the reclusive deer and the sharp-eyed peregrine falcon. Fans of the feathered should head to Bempton Cliffs. This glorious portion of coastline in the East Riding is protected by the RSPB due to the rare and exotic birds which, for a few months of the year, call the chalk cliffs home. Expect to see puffins, kittiwakes and gannets putting on an exhilarating aerial display- just don’t forget the camera!
Yorkshire’s Good Old Days
Whether being conquered by the Romans, ravaged by the Vikings or harried by the Normans, no one can deny that Yorkshire’s been through the mill a bit over the past millennia. But for us modern folk, that’s good news, because all that scrapping has left lots to be discovered in this historic county. If you’re looking to frighten the kids with a tale of bloodshed, head to Stamford Bridge. This historic village in East Yorkshire was the site of the Battle of Stamford Bridge, thought to be the one of the most brutal battles that the Vikings waged on English soil.
Rainy Days in Yorkshire
Whatever time of year you choose to visit Yorkshire, you’d be wise to expect some of the wet stuff. Luckily, Yorkshire boasts a plethora of great indoor attractions, so you won’t be stuck for ideas when the heavens open. One of Yorkshire’s favourite retreats on a rainy is The Deep in Hull. This ‘Submarium’ holds over 2.5 million gallons of water and over 3,500 species of exotic fish, making it a fun and informative day out for the little ‘uns. But if fish aren’t your thing, pay a visit to Ripley castle in Harrogate, where you’ll find over 700 years of enthralling Yorkshire history just waiting to be discovered.