Posted in Travel, U.K, Yorkshire

Falling in love with Yorkshire

It’s an amazing thought, “I get to travel the world”. I feel so lucky to get to experience places that I never dreamed of getting to see. Hong kong. Singapore. Manila. But there is something to be said for the beauty that we have right here on our doorstep. There are so many wonderful places to visit in the UK and since i’ve been working here in Bradford I thought it would be a great opportunity to discover the beauty that is Yorkshire.

During our six week stay in Bradford, we have been quite busy with opening our little show, Wicked. But we have had a few days where we have been able to explore. One of the most scenic and breathtaking experience was our trip to the Waterfalls in the Yorkshire dales. Firstly we went to Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale. Famously featured in “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves”

“In my dreams alone have i imagined such a place”

The water is quite shallow so remember to pack your wellington boots and you can have a good old paddle in the crystal clear water. If you forget your packed lunch then fear not, next to the falls there is a really lovely little tea shop, which of course I happened upon a Wensleydale cheese roll (rude not to… when in Rome and all that!)

Next stop on our outing in the Yorkshire dales was Hardraw Force Falls, tipped as the most romantic waterfall in England. I have to say, it really is. It was so powerful, and invigorating. We were all a big bunch of dare devils and ventured behind the falls, I got completely soaked but it was absolutely worth it. I couldn’t help but think, this would be an amazing location to propose, or at the very least a passionate kiss! (How very Disney of me, I know, I can’t help it!)

Remember to take £2.50 (cash) for the entrance fee into Hardraw Force, and waterproof clothing is a must…I didn’t get the memo on that one! The drive around these beautiful falls is breathtaking and there is an abundance of cozy country pubs along the way.

Hardraw Force Falls

To not visit Haworth, the Bronte capitol of Yorkshire, would be like not visiting Hogsmead in your third year at Hogwarts. Haworth is only a half hour drive from Bradford and it is such a pretty little place. So many quaint little tea shops and if you are into your vintage clothing, as i am, there is a shop at the top of the hill crammed full of goodies to rummage through. Of course you must visit  The Bronte Parsonage Museum, it’s so reasonable at only £7.50 per person and it’s really interesting and informative.

Bronte Parsonage

Another favourite is Saltaire, just ten minutes outside Bradford. I actually liked it so much that i went twice. Saltaire has such a great history, named after Sir Titus Salt who built a textile mill and village on the River Aire. The architecture is stunning and if the weather is nice, it’s a lovely walk along the river. Salts Mill is free to visit and there is so much to do, you can definitely spend a good few hours looking around, the building alone is just so impressive.

Wiiliam Henry Street, Saltaire.

I should mention that if you are planning a trip to Saltaire, avoid Mondays. Although the mill is still open, a lot of the shops are not. I imagine this is due to the fact Saltaire is a tourist spot and small business’ benefit from weekend trading (there are no chains here). If you are a vintage lover and cake fiend like me, then i recommend having a good look around the fabulous antique shop inside the mill (pure vintage heaven!) For afternoon tea or something for your sweet tooth then Jeanette’s Cakery on Bingley Road is a must. I went along with Kim and Iddon from the cast and we had a jolly old time. The shop is complete with bunting and a juke box, and the most divine array of cupcakes, including snickers cupcakes (yes you heard me correctly.) This place is ideal for a naughty treat or five.

When i was ten years old i went on a school trip to Scarborough and i remember visiting York for the day and absolutely loving it. Unfortunately the six weeks in Bradford ran away with us and i didn’t quite have enough time to pay a visit to York as i would have liked. I did however manage to get to Harrogate, which is a beautiful place, in fact it has been voted the happiest place to live by Rightmove for three years in a row….well, if i had a Betty’s Tearoom in my home town i would be the happiest of little piggy monsters.

The lovely Kim Ismay and myself went for a little day trip to Betty’s Tea room, i mean Harrogate. We really put our blood,sweat and tears into making a plan…to get up early and take the train (Bradford to Leeds, leeds to Betty’s…sorry, Harrogate) in time for Betty’s breakfast. That way we thought we could have breakfast, have a little look around the shops and then go back to Betty’s for tea and cake. We nailed it. We absolutely nailed it.

I cannot praise Betty’s Tea Room enough. It was faultless. The service was exceptional, the building itself is beautiful, we were fortunate enough to be sat by the window (on both occasions) and the food…

For breakfast Kim went for the Kedgeree (£9.75) and I had the Swiss Breakfast Rosti (£11.85) Delicious. This photo speaks for itself…

Breakfast at Betty’s

After breakfast we went for a much needed stroll around Harrogate and as both Kim and I enjoy perusing vintage shops we had a good old ganders in a couple of places that Kim had researched. One in particular was great, on The Ginnel (not far from Betty’s) called Space vintage and Retro. I treated myself to a cute 80’s does 50’s style sweetheart pink dress from the then St Michael (Marks and Spencers) and it was a bargain at £18. I have found that the vintage shops i have visited in Yorkshire, including the antique shop in Salts Mill are far more reasonable than those in London.

After a bit of a shop and a good walk, we went back to Betty’s (obviously) and there was a bit of a queue which was managed really well by the staff. After a little wait we were escorted to the tea room and positioned right next to the cake counter, as if we needed tempting! Kim went for a pot of Earl Grey Tea (£3.65) and the Yorkshire Fat Rascal (£4.10) which she said was fabulous and very filling. I had a pot of Betty’s Breakfast tea (£3.70) and as i’m obsessed with anything raspberry or rose flavoured i went for the Raspberry Macaroon (£4.75) pictured below. Lets just say it did not disappoint.

Safe to say I had a lovely time exploring Yorkshire. What a beautiful part of the country and great way to start our adventure. Next stop… Singapore!

Love Emily xxx