Tour of Yorkshire, England
5/5/16 to 5/10/16
Once again we woke up to what would be a beautiful sunny day in Yorkshire. Four sunny and relatively warm days in a row in Yorkshire is most unusual, so we were all enjoying it while it lasted. We were heading to a town that Paul and Gail had not previously visited, Hebden Bridge. They had heard that it was a nice place to visit; but they had experienced terrible floods a few months earlier. We were concerned if it would be OK to go there. It turned out not to be an issue at all. As we drove in, we passed by another World War 1 memorial. We had seen quite a few of these during our travels in Yorkshire. It was nice to see that the soldier’s efforts were appreciated and remembered.
Before I continue on, I didn’t realize until I started writing this review that Hebden Bridge is quite a famous town. When Googling it, I found that it is considered UK’s Coolest Place; as well as the Lesbian Capital of the UK. The only thing that I knew before arriving was that it is filming location for the wonderful British TV drama, Happy Valley. All I know is that it is an absolutely lovely place to visit and we look forward to returning someday for a longer visit. Beginning our walk, and in Carol’s case a ride, since she had her scooter with her; we could see that this was going to be an enjoyable visit. The town was most attractive.
We came upon a bridge; but I don’t know if it is “the” Hebden Bridge, if there even is one. It was a nice looking area. We had to walk to the top of the bridge to get a view down the river.
We continued further into town and passed by some most interesting buildings and came to a square that had a large sun dial in the middle of it.
In another part or the square there was a small festival going on. While walking through looking at the various booths, I kept smelling a wonderful odor; but didn’t know where it was coming from. At last I found the booth and ordered some of the Onion Bhaji they were cooking up. I had never heard of or tried this Indian delicacy. But after taking my first bite, I was hooked. They were so tasty. I was glad the order size was for six of them, so everyone could try them.
We passed by an interesting Millennium Clock on a building. It was kind of different looking.
Paul was trying to find a street that was used in the filming of Happy Valley. We were having some difficulty finding it. He asked someone who knew exactly where we wanted to go. We went down a couple streets and came to the home where Sarah Lancashire spent many nights in a sun room on the show. If you haven’t seen the show, this will mean nothing to you; but I know that my friends that watch it will be most envious.
We continued on thoroughly enjoying the beauty of Hebden Bridge.
I did get a kick out of a small electronics shop named iFones. I guess Apple hasn’t discovered what they have done yet by infringing on their name. It probably isn’t a major threat to Apple’s bottom line.
We passed through a lovely park on the way to the Rochdale Canal.
The canal was built in 1804 and is 32 miles long and 14 feet wide with 91 locks. It would have been interesting to see someone using the hand operated locks.
Although we would have enjoyed staying in Hebden Bridge longer, we had to keep up with Paul’s itinerary. Once again we passed through lovely countryside.
We stopped not far from our destination, the town of Haworth, at a place called Penistone Hill. This is an area along the upper Worth Valley on the Bronte moorland. The view was exquisite; but it was unfortunately a bit hazy for photos.
As we entered Haworth, we passed by a cute little police station. It is surprising to call a police station cute, but it really was.
This is a very popular tourist area because it is where the Bronte sisters lived while writing their novels in the Haworth Parsonage, where their father was the church parson. There were lots of tourists joining us in this visit. I can understand why, since it is an absolutely charming area.
Since it was lunch time, we decided to have lunch as soon as we arrived. The Old White Lion Hotel was recommended to us, so we headed that way.
We sat in the small bar area of the 300-year-old hotel. The decorations were most interesting and they had an unusual clock on the wall.
Our meal was quite good with Paul getting a Giant Homemade Yorkshire Pudding and I got a Chicken, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Mayonnaise sandwich. The portion size was excessive; but we forced ourselves to finish our meals.
Walking through the town is fascinating in that everything seems to relate to the Brontes. Many of the buildings have signs on them related to the Brontes or their stories. I did find the pharmacy to be most fascinating and a throwback to a time gone by.
Since Carol’s scooter would not be able to get back up the hill, the girls stayed on top, while Paul and I headed down. It was quite a steep street and I wasn’t looking forward to climbing back up. But it was a really fascinating place with so many stores I would have loved to be able to explore there had we had more time.
Once again there were shops with interesting homemade crafts. It was nice to see different things that aren’t available at our local craft fairs.
When we got to the bottom of the hill, the buildings had lots of patriotic flags strung on them.
But since we were at the bottom, that meant that we would need to climb back up. It was quite a walk up; but we moved fast to make the pain last for a shorter time.
When we got back, we all rewarded ourselves with some ice cream before continuing our exploration. We saw the church graveyard and the parsonage where the Brontes lived. We didn’t bother going inside, we weren’t that interested and there was a long waiting line.
Our next destination would be to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Saltaire. It was built in the 1850’s by Sir Titus Salt for his textile mills. It has been preserved to save the Victorian era buildings in the town. In addition to the homes built for the workers, he built Victoria Hall, which is protected by lion statues. The huge mills stretch for several blocks.
Since it was such a beautiful day and the weather forecast was for rain the next day, Paul wanted to drive us through the main downtown area of Leeds on the way back home. We were scheduled to walk around Leeds the next day before going to Southampton for our cruise; but it would not be that pleasant to visit in the rain. I was glad he did, since it gave us a preview of the lovely city of Leeds. There were so many beautiful old buildings and statues.
In addition to the old, we also saw the new Leeds First Direct Arena. It is an entertainment venue that has 13,500 seating capacity.
We headed home to get ready for our last dinner at a Yorkshire restaurant.
Our last day in Yorkshire had arrived. Once again the weather forecast had been wrong. It was a bright sunny morning for our trip to downtown Leeds. We were looking forward to walking around the beautiful city we drove through the previous day. Paul found a parking spot in the main tourist area. As our walk began, we came to the Corn Exchange Shops. The circular shaped building was constructed in 1862 to house the corn exchange. It was renovated in 1990 for retail shops.
The interior is quite attractive with its geometric patterns.
We walked down the Victorian building lined streets toward the Leeds City Market. It is the largest covered market in Europe with over 800 stalls.
The interior was quite beautiful and reminded me of some of the covered markets we had seen six months earlier while visiting in Spain.
Much of the center of Leeds has had the streets converted to pedestrian walkways. It is great for shoppers and tourists; but it does make it difficult when trying to get around town in a car. We were enjoying the streets.
We walked into a building called the Victorian Quarter. It is an upscale shopping gallery. It was quite an attractive place with a beautifully designed colorful ceiling.
The shopping center is actually composed of two separate sections that run side by side. There is a beautiful glass ceilinged walkway between them.
Then the other section has a more classical look with its glass domed ceiling. I was so glad that we were there early before all the stores opened and shoppers filled it up. It was quite a place.
We then headed down another pedestrian street and walked into the Thornton’s Arcade, a three story tall shopping center. This one also had a beautiful mostly blue glass ceiling. At one end was a large clock with figures under it. I don’t know if the figures move on the hour or If they are fixed figures. Either way it was a nice decoration.
We continued to walk around the pedestrian streets with Paul telling us about some of the buildings.
Along the way, we came upon a young lady in a cute British outfit that worked for the Business Improvement District. She was there to provide information about the city to tourists and help them find what they are looking for. It is a great idea. Had we not already had Leeds experts with us, she could have been very helpful.
We had briefly seen the Leeds Town Hall the previous day while driving around. I wanted to see if I could get a photo of it that wasn’t through the car windows. It is quite close to where we had been exploring, so we headed toward it and I snapped away. It is quite a beautiful building. I was so pleased that the sun was shining and the skies were blue.
On the way back to the house, I wanted to stop to take some photos of the cherry trees. In the 5 days we had been in Yorkshire, the warm weather had already started the green leaves growing; but the trees were still amazing.
We packed up our bags for the cruise and loaded them into Paul’s car. Although we hated that Paul would have to drive us over 4 hours to get to our Southampton hotel, it was good to know that we would be able to spend another day, night and morning with them before we boarded the ship. They were spending the night at our same hotel in Southampton and driving home the next day after taking us to the ship. They were way too generous with how they took care of us. We will be forever indebted to them for their kindness and friendship.
On the drive to Southampton, we got to see some more of the beautiful rapeseed fields.
After having such beautiful weather for the four and a half days we had been touring, the skies began clouding up as we got closer to Southampton. We actually had a little sprinkle for a few minutes while we were driving. That night we were able to walk to a nice Italian restaurant that we had previously been to. We discussed the wonderful visit we had shared and planned for the three future cruises we have booked with Paul and Gail.
The next day the clouds were still present, but it never rained on us. We actually wouldn’t have any rain during the 12-day cruise until the last afternoon. Unfortunately for Paul and Gail the five and a half rainless days they had spent with us ended on their way back to Leeds, with a two-and-a-half-hour downpour.
We had teased Paul about the weather a lot. We told him that we would never again believe that he lived in such a rainy area of England. We had brought our Florida sunshine to Yorkshire; and Paul and Gail had shown us the beauty of Yorkshire and its people. We had an amazing and unforgettable visit.
To see the review of our Iceland and Ireland cruise, click on the below link.
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