Firstly, I want to discuss some of the deciding factors in me choosing to live in Leeds, and then I will cover some of my favourite day trips in the surrounding areas. Hopefully you will find something that takes your fancy!
Why I enjoy having Yorkshire on my doorstep.
Coming from Newcastle originally, I was a little disheartened when I realised that the coast was further away than I was used to, but now I definitely see my location as a benefit. Being roughly in the middle of the country actually means you aren’t too far away from anything, which is great for someone who loves to explore what Britain has to offer.
Being close to other large cities is also a massive plus for me, with Manchester, York and Sheffield all roughly an hour away by train or car. Coupled with London being a little over 2 hours away by train, and the Scottish borders being not much further at just under 3 hours, it is relatively easy to travel to many key places within the United Kingdom.
When thinking about what to do after your degree, whether that is further education or heading out into the job pool, Leeds is a good place to be. Leeds is a thriving hub of culture and creativity, and the recent relocation of Channel 4’s national HQ only adds to that.
The city centre is also home to one of the largest financial districts outside of London. Located on and around Wellington Street, this area provides thousands of job opportunities in an array of professions, with large companies such as PWC and Walker Morris having bases there.
An abundance of National Parks
To be right in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the North York Moors National Park, and the Peak District National Park is truly a blessing. Everywhere you turn there are instances of natural beauty that you can explore quite easily, with some areas only being half an hour away.
Favourite day trips
There’s a wealth of fantastic options for day trips in Yorkshire, some close and some a little further afield. Below is a list of some of my favourites, but as you can imagine it was very hard to pick them!
Helmsley is a gorgeous market town, the only one located in the North York Moors National Park, and is the perfect escape from busy city life. There’s plenty to see and do, with Helmsley Castle, the Walled Garden, and Duncombe Park to name a few. However, if you’re after something a little more relaxed, there’s plenty of cute cafes and green spaces to explore.
Highlight: Rievaulx Abbey
This place is somewhere very close to my heart, and a place I implore you to visit too. Following on from last year’s surprise hit BBC 1 drama ‘Gentleman Jack’, Halifax is finally getting the recognition it deserves. One of my favourite places, The Piece Hall, is located here and is something you shouldn’t miss. It is home to dozens of independent shops, incredible vegan-friendly eateries (Elder was listed in the Good Food Guide this year!) and weird and wonderful cultural displays. A hidden gem, that just makes Halifax even better.
Highlight: Anne Lister’s birthplace, Shibden Hall. To make things even better, start off at the 2 AA-Rosette pub Shibden Mill Inn, and enjoy a leisurely walk down to Shibden Park.
The 2-hour journey is well worth it, if just for the coastline alone! Aside from some breath-taking scenery, Whitby is also shrouded in history and intrigue. With this coastal town being the inspiration behind the gothic novel Dracula, there’s plenty of suitably sinister things to see and do. If you can, I’d recommend catching a performance of Dracula in the ruins of Whitby Abbey for a truly atmospheric evening.
Highlight: Whitby goth weekend, you definitely won’t forget it in a hurry.
Even though the following places haven’t made it into my top three, they are still excellent places to consider visiting if you have the time.
- Haworth – home to the Bronte Parsonage Museum and some stunning walks, Haworth is a great little village that allows you to step back in time. Truly worth a visit!
- Knaresborough – easily accessible by train from the city centre, Knaresborough is a picturesque town in Harrogate with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.
- Harewood House – spanning 1000 acres, this manor house and grounds are the perfect way to wile away the hours in an idyllic setting.
Hopefully some of the above can help you decide where to go when a semblance of normality resumes!