Graduate with no regrets and embrace all that Yorkshire has to offer in the nation’s biggest and best county
Yorkshire attracts approximately 216 million visits every year- that’s as much as the total number of visitors to Walt Disney Attraction Theme Parks Worldwide. The county promises a variety of adventures whether you love the coast, the countryside, or the metropolitan buzz of a vibrant student city.
It’s no surprise, then, that Yorkshire & the Humber attracts 15 million overnight staying visitors every year.
Lucky for you, you’re here for more than just one night. Whether you’re a fresher coming to Yorkshire for the first time, or a second year student looking for weekend adventures with your housemates, the year ahead promises to be anything but boring. Here are my top ten ways to make the most of student life in the nation’s most glorious county!
Escape to the countryside
What better way to explore the county far and wide than escaping to the countryside for a breath of fresh air? Some of the most popular country walks include Brimham Rocks, Aysgarth Woods & Waterfalls and Ilkley Moor. If you’re heading to Ilkley, don’t forget to stop in at the renowned Cow & Calf vintage pub for their delicious peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.
Indulge in Yorkshire’s food: the weird, wonderful and traditional
Don’t just stick to pasta and tomato sauce. There’s a whole world of mouth-watering Yorkshire food out there, just waiting to be devoured. Why not try something different at The Reliance in Leeds and order their whole Yorkshire pigeon breast? If you’re after something a little more delicate, there’s always the British classic of afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Rooms in Ilkley, York, Northallerton and Harrogate. Or for a helping of a traditional Yorkshire delicacy, the York Roast Company has plenty of giant Yorkshire puddings and carved sandwiches to choose from.
Plug in to Yorkshire’s music scene
Yorkshire is home to an eclectic music scene that stretches far beyond the typical gig. Try something new at Leeds’ Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, where you can munch on street food while you enjoy fresh sounds. Discover your alternative side at the Brudenell Social Club, located in the heart of Leeds’ student area. See what’s on further afield at The Adelphi in Hull for some gloriously quirky concerts, or The Fibbers in York for a variety of live music every night. Some chart favourites performing Yorkshire this term are Imagine Dragons, Ella Henderson and Of Monsters and Men.
Visit the seaside
Discover another side to Yorkshire- the seaside! If you’re feeling cramped up in student halls and need a change of scene, head to Whitby, Scarborough, or Robin Hood’s Bay to breathe in the sea air. Rumour has it that Whitby’s Magpie Café serves the biggest and the best portion of fish and chips around.
As host of the Tour de France’s Grand Départ 2014, Yorkshire is a popular choice for anyone interested in sports and outdoor pursuits. To go on a cycle tour of your own, visit Dalby Forest, home to England’s largest mountain biking trail centre. You can also swing through the trees in Dalby at their outdoor climbing centre, Go Ape. Yorkshire also hosts a variety of sporting events throughout the year, from the Tour de Yorkshire, Tough Mudder and the Great Yorkshire Run. For a truly quirky day out, check out ‘Pesky Husky’ in the North York Moors and where you can try husky dog trekking- who knew?!
Feed your mind at Yorkshire’s best museums
Yorkshire proudly showcases six National museums and a range of other unique and award-winning collections covering a whole host of eras and topics. You can indulge your sweet tooth at York’s Chocolate Story, let your guard down at the Royal Armouries and steam ahead to the National Railway Museum. There’s an exhibition out there in Yorkshire for you, whatever your interests. If you’re heading to Leeds’ Royal Armouries, don’t forget that you can catch the FREE water taxi there from the centre of town (near the Double Tree hotel, Granary Wharf)
Delve into the artistic world
The Tetley in Leeds displays contemporary art in a former art deco brewery. The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth tells the story of some of the nation’s best storytellers; Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield lets you explore open-air displays by some of the world’s finest artists. Jackrabbits Pottery in Roundhay offers you the chance to get creative and paint your own pottery. Whether you’re studying an arts degree or not, Yorkshire has plenty of attractions to indulge your creative side.
Explore picturesque ruins, abbeys and castles
Studying archaeology, history or medieval studies? You’ll love the endless number of ruins and castles to visit in Yorkshire. Kirkstall Abbey, the ruins of a Cistercian Monastery from c1152, is a short bus ride away from Leeds and holds a market once every month from March to November. Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale promises Instagram-worthy sights and Clifford’s Tower in York offers visitors panoramic views of the city. If you’ve got your trainers on, climb up Whitby’s 199 steps to reach Whitby Abbey, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s classic story, Dracula.
Travel back in time through Yorkshire’s rich history
Get in touch with Yorkshire’s industrial past by visiting World Heritage Site Saltaire, an industrial village built by philanthropist Titus Salt in the 19th century. You can stroll through the Salt Mill for free or relax on a canal barge for just £4. Or for a lavish day out, try Harewood House, a luxurious 18th-century country mansion, home to exhibitions of contemporary art, a renowned Bird Garden and over 100 acres of exquisite gardens for visitors to explore and enjoy. You can even visit Harewood’s Humboldt Penguins enclosure and feed the adorable birds for £15!
For the ultimate historical journey, visit York- whether it’s the York Dungeons, York Castle, the National Railway museum or the York Minster that takes your fancy, a day out in the historic city is guaranteed to take your mind off deadlines.
If deadlines are just getting on top of you, Yorkshire has plenty of opportunities to relax. Rejuvenate in beautiful surroundings at Harrogate’s Turkish Baths and Spa, or catch the late September sun at Ilkley lido. Alternatively, Camp Kátur in North Yorkshire promises to help you ‘discover your outdoor happiness’ in one of their luxury glamping tents, tipis and pods. Where do I sign up?!
And finally…Check out some of my pictures from my four years in and around Yorkshire- enjoy!