Hello! (Excuse my attempt at doing a northern accent in that title) but last Sunday (20th), I traveled up to Yorkshire with my family for a week to stay with my grandparents and I thought I’d document my travels whilst I was there. I’ll take you through day by day, as I started off writing on each day but then got out of the habit of it, so wrote the last few days up on the long drive home.
Sunday was such a long day. We had planned to leave early and stop off at Biddulph Grange Gardens in Staffordshire before going to Yorkshire, so we could split up the usual 4 hour journey a bit. However, as there were major roadworks around Birmingham, we got a bit confused, and hit delays and then once we’d actually got into Staffordshire, we got lost and Google maps was our only saviour in helping us actually find the gardens. After almost 4 hours we made it to the gardens, had lunch and looked around. It was actually stunning – the garden was split up into different countries, so there was a Chinese garden, an Italian garden, an Egyptian garden and so on. I managed to take some cool photos of flowers and we got to go inside a pyramid (made of hedges), go through various tunnels and over little bridges and explore Chinese temples.
Once we’d left the garden, it was supposed to take just under two hours to get to my grandparents in West Yorkshire where we were staying for the week. However there were road closures again that we weren’t aware of and we got stuck in the middle of no where and had to ring them for directions. We thought we may have to make a massive two hour detour and go through Sheffield but we were directed down the ominous sounding Snake Pass, which actually turned out to go through the beautiful Peak District so the scenery was lovely. We went through some little towns in the Peak District too, like Buxton and Glossop, that were just sort of in the middle of nowhere?? It was strange. We also managed to go through Midhopestones and drove along the exact bit of road we watched the Tour de France fly (well…cycle) past in 2014.
Eventually we got there at about 7:30, so we’d spent around 6-7 hours traveling which was pretty exhausting, so it was nice to have e got there at last!
We were all pretty exhausted from Sunday’s travelling, so we had a relaxing day. We went for a walk around the village (which actually ended up in us walking to the next village because we took a wrong turn) and my sister and I spent the rest of the day doing a jigsaw puzzle, then once we’d done that we started a French murder mystery/escape “game” that I just discovered in the Ça M’intéresse magazine I bought in France! Basically you get clues and have to find the answers throughout the magazine to create mystery words which supposedly join together to make a sentence revealing who killed the mysterious murderee Sovère. We managed to do two out of seven (I think) parts to the “game” – it was really fun although a challenge for us both as I had to read all the French then translate it for my sister, then we’d search for the answers and solve French anagrams. I think I’m definitely going to ask for a French puzzle book for my birthday because it’s such a great way to practice my language skills and I love a good word game.
(Also I was so cold on Monday, I mean I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even that cold out but I think my brain was like “you’re up north, be cold” so I wrapped up warm in a winter jumper and fluffy socks haha).
We got up fairly early today as we were heading off to Manchester for the day. We didn’t actually venture into the city (other than driving round) but visited Quarry Bank Mill in a place called Styal near Manchester airport. We’d been recommended the mill by the relatives we were staying with for the week, as they had visited a couple of times.
On the way there, we drove through long winding roads surrounding by hills, lakes and heather (and of course drystone walls) – it was so great to drive through the Yorkshire countryside with Bastille blasting out the car radio.
The mill itself was set in a little valley with a river running through the heart of it, and the actual land owned by the mill owners was pretty big. At the top of the valley as you entered there was the apprentice house, where children who were taken on by the mill owners from as young as 9 to 18 years slept, ate and attended school (well, the boys did anyway). We did a little guided tour of the apprentice house, which was really cool as our tour guide was dressed up and she took us round the school room, bedroom, treatment room and kitchen, explaining to us what the daily life of the apprentices would be like.
After that we went to look round some greenhouses and a small garden area where again I couldn’t resist practicing my photography.
Then we ventured down into the valley and had a picnic on the mill meadows, next to the river and a hydroelectric dam that looked like a waterfall.
When we actually ventured into the mill itself, it was huge and there was so much to look at. They had running machinery on each floor taking you through the cotton making process, which was very noisy, and the tour guides were so insightful and full of interesting facts.
We also walked through the main gardens of the mill, outside the mill owner’s house, which had lovely flowerbeds, including one replicating the family crest in the stainglass window of the house.
It was a long day, but Quarry Bank Mill is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area! Especially if you’re interested in finding out about what life for mill workers would have been like in the 1800s. (I should add that both Quarry Bank Mill and Biddulph Grange Gardens are owned by the National Trust).
We were quite tired again from our day out the previous day, but we still wanted to go out and explore so we went in to Holmfirth, which is a little village in the Holme Valley (where Last of the Summer Wine was filmed if anyone knows that old TV series). Holmfirth is one of my favourite places in Yorkshire – it’s so quaint. I hadn’t been in a good few years as we haven’t gone up in summer for a long time (when we go up at Christmas we don’t tend to go on day trips much), so it was the first time since Le Tour de France passed through in 2014 that I’d been there and I was surprised that many shops still had painted bikes outside there shops and in there walls and Tour de France bunting.
We went to a little bakery and bought some cakes for elevenses, had a walk round then drove up to a viewpoint at Holme Moss to eat out cake. The views were amazing!!
We relaxed for the rest of the day and my mum and I started another puzzle, this time a circular one of the Lowry print “A Lancashire Village”. I love Lowry’s paintings and as he was born in Manchester, he has a lot of paintings of Yorkshire towns and villages which are so interesting to look at.
On Thursday we went out with my grandparents to the Peak District for a hike. We walked part of the Pennine Way and walked around various reservoirs. It was lovely – the hills were covered in beautiful purple heather and there were boats sailing on the reservoirs. We walked around 6 miles in all, which doesn’t sound that far but I’m not the most active of people 😂.
After we got home I was so tired I had to have a nap for a bit.
I was a bit stressed on Friday because I was supposed to be enrolling at college and getting my timetable and bus pass but as I was 300 miles away from home there was no chance I could go and my friends were telling me the classes have been mixed around. However I still had a great day – we took the train into Huddersfield, the nearby town, which brought back so many memories because I used to go into town with my grandma and sister when we were younger. We looked round some of the markets there and visit the town art gallery where we saw a Yorkshire photographic society exhibition, a Peter Brook exhibition (he paints beautiful Yorkshire landscapes, often featuring his sheep dog), a sculptural exhibition entitled “Reproduction” with artwork made of images of cells and DNA and the permanent exhibition which features two Lowry paintings.
We also ended up going stationary shopping at Ryman’s as we don’t have one at home and then got lost finding Sainsbury’s, ended up at Tesco’s and got lost trying to find the entrance 😂. We also walked along the canal tow path for a bit too where we were greeted with a “top of the morning to you” from a passing couple.
On Saturday my sister and I were going to Leeds festival, which is basically the reason we came up to Yorkshire. We didn’t get up too early as we weren’t planning on getting there until 12:30. We left just after 10:00 to drive up to Leeds and it didn’t take as long as expected so we stopped at a service station in Wetherby for about 45 mins. The service station was packed with people – it was fun to try to spot who was going to the festival and who was going to watch the various football matches that were on that day. I saw several people in Bastille tops so they were definitely going to the festival haha.
The festival itself was absolutely amazing. The atmosphere was brilliant and it felt really well organised. We’d planned out before hand using the very handy Reading and Leeds app (because both the festivals happen on the same weekends but the acts play on different days in each location) all the bands we wanted to see so we know what times they were on and on which stages. The festival site itself was huge, although it was nice and spacious and it didn’t feel too crowded.
When we got there we came across the Alternative Stage (after having our tickets exchanged for wristbands – by the way how long is it acceptable to wear festival wristbands for? Because I’ve still got mine on a week or so later lol) and stumbled upon ‘WifiWars’. We didn’t know what it was but my sister recognised Steve from Go 8 Bit on TV and eventually found out that basically it was a massive video game competition with smartphones. So we logged onto the website and joined the blue team and played various games such as good ol’ snake, penalty shoot out, a sort of adventure game called ‘Dragons Lair’ and a first person shooter game, all with varying success. But we like to think we helped the blue team to victory as when we entered they were losing by about 300 points to the reds and in the end we actually won by 60 points (ish)!! It was really fun, I would definitely do it again.
The first band we wanted to see was The Amazons on the Festival Republic Stage (I should add all the stages except the main stage were in fact very large tents). Although we didn’t know many of their songs, they were still fun to listen to and the crowd was really getting into the music.
Next I think we decided to head over to the BBC Introducing Stage, where we saw Olly Chamberlain, and eat some lunch as it was around 2:00 pm. Olly was actually really good for such a young musician, and I would definitely recommend you check out his music!
I’m struggling to remember the order we saw everything in even though it was a week ago, but I’m pretty sure we went to the Main Stage and saw Rat Boy afterwards. I’d actually seen Rat Boy before in 2015 as they supported The 1975. I can’t really remember much of their music from then, I just remember not being able to hear very clearly as it was an indoor venue and the sound reverberated, distorting the music. Oh and I also remember me and my friend were like a few metres away from them whilst queuing to get in as their tour van pulled up round the back of the venue and they all got out for fans to take photos. However I really, really enjoyed their set at Leeds. It had such a summer-y vibe and watching live music in full sunshine is honestly the best thing ever. I mean, nighttime concerts re great but there’s nothing quite like festivals. Some of their songs I recognised from the radio so could sing along a bit, but all of the songs were jams. Since I’ve come up I’ve been listening to their music all week, which is surprising because I didn’t think I’d like their style of music so much!
After we moved closer to the Main Stage because one of our most anticipated sets was n afterwards. I was so excited to see Circa Waves – their music is the definition of summer! I have their vinyl at home and it’s just so upbeat and cheerful – I love it! I’ve been wanting to see Circa Waves for a few years now, as I couldn’t see them on tour last year 😦 I’d been eagerly watching their sets at Glastonbury and Radio 1’s Big Weekend online over the past couple of years, so finally being able to see them live was amazing! I loved how the crowd was so invested in their set too, and so many people were singing along which was great because none of my friends have even heard of them.
After Circa Waves finished their set I was a bit sad because I honestly didn’t want it to end, but the good thing about festivals is there is always more music to listen to, whereas once a concerts over, it’s really over. I think we went to watch Anne Marie next at the BBC Radio 1/NME Stage. I’m not the biggest fan of Anne Marie’s music, but it was worth going to hear the hits Alarm, Ciao Adios and Rockabye and dance along with the crowds.
I think after that we headed over to the merch stand. Honestly there was so much band merch, not to mention the Leeds merch itself, but we settled on buying a set of Leeds pin badges because we didn’t bring a lot of money with us and are planning on ordering the Leeds t-shirts online when we’ve saved some money.
We went back to the main stage at around 6:30 I think and sat down on the sort of hill that looks down on it and ate some dinner whilst watching Two Door Cinema Club. I didn’t really know much of their music at all, but it was enjoyable to listen to and definitely gave out summer vibes.
When it got to about 7:30 we decided to head closer to the stage and get a good spot because Bastille were on at 7:50. We were both really excited to see Bastille as they’re a band we’ve loved for ages and ages. When they came onto the stage, I couldn’t believe that I was finally watching them perform. The whole set just felt like a dream haha, I didn’t want it to end! Dan was so good at interacting with the crowd (not to mention singing) and the stage set up/background graphics were so cool. I’d definitely recommend you go to see Bastille if you can because they really do know how to put on a show. I had a bit of a sore throat by the end of their set from singing all the words. What was even better was that as they were playing, the sun was setting and it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. It really made the moment more special.
We waited around after their set for the headliners of the day – Kasabian – to come on stage. The background graphics for their set were really cool too, and as it was properly dark by then the stage lighting sort of beamed out into the darkness. In the end we only watched half of their set as the crowd was getting a bit rowdy, but I’m glad I got to hear You’re In Love With A Psycho as it’s one of the few songs of theirs I actually know.
We headed away from the main stage and went to see Bear’s Den in another stage which I’ve completely forgotten the name of…ooops. There wasn’t a huge crowd watching them but it was so nie to watch a more intimate set, and their music was really relaxing and peaceful. After they finished, we made the long (well not that long but it feels long when your legs are like jelly from jumping to music all day) walk back to the car park where our parents were waiting to pick us up.
It was a long day, but I had an absolutely amazing time and I’d love to return next year if I can!
As you can probably guess, Sunday was a lazy day. I didn’t wake up extremely late because I wanted to make the most of my last day up north. For the majority of the morning (after packing my stuff away), my mum and I powered through the Lowry puzzle because we were barely half-finished but wanted to complete it before going home (it was such a difficult puzzle but so worth it). Afterwards we had the (not so) genius idea of trying to turn the puzzle over (because it was a double-sided puzzle) as we wanted to see what the other side looked like. After getting the whole family involved and using various place mats to hold the puzzle together (and a couple of mishaps) we managed it.
We ate lunch outside as it was lovely and sunny – typically all the nice weather arrives on the day you’re leaving. We went for a long walk around the village and neighboring fields in the afternoon as I hadn’t done the usual walk yet that week, and it’s sort of something we always do whilst we’re staying there.
After having dinner, we said our goodbyes and started the long drive home. I was really, really sad to be leaving. I’ve grown so attatched to Yorkshire over the past 10 years that my grandparents have been living there, and I’ve made so many memories there. I felt so relaxed during the holiday it was a shame to come home to the stress of college again. But I definitely made some good memories this time which I will cherish until I can return again.
So, that concludes my adventures in Yorkshire. I’m sorry it’s been such a long post – but it was an action-packed week that I wanted to document here and share with you all. I was hoping to have compiled all my videos from Leeds together to share with you by now, but it’s taking longer than expected as my wifi is so slow it takes half an hour to upload each 1 minute clip to YouTube! So keep an eye out for that in the hopefully near future (I will post about it on here when it is up at last).
I hope you’ve all had a marvelous summer and best wishes to all those venturing back to school in the days to come.