Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

It’s nice ‘Oop North’


I’ve just returned from a visit ‘Oop North’ as they say. I went to visit Number 2 son in Leeds in Yorkshire. Being a Lancashire lass, I don’t know Yorkshire that well so it was fun getting to know Leeds.911351.jpg

It’s a vibrant city with great shopping (the best is in an area called the Victoria Quarter (above) – Victorian arcades which have been beautifully restored and which now house a great range of the best designer shops – including Harvey Nichols, for those of you in the know!) and an infinite number of museums, great restaurants and bars. I had a wonderful time, ate lots of lovely food and it was so nice to spend time with my son, who I don’t see so often now he is in his final year at Leeds University and working very hard. Apart from the fact it was noticeably much colder and windier when I arrived in Leeds, compared with the South coast, I had a great time.

We went to York for the afternoon yesterday. York is a beautiful city on so many levels. It is dominated by York Minster, the largest medieval gothic cathedral in Northern Europe which is stunningly beautiful. I took lots of photographs and here are some to give you an idea of the scale and beauty of the building.


This last shot is taken looking straight up into the Central Tower, the white painted ceiling is 60m high. The stained glass windows are breathtaking.


Surrounding the minster, is an area called the Shambles, a series of medieval streets and buildings, full of shops which is still a terrific shopping area.


This is the Clifford Tower, all that remains of York Castle.


I’ve had a fantastic three days, although as I didn’t take my laptop, I did get withdrawal symptoms…no blog, no emails – but I survived :-)

There has always been great rivalry between Lancashire, where I was born, and Yorkshire – at it’s worst it led to the War of the Roses (1455-1487) – a civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York – both claimed the throne of England. At best, it leads to great rivalry on the sports field – especially in cricket and football. Yorkshire folk are intensely proud of their county and culture and even call it ‘God’s Own County’. It has been suggested that they have a stronger allegiance to their county than their country and they pride themselves on their plain speaking :-)

To help you (and me) understand Yorkshire people here is a short video for Yorkshire Airlines.

Let’s just hope I haven’t started the second War of the Roses – I loved Yorkshire, honest! (Can you just turn the heater on before I visit again, please?)

21 responses to “It’s nice ‘Oop North’

  1. strugglingwriter March 8, 2008 at 3:16 am

    We missed ya in bloggy world!

    Those are some great pictures, especially the Shambles one. I think even I would have a smile on my face while shopping there. Lovely!

    I like this book, especially the little owl on the cover.

    I’m glad you had a nice time on your visit. :)

  2. laketrees March 8, 2008 at 3:19 am

    great photos Diane…
    sounds like you had a grand time…and I bet your son was thrilled to see you ..
    the shops look great and that Victoria Quarter looks like our Victoria Building in Sydney…
    the Cathedral photos are amazing…
    thanks for the history lesson hehe
    one of my exes was from York !!
    the bursts of highlighted colour on your book are lovely…I gave Mum her book and she loved it…she asked me about the location so she could put a note inside about the photo that you took of Wales…(I couldn’t remember) :)

  3. Dunn March 8, 2008 at 4:31 am

    What a beautiful places. Would love to visit too one day..

  4. durano lawayan March 8, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Hi Diane,

    Apart from the beautifully restored Victoria Quarter and the stunning Gothic Cathedral with its magnificent stain glass; the write up of this post and its lead in to the video clip was well executed, as usual.

    The Shambles reminded me of fleetstreet in the film Sweeney Todd which starred a favorite, Johnny Depp.

    The video clip is funny and good for a lot of laughs. I don’t think it will start a second war of the roses, but with all that air coming in during laughter, I would concede that it could start a War of the Gases. :-) –Durano, done!

  5. Diane March 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Paul – that’s the thing about blogging isn’t it? You always wonder if anyone would notice if you just stopped…… :-)
    The Shables is lovely – all these medieval shops and streets which have been turned into modern shops – and they are not all just the big High St chains, there are other areaswith those. As most of the shops are quite small they tend to be more individual , unusual shops which is great!

    Kim – I did have a great time! My son and I went out to dinner and lunch everyday together so at least he got fed properly for a change. And the fact I was visiting meant they had a good clean up in the house he shares :-)
    I also took him food shopping and bought him some treats from Marks and Spencers, so yes, I think he probably was pleased to see me :-D

    Dunn – it is so pretty and the countryside up in North Yorkshire is stunning – well worth a visit!

    Durano – we had lunch in a restaurant in the Shambles that said that Johnny Depp used to hang out there when he was filming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I gather that it was used as a location in some of the Harry Potter films – it certainly looks like Diagon Alley!
    The film clip is funny – glad you enjoyed it! I wasn’t sure if non-UK folk would ‘get it’ – :-D

  6. scatterbrain March 8, 2008 at 9:48 am

    the paper on that book is just fantastic! Best one yet imo!

  7. Flowers (Tom) March 8, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    York is fantastic, isn’t it? I went there years ago and only wish that I could remember more! The Yorvik (is that the correct spelling?) exhibition was wonderful (I was a kid at the time so what would you expect) and the general feel of the place was great. Thanks for the post. Lovely photos.

  8. Diane March 8, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    scatterbrain – I love the way everyone has a different favourite! Glad you like this one :-)

    Tom – I think it’s the Jorvik Centre – a Viking museum, we didn’t get to see that. The last time I was in York before this trip was a school trip when I was was about 10. We went to the Castle Museum and the National Railway Museum and for a trip up the River Ouse, I don’t think the Jorvik was open then…. At the risk of sounding like the York Tourist Board, it’s a great place to visit – especially for families :-)

  9. tulibri March 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    oh, sweet memories! I know Leeds from a study term there quite a few years ago … I loved it there. And also had a great time doing christmas shopping one day in York, so much of an atmosphere there between these old stones :) I hope you didn’t miss the Corn Exchange in Leeds … which was one of my favorite places to go. Special thanks from my part for sharing these pictures!

  10. Diane March 8, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    My pleasure!
    I heard the Corn Exchange was flooded badly a few years ago apparently and it has just been renovated. It is a fabulous building but is empty now apart from a couple of very cheap clothes shops – such a shame. It has such potential ….the talk is it might be a food market or a concert venue….

  11. Teresa March 8, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    You know, I had the exact same thought that the shops area looked like Diagon Alley!

    What spectacular photos! Thanks so much for taking and sharing them. I enjoy traveling vicariously through others because I hate to fly. :}

    That’s wonderful you got to spend quality time with ds#2! I don’t know if you mentioned it in your post or answers (I scanned, but may have missed it), but what is your son majoring in? Is he enjoying it?

    And thanks, too, for sharing some English history! I can’t say I remember much of it in my studies.

    Of course I noticed you’d been absent. I come here every day. :) Missed ya!

    The book cover is so much fun! It reminds me of something my ds#1 would draw. Guess I might have to fight Scatterbrain to get that one, eh?

  12. Creechman March 8, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    When was the “War of Tulips?” Holland? Pre-Beowulf? I missed that, but they made wooden cathedrals which burned down, so we can only surmise.

  13. Diane March 9, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Teresa – I’m not very fond of flying either but needs must! Glad you enjoyed the photos instead :-)

    My Number 2 son is studying Product Design and yes, he seems to have enjoyed it – he graduates in a couple of months. We were saying how astonishingly fast his 3 years at university has passed.

    Aw shucks! So glad someone noticed I had gone AWOL :-)

    As for the book – I can always make two the same…..

  14. Diane March 9, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Mark – it was just after the ‘War of the Daffodils’ and before the ‘War of the Daisies’……

  15. perpetualplum March 10, 2008 at 12:12 am

    I really like the book. I love the papers. The book is definitely my “cup of tea”, “right up my alley”, and all that. :-D

    Beautiful photos. One of these days I’ll have to take a trip to the U.K.

  16. nursemyra March 10, 2008 at 11:08 am

    love the youtube clip. hilarious!

  17. Diane March 10, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Sue – I like this too – it is a funky paper isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed the photographs – if you do make it to the UK I will show you around Dorset :-)

    NurseMyra – it makes me laugh….I first saw it years ago and remembered it for this post :-)

  18. Lunes March 10, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Excellent video Diane….I’m a Yorkshire Lass now living in France – mmm I wonder why!?
    Born in Batley moved to Huddersfield, then went over the border to Lancaster Uni, back to Yorkshire, post grad in York, moved to Doncaster and then settled in FRANCE – well traveled really. Have never gone with Yorkshire Airlines but Ryan Air fits the mold well!
    Thanks for the entertainment as always. Kylee

  19. Teresa March 10, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    So your son has an eye for design just like his mum! Glad he enjoys what he’s studying.

    I can’t wait to see your Etsy shop!

  20. Christy DeKoning March 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    I was going to say the same thing that Laketrees did about Sydney – except that it reminded me of a little mall on Pitt Street – I think it is called The Strand.

    The shambles looks so romantic and lovely. Now I just HAVE to find a reason to pick up my paints (and maybe my family lol) and take a trip to England.

  21. Diane March 10, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Teresa – he is so much more talented than I am – he is naturally gifted. I have to work at it :-D

    Christy – your watercolours are gorgeous. It would be wonderful if you could come to the UK and paint. You would love it :-)

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