Yorkshire is the UK’S largest county, with a diverse environment that is home to more than 5 million people. The epithet may be disputed around the world, but to those who live here it is little wonder it is often branded ‘God’s own county’, or ‘God’s own country’.

Its symbol, the white rose, is internationally recognised, though less so is Yorkshire Day of August 1, chosen to mark the bravery of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at the Battle of Minden on August 1, 1759.

The Yorkshire Party has prepared this section from independent sources to inform and interest members, potential members and those who just want to know more about our wonderful land.


The famous Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Party gratefully acknowledges the co-operation of the Yorkshire Enterprise Network in quoting from its website. The Network’s aim is to facilitate relationships for businesses and organisations, empowering them to grow for the economic benefits of the region. The use of its material does not signify any support for the Yorkshire Party or any of its policies.

Attempts have been made to identify any significant passages quoted from other websites



The history of Yorkshire is one of the richest of any English county, centred on the county town of York.

The region was first occupied after the retreat of the ice age about 8000 BC.

During the first millennium AD it was occupied by many different factions including the Romans, Angles and Vikings.

The name comes from “Eborakon” (c.150) an old Brythonic name that probably derives from “Efor” or “the place of the yew-trees”. Many Yorkshire dialect words and aspects of pronunciation derive from old Norse because of the Viking influence in this region. The name “Yorkshire” first appeared in writing in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1065. It was originally composed of three sections called Thrydings, subsequently referred to as Ridings.

Following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Yorkshire was subject to the punitive harrying of the North, which caused great hardship.

The area proved to be notable for uprisings and rebellions through to the Tudor period.

During the industrial revolution, the West Riding became the second most important manufacturing area in the United Kingdom, while the predominant industries of the East and North Ridings remained fishing and agriculture.

In modern times, the Yorkshire economy suffered from a decline in manufacturing, which affected its traditional coal, steel, wool and shipping industries.

Full history through-the-ages at: https://www.yorkshirenetwork.co.uk/yorkshire/history-of-yorkshire/



According to a Wikipedia entry: Historically, Yorkshire’s northern boundary was the River Tees, the eastern boundary was the North Sea coast and the southern boundary was the Humber Estuary and Rivers Don and Sheaf. The western boundary meandered along the western slopes of the Pennine Hills to again meet the River Tees. It is bordered by County Durham, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Westmorland. 

In Yorkshire there is a very close relationship between the major topographical areas and the geological period in which they were formed. The Pennines are of Carboniferous origin. The central vale is Permo-Triassic. The North York Moors in the north-east of the county are Jurassic in age while the Yorkshire Wolds to the south east are Cretaceous chalk uplands.

The main rivers of Yorkshire

Yorkshire is drained by several rivers. In western and central Yorkshire the many rivers empty their waters into the Ouse, which reaches the North Sea via the Humber Estuary. The most northerly of the rivers in the Ouse system is the Swale, which drains Swaledale before passing through Richmond and meandering across the Vale of Mowbray. Next, draining Wensleydale, is the Ure, which the Swale joins east of Boroughbridge. Near Great Ouseburn the Ure is joined by the small Ouse Gill Beck, and below the confluence the river is known as the Ouse. The River Nidd rises on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and flows along Nidderdale before reaching the Vale of York and the Ouse. The Wharfe, which drains Wharfedale, joins the Ouse upstream of Cawood. The Aire and Calder are more southerly contributors to the River Ouse and the most southerly Yorkshire tributary is the Don, which flows northwards to join the main river at Goole. Further north and east, the Derwent rises on the North York Moors, flows south then westwards through the Vale of Pickering then turns south again to drain the eastern part of the Vale of York. It empties into the Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh.

River Hull at Wawne      Picture: Stephen Horncastle

In the far north of the county the River Tees flows eastwards through Teesdale and empties its waters into the North Sea downstream of Middlesbrough. The smaller Esk flows from west to east at the northern foot of the North York Moors to reach the sea at Whitby. To the east of the Yorkshire Wolds the Hull flows southwards to join the Humber Estuary at Kingston upon Hull. The western Pennines are drained by the Ribble which flows westwards, eventually reaching the Irish Sea close to Lytham St Annes.




Yorkshire has a population of 5.3 million people, larger than the population of Scotland. (According to 2011 census data published by the Office for National Statistics). Yorkshire also has a bigger population than many other countries, such as Norway, New Zealand, Uruguay and the Republic of Ireland.


The biggest cities by population are: Leeds (780,000), which is the fourth biggest city in the UK; Sheffield (575,000); Bradford (530,000); Wakefield (330,000); and Doncaster (302,000)

Kirkgate Market in Leeds,Yorkshire’s biggest city

Picture: Jungpionier


County Size

Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK, spanning 2.9 million acres, larger than Greater London. It is often split geographically, each area being referred to as North, West or the East Riding. More than 80% of Yorkshire is considered ‘urban’.


Yorkshire is home to two airports that have scheduled commercial airline services, Leeds Bradford International Airport (16th busiest in the UK) and Doncaster Sheffield, formerly Robin Hood, (26th busiest), which served more than 3.2 million and 690,000 passengers respectively in 2014.


The eastern border of Yorkshire is its 45 mile long coastline, looking out on to the North Sea. It includes the popular holiday spots of Whitby (the landing spot of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel), Bridlington, Scarborough, Robin Hood Bay, Filey and Hornsea. Many have been awarded the Blue Flag label for sustainability.

Whitby Abbey



Sheffield is home to Yorkshire’s largest shopping centre, Meadowhall. With more than 400,000 visitors a week and 139,355m2 of floor space, it ranks as the 10th largest shopping centre in the UK


Manufacturing accounted for 15.3% of output in 2010, compared with the average of 10.8% for the UK.

Many businesses have also been founded in Yorkshire, such as Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, and Tetley’s Brewery.

Tourism is worth more than £7 billion, which is more than the whole tourism expenditure in Ireland or Denmark, and employs about 250,000 people

 In total, Yorkshire’s economic output was £88 billion, double that of Wales and almost 7% of the UK’s total economic output.

See below for our breakdown of Yorkshire’s biggest economies.

CityUK RankGross Value Added (GVA)GVA Per Head 


National Parks

Yorkshire has two National Parks: the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, covering 1,762km2 and 1436km2 respectively. Together they attract about 20.3 million visitors a year.

Details from: https://www.yorkshirenetwork.co.uk/yorkshire/yorkshire-facts-and-statistics/

North Yorks Moors      Picture: Bernard Lepretre



The county’s best-known delicacy, by far, is the Yorkshire pudding, the earliest reference to which was in Hannah Glasse’s Art Of Cookery in 1747.

Wensleydale cheese originates from Yorkshire. The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, Wensleydale is the only maker of traditional Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese. In 2013, Yorkshire Wensleydale was granted Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Commission

In 2010, Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb was awarded Protected Designation of Origin status by the European Commission.

Parkin, the a gingerbread cake made with oatmeal and black treacle, originated in northern England and is often associated with Yorkshire, particularly the Leeds area.

The Tan Hill Inn, in Swaledale is said to be Britain’s highest pub at 1,732ft above sea level.

The Aakash restaurant, Cleckheaton claims to be the largest Indian restaurant in the world.

There are six Michelin Star restaurants in Yorkshire, more than any other region in England, outside of London: The Box Tree, IlkleyYorke Arms, Ramsgill near Harrogate; The Pipe and Glass, South Dalton; The Black Swan at Oldstead; The Star Inn at Harome; The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds.

Yorke Arms at Ramsgill

Details at https://www.yorkshire.com/inspiration/food-and-drink/michelin-star-experience



Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK and consists of a diverse mix of urban and rural development with a heritage in agriculture, manufacturing, and mining.

After a long period of  little change, it has been subject to a number of important reforms of local government structures in modern times. The most significant of these was the Local Government Act 1972 and the 1990s UK local government reform.

It currently corresponds to several counties and districts and is mostly contained within the old Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Yorkshire is split into several non-metropolitan counties, each consisting of many towns and cities that  are highly valued within England for their economical and historical significance.


These are the 10 largest towns or cities in 2011

In the north: York, Harrogate, Scarborough, Redcar, Thornaby-on-Tee, Acomb, Ingleby Barwick, Yarm-on-Tees, Selby and Guisborough

Total Population: 1,072,600

In the east: Kingston upon Hull, Bridlington, Beverley, Goole, Cottingham, Hessle, Driffield, Elloughton-cum-Brough, Anlaby and Hornsea

Population: 590,800

In the south: Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley, Wath upon Dearne, Bentley, Wombwell, Chapeltown, Dinnington and Adwick le Street

Population: 1,343,900

In the west: Leeds, Bradford,Huddersfield, Wakefield, Halifax, Batley, Dewsbury, Keighley, Brighouse and Pudsey

Population: 2,227,400

Further details on Government in Yorkshire at: https://www.yorkshirenetwork.co.uk/yorkshire/government-in-yorkshire/




Local AuthorityEnterprisesLocal UnitsPopulationEnterprises Per 1000Heads Per Enterprise
West Yorkshire46,38554,620943,00050.820.0
South Yorkshire37,17545,600876,60042.823.5
North Yorkshire17,54020,255212,90090.511.5
East Riding of Yorkshire UA13,59015,480199,20068.214.7
Kingston upon Hull5,8158,195170,90034.029.4
East Yorkshire39,67547,065616,00051.122.0
Yorkshire and Humber Total147,640176,3302,785,80057.019.4

Source: Office for National Statistics, October 2016

Information from: https://www.yorkshirenetwork.co.uk/yorkshire/enterprises-in-yorkshire/



Yorkshire has a mixed economy. The City of Leeds is Yorkshire’s largest city and is the main centre of trade and commerce. Leeds is one of the UK’s larger financial centres. Leeds’ traditional industries were mixed; service-based industries, textile manufacturing and coal mining being examples.

Bradford, Halifax, Keighley and Huddersfield once were centres of wool milling. Sheffield once had heavy industries, such as coal mining and the steel industry. Since the decline of such industries, Sheffield has attracted tertiary and administrative businesses including more retail trade; Meadowhall being an example. However, while Sheffield’s heavy industry has declined, the region has reinvented itself as a centre for specialist engineering.

Making Army shells during World War One at a Sheffield steel factory

North Yorkshire has an established tourist industry with the two national parks, Harrogate, York and Scarborough and such an industry is growing in Leeds.

Kingston upon Hull is Yorkshire’s largest port and has a large manufacturing base, its fishing industry has, however, declined in recent years. Harrogate and Knaresborough both have small legal and financial sectors. Harrogate is a European conference and exhibition destination with both the Great Yorkshire Showground and Harrogate International Centre in the town.

Coal mining was prolific in the south of the county during the 19th century and for most of the 20th century, particularly around Barnsley and Wakefield. As late as the 1970s, the number of miners working in the area was still in six figures. The industry was placed under threat on March 6, 1984 when the National Coal Board announced the closure of 20 pits nationally (some of them in South Yorkshire). By March 2004, a mere three pits remained open in the area. Three years later, the only remaining coal pit in the region was Maltby Colliery near Rotherham.

Business in Yorkshire spans many different industries and has produced many large British companies that are now recognised globally. These include; Morrisons (Bradford), Asda (Leeds), Jet2.com (Leeds), Ronseal (Sheffield), Optare (Leeds), Wharfedale (Leeds), Plaxton (Scarborough), Seven Seas (Hull), Halifax Bank (Halifax), Rank Organisation (Hull), Yorkshire Bank (Leeds), Yorkshire Building Society (Bradford), Ebuyer (Howden), GHD (Leeds), Marks & Spencer (Leeds), Burtons (Leeds), Jaeger (Ilkley), Magnet Kitchens (Keighley), Reckitt and Sons (Hull), McCains (Scarborough), First Direct (Leeds), Tetley’s Brewery (Leeds), Timothy Taylor Brewery (Keighley), Skipton Building Society (Skipton), Bettys and Taylors Group of Harrogate and Provident Financial (Bradford.)

Bettys tea rooms, Harrogate       Picture: Harry Wood

Details of the top 250 businesses at: https://www.yorkshirenetwork.co.uk/yorkshire/top-250-businesses/





Barbara Taylor Bradford, author, Leeds

Sir Malcolm Bradbury, author and academic, Sheffield

John Braine, novelist, Bradford

The Brontë Sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne – writers, Thornton

The Bronte Sisters

Branwell Brontë, painter and writer, Thornton

Edward Keble Chatterton, maritime writer, Sheffield

Gertrude Spurr Cutts, painter, Scarborough

AA Dhand, author, Bradford

Kenneth Draper, sculptor and artist, Killamarsh

Kenneth Draper

Andrea Dunbar, playwright, Bradford

John Elderfield, art curator, Yorkshire

Helen Fielding, author, Morley

Victoria Glendinning, writer, critic and broadcaster, Sheffield

John Atkinson Grimshaw, painter, Leeds

The Broomielaw, Glasgow by John Atkinson Grimshaw

David Hockney, artist, Bradford

Roger Hargreaves, writer, Cleckheaton

Barbara Hepworth, painter and sculptor, Wakefield


Ted Hughes, poet laureate, Mytholmroyd

Bernard Knox, classicist, and critic, Bradford

Andrew Marvell, poet, Winestead-in-Holderness

Nathaniel Mellors, artist and musician, Doncaster

Ian McMillan, poet, Darfield

Ian McMillan      Picture: Steve Bowbrick

Henry Moore, sculptor,  Castleford

Julie O’Neill, author, Yorkshire

John Pass, poet and teacher, Sheffield

J.B.Priestly, writer and broadcaster, Bradford


Chris Scott, author, Kingston upon Hull

Dame Edith Sitwell, poet and critic, Scarborough

Sir Osbert Sitwell, author and poet, Scarborough

Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, baronet, author, poet and art critic, Scarborough

Robert Swindells, author, Bradford

Robert Thompson, carpenter, Kilburn

Picture: Robert Thompson’s


Business and Commerce

Terry Bramall, civil engineer, housebuilding group chairman and philanthropist, Yorkshire

Sir David Brown, entrepreneur and industrialist, Huddersfield

George W.Buckley, businessman, Sheffield

Phil Burgan, founder Maria Mallaband Care Group, Sheffield

Rick Dickinson, industrial designer, Leeds

Rick Dickinson

Samson Fox, engineer, industrialist and philanthropist, Bradford

Eddie and Malcolm Healey, entrepreneurs and Meadowhall developers, Kingston upon Hull

Dean Hoyle, retail entrepreneur and football club chairman, Heckmondwike

Baron Graham Kirkham, retail chief executive, Doncaster

Sir Ken Morrison, chairman store chain, Bradford

Sir Titus Salt, manufacturer, politician, and philanthropist, Morley

Sir Titus Salt

Peter Stringfellow, businessman and nightclub owner, Sheffield

Paul Sykes, businessman, political donor, and philanthropist, from Barnsley

Jack Tordoff, car dealership chairman, Bradford

Sir Malcolm Walker, retail entrepreneur, Huddersfield

Peter Wilkinson, internet entrepreneur, Harrogate


Film, TV and Stage

Mark Addy, actor, York

Mark Addy

John Aldred, film sound engineer, Doncaster

Richard Alexander, actor, and TV presenter, Wibsey

Effie Bancroft, actress and theatre manager, Doncaster

Effie Bancroft

Julian Barratt, actor and comedian, Leeds

Keith Barron, actor, Mexborough

Sean Bean, actor, Sheffield

Alan Bennett, playright and actor, Leeds

Rodney Bewes, actor, Bingley

Brian Blessed, actor, Mexborough

David Bradley, actor, York

Chuckle Brothers, children’s entertainers, Rotherham

Chuckle Brothers,  Barry (left) and Paul Elliott      Picture: Granny Margaret

Chris Bush, playwright and artistic director, Sheffield

Marti Caine, actress and comedian, Sheffield

Jim Carter, actor, Harrogate

Terence A. Clegg, film producer, Sheffield

Sir Tom Courtenay, actor, Hull

Sir Tom Courtenay     Picture: Georges Biard

Angela Crow, actress, Wharfedale

Paul Daniels, illusionist and TV presenter, South Bank

Michael Denison, actor, Doncaster

Dame Judi Dench, actress, York

Dame Judi Dench       Picture: Caroline Bonarde Ucci

Dynamo, magician, Bradford

Adrian Edmondson, comedian and actor, Bradford

Adrian Edmondson      Picture: Bryan Ledgard

Fred Feast, actor,Scarborough

David Firth, animator, musician, writer, and actor Leeds

Peter Firth, actor, Bradford

Leigh Francis (Keith Lemon), actor and comedian, Leeds

James Frain, actor, Leeds

Brian Glover, actor and comedian, Sheffield

Richard Griffiths, actor, Thornaby-on-Tees

Jon Harris, film director, Sheffield

Charlton Heaton, actor, Bridlington

Bernard Hepton, actor, Bradford

Frankie Howerd, comedian and actor, York

Frankie Howerd        Picture: Allan Warren

Ralph Ineson, actor, Leeds

Gordon Kaye, actor, Huddersfield

Sir Ben Kingsley, actor, Snainton

Charles Laughton, actor and screenwriter, Scarborough

Charles Laughton

George Layton, actor, director and author, Bradford

Kay Mellor, scriptwriter, actress and director, Leeds

Pat Paterson, actress, Bradford

Andrew Lee-Potts, actor, Bradford

Matthew Lewis, actor, Leeds

Sophie Lowe, actress, Sheffield

Sophie Lowe      Picture: Eva Rinaldi

James Mason, actor, Huddersfield

Malcolm McDowell, actor, Leeds

Tony McHale, actor and producer, Bradford

James Roderick Moir (Vic Reeves), comedian actor and artist, Leeds

Julian Ovenden, actor and singer, Sheffield

Michael Palin, comedian and broadcaster, Sheffield

Michael Palin       Picture: Chipps

Judy Parfitt, actress, Sheffield

Michael Rennie, actor, Idle, Bradford

Dame Diana Rigg, actress, Doncaster

Mark Ryan, actor, Doncaster

Paul Shane, comedian and actor, Thryberg

Jack Shepherd, actor, Doncaster

William Snape, actor, Sheffield

Sir Patrick Stewart, actor, Mirfield

Mollie Sugden, actress, Keighley

Dominic West, actor, Sheffield

Dominic West

Elizabeth White, actress, Rotherham

Jodie Whittaker, actress, Skelmanthorpe

Tom Wilkinson, actor, Wharfedale

Dame Penelope Wilton, actress, Scarborough

Dame Penelope Wilton      Picture: FrankieF

Ernie Wise, entertainer, Leeds



Alcuin of York, scholar and ecclesiastic

Chris Baines, naturalist, environmentalist, landcscape architect, writer and TV presenter, Sheffield

John Baker, legal historian, Sheffield

Ralph Burton, soldier and Canadian settler, Scarborough

Jeremy Clarkson, TV presenter, Doncaster

Captain James Cook, explorer, Marton

Captain Cook

Geoffrey Dawson, journalist, Skipton

Harry Gration, journalist and TV presenter, Bradford

Amy Green, model, Sheffield

Baroness Brenda Hale,  judge and president of the UK Supreme Court,, Leeds

H. L. A. Hart, legal philosopher, teacher and author, Harrogate

Nina Hossain, journalist and TV presenter, Huddersfield

Bill Humble, aviator, Doncaster

Amy Johnson, aviator Kington Upon Hull

Amy Johnson

William Kent, architect, Bridlington

Gabby Logan, gymnast and TV presenter, Leeds

Elizabeth Montagu, social reformer, patron of the arts and literary critic, Yorkshire

Chris Moyles, broadcaster and author, Leeds

Sir Michael Parkinson, journalist and TV presenter, Cudworth

Jeremy Paxman, TV presenter, journalist and author, Leeds

Marco Pierre White, chef. Leeds

Augustus Pitt-Rivers, army officer and archaeologist, Hope Hall, Weatherby

Anita Rani, TV presenter, Bradford

Selina Scott, TV presenter, Scarborough

John Smeaton, civil engineer, Leeds

Thomas Nettleship Staley, bishop, Sheffield

Thomas Nettleship Staley

Smith Wigglesworth, evangelist and faith healer, Menston

John Wycliffe, philosopher and theologian, Hipswell

Hugo Young, journalist, Sheffield



Arctic Monkeys, band, Sheffield

Asking Alexandria, band, York

Corinne Bailey Rae, singer-songwriter Leeds

Corinne Bailey Rae      Picture: Ludovic Etienne

Sir Edward Bairstow, organist and composer, Huddersfield

Dame Janet Baker, opera singer, Hatfield

John Barry, composer, York

The Beautiful South, band, Hull

The Beautiful South

Bring Me The Horizon, band, Sheffield

Arthur Brown, singer, Whitby

Melanie Brown, singer, Leeds

Melanie Brown      Picture: CHRIS

Dewey Bunnell, singer-songwriter, Harrogate

Eliza Carthy, folk musician, Scarborough

Michael Chapman, singer-songwriter, Hunslett

Tony Christie, singer, Conisbrough

Joe Cocker, singer, Sheffield

Joe Cocker      Picture: Thesupermat

David Coverdale, singer, Saltburn-by-the-Sea

The Cribs, band, Wakefield

Kiki Dee, singer, Bradford

Def Leppard, band, Sheffield

Frederick Delius, composer, Bradford

Frederick Delius

Gang Of Four, band, Leeds

Vin Garbutt, singer, South Bank

Lesley Garrett, singer, Thorne

Gareth Gates, singer, Bradford

Heaven 17, band, Sheffield

The Human League, band, Sheffield

Kaiser Chiefs, band, Leeds

Kaiser Chiefs      Picture: Truk14

Ann Lee, singer-songwriter, Sheffield

Zayn Malik, singer, Bradford

Jane McDonald, singer and TV presenter, Wakefield

Bill Nelson, musician, painter and photographer, Wakefield

John Newman, singer, Settle

Robert Palmer, singer, Batley

Robert Palmer      Picture: Nathan Callahan

Pulp, band, Sheffield

Mick Ronson, guitarist, songwriter and producer, Hull

Kate Rusby, singer, Penistone

Indy Sagu, (Inderpal Singh Sagu) record producer, singer and DJ, Bradford

Shed Seven, band, York

Ed Sheeran, singer-songwriter, Hebden Bridge

Ed Sheeran      Picture: Eva Rinaldi

Louis Tomlinson, singer, Doncaster

Kimberley Walsh, singer, model and actress,  Bradford

Chris Wolstenholme, musician, Rotherham

Stuart Zender, musician and song-writer, Sheffield



Herbert Henry Asquith, prime minister,  Morley

Herbert Asquith

Baroness Alice Bacon MP, Normanton

Baroness Betty Boothroyd, Speaker of the House of Commons, Dewsbury

Baroness Betty Boothroyd     Picture: UK Parliament

Baroness Elaine Burton , MP, Scarborough

Charles Frederick Crisp, US Congressman, Sheffield

Guy Fawkes, Gunpowder Plot conspirator, York

Samuel Gillott, lawyer and politician, Sheffield

William Hague, Conservative MP and party leader, Rotherham

William Hague      Picture: Foreign Office

Sir John Hall, prime minister of New Zealand, Kingston upon Hull

George Handley, soldier and American politician, Sheffield

Sir Edward James Harland, shipbuilder and MP, Scarborough

Sir Edward Harland       Picture: By Peter Clarke, English Wikipedia

Sir Bernard Ingham, civil servant, Hebden Bridge

Sir Robert Michael Marshall, businessman and Junior Industry Minister, Sheffield

Gloria De Piero, journalist and MP, Bradford

William Pickering, Governor of Washington territory, US, York

Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, mayor of Auckland in New Zealand, Sheffield

Sir Henry Kenyon Stephenson, Lord Mayor of Sheffield and MP, Sheffield

William Wilberforce, MPand social campaigner, Kingston upon Hull

James Harold Wilson, prime minister, Huddersfield


Science and Inventors

Diana Anderson, biomedical-scientist, Bradford

Sir Edward Appleton, physicist Bradford

James Henry Atkinson, ironmonger and mousetrap inventor, Leeds

Sir Donald Bailey, inventor of the Bailey bridge, Rotherham

Sir Donald Bailey

William Bateson, biologist, Whitby

Dr George Birbeck, physician and academic, Settle

John Gatenby Bolton, astronomer, Sheffield

Joseph Bramah, inventor of hydraulic press, Barnsely

Harry Brearley, matallurgist and inventor of stainless steel, Sheffield

Harry Brearley

Henry Briggs, mathematician, Warleywood

Sir George Cayley, aeronautical engineer and designer, Scarborough

Thomas Crapper, plumber and bathroomware developer, Thorne

Thomas Crapper

Charles Fairburn, railway electrical engineer, Bradford

Alfred Fowler, astronomer, Wilsden

John Harrison, horologist and mathematician, Foulby

John Hewitt, zoologist and archaeologist, Dronfield

Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer and writer, Bingley

Peter Landin, computer scientist, Sheffield

David Mellor, designer and craftsman, Sheffield

David Mellor      Picture: David Mellor Design

Julian Norton, vet, TV personality (the Yorkshire Vet) and author, Castleford

Joseph Priestley, physicist and chemist, Birstall

Dr Richard Richardson, botanist and physican, Bradford

John Alan Robinson, philosopher, mathematician, and computer scientist. Halifax

Helen Sharman, astronaut and chemist, Sheffield

Helen Sharman

Abraham Sharp, mathematician, Bradford

Percy Shaw, inventor of cat’s eye roadstuds, Halifax

George William Lamplugh, geologist and geographer, Driffield

John Obadiah Westwood, entomologist and archaeologist , Sheffield

Peter Wright, vet and TV personality (The Yorkshire Vet), Thirsk


Products and Brands

Asda, supermarket chain, Leeds

Cat’s Eye, roadstuds maker, Halifax

Harry Ramsden, fish and chip shops, Guiseley

Henderson’s Relish, sauce maker, Sheffield

JCT600 Ltd, Bradford

Marks and Spencer,  store chain, Leeds

Morrisons, supermarket chain, Bradford

Pudsey Bear, mascot of Chidren in Need, Pudsey

Rowntree’s, confectioner, York

Rowtree’s factory, York       Picture: Michael Jagger

Stainless Steel, Sheffield

Tetley’s Brewery, Leeds

Thorntons Chocolate, confectioner, Sheffield

Wensleydale Cheese, Wensleydale

Yorkshire Puddings, Yorkshire

Yorkshire Tea, Harrogate

Yorkshire Tea



Nicola Adams, boxer, Leeds

Nicola Adams      Picture: Richard Gillin

Paul Anderson, rugby league player and coach, Castleford

Gordon Banks, footballer, Sheffield

David Batty, footballer, Leeds

Gareth Batty, cricketer, Bradford

Harold Dennis ‘Dickie’ Bird, cricketer and umpire, Barnsley

‘Dickie’ Bird      Picture: Gareth J Dykes

Sir Geoffrey Boycott, cricketer and commentator, Fitzwilliam

Geoffrey Boycott      Picture: sigerson

Danielle Brown, Paralympic archer, Lothersdale

Alistair Brownlee, athlete, Dewsbury

Alistair Brownlee      Picture: Jim Thurston

Jonathan Brownlee, athlete,  Leeds

Sam Burgess, ruby league player, Dewsbury

Rob Burrow,  rugby league player, Pontefract

Ed Clancy, cyclist, Barnsley

Ed Clancy      Picture: CS-wolves

Hannah Cockroft, athlete and paralympian, Halifax

Katherine Copeland, rower, Ashington

Rachel Daly, footballer, Harrogate

Michael Dawson, footballer, Northallerton

Fabian Delph, footballer, Bradford

Thomas Dobson, rugby union player, rugby league player and sprinter, Bradford

Richard Dunn, boxer, Halifax

Simon Easterby, rugby union player, Harrogate

Dame Jessica Ennis, athlete, Sheffield

Dame Jessica Ennis       Picture: Carfax2

Stuart Fielden, rugby league player, Halifax

Jack Firth, footballer, Doncaster

Darren Gough, cricketer, Barnsley

Naseem Hamed, boxer, Sheffield

Jessica Harrison, athlete, Sheffield

Alan Hinkes,  mountaineer, Northallerton

Sir Leonard Hutton, cricketer, Pudsey

Sir Len Hutton


Dorthy Hyman, Cudworth, South Yorks

Innes Ireland, motor racing driver, engineer and writer, Mytholmroyd

Jamie Jones-Buchanan, rugby league player and actor, Leeds

Kevin Keegan, footballer and manager, Doncaster

Aaron Lennon, footballer, Leeds

Aaron Lennon      Picture: Ytoyoda

Stuart McCall, footballer and manager, Leeds

Brian McDermott, rugby league player and coach, Wakefield

Steve McLaren, football manager, York

Paul Madeley, footballer, Leeds

Beth Mead, footballer, Whitby

James Milner, footballer, Leeds

Nicola Minichiello, bobsledder, Sheffield

Jamie Peacock, rugby league player and manager, Leeds

Jim Laker, cricketer and commentator, Shipley

Leon Pryce, rugby league player, Bradford

Jamie Reeves, wrestler, Sheffield

Jason Robinson, rugby league and rugby union player, Leeds

Joe Root, cricketer, Sheffield

Joe Root      Picture: Airwolfhound

Danny Rose, Doncaster

David Seaman, footballer,  Rotherham

Lucy Staniforth, footballer, York

John Stones, footballer, Barnsley

Herbert Sutcliffe, cricketer, Summerbridge

Herbert Sutcliffe

Dame Jane Tomlinson, amateur athlete and charity fundraiser, Wakefield

Fred Trueman, cricketer, Maltby

Jamie Vardy, footballer, Sheffield

Kyle Walker, footballer, Sheffield

Josh Warrington, boxer, Leeds

Julian Watts, footballer and football manager, Sheffield

Howard Webb, football referee, Rotherham

Howard Webb      Picture: Ronnie Macdonald

Dave Whelan, footballer, football club owner and businessman, Bradford

Justin Wilson, racing car driver, Sheffield

Dean Windass, footballer, Kingston upon Hull

Ernest Woodhead, rugby union player, Huddersfield

William Henry ‘Harry’ Wright, baseball player and manager, Sheffield



Yorkshire offers a whole world of sport. From our strong roots in football across almost every division, to comprising half of the rugby teams in Super League, to a top class cricket team with more than 150 years of history, you’ll find it all here.

The Yorkshire Enterprises Network’s sports platform gives information and history on each major club, as well as streams of their most recent news and links to their websites and social media accounts.

The YEN has produced a ‘Sport in Yorkshire’ video to commemorate and honour the strength and passion shown by our county in football, rugby league, cricket and cycling.

Go to https://www.yorkshirenetwork.co.uk/yorkshire/sport-in-yorkshire/ and click on the respective buttons to visit the pages for football, rugby league, cricket and cycling.

According to the industry.yorkshire.com website, Yorkshire has more racecourses than any other region: Ripon, Catterick, Beverley, Thirsk, Pontefract, Wetherby, York, Redcar and Doncaster



According to Visit Britain, the 10 most visited free attractions in Yorkshire in 2016 were:

1 Museums Sheffield: Millennium Gallery Museums & Art Galleries with 776,977 visitors; 2 National Railway Museum Museums & Art Galleries with 733,266; Yorkshire Sculpture Park Museums & Art Galleries with 523,921; 4 National Media Museum Museums & Art Galleries with 415,891; 5 Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens Museums & Art Galleries with 406,786; 6 Sheffield Botanical Gardens Gardens with 300,000; Leeds City Museum Museums & Art Galleries with 280,823; 8 Kirkstall Abbey Museums & Art Galleries with 233,816; 9 Museums Sheffield: Weston Park Museums & Art Galleries with  231,096; 10 The Hepworth Wakefield Museums & Art Galleries  210,275.


And the most visited paid-for attractions were:

1 Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo Leisure 1,610,556; 2 York Minster 610,159; 3 Scarborough Cliff Railway Railways 470,000; 4 The Deep Wildlife 427,027; 5 RHS Garden Harlow Carr Gardens 416,288; 6 Fountains Abbey 409,159; 7 Lotherton Hall & Gardens Museums & Art Galleries 384,149; 8 Tropical World at Roundhay Park 356,793; 9 Eureka! The National Children’s Museum Museums & Art Galleries 289,898; 10 York Castle Museum Museums & Art Galleries 275,156.



The Yorkshire Ridings Society ‘works to preserve the integrity of Yorkshire’. See its website at http://www.yorkshireridings.org/  and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/propercounty/

Championing Yorkshire tourism is the boast of Welcome to Yorkshire, website at https://www.yorkshire.com/

The Tourism Association for North Yorkshire at http://www.visityorkshire.com/

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is ‘here to conserve and enhance the National Park and to help others to share in and enjoy it’. Website at http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/

The North York Moors National Park Authority is responsible for ‘a special place, forged by nature, shaped over generations – where peace and beauty rub shoulders with a rich history and a warm welcome’. Website at  http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/




July 17, 2019

The famous and much-loved Bettys Tearoom is celebrating the centenary of the opening of the first cafe in Harrogate in 1919, reports the BBC. Bettys, now with branches in Northallerton, York and Ilkely, was founded just after World War 1 by Swiss baker and chocolatier Fritz Bützer. But, the BBC reports, no one knows where the name Bettys comes from



May 17, 2019

In an article reporting that Scarborough was leading the fightback by British seaside towns, the i newspaper said: “Figures from VisitEngland show that the North Yorkshire spa town and the wider borough – which includes nearby Whitby and Filey – is the most visited area outside London by British holidaymakers, with an average over 1.3 million trips a year


May 17, 2019

Richmondshire Today reported that the Mocha Cafe in Richmond was raising money for the town’s Yorkshire in Bloom preparations by selling special buns marked with political parties’ names to gauge customers feelings as the European elections loomed. The Brexit Party, the Lib Dems and the Yorkshire Party were doing well, according to sales.



May 1, 2019

The Guardian and other media reported how Leeds had become the first city in the UK to report a drop in childhood obesity after introducing a programme to help parents set boundaries for their children and say no to sweets and junk food.



March 12, 2019

The BBC reported that Horton-in-Ribblesdale in the Yorkshire Dales was in the top five bases in the country for hikers. It said Ordnance Survey data placed it fourth with Edale, in the Peak District Britain’s favourite spot from which to start a walk.



February 28, 2019

The BBC reported that Yorkshire pudding had been chosen as the nation’s favourite regional dish. Second was the  cream tea (from Cornwall/Devon), with Cornish pasty (Cornwall), Tikka Masala (Glasgow) and Bakewell tart (Derbyshire) finished off the top five. But the poll by Privilege Insurance found that only half of those who chose the Yorkshire pudding as their favourite actually knew how to make it.



February 22, 2019

The BBC and others reported on an RAF-American flypast over Sheffield that marked the 75th anniversary of the deaths of the American crew of the B-17 bomber Mi Amigo. Thousands watched from Endcliffe Park as the event was broadcast live by the BBC to highlight the dedication of local man Tony Foulds in caring for the park’s memorial to the airmen.



February 8, 2019

The Telegraph and others reported that Yorkshirewoman Jill Welham had won a prestigious international gardening photography competition despite not using a camera and having no interest in gardening. Jill , 52, from Richmond, beat thousands of others to be crowned International Garden Photographer of the Year with a cyanotype print, entitled Fireworks, made with vinegar and washing up liquid.



January 23, 2019

The i newspaper and other media reported that an official flypast would be held in Sheffied where Tony Foulds, 82, has tended a memorial to the ten US airmen that died who died in a wartime crash, laying wreaths and planting flowers. Tony was eight when he witnessed the American B-17 Flying Fortress, Mi Amigo, crash into Sheffield’s Endcliffe Park on February 22 1944.  The story was revealed by the BBC presenter Dan Walker and became an international phenomenon.



November  24, 2018

The Mirror reported that great-grandad Brian Loughans has been voted the best take-away delivery driver in Britain. The 82-year-old got the award in London for his punctuality, reliability and cheerful attitude. Brian works for Kipling’s Indian restaurant in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, West Yorks.



November 23, 2018

The Yorkshire Post and others reported that Berwick Kaler, the longest serving pantomime dame in history, is to retired. Berwick, 72, who holds the record for appearing in a consecutive series of pantos in the same venue, is in his final run at the Theatre Royal, York.



November 22, 2018

The BBC reported that Leeds gymnast Ashley Watson, 26, had set a Guinness World Record by propelling himself 5.87m (19ft 3.1in) between horizontal bars. Ashley, a Great Britain squad member, set the feat at Leeds Gymnastics Club, in front of two independent witnesses and a chartered surveyor, who measured the distance.



November 12, 2018

The Teesside Gazette and others reported that England football manager Gareth Southgate had become ‘Honorary Yorkshireman’. The former Middlesbrough captain and manager was presented with the accolade at the White Rose Awards in Harrogate, the UK’s biggest annual celebration of tourism, which recognises the very best tourism businesses in Yorkshire. Gareth, who was born in Watford, has lived near Harrogate since 2001 after his transfer to Middlesbrough .



September 26, 2018

The Guardian was among many of the national media to report that a new stained glass window by Bradford-born artist David Hockney, and made in York, had been installed in Westmister Abbey. “…  vibrantly coloured window – designed … on his iPad –  shows blue skies and a red country path through blossoming Yorkshire Wolds hawthorn.” The  window was commissioned to celebrate the Queen’s reign.



August 23, 2018

The BBC reported that a North Yorkshire fish and chip shop had translated its menu for Mandarin and Cantonese speakers to cope with an influx of Chinese tourists. “Scotts Fish and Chips near York has seen coachloads of visitors wanting to try the traditional dish.”



August 13, 2018

The Daily Mail and others reported on how historian Anne Fletcher had documented her great-great-uncle’s extraordinary life  in her book, From the Mill to Monte Carlo, telling of bankrupt Bradford mill boss, who really did break the bank at Monte Carlo. Joseph Jagger devised “an ingenious and entirely legal method to win at roulette, in just a few months he pocketed a staggering £80,000, the equivalent of £7.5m today”.



August 9, 2018

The Hull Daily Mail reports that a bumper year for the city’s top tourist attractions helped Yorkshire record the highest increase in visitors of any English region during 2017. The feelgood factor of being the UK’s City of Culture saw record numbers of visitor figures flocking through the doors of Hull’s main venues and helpedYorkshire post a seven per cent increase in visitor numbers – the highest in the country.



August 9, 2018

The Yorkshire Post and others report that a Victorian railway station with its original waiting rooms, ticket office and an overgrown platform has gone on the market. The former Chapeltown Central Station near Sheffield, which closed in 1954, has been converted into a family home but retains many of its original features.



August 4, 2018

The Mirror reports how four brown bears kept in cruel conditions in a museum in Hokkaido, Japan for 17 years have been rehoused in the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster. The move to more expansive quarters marked the end of an 18-month rescue mission for the endangered animals.



July 4, 2018

The BBC was among news outlets reporting that a pied crow’s hearty greeting ‘Y’ alright luv’ has been greeting visitors to Knaresborough Castle, North Yorkshire. It was captured on film by visitors Lisa and Mark Brooks, who heard the bird chattering inside the castle grounds. ‘I found it absolutely hilarious. It must be a local, it has a proper Yorkshire accent. We were there for 15 minutes and it switched between saying ‘darling’ and ‘love’. Other people started coming over and were just in shock,’ said Lisa Brooks. 

Crows are from the corvid family of birds, which are known for the ability to mimic human voices.



July 2, 2018

The Guardian wonders why so many of England’s World Cup footballers are from Yorkshire. The county has six players with the team in Russia. “Is it something in the water?” asks , the newspaper’s North of England reporter. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/02/why-are-so-many-of-england-world-cup-footballers-from-yorkshire


June 30, 2018

The Filey coastline was named Britain’s best beach, with a critic describing it as casting a spell that “turns you into a kid again”. The five-mile stretch of sand from the peninsula of Filey Brigg to the Bempton nature reserve, is a quarter of a mile wide at low tide and dotted with rock pools. Chris Haslam, chief travel writer for the The Sunday Times, placed the beach at the top of a list of 50,  reports The Yorkshire Post.  https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/five-mile-filey-beach-is-named-best-in-uk-for-magic-in-its-sands-1-9228810


May 28, 2018

A bus route that passes through the North York Moors National Park is the most scenic journey in Britain, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post. The 840 Coastliner service from York to Whitby won the title from a shortlist of more than 100 rural routes compiled by Bus Users UK. About 15,000 public votes were cast in the poll, which was the brainchild of bus enthusiast Paul Kirby, from Wetherby.  https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/yorkshire-bus-route-is-named-the-most-scenic-in-britain-1-9183021


May 24, 2018

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports: “Yorkshire has been named as the UK’s hotspot for up-and-coming innovative young companies. Creative England’s annual CE50 list of the 50 most talented and able young enterprises contains a total of 10 from Yorkshire, more than any other region.” https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/business/yorkshire-named-uk-s-leading-region-for-creative-industries-1-9177998


May 22, 2018

The Craven Herald reported: “The 2018 Welcome to Yorkshire garden, inspired by the iconic Yorkshire Dales, has been awarded the highest honour at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.”



May 18, 2018

The Yorkshire Post reported on the completion of the 10-year restoration of the 600-year-old, stained-glass Great East Window at York Minster. “Yet, as work begins on the next phase of improvements to an iconic building that is a symbol of Christianity, and Yorkshire, it’s a reminder that this country must continue to invest in those traditional skills that are key to maintaining the country’s national heritage for centuries to come.” https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/the-yorkshire-post-says-a-window-of-hope-milestone-in-york-minster-restoration-1-9169728


May 10, 2018

The Yorkshire Post: Six years is a long time to go between pints, so the news that Tetley’s beer is once again to be brewed in Leeds will bring three hearty cheers to tap rooms across the county. https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/our-region/west-yorkshire-and-the-dales/leeds/raising-a-glass-to-the-welcome-return-of-tetley-to-its-leeds-heartland-1-9157470


May 9, 2018

The Guardian: Incredible Edible: Yorkshire town’s food-growing scheme takes root worldwide. when two women began turning disused verges in the former mill town of Todmorden into free food plots, little did they realise they would inspire a global movement of growers. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/09/incredible-edible-yorkshire-towns-food-growing-scheme-takes-root-worldwide

i newspaper: Calderland – A “folk opera” that celebrates the response of the local community in Calder Valley to the devastating Boxing Day floods which hit the Yorkshire region in 2015 has won a prestigious classical music award. https://inews.co.uk/news/calderland


May 8, 2018

Cycling Weekly: As was a feature of the entire race, the huge crowds packed the sides of the road to watch the action unfold in a sort-out of the general classification, where Olympic champion Van Avermaet laid the groundwork for his eventual overall victory.


April 25, 2018

Yorkshire Party Deputy Leader Chris Whitwood applauds Doncaster Council’s plan to save what remains of the old girls’ grammar school building. Despite criticising the scheme’s design, Chris writes in The Yorkshire Post: “Nevertheless, it hopefully represents an important policy change from neglecting architectural heritage to a desire to revive it.”


April 3, 2018

On the 325th anniversary of John Harrison’s birth this article by Joe Sommerlad in the Independent newspaper tells how a self-taught Yorkshire clockmaker revolutionised naval navigation.


April 1, 2018

In a series called Jones the Planner, exploring architecture, urban design and planning issues, town planner/urban designer Adrian Jones and presenter  Chris Matthews, a local historian and graphic designer, look at Halifax,Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.


May 16, 2017

The Independent reported that Yorkshire was the best region in Britain for workplace happiness and satisfaction. London only managed to make it to number five for happiness and came bottom for work satisfaction, according to research commissioned by recruitment agency Robert Half. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/yorkshire-and-humber-best-uk-region-happy-work-jobs-study-london-unhappy-workers-a7738756.html



Yorkshire’s ruggedly beautiful country, its historic towns and its marvellous characters have drawn film makers for generations. Here are just some of the unforgettable films that have featured the county.

In various lists published by different media we’ve selected the movies that have featured in their first couple of slots with a round-up of some of the best of the rest.

The British Film Institute (BFI) describes Yorkshire in film as “ where the a region of contradictions: homely in some movies, altogether menacing in others; a place of ugliness and despair in certain picture, and of immense beauty in more; a region where individuals seeking escape might happily lose themselves, but which others find paradoxically stifling. Urban areas can by grey and claustrophobic, and not uncommonly in a state of disrepair. Out in the country, however, we see a different side of Yorkshire: spacious, verdant and with an untouched purity.”

Among its highlights, the BFI chose The Night Has Eyes (1944) with “Huddersfield man James Mason as a Spanish civil war veteran living in seclusion on an impressionistically gloomy Yorkshire Moors in Leslie Arliss’s brief horror” and Bedelia (1946), which “characterises the Yorkshire countryside as a quaint territory virtually cut off from the rest of society”.


The Independent reported in 2015 on the set of Miss You Already “You might think that Drew Barrymore would be more at home in the Hollywood Hills than on the Yorkshire Moors. Yet here she is, standing on the famous Cow and Calf Rocks outside the market town of Ilkley, rain lashing down from the sort of apocalyptic sky that God’s own county does so well.”

It picked The Railway Children (1970) which with “Jenny Agutter famously waving her red bloomers was shot of the Keighley and Worth Valley Line, which still runs steam trains”. It followed with Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987): “The bleakly hilarious tale of life in inner-city Bradford was written by local girl Andre Dunbar, whose life was as tragic as her work.”


Time Out says: “There’s more to Yorkshire on screen than barren moorland and sloping Victorian terraces – you can also find romance, politics and, occasionally, Armageddon.  It opted for Kes (1969): “Ken Loach delivered the first and still the greatest Yorkshire masterpiece with this heart-breaking tale of a boy and his kestrel. Brian Glover would go on to personify Yorkshireness in the eyes of the entire world.” It was followed by Brassed Off (1996) “thanks to a heartfelt script and some sparkling performances, the result is an air-punching example of Yorkshire pride”

The Yorkshire Post says: “Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and imposing cities have played starring roles in some of the UK’s best-loved films. It highlighted The Damned United (2009), the story of Brian Clough’s disastrous 44 days as manger of Leeds United Football Club, and The Railway Children.

The Yorkshire Evening Post goes for Four Lions (2010) saying “Chris Morris’ satire on British jihadist suicide bombers focuses on four members of the Muslim community in Sheffield and stars voice of phone-jacker Kayvan Novak.”
And it rates The Woman In Black (2012) “Although set in a fictional Edwardian-era English village, Crythin Gifford, the Yorkshire Moors almost take on the role of a character in this brooding and bleak reboot to the Hammer Horror franchise.”

Among just a few of the ‘Yorkshire films’ cropping up on many lists are: An American Werewolf in London (1981), Wuthering Heights (2011), The Full Monty (1997), Calendar Girls (2003), All Creatures Great and Small (1975), Billy Liar (1963), Agatha (1979), and Chicken Run (2000).

All film title links are to full entries on the IMDb – the Internet Movie Database – which describes itself as the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content



Helena Fairfax

The Yorkshire Party is grateful to Helena Fairfax, a Yorkshire writer and editor, for allowing us to include her blog describing some of her favourite books featuring Yorkshire. Her co-operation does not signify support for the Yorkshire Party or its policies

Helena writes contemporary romances with sympathetic heroines and heroes. Her novels have been shortlisted for several awards. She lives next to the windswept Yorkshire moors and walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it a perfect place in which to dream up her heroes and her happy endings.


 May 26, 2018

The landscape and people of Yorkshire have inspired writers for hundreds of years. With its rich history and incredible variety, it’s no surprise the county has produced such a wealth of great literature. Here is a list of books, old and new, inspired by some of the locations in Yorkshire.

Whitby      Picture: freeimageslive.co.uk – photoeverywhere“>photoeverywhereThe seaside town of Whitby, home to Bram Stoker, is the setting for some of the scenes in Dracula


  A Woman of Substance, written by Yorkshire-born Barbara Taylor Bradford, is partly set in Leeds and the surrounding rural area.

In the brooding moors above a humble Yorkshire village stood Fairley Hall. There, Emma Harte, its oppressed but resourceful servant girl, acquired a shrewd determination. There, she honed her skills, discovered the meaning of treachery, learned to survive, to become a woman, and vowed to make her mark on the world.

In the wake of tragedy she rose from poverty to magnificent wealth as the iron-willed force behind a thriving international enterprise. As one of the richest women in the world Emma Harte has almost everything she fought so hard to achieve–save for the dream of love, and for the passion of the one man she could never have. 


Ross Raisin’s God’s Own Country (Out Backward in north America) is set in the Yorkshire moors.

Sam Marsdyke is a lonely young man, dogged by an incident in his past and forced to work his family farm instead of attending school in his Yorkshire village. He methodically fills his life with daily routines and adheres to strict boundaries that keep him at a remove from the townspeople. But one day he spies Josephine, his new neighbor from London. From that moment on, Sam’s carefully constructed protections begin to crumble—and what starts off as a harmless friendship between an isolated loner and a defiant teenage girl takes a most disturbing turn.


Dotheboys Hall, the infamous boarding school in Nicholas Nickleby, is also set on the Yorkshire moors, and of course the classics, The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte


York has been the setting for so many great books, it’s hard to choose just one. So here are three…

Behind the Scenes at the Museum, by Kate Atkinson, is based on York’s Castle Museum.

Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn’t married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patrica aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused to be ignored, and Ruby…

Sovereign, by C.J. Sansom

Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission by his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a secret mission for Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator who is to be returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a York glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret documents which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead to Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . .

The novels by Reginald Hill featuring detectives Dalziel and Pascoe, and made into an excellent BBC series, are all set round York. Bones and Silence is about the York mystery plays.

One woman dead and one threatening to die set Yorkshire’s police superintendent Dalziel and Inspector Pascoe on a chilling hunt for a killer and a potential suicide. A drunken Dalziel witnesses the murder that others insist is a tragic accident. Meanwhile the letters of an anonymous woman say she plans to kill herself in a spectacular way…unless Pascoe can find her first. Dalziel has been picked to play God in a local Mystery Play, but can he live up to his role by solving this puzzling psychological thriller…or unveiling the passions and perversions that lie hidden in the human heart?


James Herriot’s vet novels, including All Creatures Great and Small, are set in rural north Yorkshire and were made into a massively popular TV series. The books have sold over 80 million copies!


A more recent book set in the Dales is Mary Jayne Baker’s A Bicycle Made for Two, a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire.

In a lost corner of the Yorkshire Dales, Lana Donati runs a medieval theme restaurant, Here Be Flagons, with her brother. When she hatches a plan to boost business by getting the Grand Départ route to pass through their village, the small community must work together to convince the decision-makers they’re Tour material. Not easy when the cast of characters involved includes Lana’s shy, unlucky-in-love brother Tom, man-eating WI chair Yolanda, bickering spouses Gerry and Sue, arrogant TV star Harper Brady, and Lana’s arch-nemesis, former pro cyclist turned bike shop owner Stewart McLean, whose offbeat ideas might just cost them everything.


The Year of the Runaways, by Sunjeev Sahota, is set in Sheffield, and is on my reading list.

Three young men, and one unforgettable woman, come together in a journey from India to England, where they hope to begin something new—to support their families; to build their futures; to show their worth; to escape the past. They have almost no idea what awaits them.
In a dilapidated shared house in Sheffield, Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his life in Bihar. Avtar and Randeep are middle-class boys whose families are slowly sinking into financial ruin, bound together by Avtar’s secret. Randeep, in turn, has a visa wife across town, whose cupboards are full of her husband’s clothes in case the immigration agents surprise her with a visit. 
She is Narinder, and her story is the most surprising of them all. 


Bradford is the setting for Jon McGregor’s award-winning If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

On a street in a town in the North of England, ordinary people are going through the motions of their everyday existence – street cricket, barbecues, painting windows… A young man is in love with a neighbour who does not even know his name. An old couple make their way up to the nearby bus stop. But then a terrible event shatters the quiet of the early summer evening. That this remarkable and horrific event is only poignant to those who saw it, not even meriting a mention on the local news, means that those who witness it will be altered for ever.Jon McGregor’s first novel brilliantly evokes the histories and lives of the people in the street to build up an unforgettable human panorama. Breathtakingly original, humane and moving, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is an astonishing debut.


This is just a very small selection of the best of Yorkshire. There are many more classic and new books I didn’t have room for!

  • Hebden Bridge – an old mill town in West Yorkshire – is the setting for Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endingsan anthology of stories put together by a group of nine romantic novelists from Yorkshire and Lancashire. I’m delighted to represent Yorkshire as part of the group!

Miss Moonshine’s Wonderful Emporium has stood in the pretty Yorkshire town of Haven Bridge for as long as anyone can remember. With her ever-changing stock, Miss Moonshine has a rare gift for providing exactly what her customers need: a fire opal necklace that provides a glimpse of a different life; a novel whose phantom doodler casts a spell over the reader; a music box whose song links love affairs across the generations. One thing is for certain: after visiting Miss Moonshine’s quirky shop, life is never the same again…