Going home and why it’s not so grim up North

Going home and why it’s not so grim up North
York Minster

Being 100% a northerner, I’ll admit, it grinds my gears when people use the term ‘grim up North’ as quite frankly it’s a lie. The Car People has stepped up to the challenge of redefining this term and I jumped at the opportunity to shout from the rooftops about my home town of York and why it’s simply the dream.

York City Walls

Oh, did I mention I’m from York? That’s your cue to go ‘ahh, I love York’. It’s the template response of every person I’ve ever met who hears that I’m from there as nobody has a bad word to say about it. When I went home last weekend, I took the opportunity to take some photos and really try to put into words what it is that makes this city special, other than it being full of people I love. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t that hard as there are so many reasons why York is quite frankly a delight, so here are a few of them.

1. York has a city wall – and it’s the longest and most complete city wall in all of England and that’s pretty cool as the city centre is quite literally surrounded by history.

2. Speaking of history, York is absolutely full of it and more often than not you’ll be sauntering down Coney Street with your shopping bags and you’ll spot a Viking or two – sometimes they’re there to try and entice you into the Jorvik Centre, other times they might be on their lunchbreak.

3. The bar scene has improved dramatically over the last few years. The city was once known for having a pub for every day of the year and whilst I have no doubt that that is still true, there are now fancy cocktail bars in addition to the pubs which serve everything that’s ever been brewed by Sam Smiths.

4. Afternoon tea is serious business. Whilst this has taken off everywhere, in York you’ll see people queuing around the block to get into Bettys Tearooms come rain or shine as their Lady Betty afternoon tea is worth the wait. (It should also be noted that those queuing are primarily tourists who don’t know that you can book a table).

5. The buildings are beautiful. I mean, did you even visit York if you didn’t take a photo of the Minster? Having moved to Leeds, every time I go back home I stare at this building in awe as it’s so breathtakingly beautiful, and it makes me feel genuinely privileged to have grown up here.

6. The Shambles. This little cobbled street honestly looks like Diagon Alley and is full of beautiful little shops and cafes.

7. The smell of chocolate. Nestle chocolate is produced in a factory not far from the centre so when the wind blows the right way, you’re quite literally inhaling an aero.

8. The transport links. Being on the East Coast main line, there are trains to London which take less than two hours – and that’s probably the same amount of time that some commuters from the outskirts of London spend getting into central.

9. Primark has landed in York. The rumours have been rife for years but York is now home to not one but two Primarks (and a John Lewis, but that’s not as exciting).

10. It’s my comfort blanket. Whilst I absolutely love living in Leeds, York makes me feel better in a way that no city ever could – it makes me feel safe, secure and so incredibly nostalgic for the 19 years I’ve spent living there.

Bettys Tearoom Exterior York

Why do you love the North? Please tell me in the comments (especially if you want to spread the love for York) as I love to hear about where other people call home.  

*The post was written in collaboration with The Car People but all love and enthusiasm for my home town is my own


  1. I absolutely adore living up North it's just so green and open and pretty! Don't get me wrong I love going to London but it's true what they say, the air is definitely cleaner up here!


  2. Ahh, I love York!
    (Sorry, couldn't help it - but its true!)
    We actaully went over at the weekend for a day It's my go-to 'we need a day out' place as there's so much to keep everyone happy. This trip we mainly spent hanging out in the museum gardnens, spotting birds and taking pictures of squirrels, followed by lots and lots of chocolte. I noticed Jorvik is gttin overhauled at the minute and we'll be back to see the changes when that re-opens next month!