47 Things You Might Not Know About Yorkshire

Because every day is Yorkshire day.

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1. The population of Yorkshire is roughly 5.3 million marvellous souls, according to the 2011 census.

2. At 2.9 million glorious acres, Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK.

3. Were Yorkshire an independent country, and not just the best part of a bigger union, we would have finished 12th at the 2012 Olympics.

4. Our champion athletes include Jessica Ennis-Hill, boxer Nicola Adams, cyclist Ed Clancy, and triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.

5. We love the Brontë sisters, erstwhile word enthusiasts and pioneers of the literary form, so much that the area around Haworth, Bradford, is named “Brontë Country” in their honour.

6. Other renowned Yorkshire word-wranglers include Alan Bennett, Barbara Cartland, Arthur Ransome, J.B. Priestley, Ted Hughes, and W.H. Auden.

7. Famous Yorkshire folk from history include the explorer James Cook, anti-slavery campaigner and abolitionist William Wilberforce, clockmaker John Harrison (the man who solved the problem of establishing longitude at sea), and pioneering aviator Amy Johnson.

8. James Mason, Sir Patrick Stewart, Dame Judi Dench, Sean Bean, Michael Palin, Brian Blessed, and Sir Ben Kingsley are just some of our award-winning theatrical exports.

9. Visits to Yorkshire totalled 216 million in 2009, about the number of visitors to Disney theme parks worldwide. Ee, it’s th’appiest place on earth.

10. Leeds, York, and Scarborough are among the top ten most visited English towns by UK residents.

11. There is enough bed space in Yorkshire’s 3,150 hotels to sleep every person in a sold-out Wembley stadium.

12. At 3.4km long, the walls around York are the longest city walls in England.

13. The Shambles in York (pictured above) was named Britain’s most picturesque street in the 2010 Google Street Awards.

14. The Humber Bridge is the longest single-span suspension bridge in the UK. It’s also the second longest in Europe and the seventh longest in the world.

15. The Yorkshire Dales is home to Britain’s highest pub, the Tan Hill Inn, serving real ale at a heady 1,732 feet above sea level. Super.

16. Yorkshire is home to 30+ real ale breweries, producing enough ales between them to give you a different pint each night for at least six months. Smashing.

17. Yorkshire has six Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other region outside London: The Black Swan in Oldstead, The Old Vicarage in Sheffield, The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, the Box Tree in Ilkley, The Pipe & Glass Inn in South Dalton, and The Burlington in Skipton. Great.

Yorkshire Dales National Park. Flickr: peerlawther

18. Sheffield’s Meadowhall is one of Europe’s largest shopping and leisure complexes, with over 25 million visitors a year.

19. Scarborough was Britain’s first seaside resort, establishing itself as a holiday destination in 1626.

20. Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate, is home to the world’s oldest sweet shop, cannily named The Oldest Sweet Shop in England, which opened in 1827 and is still selling spice today.

21. The George Hotel in Huddersfield is the official birthplace of rugby league. The sport’s code originated there at a meeting of northern club owners in 1895.

22. The classic British sitcom Last of the Summer Wine, which was set and filmed in Holmfirth between 1973 and 2010, holds the record for the world’s longest-running comedy series.

23. Yorkshire’s three National Parks – the North York Moors, most of the Yorkshire Dales, and part of the Peak District – account for nearly a third of the total area of National Parks in the UK.

24. Yorkshire also boasts three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Howardian Hills, Nidderdale, and Forest of Bowland.

25. The Pennine Way, which runs for 268 miles through Yorkshire and continues all the way to the Scottish border, was the UK’s first ever National Trail, opened in 1965.

The cliffs at Flamborough Head. Thinkstock

26. The highest point on the east coast of England is at Boulby, North Yorkshire, where the cliffs reach over 200 metres high.

27. Flamborough Head has the largest chalk reef in Europe, extending up to 6km out to sea.

28. Doncaster Racecourse hosts the St Leger, the world’s oldest and longest classic horse race. First run in 1776, the course is one mile, six furlongs, and 132 yards in length.

29. Sheffield FC is the oldest association football club in the world, formed in 1857. As such, Sheffield is recognised by FIFA and UEFA as the birthplace of club football.

30. Ponds Forge International Sports Centre is home to Europe’s deepest diving pool, at 5.8 metres deep.

31. Yorkshire is home to six national museums: Royal Armouries, National Railway Museum, National Media Museum, National Coal Mining Museum, Eureka! Children’s Museum and Eden Camp Modern History Museum. By eck!

32. David Hockney, one of Britain’s greatest and most influential living artists, was born and raised in Bradford.

33. Much of Hockney’s work is now housed in Salts Mill, an art gallery and shopping complex which was once the largest industrial building in the world.

York Minster. Thinkstock

34. Yorkshire is home to two Unesco World Heritage sites, Studley Royal (which includes the ruins of Fountains Abbey) in North Yorkshire, and Saltaire Village in West Yorkshire.

35. York Minster took 252 years to build, and is the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe.

36. York Minster contains a stunning 128 stained glass windows.

37. The Great East Window of York Minster covers more than 2,000 square feet, making it the largest of its kind in the world. Bloody Brilliant East Window more like.

38. Ripon is Britain’s oldest city. It was granted a charter by Alfred the Great in 886.

39. The oldest registered visitor-attraction in Britain is Mother Shipton’s Cave and Petrifying Well in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. It opened its doors to visitors in 1630.

40. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is the longest steam-operated railway in the UK, with over 18 miles of track.

41. Standedge Tunnel in Huddersfield is the highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in the country. It’s around 3¼ miles long.

Yorkshire puddings. Thinkstock

42. Most Yorkshire folk stand a little taller than those from other counties, but at seven feet nine inches tall, Yorkshireman William Bradley (1787-1820) was the tallest ever Englishman.

43. Perhaps our most famous culinary export is the Yorkshire pudding, which was first cooked up in 1737.

44. Wensleydale cheese was first made in 1150 by French Cistercian monks who settled in the Dales. Cracking.

45. During the Yorkshire Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France, villagers in Cragg Vale hung 12,115 metres (more than seven miles) of bunting along the route, breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest stretch of bunting in the world.

46. The debut album of Sheffield band the Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, is the fastest-selling debut album in British music history.

47. Matthew Lewis.

Ey up. Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

correction

This post originally claimed the Fishing Heritage Musuem in Grimsby, North Lincolnshire, as being in Yorkshire. The sixth National Museum in Yorkshire is the Eden Camp Modern History Museum in North Yorkshire. The post has been updated.

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