It's not so grim up North you know?

When I was trying to get inspiration for my blog, this well known saying popped into my head and I thought, it isn't so grim up here. We are so lucky to have such picturesque villages up north. Narrowing it down to our local area, we can step out into little villages with gift shops, antique centres and public houses. There are off road tracks to walk along as you hear the church bells ringing in the hour. I found this with Cawthorne a few weeks ago. I was walking with my friend to Cawthorne Park and was led a special way that only a local would know. We visited the orchard which looked gorgeous in the sun. Then we walked past the village store and cafe, bumping into the lady delivering her home grown wild flower arrangements. Onwards down the steep hill, past the allotments full of busy people chopping and planting, ready for a pint of cold beer at the local pub. Still onwards past the little brook and over a bridge to the cricket pitch where they were painting brand new white lines. All the while, the sun was shining and we were happily taking it all in. Yes. Not so grim. All this even before we had reached the beautiful park.
This village store and tea rooms is a right find. The store stocks good gin and has a fab fruit and veg shed at the back. Seating inside is lovely and you are lucky to get the Snug part if it is free. Beautiful Art- paintings and cards on the wall is for sale, along with lovely wooden products, my friend's vintage beauty products from The Pretty Little Treat Company and the wild flower arrangements. In the Summer, it is great to sit outside in the garden with the wild flowers, the soothing water feature and the tree amidst the long grasses that reminds me of a savannah. Everything from pork pies to sandwiches and cakes are delicious and we normally take some croissants and artisan bread home. I love their cafetierre here. Very strong!

This lovely village tea rooms sits snugly amongst the other cottages and has the perfect view of allotments, wild flowers, fields and trees. The flowers attract the beautiful butterflies, especially the buddleahs. Plants and flowers are for sale too. When you walk walk through the side gate, the Welcome sign always makes me smile.

We are so lucky to live near the moors too, to have the contrasting environments of town and country. The urban landscape quickly blends into the rolling hills and green belt.  We love to escape to Langsett and to Ingbirchworth in particular, stopping off at Yummy Yorkshire for an ice cream of course! When the wind turbines started taking over the countryside, I was against them marking the landscape but since witnessing them in action and hearing their power, I'm now fascinated by them. I love to watch the sun  set behind them. Very majestic.
I love googling. What a funny verb! So I googled the well known saying, Grim up North and was reminded of the KLF song where Barnsley is featured in the rap at the start, along with Burnley. A Google search came up with an old Victoria Wood sketch where the announcer says in a deadpan way,
We would like to apologise to the viewers in the north. It must be awful for them.
Apparently, this saying could have originated from the playright, JB Priestley who wrote a memoir of a tour of England. It is said 'by the the time he reached Tyneside, he was in a foul mood. Actually, we've toured he East Coast bays and inlets and had a marvellous time so by the time We saw the Welcome to Tyneside sign after Saltburn we were tired but happy. Maybe he hadn't just stopped at the marvellous chippy we had in Saltburn.
We do love travelling to the 'Beautiful South' and enjoy all the culture of the busy city of London. We too are lucky with our local cities such as Leeds, Wakefield and Sheffield. We are surrounded by museums, theatres, galleries, antique centres, craft workshops, choirs, libraries, book clubs and many more ways of accessing culture.


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